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Old 03-17-2014, 09:55 AM   #1
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instrument cluster

I have a 1990 YJ Wrangler that the instrument cluster seems to be malfunctioning. I have to tap the gas gauge to make it work and the oil gauge stay is maxed out constantly. Is this normally in the cluster?

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Old 03-17-2014, 10:06 AM   #2
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try cleaning the connections on the back of the gauges and then see what you have

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Old 03-17-2014, 10:11 AM   #3
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OK, will do. Honestly didn't know if I could get to the connections. I have looked at the back of one of those instrument clusters and all I saw was a plugin for the wiring harness but it didn't show that you could take it apart to get to the actual connections. But I'll check it first. Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:51 AM   #4
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take about 8 screws out on the front of your gauge cluster.Then you can just lay the entire cluster over and get to them
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:58 AM   #5
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Cool, thanks man.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:18 PM   #6
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Okay Mr Harley dragon I got my instrument cluster out it is a ribbon system on the back. I did not take the ribbon system loose yet is that what you were talking about cleaning was the ribbon system or do I need to go more in depth?
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:22 PM   #7
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Yes woody, that is what need cleaned. Around all the terminals and bolts for each gauge that is malfunctioning, as well as where the wiring plug goes.

The best way to do it that I have found is a pencil eraser, but use a gentle hand. it doesn't take very much at all to break the copper ribbons in that circuit board. It is extremely fragile.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0III0forlife View Post
Yes woody, that is what need cleaned. Around all the terminals and bolts for each gauge that is malfunctioning, as well as where the wiring plug goes.

The best way to do it that I have found is a pencil eraser, but use a gentle hand. it doesn't take very much at all to break the copper ribbons in that circuit board. It is extremely fragile.
exactly
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:02 PM   #9
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Awesome thanks again
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:38 PM   #10
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If cleaning doesn't do the trick, you can buy a new one from Morris 4x4 for about $90, that's what I ended up doing. Now my clock even works.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:05 PM   #11
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I had the same problems and I cleaned the printed circuit on the back of the cluster and everything (even the clock) worked for a while. Now the oil guage is pegged all the way to the right. I again removed the cluster from the dash and re-cleaned all connections. That didn't help. I can see no problems with the printed circuit.
Suspecting a direct short in the wire from the guage to the oil sending unit I hooked a test light from power to the suspected wire but key on or key off there was no light.
I am reluctant to spend $90.00 for a new printed circuit unless I am sure that is the problem. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:01 PM   #12
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I had the same problems and I cleaned the printed circuit on the back of the cluster and everything (even the clock) worked for a while. Now the oil guage is pegged all the way to the right. I again removed the cluster from the dash and re-cleaned all connections. That didn't help. I can see no problems with the printed circuit.
Suspecting a direct short in the wire from the guage to the oil sending unit I hooked a test light from power to the suspected wire but key on or key off there was no light.
I am reluctant to spend $90.00 for a new printed circuit unless I am sure that is the problem. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.
The gauges in a YJ work on ground as being the variable. In other words, the sending unit supplies the gauge with a ground signal. The more pressure on the sending unit, the better the signal, the higher the gauge reads. If your oil gauge is pegged as soon as you turn on the key, then the sending unit is what is bad. You can try taking it out and cleaning it, or just replacing it is simple too.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:08 PM   #13
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Thanks, Wrangler for life. I disconnected the wire at the sending unit and turned the key on. The gauge still pegs to the right. Any other thoughts??
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:53 PM   #14
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As 0III0 said the sending unit is actually grounding the circuit. The oil pressure sender is really a variable resistor. You wont read any voltage on the sender line at the gauge cluster if the cluster is unplugged. The gauge takes +12v and sends it through the sender wire and sender to the engine block. The sender allows a certain amount of current through it based on oil pressure. This current changes the magnetic field in the gauge which causes the needle to move.

The senders range is 0 psi = 1 ohm to 80 psi = 90 ohm.

Turn the key to run and unplug the sender wire and ground the wire directly to the engine block. Does your gauge go all the way left? If so your sender is shot. If there is no change then you have a break in the wire or circuit board. Unplug the gauge and check the wire for continuity from gauge end to sender end.

This information pertains to the 1990 4.2. The 4.0 is probably the same or similar. Not sure what you got? You should fill out your profile, it makes helping you easier.

Let us know what you find.

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