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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:07 PM   #1
cptkarla
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
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TJ Gauges Won't Move

Hi! I'm having trouble with my '98 Wrangler.
It's 4cyl, 2.5L, manual engine.
A couple of weeks ago, the tachometer and speedometer would randomly drop (when the car was running) and come back on once the car came to a full stop, was put into neutral, or in some cases, when the car was turned off and turned back on. It continued for a few days then went away on its own. Sometimes, the airbag light would stay on.
Today, I turned my car on (after it running fine earlier) and the temperature gauge, oil gauge, gas gauge, and battery gauge did not move at all, but the tachometer and speedometer worked fine.
Any solutions? I've read some posts where cleaning/replacing the F10 and F17 fuses fix the problem, others where wiring was the issue.

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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
NotURMailman
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Hmm...

Could this be a clock spring issue?

I'm not sure.

Do all of the gauges ground to the same spot?

I know on older 4.0 Jeeps (Cherokees specifically) there was a ground strap attached to the back side of the engine that would break and cause inoperative gauges.

I'm sure someone around here has had a problme like yours. Did you do a good search?
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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
wwch99tj
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Try cleaning your battery cable connections really well

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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:21 PM   #4
cptkarla
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I don't think it's a clock spring issue, it must be electrical.
The oil gauge moves up a little.
After banging on the dashboard some, the gauges finally began operating and the airbag light turned off.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:23 PM   #5
NotURMailman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cptkarla View Post
I don't think it's a clock spring issue, it must be electrical.
The oil gauge moves up a little.
After banging on the dashboard some, the gauges finally began operating and the airbag light turned off.
A clockspring or clock spring is a special rotary electrical connector which allows a vehicle's steering wheel to turn while still making an electrical connection between the steering wheel airbag and/or the vehicle's horn and other devices and the vehicle's electrical systems. The clockspring is located between the steering wheel and the steering column.

They tend to fail on TJs that get rained into a lot due to the top being left off.

The only reason I even brought it up is because you mentioned the air bag light.
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Quote:
Be very careful with the wife mod. Uninstallation can be extremely expensive. Wife mods have been known to take the Jeep and all other mods during the uninstall process. Also, make sure you service your wife mod properly as often as humanly possible. Wife mods not properly serviced may malfunction or uninstall themselves at any time.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:25 PM   #6
Spyder05
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was it raining or really humid when you were having issues??


pull your gauge cluster and look at the connectors on the back of it....they are known for bad connections and randomly loosing the cluster.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:26 PM   #7
cptkarla
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The horn used to go off in cold weather, but we got a button for it.
The car interior has never been exposed to rain, for sure.
We've checked the fuses, not the problem.
So the only theories left are clockspring and wiring. Any other ideas?
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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:27 PM   #8
cptkarla
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Spyder05,
No, it's actually cold today and a little on the dry side.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:40 PM   #9
cptkarla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder05 View Post
was it raining or really humid when you were having issues??


pull your gauge cluster and look at the connectors on the back of it....they are known for bad connections and randomly loosing the cluster.

This is what I'm looking at right now. What am I looking for exactly?
20130326_153140.jpg
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Unread 03-26-2013, 03:52 PM   #10
SpcRodeo
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I had the same issue when I bought my 98 TJ. Took it back to the dealer who sent it off. I got it back and couldn't read my odometer and it quit working again after a month. So I would love to know how to fix it myself as well.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 04:08 PM   #11
cptkarla
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Not sure if the banging on the dashboard fixed it, but it seems to work now. We put some dielectric grease on the clusters!
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Unread 03-26-2013, 04:10 PM   #12
biffgnar
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In XJs very common for the wire looms that plug into those two plugs to come loose. I think less common in TJs, but what you describe is similar to what I've seen happen in my XJ. Clean the connections, try to tighten up the plugs and put conducter on them (and dielectric grease is not a conductor).
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dashboard , electrical , fuses , gauges , wrangler tj

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