JEEP YJ 1989 Dash cluster lights don't power on... - JeepForum.com
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Unread 07-12-2013, 08:46 AM   #1
wrangleryj89jp
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JEEP YJ 1989 Dash cluster lights don't power on...

Hello,

I was driving down the road last night and everything on my 1989 yj was running pretty much fine. All of the sudden all of my dash cluster lights flickered on then off then on again, then they all went off for good... All at the exact same time. This includes Sppedo, Tach, and the the five in the middle. I still get power to the gauges, just the lights don't turn on. My headlights and turn lights are fine, same with the radio... That powers on too.

Anyone know what this could possibly be? I'm wondering if it is a ground or some kind of loose connection on the harness.

Any help would be extremely appreciated, since it is both illegal in my state and a pain to drive the Jeep at night like this.

Thank you.

(EDIT)

Forgot to let you guys know, the only thing I did new to this Jeep in the last few days or even a week was throw a new reman alternator and a new EGR Valve under the hood. After these it was working completely fine, for about 2 or 3 days. Then this happened. Still, everything is fine besides the dash lights... And the fact that ever since the new alternator when I first start the car up and rev the engine something will squeak under the hood. Then it will go away after a few seconds.

I don't think the alternator would kill the dash lights in this manner though, just letting you all know in case...

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Unread 07-12-2013, 09:33 AM   #2
jokerchief462
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Since it is all I would suspect the fuze because there are seperate connections to the gauges, tach and speedo. Look for ACC fuse in the panel by the parking brake.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 09:45 AM   #3
bpounds
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I just replaced that fuse in my '88. Same deal, no backlights on the gauges. IIRC it was the fuse on the bottom row, next to the last on the left. A 5 amp. Question is, why did it blow? And will it just blow again?
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Unread 07-12-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
wrangleryj89jp
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Good thinking. It only happened last night late when I was on my way home, haven't had time to check fuses or let alone anything on it. I'll get around to it before evening and sundown tonight, and let you guys know... But at the same time, I'm curious if it actually is a fuse because before they all shut off completely, they flickered on and off a few times... Wouldn't a fuse blow instantly, and in turn kill the lights all at once without the flickering right before?

I guess the only way to find out is to check every fuse to make sure nothing else is blown either, including the one you mentioned.

And, you are right. That worries me that the fuse blew, because there has to be a logical reason to why it blew to begin with.

I just fixed the Jeep in the last few months, putting over 2000 dollars into it, recovering it from a pretty bad car fire that happened in my driveway.

That is a different story, but I finally got rid of all of the problems that added up to the car fire last winter... I don't want to go through another fire months later because of a dash harness shorting out...

What does anyone think could blow the fuse like that besides a shorting out harness?

I'll check the fuse and some other things under the dash within the hour, and I'll post my findings.

Thanks.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 10:36 AM   #5
bpounds
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The flickering indicates a short to me. The short occurs, which pulls the current down and causes the flicker. The fuse takes a few milliseconds to get hot enough to burn out. Sounds like a classic short to me. They can be a ***** to find if it is intermittent, so good luck.

It will be luckier for you if it immediately blows again, because then you know it is a dead short and you can find it through process of elimination. Worst case is when shorts come and go due to vibration or moisture or corrosion.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 10:53 AM   #6
Old4X
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Did you check the dimmer switch?

Use your multi-meter
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Unread 07-13-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
wrangleryj89jp
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Turns out it was a fuse, a 5 amp one. My worry is that I know now it is for a fact a short in the harness... But where? It's like finding a needle in the hay stack especially since when I put another fuse in it works fine and didn't instantly blow.

What's the best and easiest way to find a short in a dash harness onj an 89?
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Unread 07-13-2013, 01:22 PM   #8
Old4X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrangleryj89jp View Post
Turns out it was a fuse, a 5 amp one. My worry is that I know now it is for a fact a short in the harness... But where? It's like finding a needle in the hay stack especially since when I put another fuse in it works fine and didn't instantly blow.

What's the best and easiest way to find a short in a dash harness onj an 89?
Nothing quick or easy about finding faults in wiring harness. Just start tracing the circuit out from the fuse box, un wrapping the harness as you go.

I had a neighbor that used the "smoke test" method. I refused all requests to help after he did that. (50 amp fuse and look for smoke)
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