Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: 1997 Jeep Wrangler All Guages Dead

  1. #1
    SUPPORTER 97TJGUZZY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    City
    Chapin
    State
    SC
    Posts
    11,853

    1997 Jeep Wrangler All Guages Dead

    Driving around this past Sunday I looked down at my gauges and noticed that they were all set to 0. No speed, RPM, Fuel, etc. I figured it must be a wiring problem. Did a quick search and it seems to be a pretty common problem. The solution looks to be taking off the main plug to the gauge cluster and spreading the pins and reattaching. I plan to pull it apart soon and see whats up. Anyone ever had this happen?

    Here is a written solution I found:

    My 98 TJ was having problems with the gauges,mainly the tach and speedo, intermittently shutting off whiledriving. One solid whack on top of the dash would temporarily fixit. According to all you cool people out there in Usenet land itwas a loose wiring problem in one of the harnesses in the dash.

    I didn't want to take my TJ to the dealer unless it wasabsolutely necessary. Dealers are a pain to deal with. They actlike they don't have time for you and then take forever to doanything. So I decided that I'd take a look at it first, thentake it to the dealer if the problem warranted it.


    Here's the scoop on the gauge problem I was having on my '98 TJ

    Problem: While driving, the speedo and tach would go deadand the airbag light would come on. The shift light would alsostop working.

    Temporary Solution: One good solid whack on top of theinstrument panel would temporarily fix the problem.

    Permanent Solution: This ismuch easier than I ever imagined. I fixed the problem myself inabout 45 minutes. I could have done it in 10 minutes, if I hadalready known how to take the dash apart.

    Here's how it works. The instrument cluster is a modulethat plugs into the dash/frame. When removed, the instrumentcluster pulls right out, there is no wiring hanging off the backor anything. There are connectors built into the back of theinstrument cluster, the other half of the connectors are builtonto the frame that the instrument cluster plugs into. This isthe connection that was causing the problem. Once the instrumentcluster is removed, you can see the small silver blade typeconnectors protruding from the rear of the instrument cluster in2 different groups, one on the left and one on the right. All youhave to do to fix the connection problem is this. Take a smallpair of needle-nose pliers, grab the end of each one of thesilver blade type connectors and give it a 10-15 degree twist inone direction. This will bend the connector enough to make asolid connection once the unit is put back together. Be carefulnot to twist it too much so it doesn't break and/or not go back
    together. Do this to all of the connectors, there are about 20 orso. It works great, I haven't had a problem with it since.Oh, ok,so you wanna know how to get the dash apart.


    1. Locate the long thin grill cover on top of the dash thatcovers the windshield defroster. It runs almost the entire lengthof the dash.
    2. Work your fingers behind it between the windshield and thecover itself and gently but firmly pull up and toward you. Itwill pop right out. No screws.
    3. Locate the cover that covers the lower half of the steeringwheel column down by your knees and remove it. 2 screws.
    4. Next you will see a steel cover plate behind the cover youjust removed. It has 4 screws. I took it off anyway but it maynot be necessary.
    5. With these covers removed you will be able to Identify 5screws that hold the black Instrument panel cover in place.
    There are 3 across the top next to the windshield and 2 on thelower side. Remove them and the black cover.
    6. You will then be able to see 4 screws that hold the instrumentcluster in place. Remove them.
    7. The instrument cluster lifts right out.

    You can perform this entire procedure, repair the connection, andreassemble your cool jeep in about 15 minutes. All that's neededis a Phillips screwdriver.

    Hope this helps, it certainly saved me one of those gruelingtrips to the dealer.
    --Brooks

  2. #2
    SUPPORTER LBarr2002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    City
    Leesville
    State
    SC
    Posts
    3,800
    I've heard of it happening. Pull the plug and clean it.
    '04 LJ Sleeper

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    City
    Lexington
    State
    SC
    Posts
    1,348
    Get some contact cleaner, and reassemble with some dielectric grease

  4. #4
    SUPPORTER VOLT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    City
    Greenwood
    State
    SC
    Posts
    2,166
    Yeah mine did the same thing years ago. I just removed the cluster and cleaned the plug on the bottom of it. Hasnít happened again.
    #oscarisaliveanddoingwell
    #hillkillingsux
    #marcuscountsrockbouncersinhissleep

  5. #5
    SUPPORTER 97TJGUZZY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    City
    Chapin
    State
    SC
    Posts
    11,853
    Quote Originally Posted by VOLT View Post
    Yeah mine did the same thing years ago. I just removed the cluster and cleaned the plug on the bottom of it. Hasn’t happened again.
    Thanks, i can't remember what all it takes go get the cluster out. I'll have to dig into it. My cage goes through my dash, so it makes all dash projects a bit more interesting.
    --Brooks

  6. #6
    SUPPORTER LBarr2002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    City
    Leesville
    State
    SC
    Posts
    3,800
    Quote Originally Posted by 97TJGUZZY View Post
    Thanks, i can't remember what all it takes go get the cluster out. I'll have to dig into it. My cage goes through my dash, so it makes all dash projects a bit more interesting.
    Time to change that heater core?
    '04 LJ Sleeper

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    City
    Lexington
    State
    SC
    Posts
    1,348
    Time to put in a new 6cyl . ;) ;)

  8. #8
    SUPPORTER 97TJGUZZY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    City
    Chapin
    State
    SC
    Posts
    11,853
    Quote Originally Posted by LBarr2002 View Post
    Time to change that heater core?
    Quote Originally Posted by DanStew View Post
    Time to put in a new 6cyl . ;) ;)
    All these jokes eh? yes probably to both
    --Brooks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Clubs, Vendor Tools vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.