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Old 07-29-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
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1999 Wrangler instrument panel intermittent

Hi first post here!
I had my jeep for 3years now and it's running like a charm 108000mi. I do all maintenance myself and I'm really supprised by the realibility.
One thing has come up. My instrument panel goes out. All gages go out and the air bag light goes on. I comes and goes as I drive, I should try it iddeling in the drive way see if it does it. I'll try that. I have watched it carfully and it doesn't coincide with bumps or vibrations. I was thinking looking at the wirring diagram that it might have something to do with the starter switch. Anyone got any idea how to diagnose it? I could start changing parts until I find the right one or worst drigging it to someone and paying an arm and a leg for something that will probably turn out to be trivial.
Thanks in advance for the help.

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Old 07-29-2009, 07:49 PM   #2
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This is a not-uncommon problem and 99 times out of 100 is nothing more than the two multi-pin electrical connectors behind the instrument cluster not making a good solid electrical contact with each other.

You can remove the instrument cluster in 5-10 minutes, it's easier to remove than it looks (you only need a phillips head screwdriver), and then you'll see the two multi-pin connectors behind it. The male pins need to make better/more reliable contact with the female pins and that's fairly easily taken care of. With a pair of needle nose pliers, gently (!) squeeze each male pin so it is just barely flattened a tad. Not flat, just a bit oval-shaped. That way, they'll have a tighter fit when it's all put back togetehr again and your intermittent instrument cluster should be a thing of the past.

I took care of mine like that 12 or so years ago and it's been fine ever since.

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Old 07-29-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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Check the 2 connectors going to the back of the gauges. Common issue. Clean them up some and apply electric grease to the conector pins.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:51 PM   #4
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Again ...jerry is one post ahead of me. lol
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:54 PM   #5
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Thanks

Heck there's nothing on tv tonight. Got my screw driver and getting on it now. Will keep you posted in a couple hours.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:57 PM   #6
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What is TV??? j/k.

Good luck.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:59 PM   #7
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eureka!!!!

Thanks guys!!!
Problem solved!!! Took barely took a beer to take apart (5min I'm canadian after all). The male terminals were the flat kind wich through me off a little. Clean the males, carfully cleaned out the old dielectric grease with a bit of WD40 (very little don't want to hurt the plastic) and compressed air to blow it out the back, wipe everything clean, new grease, put everything back together. test drive.....EUREKA!!!
Thanks guys you guys saved me a bunch of money and time!
It's not a vehicule it's a state of mind!
Have a good one hey!
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:10 PM   #8
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posted a picture of my baby in the intro section of the forum.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:21 PM   #9
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Awesome, nice work!
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:54 PM   #10
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Just wanted to say thank you for the post and responses - i recently 'impulse' bought a 1999 TJ and it came with some 'issues' (but less than 60k miles - one of the most troublesome was that my instruments went our randomly requiring a sharp smack to the dash to get them back - the problem was getting worse everyday - a quick internet search introduced me to Wrangler Forum and your post - yesterday, I fearfully pulled the instrument cluster - cleaned everything with a solvent for electrical - used needle nose pliers to do a very light crimp of the flat male parts - added an electrical lube - sprayed away excess with compressed air, put it back together - and everything appears to be operating correctly now - it was really simple, but I never would have attempted without reading your post three times first -- thanks again -

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