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Old 03-22-2006, 09:38 AM   #1
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1997 wrangler instrument panel dead

Hello

I have a 1997 wrangler TJ. The other day I was changing the small light bulb located near the drivers side foot area when all of a sudden the instrument panel, the radio, and the dome light on the roll bar all went dead. I looked for dead fuses but did not immediately see any. Can anyone help me here? All other systems work. The instrument cluster lights up and the indicator lights all work. Even when you turn the ignition on before you start the car, all dash indicators light up. Some people told me it probably needs a whole new cluster, but whay would this affect the dome light and radio? Not much help in the owners manual. Car drives fine otherwise. Thanx for the help.

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Old 03-22-2006, 12:59 PM   #2
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Check the fuse panel under the hood by the battery. I had the exact same thing happen to me and it was one of those fuses that blew. I can't remember which one it was exactly though.

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Old 04-04-2006, 09:11 AM   #3
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1998 Tj

I have the exact same problem. Checked the fuse panel but OK. All these items are are the same circuit per my service manual but I can't locate the problem. Instruments would come back on intermittently but now just dead. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:55 AM   #4
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Check the ground location for that circuit... Sounds like that could be the problem.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:18 AM   #5
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If you ended up fixing that cluster problem, let me know how you did, for I am suffering the same problem: gauges out and radio out at the same time. So if you fixed it, clue me in
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:32 AM   #6
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Check the ground location for that circuit... Sounds like that could be the problem.
x2

if its intermittent, sounds like a bad ground somewhere / loose connection
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:58 AM   #7
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'97 cluster...

I'll check the ground, but I am suspecting it is something else. The cluster and radio went out just as I pulled out of the car wash, so I am thinking it has something to do with the electrical behind the dash, like a shortage from getting wet, though I have never noticed any water getting to the dash. They both went out and stayed out, and I am left very frustrated. Obviously I would rather fix it myself then pay someone else to do it, especially if it's the ground.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:48 PM   #8
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Anyone ever resolve this problem? I just started having this same problem in my 06 TJ. Checked all fuses, they're all good. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finest20 View Post
Hello

I have a 1997 wrangler TJ. The other day I was changing the small light bulb located near the drivers side foot area when all of a sudden the instrument panel, the radio, and the dome light on the roll bar all went dead. I looked for dead fuses but did not immediately see any. Can anyone help me here? All other systems work. The instrument cluster lights up and the indicator lights all work. Even when you turn the ignition on before you start the car, all dash indicators light up. Some people told me it probably needs a whole new cluster, but whay would this affect the dome light and radio? Not much help in the owners manual. Car drives fine otherwise. Thanx for the help.
So the instrument panel issue seems non-related and seems to be isolated to the courtesy lights...correct?

OK, more specifically, did you check fuse #4 behind the glove box?
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:14 PM   #10
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Pulled that fuse long ago. Don't even have the doors on right now. My problem wasn't the dome lights it was the cluster lights. I still got all the check lights coming on, abs airbag, check engine. But no light behind any of the gauges. Checked all fuses multiple times, replaced the one tied to the instrument panel. I got the same radio problem too. It's got power, but wont display or play at all. Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:07 PM   #11
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I Just Left The Jeep Dealer And The Service Manager Told Me That Is Somewhat A Common Problem. He Said That The Connector On The Instrument Cluster Has A Bad Connection. Seperate The Connector And Spread The Male Pins Out A Little (use A Utility Knife Blade Or Something Similar To Open Up The Slits In The Male Pins) This Should Do The Trick. Hope This Helps. If You Get Down To Central Ga. Come See Us At River Rock Orv Park. Jb
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:24 PM   #12
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Check the fuse panel under the hood by the battery. I had the exact same thing happen to me and it was one of those fuses that blew. I can't remember which one it was exactly though.
F17 (10 amp) is that fuse number, and I agree, a very likely suspect!
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I Just Left The Jeep Dealer And The Service Manager Told Me That Is Somewhat A Common Problem. He Said That The Connector On The Instrument Cluster Has A Bad Connection. Seperate The Connector And Spread The Male Pins Out A Little (use A Utility Knife Blade Or Something Similar To Open Up The Slits In The Male Pins) This Should Do The Trick. Hope This Helps. If You Get Down To Central Ga. Come See Us At River Rock Orv Park. Jb
that worked for me,just be real carefull,also clean the pins with alcohol and q-tip.after i did mine i also put on some dielectric grease and the problem never came back
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:42 PM   #14
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I see I am not alone here. It was that rainy month of june after running through a puddle and my gauges freaked out. I went through another one, and they went down again, and stayed down. Like finest my blikers work, and everything lights up ( air bag check engine etc) but then goes black. Mo gauges ( fuel battery ) etc. the back ight works but that's it.
I checked the fuses behind the glove box and under the hood. Everything "seems" to be ok so i figured it may be something more. I removed the instrument cluster and sprayed with eleectical spray, but that didn't work either. HMMMM
I may also mention here coincidence or not but my radio went out as well. It is an after market radio so the previous installer may have put it on the same "line"
Anyway what else should I check for? Is it posible it could be some type of relay? or is it posibly the cluster itself? I didn/t actually seperate the pins yet, although I will definately attempt this as well. PLEASE HELP, My dash is currently in the garage lol
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:45 PM   #15
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I have a 97 wrangler sport automatic
I do not have the owners manual so under the hood where it says "refer to the manual" I do not know what the fuses are for. What are those big 30 and 40 amp fuses for?
Jake
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by imowt View Post
I have a 97 wrangler sport automatic
I do not have the owners manual so under the hood where it says "refer to the manual" I do not know what the fuses are for. What are those big 30 and 40 amp fuses for?
Jake
Heya, Which 30 and40 amp fuses do you mean? I assume you mean in the box under the hood as I don't see any that strong in the glove box area. Anyway, there are a couple of 30 and 40 amp fuses in the engine area fuse block. I have the owners manual in front of me here and will try to get a picture of it posted for you. Just need to snap one real quick and put it up.. Check in about 10 minutes (I'm slow hehe)
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:13 PM   #17
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yah i just had the lights in my dash go out also, everything else still works, radio and all just the lights out im checkin the fuses now
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:19 PM   #18
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Here you go - These are shots of th engine block fusebox pages:






