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1989 Reatta touchscreen and buttons work, but screen is blank.


Foxtrot
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I recently bought a 1989 Reatta with 70k miles, and the previous owner said the only real problem with it is that the screen doesn't light up.

I drove it around like that for a month or two, and used the manual to find out where certain buttons are at. I used the car like normal, (AC worked, radio worked, etc.), but there just wasn't any image on the screen, completely blank.
Sometimes it would flicker on for a second or two before phasing away and going dark again. No amount of jiggling, taking it out, or cleaning the contacts fixed it.

I ordered a new one off eBay from a car with 180k miles, plugged it into my car, and it worked!
At least for about 2 months, then it began to distort the image constantly and eventually began to stay off more than it would stay on.

 

I've looked just about every nook and cranny on the internet trying to find an answer to this problem to no avail. I've checked the two ground screws next to the battery and soaked them in WD-40, even replaced the hex nut, no change.
I find it highly unlikely the tube just went bad on both, since the new screen is now doing the exact same thing as the old one. Flickers on for a few seconds maybe once every few weeks, then goes back off and doesn't come back on for who knows how long, and it's not like it's easy to find someone who knows how to repair old monochrome CRT displays these days.

Any help or suggestions on this whatsoever are greatly appreciated.

Edited by Foxtrot
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Welcome to the forum! It does sound like you have two bad CRTs since you have already cleaned the connections. First test is to push the "Radio" button and see if it comes on. If it does there is a problem with RAP. This explains:  What is RAP?.

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1 hour ago, Ronnie said:

Welcome to the forum! It does sound like you have two bad CRTs since you have already cleaned the connections. First test is to push the "Radio" button and see if it comes on. If it does there is a problem with RAP. This explains:  What is RAP?.

I tried that too. Swapped out both RAP fuses, and relays. No change. Whenever the car is on and running, all the buttons work. It works exactly as it should: Climate control, radio, etc all work, you can press the screen and the touch registers correctly and does the task as its supposed to. When you turn off the car, and don't open the door yet, the only pressable button becomes the radio one. You can turn the radio on and off with no problem in this state, and when I open the door, the button light turns off and the entire display is de-egernized. From what I understand this is normal operation, it's *just* the actual screen that doesn't show any video.

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I should also mention; Sometimes the display comes on at random and works perfectly with no distortions or flickering for a day or two. Then eventually turns back off. 

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When the CRT goes off can you still touch the screen and get a response? For example push the Radio button that displays the radio screen, and then touch the CRT in the area where the on button is to turn on the radio. If that turns on the radio the problem is most likely a bad CRT if fuses are good It is possible the power supply for CRT is failing but more likely to be the CRT.

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5 hours ago, Ronnie said:

When the CRT goes off can you still touch the screen and get a response? For example push the Radio button that displays the radio screen, and then touch the CRT in the area where the on button is to turn on the radio. If that turns on the radio the problem is most likely a bad CRT if fuses are good It is possible the power supply for CRT is failing but more likely to be the CRT.

Yes, Even with the screen completely blank, when you touch the area of the screen where a button would be (such as the radio on/off), you can hear the little beep where the touch registered, and the radio comes on with no issues. The touchscreen and buttons work flawlessly, there just isn't an image. 

Thank you for replying, by the way, sending the screen for repair was a last resort, but I guess that's the only option now. 

 

The reason I thought it couldn't be the CRT itself is because sometimes it comes on for minutes at a time with a perfectly clear picture almost like new, before going off again. 

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55 minutes ago, Foxtrot said:

The reason I thought it couldn't be the CRT itself is because sometimes it comes on for minutes at a time with a perfectly clear picture almost like new, before going off again. 

I grew up in the days of black and white CRT TVs. Things like that happening weren't too unusual. We would beat on them and sometimes they would come on for a while, but in the end they would quit working completely. CRTs can fail in many ways. Sometimes there is just a thin line in the center and sometimes it just goes black. Young people just don't realize how trouble free TVs are nowadays. 

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9 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

 

 

I grew up in the days of black and white CRT TVs. Things like that happening weren't too unusual. We would beat on them and sometimes they would come on for a while, but in the end they would quit working completely. CRTs can fail in many ways. Sometimes there is just a thin line in the center and sometimes it just goes black. Young people just don't realize how trouble free TVs are nowadays. 

Quick question,  Where the CRT plugs in, there is two Harnesses. One for data/video (Blue), and the other seems to be for power (Red). In the power harness, the middle contact seems to have broken and is stuck inside the port in the CRT. From what I can see, this contact doesn't really matter, since it doesn't provide power nor ground. It's like the third prong in home electrical outlets.

Am I correct on this? 

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5 minutes ago, Foxtrot said:

From what I can see, this contact doesn't really matter, since it doesn't provide power nor ground. It's like the third prong in home electrical outlets.

Am I correct on this? 

The answer to your question is a little over my head. I'm a machinist by trade. I would think that pin is there for a reason and may just be making contact when the CRT decides to work.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ronnie said:

The answer to your question is a little over my head. I'm a machinist by trade. I would think that pin is there for a reason and may just be making contact when the CRT decides to work.

I guess I'll just send the CRT in for a tube repair, and if that's not it then I'll try finding a new electrical harness and replacing the 3-pronged connector on the display.

You've been great help, Thanks!

Edited by Foxtrot
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Glad to help. There is a guy named Eddie Voland in the list of vendors on this site. If he is still doing the repairs he has a good reputation. I've never personally used him.

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It has been my experience that it is never the wiring [unless the wire has been hacked] so the CRT is bad especially with your description of your CRTissues. I have used Eddie and he does a good job. But that was 5 years ago and I don't know if he is still doing repairs. 

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Didn't see any mention tat the CRT (Heath-Zenith) and the touchscreen are different modules. Kent-Moore has a CRT tester J--34914 that is around $50 on eBay.

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  • 1 month later...

Greetings,

I am new to the site and new to the Reatta. I have admired them for many years and I now own one! While it needs a lot of work on other parts of the car. I have been looking and playing around with the CRT display. I have two, one works off and on. It never goes blank it is just that the image seems to roll up into a one inch high tube. It is full width but small in height. I have tried various things to get it to act up or return to normal display but cannot find any reason for this to happen. My second one shows no image at all but the buttons do work. I am very comfortable with electronics but could use some assistance on how to approach repairing these units. I have seen other posts in which they talk about cleaning them with acetone and heating then to repair cold solder joints. How was that done? point by point or with a heat gun? I understand that for the one with no display, that there are certain parts of the power supply that go bad and need replacing. Which ones might those be? Like so many others, I cannot find any technical info on them and I was hoping that some of the fellow members out there would share some so I (we)can get our units up and running.

Thanks so much!!!   

Edited by LittleRed
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Padgett, thanks so much for your reply and for the link. With testing, I was able to narrow down the trouble and repaired the cold solder joints. I now have two working displays! (Its always good to have a spare).

Thanks again and have a great day!

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