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Old 03-19-2013, 12:15 AM   #1
odellzr's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 139
YJ Gauges acting strange

Bought my first Jeep (1991 YJ 4.0) at an auction two weeks ago. I love the vehicle, but the gauges are bothering me. I just went through a gauge issue with my Ramcharger, which I turned in to WAY too much work for myself...lol.
i know there's a lot of gauge-related questions on here, but I don't think this exact combination.

Here's what I have:
1. All gauges go off (left) when key is off.
2. Gas gauge is constantly as far right as can be when key is on.
3. Oil pressure gauge stays far right most of the time, it will come down to 3/4 when the jeep slows down occasionally. It will also jump around from time to time.
4. Temp gauge seems to work, but never past 1/4 or 150 degrees (it has been somewhat cold here in Colorado.
5. Clock works great!
6. Voltage gauge stays right in the middle.

Here's my questions:
Is it possible the oil/fuel sending units both happen to be bad? Should the oil pressure be full almost all of the time? Shouldn't the temp gauge get up to around 1/2 way eventually, since I drive 18 miles in to work?

The vehicle runs great, but I'm concerned about the oil pressure. Also, I don't want to pull the fuel tank until I'm sure the issue is with the fuel sender or ground and not the cluster or wiring for the gauges.

How would you guys attack this first?

Thanks...sorry for the lengthy question!

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Old 03-19-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
eschy777's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 24
I don't have much experience on the YJ gauges, but one of my previous vehicles had the same issue with the temp gauge. It turned out that the PO had taken the thermostat out and never replaced it. So the motor was constantly circulating coolant and the gauge would never get up to where it should be. After beating my head against the wall for a week or so, it ended up being that.

That being said, my 95 YJ gauges all seemed to work with the exception of the temp gauge. The needle never moved. I ended up replacing it with an aftermarket gauge and never looked back.

The fuel gauge in mine has a tendency to operate about 3/4 of the time, and then bounce all over the place, usually after I hit half a tank. It is very possible that your sending units have given up, it is a 22 year old vehicle and the Jeep gauges have a reputation of being inaccurate.

Sorry for the long post, hope you get it all taken care of and enjoy your new (to you) YJ. Just be ready to never stop buying things for it, it's a never ending thing.

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Old 03-19-2013, 11:42 AM   #3
BDK's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Cedar
Posts: 553
YJ gauges go bad. You might just need to replace the whole cluster. Try cleaning all the connections and see if that helps the issue.
For you Vets and Active Jeepers
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:57 PM   #4
eschy777's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 24
I saw in the Spring Quadratec catalog that they sell entire replacement gauge clusters. That may be another option for you.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:18 PM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3
i replaced my sending unit in the tank and it fixed my gas guage, but it bounces around still gives you an idea what ya have, as far as the oil guage mine starts off to the right and slowly works to the middle after running for a bit.

hoped it helped,

although i have a 88 4.2l thats carburated, is yours fuel injected?
might make a difference
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:20 PM   #6
eschy777's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 24
Mine is fuel injected. I'm still recovering from my shoulder surgery, so it will be awhile until i can tear into it and see what's going on.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:14 PM   #7
odellzr's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 139
Thanks guys...

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