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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.


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.
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.:weld:
So i have been into the dash twice now to work on this. First time i bent the plugs and put on some dialectric grease and it worked once, then i shut it down and tried again and it was dead. tried again and it worked, then bolted the dash all back together and it was dead.

Fast forward to last night. I took it apart, bent the prongs a bit more and it worked for a minute, until i shut down the jeep then they are dead again....sometimes. But... it seems the needles are twitching even when the key is out and off now when its just sitting there. I can only assume all of my problems are coming from this connection, but everything seems to be good.

I have checked all of the fuses under the hood and behind the glove box that deal with the guages.

Last edited:
Here are some additional links and info I have found...













This happened in my 99 TJ, caused by a poor connection in the back of the cluster. I took out the cluster, slipped down both connectors from the metal part they are attached to and left them in front of it. Then replaced the cluster trying to catch both connectors. They make a little pressure against the cluster improving connection. No problem since then, all gauges working OK!!

Pasted from <https://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/guages-quit-working-148287.html>

Few things I have found that I plan to try or check:

Twisted wire to gauge cluster
Short between motor and firewall at back of the motor
Plug in the plugs directly into the cluster without putting them in the holder.

Hey dude this just happened to me a month ago check the wire that runs up to the speakers on your rollbars i pinched mine on accident. And i got in my jeep and started driving and nothing worked(Radio, guages, Dome light) just check that cluster of wires that runs up to the rollbar speakers.

Pasted from <https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-non-hardcore/894696-98-tj-gauges-radio-interior-light-not-working.html>

When the indicator lamps work but the gauges don't, the most likely cause is a bad fused battery supply to the cluster -- C2 (blue connector) pin 9 (PK/WT) should have a constant 12.6v/battery voltage present.

Pasted from <https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/tj-cluster-problems-4327015/>

Power for the instrument cluster fused B+ input comes from PDC fuse 25 (10a), passes through connector C108 pin 12, then connector C203 pin B7, then on into the cluster connector C2. If PDC fuse 25 is bad, you'll also notice the under hood light and your dome light will be inoperative.

Pasted from <https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/tj-cluster-problems-4327015/>

Instrument cluster problems solved!!!
Without going into all the details of what I did prior to my fix, let me preface my comments by saying I did everything listed on every thread, TSB and video suggestions across the net. Still no luck, intermittent gauges, dashlights drop out, funky intermittent operation. Worked when cold, worked when hot, hitting bumps, whacking dash and etc. Almost made me get rid of my Jeep altogether.

Obviously frustrated beyond comprehension I tried a new attack on this issue. I pulled my cluster out for the millionth time, pulled the board (remove 28 screws) and approached the problem from an electronics perspective. I took my soldering iron at 701 degrees and re-flowed each pin with a tiny amount of silver solder where it is soldered to the board from the back side. All pins on each male socket on the back side of the circuit board. Then, I carefully “tinned” each male pin where it mates with the female plugs behind the cluster. This insured a good reflow of solder on both sides of the board. Problem solved. Now, I will say you need some expirence with a good high quality soldering iron or you could permanently ruin your board. I did not care at this point, dash didn’t work anyway. The problem is age, vibration, temperature extremes and cheap China Mopar parts.

Couldn’t believe this was the fix. If you can solder wires you can do this.

Pasted from <https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/instrument-cluster-issues-tried-few-things-no-luck-4311003/>

NO: 08-15-99
SUBJECT: Erratic, Intermittent Cluster Operation/Intermittent Air Bag Warning light.
DATE: May 21, 1999

This bulletin involves installing a repair harness containing a revised instrument cluster connector.

Some vehicles may exhibit an intermittent illumination of the air bag warning light or an intermittent tachometer or speedometer drop out. An Airbag Electronic Control Module (AECM) fault code -"No Cluster CCD BUS " message will be present.

This condition is caused by minor oxidation of the BUS circuit terminals at the instrument cluster connector. Electrical terminals will show signs of oxidation, which will appear as darkened lines or marks on the cluster male terminals. These often appear as gray or black marks rather than the appearance of oxidation or corrosion usually associated with higher current carrying circuits. THIS TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN WILL NOT ADDRESS FUEL OR OIL PRESSURE GAUGE ISSUES.

