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Old 12-06-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
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Replacing Dash

How difficult is it to replace the dash? I have an 87 and the dash looks awful, the clock doesn't work, the warning lights don't work, my turn signal arm falls off after too many bumps, the speedometer is about 10 miles off. Etc. so I am looking into finding some parts on eBay. Just curious as to what all I am going to have to do to restore the dash. Thanks guys.

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Old 12-06-2013, 06:55 PM   #2
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Once I actually or in it today and detailed the dash, it's actually in quite good shape, it was just filthy. So I guess my question would now be, replacing the gauges, tachometer, speedometer, warning lights. I saw on eBay a gauge cluster for the 92-95 wrangler, would that be able to be installed in an 87?

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Old 12-08-2013, 01:46 AM   #3
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So my next challenge on restoring the dash assembly is the steering column, problems are: turn signal lever falls off on bumps, windshield wipers come on when I turn the right turn signal on, the gear indicator doesn't show which gear I'm in, the speedometer is a little off, my wipers don't really work, and the column housing is worn down from weather, rain, etc. I will post more pics when I do some work to it.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:03 AM   #4
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Looks like you have your work cut out for you. I have a 88YJ that i'm working on now. I wanted to replace my steering column with one fron Ididit but it looks like they make one for all other Jeeps but the YJ. Good luck with all your repairs and I'll be watching for any tips you throw out there...Gunny Out!!
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:52 PM   #5
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Gunny, if you go to eBay, search "Jeep YJ steering column" there are some pretty good ones on there I've seen a few (400.00) that were 100% rebuilt and you can choose between colors (spice, grey, black) it's definitely worth checking out.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:10 PM   #6
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Thanks Brother...i'll be sure to check it out...as soon as i figure out how to post pictures i'm going to start my build thread...so far i've been having alot of fun tinking on the old YJ...well you take care and keep us posted on your progress...Gunny Out!!
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:44 PM   #7
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I got a new column for my 87 after vandals tried to break it to steal my ride.

The column name is a GM Saginaw. Same column that was in the 80's GM pickups.

I got mine from a company called...columnsgalore.com...I believe it was around $450, but you get a $150 core charge returned when you send the old column back to them.
So, I thought $300 for a new column was worth it to me. It came complete, all I had to do was bolt it in and plug in the appropriate plugs and it was done.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zcampbell90 View Post
Once I actually or in it today and detailed the dash, it's actually in quite good shape, it was just filthy. So I guess my question would now be, replacing the gauges, tachometer, speedometer, warning lights. I saw on eBay a gauge cluster for the 92-95 wrangler, would that be able to be installed in an 87?
The warning lights could just be the bulbs, speedo is cable driven, so it has to be from a 87-90 dash to work, but if you have bigger tires that is why your speedo is off, a new speedo gear will fix that.

The gauge cluster for a 92-95 is different from the 87, on that one the 4wd light is in the 1st hole, and yours is water temp. If you take the dash apart, and take that gauge cluster out, unplug it and look at the back. You will see a flimsy plastic part that has copper lines in it. those need to be cleaned in order to work right. There is a write-up on this forum that describes how to do it with a pencil eraser.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:00 PM   #9
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Morris.4x4 sells a new gauge cluster circuit board for $80.00 or you can buy an entire new cluster with 4 new gauges for $180. I elected to buy the circuit board and keep my original gauges. They sell new speedo and tach clusters as well to match the gauges. They're expensive, but they're new and made to fit the YJ dash.
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/yj/Dash_Components.htm
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:12 PM   #10
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Thanks all for the website tips and eraser advice I'm going to have to look into that. The turn signal lever I'm guessing has broken off a piece inside, so I'm going to order a new one from a store around here, I don't see too much rust so I think for the column itself I'm going to order a new housing kit and just sand and repaint the column. The arm to my gear lever is pretty trashed any idea where I could order a new automatic shift lever from? I know I've got quite a bit of work ahead of me, also under the hood, but for 4,000 in Hawaii at that, can't beat it. I'll keep updated on the progress.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:38 PM   #11
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So today I finally got the broken piece out of the slot for the turn signal lever, and got the new lever put in, also got the steering wheel itself cleaned up a little. My next step it to sand the column down and reapply paint to it.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:42 AM   #12
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I am in the middle of replacing my dash on my '90. I went the expensive route and bought all autometer. I really like the look and the gauge pods in the center dash piece have a progressive angle to them so they actually look towards the driver.

