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Discussion Starter #1
I now have a functional PW again with working lockers and a smartbar! A huge thanks goes out to Chris (Pit Slave). There's no way I could have repaired my smartbar myself without his extensive electrical expertise. He pointed out the flaws in the factory Dodge design, and we addressed and improved on those when rebuilding my smartbar. I'm sorry to say that we didn't get a lot of pictures. While it seems like a straightforward fix, one needs to be fairly competent in the electrical field to fix theirs. Hence why Chris drove down and helped me out! The fix took up about 7-8 hours, but we weren't rushing and that time included a Radio Shack run and a run to Smithfield's Chicken and BBQ :D All in all I'm super excited to have a working PW again and it was a pleasure to meet a fellow DT/DTX user :gr_patrio
 

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05DodgePowerWagon2115
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Can you walk through high level what you did and post the pictures you took? I also see you have the Thuren trackbar and control arms. How do you like them? I am very close to ordering them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'd wait until Pitslave comments on this thread. I'm not sure if he grabbed many (if any) pictures. I didn't get any on my cell phone. Essentially you remove the smartbar, drill out the rivets and slide out the control chip for the smartbar. You then have to remove the damaged pins/reinstall the new pins. I have no idea where he got the new pins from though...Solder up the new pins and re-silicone the smartbar back together and install new rivets. Replace the female pin connections in the wiring harness itself and plug in and test! That's the short cliffnotes of it. Looking back we should have taken pictures...

I have no complaints about the Thuren tracbar. It has served its purpose very well and is a high quality piece. The bushing is still good 35K hard miles later (I just grease it every 5-6K). I have had issues with my control arms not taking grease however. Thuren used Ballistic Fabrication joints in his control arms until this past year, when he switched to a new, much better design. The Ballistic Fabrication joints are so tight fitting that they *will not* take grease. I have tried everything and eventually gave up. As the truck sits they've been about 25-30K miles without grease. I've been emailing him and I'm going to upgrade to his new joints over Christmas and I shouldn't have any more problems! His website isn't updated so I'd call him/email him for his most up-to-date stuff. His tracbar has also been beefed up more since I purchased mine. It now uses thicker tubing.
 

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Good to hear this !
 

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..::MOOSE::..
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Sorry, no pics were taken. Just one goal was on my mind and that was to bring the truck back to Power Wagon status.:gr_patrio
 

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CHRISTINE
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:worthy: Way to be bro! It is refreshing to hear the comradery!
 

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Well, I am officially braindead when it comes to electrical. So, uh, Leif , I guess I'm gonna be buying the beers. :)
 

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..::MOOSE::..
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Sorry, I just want some more sweet tea! ;D
 

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Code Red
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Well, I am officially braindead when it comes to electrical. So, uh, Leif , I guess I'm gonna be buying the beers. :)
Will repair Power Wagons for beer...
 

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What I really want to know is what are the extensive mods that were done to make it more reliable. Pictures of the next one being done would be awesome.

I am considering doing a version of the cable mod 9shown on the Jeep forums) to keep the bar disengaged at speeds above 17mph, while leaving it fully functional electronically. From what I saw it will likely work if I can figure a way to reliably seal it from the elements. I know the sway bar lights will flash but who cares, it won't set a code after all.

Thoughts?
 

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So just for more clarity, before I start pulling my Smart bar off. was it causing your Lockers not to enguage, and causing your Light to come on saying you back locker had issues?

I have dealt with these type of pins before, where they had gotten old and rusty, and had to replace them. Never on the PW yet though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Essentially Pit Slave replaced the small "needle-like" pins with upgraded gold plated ones and replaced the pin receptors in the wiring harness. He also cleaned up the other pins with a wire brush. Then you have to remove the old pins, solder the new ones in the board and you're set!

The corroded pins were causing me to see no indicator lights on my dash. Nothing at all. My truck essentially thought it didn't have a smartbar anymore. If any of your pins are corroded then it will fail sooner or later.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Discussion Starter #16

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05DodgePowerWagon2115
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Interesting. Seems like that could be the cause of my sometimes on sometimes off indicator light for my sway bar. Funny thing is it still works. Did you guys use some sort of nano coating or fluid film on the circuit board before reassembling? Seems to me that could have gone a long way toward protecting the system in the first place along with a better sealed housing.
 

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..::MOOSE::..
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so are the connectors better than stock now?
Technically speaking, yes because the original signal contact in the smartbar was a gold plate on tin plate connection, now it's a gold plate on gold plate connection. The female plug contact in the wire harness was all tin plate, this is fine as long as the mating connection is tin plate as well. In the case of the smartbar, the signal pins(the small ones at 0.100" spacing dual row at 0.050" offset) were gold plate. Adding water, salt, and DC current caused a mix of chemical reactions which resulted in the blue and green deposits in the cavity of the plug and smartbar(pins dissolving). The other contacts in the plug that turned a black or gun metal color were replaced(front and rear locker return) or cleaned.

While the pins/plugs were removed, we cleaned the housings with electrical contact cleaner to remove the deposits. New pins were inserted in the housing. After the circuit board was cleaned and prepped, the board was resoldered to the housing with the new pins. Next, after the plug was repaired, the board housing was plugged into the wire harness to test it(see if the dash gauges lit up). After the dash lit up we reassembled the smartbar with RTV sealant and rivets. We reused the gasket that was on the smartbar to fill the gap. Next we put dielectric silicone grease on the pins and the plug housing. The grease was also applied on the inside mating surface on the smartbar where the silicone seal comes in contact from the plug. After that everything gets bolted back on ready to go!

That's basicly what happened.:D
 

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What I really want to know is what are the extensive mods that were done to make it more reliable. Pictures of the next one being done would be awesome.

I am considering doing a version of the cable mod 9shown on the Jeep forums) to keep the bar disengaged at speeds above 17mph, while leaving it fully functional electronically. From what I saw it will likely work if I can figure a way to reliably seal it from the elements. I know the sway bar lights will flash but who cares, it won't set a code after all.

Thoughts?
I'm working on a box plug-in interface that would allow just that and keep the original dash controls.
 

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