97+ XJ Gauge Cluster Swap - Write-up/How-To - JeepForum.com
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Unread 04-13-2009, 05:04 PM   #1
HCI_Stang
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Seabrook, TX
Posts: 17
97+ XJ Gauge Cluster Swap - Write-up/How-To

I, like many others, couldn't stand the idiot lights Chrysler decided were satisfactory...

So, I bought a used 97+ cluster to replace the pointless factory cluster.

I started out by removing the "Lift Gate" light from the back of the cluster. It was recommended to me by another member as my Cherokee did not have the same bulb in the back of the cluster.

I then removed three screws that attached the kick panel to the metal underside. Pull the "clips" out of the holes.



Afterward, I removed the two screws that held the metal underside on. There is one on the left and one on the right side of the panel. It is to the left of the highlighted hole.


Then, pull the center piece out by pulling gently on the bottom corners. The top comes loose once you have the others loosened.


Next, I removed the eight screws that held the dash bezel on.





Make sure you pop these "clips" loose. They just pull out.


Then, detach this rubber steering shaft dust cover. It just slides apart.


Gently pull the dash bezel away from the rest of the dash. It "pops" out.


Now, you get to work the dash out and around the steering wheel and box cover. It's going to take some finesse to get the bezel around the light switch. I slightly bored mine out with a knife and some sand paper.


At this point, you're almost home free. You simply remove the three screws holding the gauge cluster in place and pull the unit out.


Swap in your new cluster and do a "system check" on the unit before you bolt everything back up. If you don't do it now... :

You do the self check by completing the following process:

  1. Put the key in the ignition and leave in the "OFF" position
  2. Turn the parking lights on (Pull the light switch out (1) click)
  3. Press and hold the "Trip Reset" button and switch the key to the "ON" position
  4. The cluster will "Beep" and begin it's self test. You may remove your finger from the "Trip Reset" button
  5. Watch the pretty lights and needles move around and light up
  6. Flip the turn signals on and verify they are working
  7. Do the same with the headlights and the bright switch
  8. After it is complete and you have verified that all the gauges and lights are functioning, button everything back up!


You're done! You now have a tachometer and fully functioning gauges! No more "dummy" lights!

Post up if something isn't clear or if you have any questions.

Cheers,
Michael

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Unread 04-13-2009, 05:32 PM   #2
XJKipp
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Gainesville, GA
Posts: 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by HCI_Stang View Post
I, like many others, couldn't stand the idiot lights Chrysler decided were satisfactory...

So, I bought a used 97+ cluster to replace the pointless factory cluster.

I started out by removing the "Lift Gate" light from the back of the cluster. It was recommended to me by another member as my Cherokee did not have the same bulb in the back of the cluster.

I then removed three screws that attached the kick panel to the metal underside. Pull the "clips" out of the holes.



Afterward, I removed the two screws that held the metal underside on. There is one on the left and one on the right side of the panel. It is to the left of the highlighted hole.


Then, pull the center piece out by pulling gently on the bottom corners. The top comes loose once you have the others loosened.


Next, I removed the eight screws that held the dash bezel on.





Make sure you pop these "clips" loose. They just pull out.


Then, detach this rubber steering shaft dust cover. It just slides apart.


Gently pull the dash bezel away from the rest of the dash. It "pops" out.


Now, you get to work the dash out and around the steering wheel and box cover. It's going to take some finesse to get the bezel around the light switch. I slightly bored mine out with a knife and some sand paper.


At this point, you're almost home free. You simply remove the three screws holding the gauge cluster in place and pull the unit out.


Swap in your new cluster and do a "system check" on the unit before you bolt everything back up. If you don't do it now... :

You do the self check by completing the following process:

  1. Put the key in the ignition and leave in the "OFF" position
  2. Turn the parking lights on (Pull the light switch out (1) click)
  3. Press and hold the "Trip Reset" button and switch the key to the "ON" position
  4. The cluster will "Beep" and begin it's self test. You may remove your finger from the "Trip Reset" button
  5. Watch the pretty lights and needles move around and light up
  6. Flip the turn signals on and verify they are working
  7. Do the same with the headlights and the bright switch
  8. After it is complete and you have verified that all the gauges and lights are functioning, button everything back up!


You're done! You now have a tachometer and fully functioning gauges! No more "dummy" lights!

