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  1. #1
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    Inside the Trionic 8

    Have you ever wondered what's inside the Trionic 8 and what the heck causes that irritating P0601 and other phantom codes? Well I don't know what causes that tell you nothing P0601 code, but I now have a theory. I suspect it has something to do with the dirt that sneaks in behind the plastic plug mounts and eventually makes its way to the base of the pin connects. Before opening I had cleaned the outer case and by the time I had moved the plug mount forward far enough to see how this thing is built I had a nice little pile of fine powdery dirt on my anti static mat. Some of this dirt sticks to a magnet, more than enough to confuse a mili-volt signal if it got to the right place. My plan is to clean, reseal reassemble and test. I will also add sealant to the plug base thinking that the unit designers either didn't expect this to be mounted plugs up on the front of an engine, or the builders forgot to seal this one. Either way, if I didn't break the flex circuit while moving the plug base, I expect this will soon be a trouble free module.

    Inside the Trionic 8 is a printed flexible circuit board with a Motorola copyright and other identifying numbers. I don't know what part of this the repair centers repair, a dozen years ago I was half owner in a circuit board repair business and we did cost affective repair for profit. Putting profit into this would mean charging more to replace a component than to replace the unit.

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  2. #2
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    Hey, any update on this? Do you still have it open? I need some photos of a specific area to see what component I damaged whole opening

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  3. #3
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KPalm View Post
    Hey, any update on this? Do you still have it open? I need some photos of a specific area to see what component I damaged whole opening
    Up date, cleaning and sealing the plug area did resolve the intermittent P0601 code. A month or so later I did loose an injector driver and in closing the case after re soldering pin connects which did fix the injector problem, the outer case split from metal fatigue caused by multiple openings. I smeared the case with high temp silicone, put it on the car to see if it worked, drove the car until I found a better looking used one and sold the bad looking case T8 for $20.

    Don't have a microscope that I can hook a camera to so no better pictures than what I posted. Do have another Trionic 8 sitting on my workbench that I haven't opened to see if it I can fix the no communication problem. Don't expect to be taking more pictures any time soon. Saab and Opel aren't the only two cars that used a Trionic 8 engine controller and as the case doesn't like to be opened, I've been waiting for a junk T8 with a very affordable XXX part number to fall into my hands so I can compare component to component while I have them open.

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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the speedy reply, under a microscope I believe I was able to find out the resistor I damaged, so no worries there

    Which areas did you clean? The rubber plug on the back? Did you then permanently seal it? Did you take the connectors off with the Tamper resistant 5 point torx and clean under the black plastic of the pins? Does that part just come off when you unscrew the 5 inner screws or do you have to open the second side and/or press somewhere to release a plastic latch?

    Sorry for all the questions, and thanks again for replying

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  5. #5
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    I removed the security torx screws and lifted the plastic plug base as far as I could. The pins are barbed into the plastic plug base and I didn't completely dissembling the front from the mounting frame for this first cleaning. With the frame in the way I also didn't get all the pins pushed back into their original positions and the pins pushing against the flex circuit did eventually break away and lost its connection which meant going back in to fix a solder connection. Third time into the box was to do the work I didn't do the first and second time time, unpack the old Pace system, de solder all the plug pins and re mount to the flex board. Closing the unit this time cracked the case at the fold and that's what I covered with silicone. Not knowing how long this would keep the case sealed, I opted for permanent replacement with a good used salvage part.

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  6. #6
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    Ok, so you'd recommend unsealing the second side (with the connectors) from the inner frame, pulling the outer black socket with pins off, cleaning underneath, then put the outer black socket back on making sure to line up all the pins and ensure they're fully connected

    Or

    Desolder the pins from the inside on the flex board (after detaching that side from the inner frame) , clean out the socket, then resolder?

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  7. #7
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KPalm View Post
    Ok, so you'd recommend unsealing the second side (with the connectors) from the inner frame, pulling the outer black socket with pins off, cleaning underneath, then put the outer black socket back on making sure to line up all the pins and ensure they're fully connected

    Or

    Desolder the pins from the inside on the flex board (after detaching that side from the inner frame) , clean out the socket, then resolder?
    Without technical documentation the plug connect at the circuit board is the about the only part of the module worth the risk to DIY repair and go for broke the first time. Desolder the plug section, give it a good cleaning and put it back on. If it works you win, if not you're no worse off than you were when you started.

    I'm assuming that you already know that flex circuitry is touchy stuff to work on, so this is more for everyone else who thinks they can do this at home and everyone with the right tools, a good eye and a steady hand can.

    Eutetic solder is a must, you must have solder that melts and flows at a lower temp than the flexible plastic that is the circuit board. A good temperature controllable desoldering station with the right size tip. A good temperature controlled soldering station with the right size tip. And if you have an antistatic mat or wrist strap, use it.

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    Last edited by Digger; 30 November 2017 at 02:21. Reason: This posted while still typing

  8. #8
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    Thanks, I'll post back with either my story if success or failure

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by KPalm View Post
    Thanks, I'll post back with either my story if success or failure
    Hi Kpalm, any update on your story?

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saabero View Post
    Hi Kpalm, any update on your story?
    HI, yes I was able to repair the unit, I unsoldered all the pins to remove the plastic plug, cleaned underneath, and was able to resolder and reseal the entire unit. I also replaced the 472 resistor I has obliterated in my poor opening and resoldered a capacitor I had knocked loose in the same endeavor.

    The unit worked perfectly for the time that I had it, but I ended up selling the 2005 Arc sedan it was out of for a 2007 Aero wagon. I am not in contact with the folks who I sold the vehicle to, so I am not sure if any issues ever developed.

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