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Unread 03-14-2010, 07:14 PM   #1
bharris68
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Repair w/pix - Stock Gauge Cluster how-to

A lot of folks think that the Gauges on your Jeep YJ are problematic because they just are, or that they don't, won't or should not work. Well - that's not the case. With a little time and care, everything can and should work. I'll add comments in a bit.

Below: Stock cluster has 4 screws below and 2 on the side. The 4 below also hold in place a plastic trim piece.



Remove these and CAREFULLY unseat the plastic cover - the clear plastic cover contains the mechanism to wind the clock - they are designed to come apart. They WILL crack at the hole for the clock if you are not VERY careful.



now that you have it in your lap - you can see what it looks like - left to right:
Backlight
Temp Gauge
Backlight
Fuel Gauge
Backlight
Square box is where the wiring harness attaches into the circuit board. Not shown: Clock - it is right off the shot in the center.






Close up on the square box - be gentle in here, but understand that they need to be clean - emery paper, Pencil Eraser (Good tip from the comments after I posted) Dremel with stainless wire wheel at LOW speeds - all will clean this up, bright and shiny.



Each Gauge sits in a sink like this - one positive, one negative and the receiver. All the connection points need to be bright and shiny.



This is the connector which is secured through the cluster and the circuit board that provides power into the individual gauges. These also should be clean and shiny. You'll notice here that this is not the case and was causing my Fuel Gauge to need periodic "tapping" in order to register. Not cool - plus, the increased resistance was causing incorrect measurements on the gauge.. In my Jeep - EVERYTHING works - Period.


After a little bit of work - you'll get them nice and shiny again! This is ready to get plugged back into the gauge cluster. You can put a thin coat of dielectric grease or white lithium grease on the copper to keep it conductive longer.


In order to clean up the plug on the Wiring Harness side YOU MUST DISCONNECT THE BATTERY - failure to do so will likely cause a short on your wiring harness, fire, nuclear disaster, famine, the seventh seal on the gates of wrath to break, etc. etc. etc... Well - maybe not, but you get the idea...


Since you have it out - clean up the receiver from the Wiring Harness - this will pay big dividends over time!
Both sides need to be cleaned - I used a Dremel with a stainless wire wheel.


Be gentle - again - bright and shiny!



Reassemble the cluster and turn the engine over - make sure that you've been cleaning everything as you went in and out - this is a great time to clean off all the dust and grime that may be in there!


Wanted to add these pictures of the Tach/Speedometer as well.

Backside of the speedometer - popping the cable loose by squeezing the white plastic lever on the left will give you more room to work.


Two lights on that on the left and right.

Back side of the Tach - two lights on left and right as well:

Pop those loose and when you replace the lights just check to make sure they work before you button everything up.

Just for Giggles - I put Blue LED's in - this is what they look like:


Sorry they are a bit blurry - 1 second shutter time without a flash...

Questions or comments? Feel free to ask! Link to this post often and please give it a thumbs up!!