I'm really happy but I spent a LOT of money to do it. I also got rid of the clock and put a tranny temp gauge.

Only have the center done now. Still waiting for the speedo cable I ordered to come in so I can do the driver side.

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You should be able to fix up your gauges pretty easy. Clean the contacts on the gauge "circuit board" and let us know if that fixes it. For the fuel lever, water temp and oil pressure you could have bad senders. So if cleaning the gauge doesn't help it may be the senders.

Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:23 AM   #13
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Question, the backing light for the gauges, is there a way to somehow make those light brighter? I'm not talking about the dial beside the headlight switch, but a way to change the bulb to be a newer brighter light?
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zcampbell90 View Post
Question, the backing light for the gauges, is there a way to somehow make those light brighter? I'm not talking about the dial beside the headlight switch, but a way to change the bulb to be a newer brighter light?
Yes. Superbrightled.com Has what you need. Pull your cluster, it takes 5 minutes and Phillips screwdriver. There are 5 bulbs that illuminate your cluster. They are the ones with the brown covers. Here is a pic.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #15
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Question, the backing light for the gauges, is there a way to somehow make those light brighter? I'm not talking about the dial beside the headlight switch, but a way to change the bulb to be a newer brighter light?
The back of your gauge cluster should look something like this. There is one plug (the rectangular hole) for the unit. This is off my 90. I just replaced the circuit board (the yellow plastic piece with copper lines running through it) and replaced the regular bulbs with LEDs. You will need 10 bulbs if you do the speedo and tach (6 for the gauge cluster and 2 each for the speedo and tach). Prior to switching out the circuit board, my clock didn't work and the gauges would jump around. Now everything works. The circuit board was about $90 from Morris, and the LEDs were less than $10 on Amazon. There are also many choices for colors, there are some threads with pictures you can check out to see what the colors look like. When you remove the gauges, they each fit into a 2-pronged plug that screws into the back of the board (the 4 oblong things). Clean the copper prongs and metal fittings to insure better contact. There are many threads on this forum that detail this. Changing everything out was pretty simple, just time consuming. A tip: before you put it all back together, plug the cluster in and turn on your lights to check that the LEDs are working. Take out the ones that don't work and simply put them back in the reverse of what they were. Once you're sure everything is working, put it back together. I made the mistake of not checking, and found that my oil pressure gauge didn't work afterwards, so I had to take it all apart and clean the contacts and reseat the gauge. Now everything works.

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Old 12-22-2013, 01:50 PM   #16
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CyndiB, thank you so much, exactly what I was wondering.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:45 PM   #17
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CyndiB, thank you so much, exactly what I was wondering.
You're welcome. This fix cost slightly less than $100. For $185 you can buy a whole new cluster with new gauges included from Morris, but that setup does not include a clock. Or you can go the same route as Fabrokoner and pay considerable more. I wanted to maintain the original look, plus I wanted a clock ( because I'm old and can't see the display on my radio, lol). You have many options.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:48 PM   #18
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You're welcome. This fix cost slightly less than $100. For $185 you can buy a whole new cluster with new gauges included from Morris, but that setup does not include a clock. Or you can go the same route as Fabrokoner and pay considerable more. I wanted to maintain the original look, plus I wanted a clock ( because I'm old and can't see the display on my radio, lol). You have many options.
Yes, I agree I want to restore my 87, and keep it as original as possible. Plus I have always loved analog clocks in cars over digital.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:11 PM   #19
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Here's a picture of my gauges with white LEDs. Too bad the flash caused the glare.


