[xj40] digital dash replacement

gavin: do not be afraid of the soldering. i have watched it being done
first hand. it is not that difficult, especially weighed against the $1k i
was quoted at the dealer for a “remanufactured” digital dash.

good luck.

eliot brenner
89 xj40 at 122.5k

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Are there any pictures or videos on here showing how to resolder them?

Go on youtube and have a look a soldering, then,

  1. buy a soldering iron
  2. plug it in
  3. put the tip on the bad joint
  4. melt some rosin core solder on to the joint
  5. Unplug soldering iron
  6. Put tool away.
  7. Re-install part

I’ve not seen any photos, but Larry has it right. I watched a guy who may lurk on this list do it to my dash — Brett Gazdzinski. It helps to use a magnifying glass to look for solder joints that are cracked. But just going to each in turn and resoldering them should do the trick for you. To get to the inside of the instrument cluster you have to break a seal that shows whether someone’s been into the guts of the thing, but at the age of these cars that’s not a biggie. Once you’ve resoldered, you can easily check your work because the cluster will just plug right back in without being fastened to the dash and you can turn the car on, drive it around, and look at the cluster’s performance.

Best of luck to you. It’s not an insurmountable job.

Eliot Brenner
Annandale, VA
Now with an ‘06 VDP


I understand that learning how to do most of these jobs on these cars is very important especially if you’re trying to save money versus sending the work out to be performed by another. But it’s important to note that even though soldering(or resoldering) is a great trade to learn, these parts that we are working on are extremely delicate and easily destroyed if performed by an unskilled person. I have 2 college degrees and hold several high level IT computer security certifications and i WITHOUT live instructions would be wary of trying to fix these digital dashes. Can it be done by the DIYer? Yes. Will they always do it correctly? No. So that’s why i asked questions about who were the most capable to fix these units because not everyone is going to have the confidence and ability to fix it themselves. I hope you can respect that.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. This community is a wealth of information and kindness. I have always loved the 1988-1989 Xj40 cars with the digital dash. I think it makes the car look more elegant and being from the 1980’s more period correct. If i can’t perform the work myself, i would rather send the unit to a club member and pay him to fix it versus giving it to BBA reman(a corporation). I love to learn and maybe i will be able to fix it on my own. Either way thank you all for your support and feedback.

Hey it’s up to you, if you have no manual dexterity, then maybe an old car like the 40 isn’t the right fit - they go wrong - often.
Most of us have fixed them ourselves, mainly because modern mechanics are too young to understand technology that existed when these cars were designed. Jaguar mechanics that were familiar with them are mainly nearing or have already retired.

These cars can’t be plugged in to analyzers, so that eliminates a lot of shops right off the bat.

If you do decide to have a go at DIY, there is a veritable mountain of help right here on these pages. Almost everything that could go wrong with these old cars has probably been attended to by now, so there’s lots of advice and how-to’s in the archive. We all had to begin somewhere - personally, I knew nothing about the XJ40 when I bought mine.

Having some college degrees and IT qualifications will cut no mustard if you can’t use a socket set. I too have a fair amount of computer experience, as do many of our members. I once wrote a CAD packaging program (what you would call an “app”) that took three years to complete …however, it was no help to me when I recently changed the harmonic balancer on my '40.

Hello Eliot, truly a ‘voice’ from the past! I recall you being pretty active on the old Modern list nearly 20 years ago - yes, back in the Brett G days. Good to hear from you!

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I think you have somehow misunderstood me. I am very competent on working on most vehicles as i have done so for the last 30 years of my life. Turning wrenches isn’t something new to me nor do i find most mechanical repairs above my level of competence. BUT working with delicate electronics is a whole other issue for which many have shyed away from due to the nature of their complexity. I would venture to say that over 80% of the members to this forum would not be able or willing to take on that taste. So please don’t make it appear that it’s a repair for most Jaguar owners. On the other hand, your knowledge on these cars is paramount, i will give you that, since i have read all of your response to my specific questions. I appreciate all the feedback i can get since i am new to this car line of automobiles. But with that said, it’s always more welcoming to others when you try to build them up with the knowledge that they seek versus tearing them down with insults. I find the later much more prevalent on this thread than the former.

Boo-Hoo …over and out!