Twilight Sentinel repair - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 71 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Twilight Sentinel repair

I don't know if this has been done before, but heres how I fixed a bad twilight sentinel module. My friend's 92 OCC's twilight sentinel was acting up. First it would shut off randomly after it came on, then it just plain didn't work at all. I had a similar problem with mine a while back and just replaced the white box. So I decided to look into it some more, and took both modules apart to see what was going on.

First step is getting to the module. On his 92 Custom Cruiser it was by the steering column. There was very little slack on the wires, and I had to use a flat head screw driver to pop the clips to release it. It should be the same on all 91-93 wagons with the older interrior. On my 95 RMW, it was in the passenger kick panel. 2 clips squeezed and the cables came out. Both locations don't use screws to secure the box down, it just slides into place.

Theres the damage, right there.
You will see in this first picture that there are 2 broken solder joings (in the red circle). Both my old module and my friend's had the same thing. Also in the blue circle there were some hairline cracks that didn't come out in the photo. One of the modules had another broken joint in that general area, but this is the best picture I was able to take.


After identifiying the cracks, I went and touched them up with my soldering iron and after heating them applied some fresh solder to the connection. I then went over the entire board and touched up any others that looked remotely suspect of failure.


With both boards touched up, I installed my friend's back in his OCC, and being that it was dark out, the lights came right on! He informed me today that it seems to be working perfectly now, goes on and off when its suppose to. I put my original one back in my wagon tonight and found the repair to be working just as good. There you have a quick and easy fix to a failed twilight sentinel module. Its a good place to start if the module is suspected to be bad.

1996 DCM SS 216k
1996 Black RMW 158k
1995 DCM Roadmaster Wagon 118K
1992 Olds CC 5.3l LS swap 181k
1994 Fleetwood 160k
1975 Impala Coupe

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post #2 of 71 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 06:08 AM
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Great Information, first time I have seen that!

Tom C.

1994 RMW LAB---my toy from FL 156,000
1994 Caprice Wagon---never seen winter 105,000
1996 Cadillac Fleetwood---never seen winter 65,000
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post #3 of 71 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 06:50 AM
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Would that apply to a TS that is overly sensitive to lack of light...it comes on early in the evening.

1991 OCC 461 (.030 over 454) BBC, 3.23 posi, flash to pass, drop spindles & springs, Impala rims, Hydroboost, Recaros, MOMO/wood SW w/QR, custom wood shift knob, Pioneer DEH P77DH
1992 OCC now with 5.7 tbi, DEH P77DH
For a parts list, check https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulle...ion-parts.html
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post #4 of 71 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 08:13 AM
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Nice write up and pics, and thanks again for fixing mine. I'm so used to automatic headlights now, there was no way I was able to live with turning a switch on manually like a commoner!

That's pronounced "Lionel"
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1994 Buick Roadmaster wagon, Dark Green-Gray woody
1992 Olds Custom Cruiser, 5.7, Dark Maple Red
1975 Buick LeSabre Custom convertible -cruising a slum near you

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post #5 of 71 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Kiehl View Post
Would that apply to a TS that is overly sensitive to lack of light...it comes on early in the evening.
I don't think so. That could just be the sensor on the dash, but I am no expert on these things.

1996 DCM SS 216k
1996 Black RMW 158k
1995 DCM Roadmaster Wagon 118K
1992 Olds CC 5.3l LS swap 181k
1994 Fleetwood 160k
1975 Impala Coupe

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post #6 of 71 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 08:56 PM
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Already replaced the sensor...

1991 OCC 461 (.030 over 454) BBC, 3.23 posi, flash to pass, drop spindles & springs, Impala rims, Hydroboost, Recaros, MOMO/wood SW w/QR, custom wood shift knob, Pioneer DEH P77DH
1992 OCC now with 5.7 tbi, DEH P77DH
For a parts list, check https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulle...ion-parts.html
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post #7 of 71 (permalink) Old 09-01-2009, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Kiehl View Post
Already replaced the sensor...
Its worth a look at the module. I dont know what else there is besides the box, the sensor and the switch.

1996 DCM SS 216k
1996 Black RMW 158k
1995 DCM Roadmaster Wagon 118K
1992 Olds CC 5.3l LS swap 181k
1994 Fleetwood 160k
1975 Impala Coupe

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post #8 of 71 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 09:22 AM
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Thank you for this helpful post

I had the same symptoms you described in my 94 RMS LTD and pulled the TS module this morning and reflowed the exact solder joints you circled in blue and red, put the module back in, fired it up and presto, instrument lights and tail lights are now back under Twilight Sentinel control. Many, many thanks! I really appreciate your work. This forum is excellent.
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post #9 of 71 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 03:46 PM
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Well, I have a 1991 Caprice Classic with the twilight sentinel option and while I have not messed with it much, I think mine is broken too. I could not get it to work at all if I was doing it right. Kinda sad, because this was a big reason I chose this car over a 1990 Lincoln Town Car that didnt have the option. I just assumed on the Caprice that it worked... I didnt know it was an item that was well known to break down.

Where is this module on a 1991 Caprice... steering column or kick panel? Kick panel sounds easier for sure, but knowing my luck, its in a hard spot to get to.
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post #10 of 71 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 12:05 AM
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this should be a sticky because I spent alot of time tracing my wires and conections when I installed the T/S switch in my caprice just to later find out it was the white box that went bad, and at the time i didn't even know theese white box's went bad I just happened to be at the junkyard and picked one up just to see what would happen and now it works just fine.
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