Good luck! let me know if you want me to post the ones for the glove box.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:42 AM   #19
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i don't know if anyone said it above and i missed it, but if you do resolve the issue with the cluster, then i would recommend using dielectric grease and running it over nearly all the electrical plugs you can get your hands on. i.e. cluster connections, battery terminals, fuse boxes etc. prevents corrosion and also allows electrical current to pass though it.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:40 PM   #20
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"DEAD GAUGES" solved
well after eliminating the fuses, I figured it was either under or beind the dash, or under the hood ( somewhere somehow) I opened up the complete dash. Before I begin let me say my headlights went out too, but well after the dash went down. So I wound up replacing the light switch ( if you look at te schematics it is part of the equation ) I believe this may have to be connected for the dash as well as the headlights. As I mentioned earlier my radio went down too, but narroed it down to some "cheesy: wiring job, and the ground strap. After I figured out that the ground
"needed" to be established fo the radio to work, I thought maybe this was true for the dead gauges. So I took some sand paper, and a wire brush and scrubbed all the rust behind the dash, and sprayed the electrical spray. I put the cluster back onto the dash, and "BINGO" the FUEL TEMP OIL ETC showedsigns of life. Now I do not know if this was the answer but this did solve my "DEAD GAUGES" issue. I hope this helps
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:10 AM   #21
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I had a similar issue with my '99 sport. My gauge would just stop working from time to time, I mean driving down the road and all the needles would just drop to nothing, it totally shut off. Then it finally quit working all together. Turned out to be the connection between the gauge cluster and the dashboard. All I had to do was remove the gauge cluster and carfully bend all the pins slightly with a small set of needle nose pliers, just give them a slight twist to ensure good contact when you reconnect it, and BINGO it has worked fine ever since. I have heard this is a pretty common problem, but its an easy fix.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:25 AM   #22
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But why does the dome light and the radio also go out? I understand the cluster, but is it a ground problem or what?
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:11 PM   #23
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Just went outside opened the door dome light flickered buzzer sounded like it was dying, then all went back out. So I guess It will be another day. Please don't snow!
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:33 AM   #24
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06 TJ/LJ Instrument lights

I am having a similar issue. When I turn on my lights the dash (instrument lights) will not work. They do not come on or dim. All other lights inthe vehicle work just fine. I found a blown 20A fuse and replaced it. Every time i turn on the headlights that same fuse blows. Could it be the dimmer switch is kaput?
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:07 PM   #25
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ive had the problem 3 times now, first was a bad ground that comes out of the plug that goes into the back of the instrument cluster, second was the fuse and this is the third time my radio has enough power to barely light up but not enough to turn on and it started when i would turn the knob to turn my dome light on, as my light turned on it shorted out the cluster and radio and when i turned the light off everything came back on but now all is dead i pulled my entire dash out chasing bad wires and have not found one yet i checked the switch and tried another switch with no luck, if i find another solution ill let you know
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:00 AM   #26
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Hey guys, same thing just happened to me when I replaced a fuse under the hood, (no radio or any gauges working, but it lights up fine) but I experienced problems before with my gas gauge not working for one day out of the week. Where is the instrument panel cluster connector located? I removed the lower sections of my dash, do i have to remove more to find it? I can't find a picture of it on google...
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:31 AM   #27
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UPDATE*** I found another thread with this sweet step by step TJ Jeep Problem with Instrument Guages. on how to find and fix this problem. my dash still doesn't work after twisting all the teeth to make better connections. (the gas light, shift light, check engine light work) any ideas on what it may be? I'm currently trying to remove the broken aftermarket security system from the jeep and this may have something to do with the rats nest of wires underneath my steering wheel.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:19 AM   #28
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There is a TSB issued for this very problem as outlined by Greene91. I am surprised no one has referred to it. IIRC, the TSB refers to the connector being the problem and has a part no. for a new connector available from the dealer. You get the instructions and the connector and remove the dash and solder the new connector in. I do not have the TSB handy. If someone has access to All Data or other database, you can pull up TSB's for year and model.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:42 AM   #29
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Well after Miss Jeep sitting for over a year. Decided to revive her. Got the new plug from the Dealer, installed and still nothing. How can you tell if you have a bad gauge cluster? Or where a bad ground could be. I have read a lot of stuff on the net about this issue and nothing has worked so far.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:15 AM   #30
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Exclamation How i fixed my dash gauges

Try this before you go pulling wiring apart and doing more harm, look the fuse box behind the glove box then fuse number 12 its a 5 amp fuse and thats what did my gauges in, i spent days looking at everything from the switch to grounds and was ripping my hair out and just after work i pulled out every fuse and replaced all of them and number 12 worked it must of blew when i was fitting my new spotlights

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