Post up if something isn't clear or if you have any questions.

Cheers,
Michael
Clicketh Free-eth and well done
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Unread 04-13-2009, 05:38 PM   #3
mortalenema
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Good write-up.

You should pm Balloo93, and have it put in the Tech/FAQ sticky.
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Unread 04-13-2009, 08:32 PM   #4
Crunch
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Posts: 299
You can also use the cluster from a wrangler for this swap. I had no light issues with mine. Nice write up.
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SOLD-'98 TJ 4 banger 5 speed, 4.88's, Hp 30 ARB'd, S35 w/Detroit and truss, RK LA's, Kilby skids and LOTS of other junk. Should have kept it!
Traded for my XJ - '98 ZJ was pretty and built at one time- Hp30, 8.8 and 5" lift and other stuff.
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Unread 04-13-2009, 08:39 PM   #5
JeepRide
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Very well done
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Unread 04-25-2009, 10:09 PM   #6
escapeartist
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Posts: 446
Thanks for the great write up. I used it today to make this same swap in my 2000. Every thing worked out great and the whole project only took a few hours and that includes me painting the needles in the replacement cluster. I bet if I didn't do that I could have done it in an hour or a little more.
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Unread 07-13-2009, 03:29 AM   #7
Jeepedo
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Posts: 41
I have a 97 cherokee and i want to swap out the guages to the premium cluster. i hate those stupid dummy lights. what do i need to do to swap them out, ive had some people tell me i need to rewire everthing, and others that say its plug and play,i dont know what to do. from the looks of the pictures it looks as though it is a plug and play type of job but i want to be 100% before i buy a new one and rip my dash apart to find i need to do a bunch of other stuff
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Unread 07-13-2009, 09:02 AM   #8
That1guy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepedo View Post
I have a 97 cherokee and i want to swap out the guages to the premium cluster. i hate those stupid dummy lights. what do i need to do to swap them out, ive had some people tell me i need to rewire everthing, and others that say its plug and play,i dont know what to do. from the looks of the pictures it looks as though it is a plug and play type of job but i want to be 100% before i buy a new one and rip my dash apart to find i need to do a bunch of other stuff
It should be plug and play. I've never done it so i'm not positive, but having just a fuel gauge and speed would suck.
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Unread 07-13-2009, 12:21 PM   #9
seanyb505
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Posts: 575
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepedo View Post
I have a 97 cherokee and i want to swap out the guages to the premium cluster. i hate those stupid dummy lights. what do i need to do to swap them out, ive had some people tell me i need to rewire everthing, and others that say its plug and play,i dont know what to do. from the looks of the pictures it looks as though it is a plug and play type of job but i want to be 100% before i buy a new one and rip my dash apart to find i need to do a bunch of other stuff
I have a 97 too, it is plug and play. If it was an older model you would probably need sensors. Mine was a manual with dummy lights, fuel and speedometer. Went to the dash with guages and everything worked perfectly. Tach, water, oil pres, amp, and everything worked flawlessly. It was a direct plug and play. Take one out, put the other in.
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Unread 07-14-2009, 04:10 PM   #10
Jeepedo
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sweet thanks, now to the fun part, tearing my dash apart to put one in. but it will have to wait for now im actually in the middle of putting in a brand new exhaust manifold, yay.
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Unread 07-14-2009, 04:32 PM   #11
01ClassicXJ
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Posts: 1,286
Does swapping clusters screw with the odometer at all cause i wanna switch to a TJ cluster but i want correct mileage.
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Unread 07-14-2009, 04:57 PM   #12
mortalenema
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Yeah, it'll give you the mileage from the TJ.
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Unread 07-14-2009, 05:14 PM   #13
01ClassicXJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mortalenema View Post
Yeah, it'll give you the mileage from the TJ.
o-well ill just have to wait till i get to my high performance class and i can build a stroker then buy a tj cluster.
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Unread 07-27-2009, 03:03 AM   #14
Jeepedo
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Posts: 41
So ive been looking for a cluster to swap out and i cant find any for a reasonable price, so far the two places that i can get one charge more than 100 dollars for one but maybe if i widen my search than maybe ill find one. what other models can i pull a cluster out of? i know i can pull it out of any 97+ XJ but are there any others
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Unread 07-27-2009, 07:20 AM   #15
That1guy
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Reading the above post it appears a TJ will work.
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