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Unread 07-04-2013, 03:08 PM   #1
ShowCase
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Abilene, TX
Posts: 7
gauge cluster and dash lights flicker

ok, hey guys. new to this forum and did a search for related issues but nothing so far has helped me out. so i figured id post a vid to youtube of my problem and get some help.

heres the problem, i have a 98 grand cherokee... LOL
anyways, the gauge cluster including all the gauges flicker on and off, they report the right info they just reset pretty inconsistently or turn off all together. this also affects the dash lights, info center, radio lights, and overhead info. but the radio will still play, just the lights flicker on/off. courtesy lamps are unaffected. its definately a power problem to the gauge/light cluster from what i can tell.

I've r2 the battery, alternator, ignition switch, and light cluster switch. I've shook and pulled on/inspected all the harnesses associated with these parts and i can't get any consistency with the problem. I pulled the gauge cluster out but didn't smell any blown parts, it seems to be a good part. I've taken the connectors off the engine control module and shook them/inspected. I've taken apart the steering column and played with the ignition harness and switch itself. I've pulled the lower cover/glove box off the shotgun side, played with all wires and harnesses in the footwell fuse area and pulled all relays. I've taken apart the lower driver side dash and played with all harnesses going to the body control module, I've disconnected the bcm and it seems to play a factor with the problem. Should i replace the BCM? If i r2 it, will it pose any security related module marriage problems? I did pull out the BCM and opened it up, did not see any bad solder or shorts in it. Also i was thinking maybe a bad/corroded ground could cause this. Anyone know where the grounds for these circuits are? could the ignition lock itself cause this? I did notice some play in the rod while i had it out. Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance. Here's a link to my youtube video:


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Unread 07-04-2013, 03:30 PM   #2
OverlandZJ
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http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/r...-heavy-702703/

Ooops.. now that I watch the vid I don't believe your issue is the one I pointed you towards..
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Unread 07-04-2013, 03:38 PM   #3
ShowCase
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ya, i thought it might be the light cluster. but i just replaced it with a brand new one. i also removed the connector from it and the gauge cluster was still flickering on/off pretty inconsistently. this thing has got my baffled, and its super annoying driving down the road. thanks tho
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Unread 07-05-2013, 09:36 AM   #4
ShowCase
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Bump
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Unread 07-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #5
ShowCase
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anyone? nobody has had this problem b4?
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Unread 07-06-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
chalkboard
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I am a noob on this forum, but I have had a similar (not exact to yours) reaction in my gages. In my case, I needed to clean and lubricate the connections to the PCM. This is tedious, but doesn't take very long. There are many threads/posts on this forum detailing the procedure. FYI, mine passed the wiggle test first.

Unfortunately, my battery died during the repair process (only with a Jeep, lol.) So I can't be certain whether the clean and lubricated connections or the new battery fixed it.

Good luck!

edit: I was actually trying to resolve my stalling issues, but accidentally fixed the gauges.
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Last edited by chalkboard; 07-06-2013 at 04:00 PM..
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Unread 07-06-2013, 11:18 AM   #7
dellis
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I will try to help you diagnose this problem (I'm an electrical engineer).

If I heard you correctly that your radio continues to put out sound, but the display of the radio flickers with the intermittent power outage, then I'm suspecting an intermittent problem associated with your Body Control Module (BCM) and/or the CCD bus. The BCM controls many of your interior lights ... the CCD bus relays information from the PCM to the instrument panel and other displays such as your radio and overhead console. But, let me begin with a few questions to see if we can focus in on the problem.

Let's start with trying to figure out if it is the BCM or the CCD.

(1) The lamp driver (pin 16, orange) off your BCM controls all those small lights that illuminate your dashboard, and I believe it may also control the power to the radio display and the overhead console display. You may have to evaluate at night, but are all of these little lights flickering on and off? If so, then we will focus on your BCM ... if not, the problem may be with your CCD bus. (given the symptoms you showed, my bet is that you have a CCD problem).

If the BCM is suspected.
(2) Taking it one step further, the BCM also controls higher powered lights through a relay. Are the dome lights at your overhead console and the glove box light also intermittent? If they stay on, then our problem is on line 16 of the BCM. If they are also intermittent, then the entire BCM is powering off and resetting (which is, at a minimum, what I suspect if the BCM is the problem).
(3) Will your rear wiper work when the power is off to your dash? If it is still working, then we have isolated the problem to your BCM. If the wiper is also intermittent, then the problem is in the 50A circuit feed from your Power Distribution Center.

If the CCD is suspected.
(2) Put an OBDII scanner on the Data Link Connector below the steering column and see if there are any codes. Are there any?
(3) Many advanced OBDII scanners have the ability to monitor engine parameters in real time. If so equipped, set it up to monitor something like RPM, and then see if the scanner will stay connected during an outage. If it stays connected, then we know the CCD signal is successfully making it out of the PCM and we will need to try to find an intermittent problem in your wiring. If it is not staying connected, and the signal is dropping out, then the CCD signal is probably failing at the PCM or its connectors.
(4) Have someone tap on the connectors of the PCM, even wiggling them to see if that influences the behavior. If it does, your problem is at the PCM and its connectors, and you should do repairs following ZeeJay's guidance in item #1 of this thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/1...talls-1407423/
(5) If the CCD problem is not with the PCM, perhaps there is a short or other malfunction with one of the connected elements.
  • Do you have a Vehicle Information Center (a digital display below your heating and air conditioning controls)? If you do, disconnect it and see if this solves your problems ...
  • These are the other items on the CCD bus: radio, instrument cluster, automatic temperature control module (if equipped), overhead console (if equipped), body control module, airbag module, driver door module, passenger door module, memory seat module (if equipped).
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Unread 07-06-2013, 12:13 PM   #8
Glued2aPost
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I think this could be multiple issues going on. My radio display flickers but it isn't associated with any other lights flickering unless the headlights are on. This clued me into resoldering all of the contacts on the headlight dimmer switch. Radio display is still intermittent, so probably just something in the radio. My gauges would occasionally cycle while driving. Sometimes this would be accompanied by the engine going out and then one day the battery died and I couldn't even jump start it. Bad ground connection from the battery to the front fender. Wire brush and some anti-corrosion spray did the trick.

I think those are optimistic solutions to your problem and dellis's trouble shooting will probably be more effective. My 2 cents, your overhead display was showing 103-106 degrees outside. Thats PCM death weather!
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Unread 07-06-2013, 12:24 PM   #9
ShowCase
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ok, thanks for the replys guys. i went down to the junkyard and pulled a bcm out of a 97 grand cherokee. it fixed the problem but now the mileage is off and i don't have the security alarm anymore... went to dealer to see about reprogramming the right mileage in and they said that its a one time burn in and not programmable and that id have to buy a new bcm for $565. so... thats how the dice roll...
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Unread 07-06-2013, 12:30 PM   #10
Glued2aPost
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Hopefully it lowered your miles! How much was it at the JY?
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Unread 07-06-2013, 12:47 PM   #11
ShowCase
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i went from 148k to 174k on mileage lol... spent over $200 on replacing other parts to find out it was a $30 junkyard part to fix it.

anyways, it helped me learn more about this crazy jeep and hopefully this will help others
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