What's wrong with this cluster?

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by Da_Raabi, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    1,106
    143
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I'm not entirely sure how this came together, but I think I must have tried to piece together a gauge cluster years and years ago, and I ended up with this frankenstein. The only thing that seems to work is the lights and the tach. Temp gauge is no good, fuel gauge pegs way past full, and the voltmeter is unresponsive. The housing and printed circuit are the originals from my car (1980). Looking at eBay etc I'm thinking my gauges are from all over the place.

    So what do I do here? Replace the gauges? I'm kinda stuck and I need a functioning cluster!
    cluster1.jpg
    cluster2.jpg
    cluster3.jpg
     
  2. czizza

    czizza Veteran Member

    883
    24
    Jan 8, 2004
    N. Massapequa, NY, USA
    you might have the wrong printed circuit. You say the voltmeter is unresponsive and fuel gauge is pegged that sounds like the are reversed.

    Try a 9 volt battery directly to the volt gauge. If that shows 9volts then try 100ohm pointer-meter or some resisters connected in series, remember the fuel gauge is 0 to 90 ohms.
     
  3. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    26,136
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    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    None of those gauges are from an 80. (wrong gauge needles)

    Sounds like a wiring issue if your car originally had gauges.
    If it didn't... You need to swap around some of the connections at the cluster plug.

    Fuel "pegged past full" tells me there's an open connection in the sending unit circuit.
    Volt meter has a connection of its own (not at the cluster plug) which you may have missed.

    Temp gauge.... What does it do?
     
  4. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    1,106
    143
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I tried connecting the 12v battery directly to the voltmeter with the cluster out of the car. No movement.
     
  5. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    1,106
    143
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I have no idea what the car would have had from the factory. It did not have the dummy lights cluster when I got it, but then again I have no recollection of what it DID have.

    The temp sensor sits right at 100 when the IGN is on. When off it jumps to where you see it in the pic above.

    I had a feeling these were the wrong gauges for an 80.
     
  6. harbone66

    harbone66 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Central Illinois
    Show a picture of the circuit board and see if the part number is still visible on it
     
  7. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

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    Apr 2, 2016
    Jax Florida
    The fuel gauge my have a bad ground by the tank.
     
  8. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    1,106
    143
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Here are a few pics of the printed circuit. I had to fix a few spots on it a few months ago. The layers had separated, but the copper seemed to be fine, so I glued it all back together. The contact points for the main connector were all goofy too, so I had to straighten, clean, and glue them too.

    Is this circuit just trash? I tried to clean it up as best I could but is it just too far gone?

    circuit2.jpg
    circuit1.jpg
    circuit3.jpg
     
  9. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

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    Apr 2, 2016
    Jax Florida
    You could use a multi-meter to check continuity. Just have to follow the path.
     
  10. harbone66

    harbone66 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Central Illinois
    ^^^Try this first^^^^
    That copper is so thin that it doesnt take much to break the film and once its done its pretty much toast
     

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