Last edited by bharris68; 12-31-2011 at 01:24 PM.. Reason: Added Verbose Comments and added Tach/Speedo pix
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Unread 03-14-2010, 08:06 PM   #2
mikeg281
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and I little white lithium on the exposed copper helps keep the tarnishing down
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Unread 03-14-2010, 08:14 PM   #3
Burnerman
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Did all of that plus ran a wire to the clock to bypass the burnt strip on the flexable connector. My volt gauge still registers wrong as does the one in my sons 93. they read 10-12v not 13-14v like it should. I also cannot figure out where it gets it's feed from. If you hook it to the battery it pegs the gauge.
Great writeup though! I would add that replacing all the bulbs is a good idea while you have it apart.
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Unread 03-14-2010, 08:41 PM   #4
willj20
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Nice write-up. Not to Hijack or anything but the volt gauge has an adjustment inside the gauge to change the needle position. Mine always read well below 10v. Now it's pretty close to what is shown at the batt.
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Unread 03-14-2010, 09:08 PM   #5
Que89YJ
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You can use a pencil eraser on the copper contacts to clean them. It works great and is easy on the copper too.
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Unread 03-14-2010, 09:12 PM   #6
Burnerman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willj20 View Post
Nice write-up. Not to Hijack or anything but the volt gauge has an adjustment inside the gauge to change the needle position. Mine always read well below 10v. Now it's pretty close to what is shown at the batt.
If this is true it will be great. This is the stuff that adds to these write ups! I will pull my cluster tomorrow and find out! Thanks
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Unread 03-14-2010, 09:20 PM   #7
Fernando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnerman View Post
Did all of that plus ran a wire to the clock to bypass the burnt strip on the flexable connector. My volt gauge still registers wrong as does the one in my sons 93. they read 10-12v not 13-14v like it should. I also cannot figure out where it gets it's feed from. If you hook it to the battery it pegs the gauge.
Great writeup though! I would add that replacing all the bulbs is a good idea while you have it apart.
My volt gauge registers wrong too... and also pegs when I hook it to the battery, tried to figure that one out for a long time... mine reads 10 volts

Quote:
Originally Posted by willj20 View Post
Nice write-up. Not to Hijack or anything but the volt gauge has an adjustment inside the gauge to change the needle position. Mine always read well below 10v. Now it's pretty close to what is shown at the batt.
Would you elaborate about how to get to this adjustment? Do you know where it gets the signal from?
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Unread 03-15-2010, 05:33 AM   #8
willj20
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It's fed from the Ign Lps fuse. Looks like from the FSM it's the same feed for the Tach, Emission Timer, Rear Defogger, Indicator Lamps Etc. If I get time I'll snap some pics of the adjuster in the gauge. This looks the same for 87 to 90. 91 and up may be different.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 08:22 AM   #9
Fernando
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I think, if it can be adjusted, that the best thing would be to measure volts at the connector and adjust accordingly... but not at the battery, my battery registers 14 volts at idle with engine fully warm, however the gauge connector only registers 12 volts.

I wonder if this is normal, my Jeep has had its gremlins too...
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I don't mind writing for Fernando because he reads, and re-reads EVERY WORD!... Good to write for someone that actually READS the answer, and takes time to UNDERSTAND what comes back for an answer!
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Unread 03-15-2010, 11:17 AM   #10
jchav74
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My clock strip is fried also. How do you run a bypass wire and where does it connect? I would love to hear more details on that.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 12:15 PM   #11
Fernando
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The whole gauge board can be replaced, now that the part is available (through a forum member) I would replace the whole thing, just because it is easier than rewiring everything.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 12:45 PM   #12
copleydad
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I just soldered a light gauge wire across the burnt part of the run for the clock. Make sure you use a low watt soldering iron so you don't destroy the trace on the board.

While I had my gauge cluster apart, I cleaned up the clear plastic with Meguiar's Plastx and got the nasty scratches out with Turtle Wax polishing compound. BE VERY CAREFUL! That clear plastic lens is very flimsy and looks like it could easily snap in two. The clear lens really cleaned up nicely, looks new again, and took all the "fogging" off the surface.
plastx.jpg  
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Unread 03-15-2010, 02:04 PM   #13
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Going to add this to the FAQ write up section.

One small note that you may wish to edit, or I can, is it is good practice to disconnect the batt before you start this project.

When one has a problem with the printed board and is not too careful, you can ground it out on one of the copper runs to the dash and fry it.

I DID THIS MYSELF LOL.

So it is good advice to just disco the batt from the get go.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 02:36 PM   #14
hh65pilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharris68 View Post
While you are in there, run jumper wires to all the negative instrument posts (the one with the nuts pictures above) so when the board fails your gauges still have a good ground. IMO the negative side causes more problems than the postive side.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 04:17 PM   #15
willj20
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Here is a pic of the back of Volt Gauge. I set according to the FSM 14v +or- .5 on Scale.
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