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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
96 wrangler

The dash gages stopped working, no dash lights, no sterio. I have searched to forum and have read what is available on the topic. I have checked the fuses behind the glove box. I have unhooked the sterio. All fuses under the hood appear good.

I hate to take to a mechanic. Does this problem sound familiar, what can I do?

You assistance would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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WF Graphics Bitch
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You have a 97 Jeep - production started in the second half of 96, but they're 97 Jeeps. There were no wranglers labeled under '1996'.

Technicalities aside - it's a very common problem. It has to do with the connectors that plug into the back of the gauge cluster. They're not sealed, and tend to corrode a little bit over time. What usually solves the problem is pulling the gauge cluster out, and prying the pins left in the dash apart just a hair. then clean them, and apply a minimal coat of di-electric grease. You can do this yourself in less than an hour - two screws for the kneeguard, revealing two more for the gauge cluster, then remove the defroster cover and remove another set of screws to remove the gauge cluster trim. Then two more screws and you can pull the whole thing out. You can do the whole job with a screwdriver.

For a temporary fix - sometimes giving the top of the cluster a good thump of your wrist will do the trick as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I took out the gage cluster as described above. The pins and connectors look good. I took a test light to all of the connector but found none with power.

What else is a likely cause for loss of power.
 

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i had the same problem last week when i hooked up my off road lights...the way i fixed it was the number 17 fuse under the hood. i believe its number 17...its labeled interior courtesy light in the owners manual and its a tiny 15 or 20 amp fuse...try pulling it and replacing it
 

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WF Graphics Bitch
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I took out the gage cluster as described above. The pins and connectors look good. I took a test light to all of the connector but found none with power.

What else is a likely cause for loss of power.
The pins SHOULD look fine - try cleaning and bending them a tad anyways; in 99% of gauge cluster failure, you should be able to find only one or two with power. It's not the wiring that's usually the problem, it's the mating within the connector once coupled, one of which is probably +5V which might not illuminate your test light. Don't forget to test with your ebrake, 4 ways, and brights on as well as these will send power to pins in that connector as well.
 

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Similar issue going on with my 97 - turns out when I start the Jeep, I need to make a small turn of the key in reverse and suddenly I have power to the gauges and the stereo.

Not the best solution, but does the job for now.
 
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