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i hit a speed bump t.oo hard and horn/speedometer/odometer quit, probably a loose .connection. anybody know where to start?
 

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I would start with the grounds coming off the battery - specifically the smaller wires coming off the little black box on the actual negative terminal. Next would be to check the grounds under the battery tray.
 
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Did you take the ground connections apart and clean the corrosion away and make sure of tight connections?
Many people will replace the "Black Box" plastic connector for the small ground wires on the battery ground lug with a better connector. It is one of the most common problems on Escorts.

 

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.thanks. can I pull the wires out of the black box to clean them? or if this messes the box up can I find a replacement with the right hook ups for the wires?..
 

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The black box quick connect was made only to put together small ground wires fast on the assembly line. It is not easy to take apart. It is possible to pry some of the plastic apart to spray cleaner in around the connections. I had to use some zip ties to hold it together. That is why I went to the nice new battery lugs with extra holes for the small wires. It made a much nicer looking installation. I got the battery terminal lugs from eBay. Some people replace the back box connector with individual ring type connectors on each small wire and then bolt onto a regular battery lug.
 

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The black box quick connect was made only to put together small ground wires fast on the assembly line. It is not easy to take apart. It is possible to pry some of the plastic apart to spray cleaner in around the connections. I had to use some zip ties to hold it together. That is why I went to the nice new battery lugs with extra holes for the small wires. It made a much nicer looking installation. I got the battery terminal lugs from eBay. Some people replace the back box connector with individual ring type connectors on each small wire and then bolt onto a regular battery lug.
 

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thanks. I went ahead and took the black box apart. Would engine degreaser be okay to spray up in there to clean it out? Also, based on your experience, have you ever seen both speedometer/odometer and horn not working (went out at the same time) being caused by corrosion in the black box. I really appreciate your help.
 

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I use WD40 to clean electrical connections. But sometimes it also takes a little mechanical help. Pull, push, wiggle the connectors. Sometimes it is impossible to get all the corrosion out of the connectors. Replacement is the answer.
Ground problems are very common with Escorts, causing some odd problems. I always start with making sure all the grounds are good.
With your problems you could also have loose plugs someplace.
Finding a common connection, other than a ground, between the horn, speedometer and odometer?? I don't have a good place to point at. The speedometer and odometer not working could be a loose plug behind the instrument panel or down on the vehicle speed sensor on the transmission. If it was a problem with the VSS not giving data to the computer then the automatic transmission would not shift out of first gear. As for the horn a ground problem, connector loose or could be loose horn relay.

See how the small ground wires on the battery "-" connect to the horn switch, VSS and instrument cluster. That is the reason I had you check connections in the black box connector. But there are other connectors in that ground circuit.

 
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