Probably too late to help Visker, but might be useful to others who have the intermittent odometer problem in 1999 - 2003 full size pickups (F150, F250, F350 and SUVs (Explorer, Expedition and I believe, but not certain also the Lincoln Navigator).
The intermittent odometer problem is fairly common and there is a simple do-it-yourself fix (As long as you don't have other issues with your instrument cluster, you shouldn't need to replace your instrument cluster.)
I had this same blinking/vanishing odometer problem in my '99 F150 for several yeas. The dealer wanted over $500 for a new cluster. I checked with a few odometer repair shops and most will fix it for around $150 - $200, but you have to remove your cluster and take or ship it to the repair shop. Your vehicle will be out of service until the cluster is repaired and reinstalled. Could be weeks if you have to ship the cluster to a repair shop out of the immediate area. Unless you have a second vehicle to drive during the repair (which I didn't) this may not be a feasible way to repair it.
I finally found and ordered a do-it-yourself repair manual that addresses this specific problem. I fixed the problem myself in about an hour. Odometer hasn't blinked a single time since! I had never removed an instrument cluster before, but it was a piece of cake with the detailed instructions and photos. I found the manual on Ford Intermittent Odometer Repair
. For me, it was well worth the 20 bucks to save over $500.