Part No. Description
105016261AA Cluster Connector Patch Harness
104856975 Electric Contact Cleaner
204778570 Heat Shrink Tubing

Disconnect the negative battery cable.
Remove the instrument cluster using the procedures outlined in the appropriate servicemanual.
Inspect the male terminals of pins 1 & 2 on the instrument cluster connector labeled CNB. The oxidation will appear as gray or black lines or marks on the terminals. If any signs of oxidation are present, remove them by gently scraping the terminals with a small flat bladed screw driver until the oxidation is gone. Use of a magnifying glass may be helpful. Use caution when performing this operation. Do not apply excessive force to the terminals to avoid bending them or damaging the cluster or terminals. Do not use a sharp tool, knife or sand paper, which could remove the protective plating from the terminals. Do not use any cleaner other than p/n 04856975. Other chemical cleaners could damage the instrument cluster.
Clean the male terminals with Electrical Contact cleaner, p/n 04856975. Apply the cleaner sparingly holding the cluster with the connector facing down to avoid excessive amount of cleaner from entering the cluster.
Remove the green cluster connector from the bracket.
Using wire cutters, remove the instrument cluster harness connector from the harness. Remove only the connector containing the BUS circuit This connector is labeled CBA on the cluster. Cut the wires as close to the insulator as possible.
The new connector must be soldered onto the harness. This operation requires a technician who is skilled at soldering to avoid a cold solder joint. Position the harness and align the wires with the patch harness, matching the color codes match the main wire colors. NOTE: THE XJ INSTRUMENT PANEL CONTAINS ONE MORE CIRCUIT IN THIS CONNECTOR THAN THE TJ. CUT THE UNUSED WIRE CLOSE TO THE CONNECTOR ON TJ MODELS.
Stagger cut the main harness and patch harness wires so that the solder joints will be 1/2 inch apart. Remove 1/2 inch of insulation from the wires. The new harness will have a dark blue with no tracer. This will mate with a dark blue wire with a green tracer on TJ and with a dark blue wire with a white tracer on XJ.
Slide a piece of heat shrink tubing over the wires and twist the wires together for each respective circuit.
Solder each circuit using rosin core solder. Be sure to heat the wire enough to allow the solder to melt when it comes in contact with wire. Do not use acid core solder.
Position the heat shrink tubing over the solder joints and shrink the tubing using a heat gun.
Install the connector to the bracket.
Install the instrument cluster.
Connect the battery cable.
Verify correct operation of the cluster.
Reimbursable within the provisions of the warranty.

Labor Op. No.Time08-90-90-910.6 Hrs.

CodeDescriptionP8New Part

Pasted from <https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-non-hardcore/623878-97-tj-electrical-issues.html>

did you check the fuses in the engine compartment too?

theres a mini fuse up there that, if blown, allows the lights to work but not the guages. let me know if thats the prob.

It's called the IOD, or Igniton Off Draw fuse. Basically, it's the stuff that draws juice and would be used in delivery of the vehicle. DC shipps them with the IOD fuse not installed, so that the battery won't go dead in transit. Then when the dealer preps them, they install the fuse and everything works. I remember when I used to work at the dealership and couldn't believe we got Jeeps that the gauges were dead on till one of the techs laughed, then explained it to me.

Pasted from <https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-non-hardcore/623878-97-tj-electrical-issues.html>
I haven't gotten a No Buss code. Last night I removed the plugs from the dash and plugged them directly into the cluster manually, and I get all lights, but no needles move. except for the twitching...
with the help of tripp on the phone I found last night that the signal voltage purple/brown and white/black from the computer is inconsistent and incorrect at both the Plug for the gauge cluster plug and the obd2 port. It looks like the computer is not sending the correct signal. Im hoping to borrow a computer from miller that I plan to try tonight.
So i picked up a bluetooth code reader that has a Live Data option just to see what it would do and eliminate the cluster from my troubles. This should tell me if the computer was sending the correct signals or not. Well, I installed it friday before the uwharrie trip and it is reading live data for temperature, speed, and RPM, so the computer is not the problem... Now back to the drawing board. Looks like i have a bad cluster?
I have now made a repeatable discovery. If I disconnect the cluster and wiggle the pins and wait a minute, the jeep will start and the gauges will work or perform a cluster selft test. But if I try to crank again or do the self test again, 90% of the time the gauges are dead.

I'm still getting live data from the computer to the Bluetooth reader.

The Turn signals and lights always work on the cluster

I'm fairly certain its the pigtails on the back of the cluster now. I have tweaked all the pins back there, but I think there is a problem in that plug....