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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, my '96 XJ dash cluster has never worked since
I bought it a few months ago.
The only thing that works is the turn signals and H/L beam indicator.
On the left side, only the Low Washer light works.
4x4 lights have never worked.

Now, at the J/Y, I pulled an identical cluster as well as cut off
the wiring harness pigtail (in case I needed it down the road).
Swapped it out in the Jeep, dielectric grease on the connector,
it did not work either. So a bad ground somewhere is suspect.

So, I have a blank canvas to work with and would like to have
some WORKING gauges for all the obvious reasons.

Do I just go to the Parts Store (or e-bay) and get some gauges
and wire them directly to the source they monitor ?
I think that if I have to plug them into the appropriate wires of the
harness, they will not work - or not be trustworthy.
Only thing I can find on YouTube is how to change the light bulbs.
Looking for some kind of indepth tutorial. . . . am quite sure some
of you guys have done this from scratch.
Thanks !!!!!!!!!
 

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Commenting to follow. I'll be interested to see where this goes.

Why not just check the grounds on the cluster to see where the root of the problem is? If it's a frayed wire somewhere, it'll probably cause more problems later on if left alone.
 

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Best thing to do is get a multimeter. You can use the resistance function to find if you have a broken wire in the circuit of if there is a short in a sensor. Use the voltage function to see if you actually have power coming to some of the gages. Multimeters are simple tools to use, and if used properly, can lead you to the source of the problem.

If you have never used one before, there are youtube tutorials that you can watch to get a good idea. I'll say one thing to add to whatever you may find, it is best to unplug a harness when testing it for continuity from one end to the other to get a true reading. An example would be a length of wire between two harnesses: you would want to unplug them from each end if you you were searching for a broken wire in between the two points and testing for continuity, you may not always be able to visibly see the wire to examine it, hence why you would unplug it and check for continuity at both ends.

Using the continuity will also be helpful in determining if you have a bad ground, you will need to find a wiring diagram for the gage cluster in order to find exactly where to test, or our wiring guru Gluck might be able to provide you with one. That combined with the multimeter will help you find where your issue is.

Im not sure if you had another post on this or not, but I know somebody was asking about this swap, so here's some good info regardless. If you are switching from the gage cluster with idiot lights to the one with actual gages, some of the sensors under the hood will need to be swapped to actual range sensors rather than switches so that they function properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
some of the sensors under the hood will need to be swapped to actual range sensors rather than switches so that they function properly.
This is what I want to do - have actual operating sensors and gauges.
I know this will take some time, even a "one-by-one" approach will greatly
enhance the dependability of the car. As I said, NONE of the gauges work now
so there will be no "down time" between gauge installations.
Searching the auto parts on line now for the combination gauge/sensor kits.
Thanks
 

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The only "under the hood" sensors that need changed are the oil and rear temp.

Now, prepare for your head to explode!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just got over the INTIMIDATION FACTOR and completely dissembled one
of the clusters . . . Cleaned the circuit board tape with alcohol, cleaned all
the light socket connections, applied dielectric grease to all parts that make
electrical contact. After a short while, I said - this is not as bad as I made it out to be.
Just now plugged it in - no gauges worked - but all the lights did !!!
so that is a step in the right direction.
Tomorrow, I will get a long pig tail to the leads of my multi-meter and test
all the pins for continuity. Also, I will run an independent wire solo from the
battery directly to the cluster ground and see how that goes.
time for dinner now.
But, I really do want to have actual gauges soon. If I can get the cluster
working, I can just grab a quick sigh - and move on LOL LOL
THANKS for the schematics !! It's not as intimidating as it looks.
Johnny
 

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The only "under the hood" sensors that need changed are the oil and rear temp.

Now, prepare for your head to explode!
I am upgrading my 96 Cherokee SE 4.0L from dummy lights to gauges. I bought a used instrument cluster (with gauges) online, and now need to replace the temp and oil pressure sending units. I think I have confirmed that the coolant temp part I need is Mopar 56027012. But I have been unable to confirm the oil pressure part. It appears to be either Mopar 56026779 or 56031003. My fear is I'll order the part and end up with the same dummy light sending unit. Any help would be appreciated.
 
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