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Old 12-22-2013, 11:47 PM   #20
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That looks so awesome. Yeah I was looking and I think I'm going to go with the new circuit board and green LED lights. You said when you installed the new board your clock gauge worked again? How hard is it to change out the circuit board? I'm new to a lot of this "DIY" car care, but I have the tools and everything.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:58 AM   #21
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they sell a 4 gauge dash on morris4x4.com and its like 200.00 with the gauges and there bigger and better !
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:03 AM   #22
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That looks so awesome. Yeah I was looking and I think I'm going to go with the new circuit board and green LED lights. You said when you installed the new board your clock gauge worked again? How hard is it to change out the circuit board? I'm new to a lot of this "DIY" car care, but I have the tools and everything.
It's not hard. First step is to remove the plastic piece surrounding the gauges, there's about 6 screws. Then remove the gauge cluster, another 5-6 screws. You should disconnect your battery before you go any further. Once you have the cluster free from the dash, you'll find an oblong plug that connects it to the electrical. Squeeze the plug to remove it. Now your cluster is free from the dash. Then all you have to do is remove the gauges and lights to replace the board. The lights twist out and the gauges have a small screw that goes on a center post that holds them in place. Once you remove the screw and washer, you need to pull the two pronged connector thing out. I used a small screwdriver to gently work it out. I suggest you do this on a table or workbench because the gauges will fall out as soon as you remove the thing holding them on. Clean all the corrosion off the contacts. I used a small fine wire brush, but you can also use a pencil eraser. It's pretty simple, just takes some time, it's not something you want to rush through because the gauges are fragile. The new board should bring your clock back to life, it did mine, it keeps perfect time.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:10 AM   #23
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they sell a 4 gauge dash on morris4x4.com and its like 200.00 with the gauges and there bigger and better !
The one on Morris is very nice, I contemplated getting that one, but it doesn't have a clock. After 90, the YJs didn't have clocks anyway, but I wanted to keep mine. I also wasn't sure if the new one was plug and play with the newer gauges, and since there's only so much I can do myself, I just went with replacing the board.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:00 AM   #24
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So straying away from the gauge discussion a bit, I was looking for an under dash AC unit, I got a call from a guy today saying he has one he got off eBay, all it needs is the heater core, condenser, and new hoses. He's asking $200 for it, and he says it's in new condition. Do you guys think that's a good deal?
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:39 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Fabrokoner View Post
I am in the middle of replacing my dash on my '90. I went the expensive route and bought all autometer. I really like the look and the gauge pods in the center dash piece have a progressive angle to them so they actually look towards the driver. I'm really happy but I spent a LOT of money to do it. I also got rid of the clock and put a tranny temp gauge. Only have the center done now. Still waiting for the speedo cable I ordered to come in so I can do the driver side. You should be able to fix up your gauges pretty easy. Clean the contacts on the gauge "circuit board" and let us know if that fixes it. For the fuel lever, water temp and oil pressure you could have bad senders. So if cleaning the gauge doesn't help it may be the senders. Good luck!
Where did you get your new gauges from?
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:33 PM   #26
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Where did you get your new gauges from?
I got the majority of them from autoplicity.com. They had the cheapest prices I could find. The speedo and tach I had ordered from eBay before I found autoplicity.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:22 PM   #27
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How difficult is it to replace the dash?
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:22 AM   #28
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So straying away from the gauge discussion a bit, I was looking for an under dash AC unit, I got a call from a guy today saying he has one he got off eBay, all it needs is the heater core, condenser, and new hoses. He's asking $200 for it, and he says it's in new condition. Do you guys think that's a good deal?
You need A/C in Hawaii?
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:05 AM   #29
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I have two daughters, (1 year old next Sunday) I would really like it just to have, also when I bring my jeep back to the mainland when I PCS next.
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Old 12-25-2013, 03:24 AM   #30
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It's much more of a preferred choice for me, a "luxury" if you will. ;P

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