are all Bonnville clusters junk? arghhh!! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-18-2005, 10:20 PM   #1
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Default are all Bonnville clusters junk? arghhh!!

i am so pissed at my car right now!!!

ever since i bought my car the cluster only works intermittently. the speedo, tach, turn signals and idiot lights always work, but the guages, DIC, and compass only work maybe half the time. what really pisses me off is that mileage doesn't count on the odometer when the DIC isn't on, and the trip odometer resets. this is a big problem for me since i deliver pizza in this car and get paid by the mile.

the only thing i have found that 'works' is hitting the top of the dash or the instrument cluster lens. that sometimes makes it turn on. the cluster seems to be losing power or a bad ground.

so today i went to the local salvage yard and bought another instrument cluster from a supercharged '93 Bonneville SE. it has the boost gauge which i didn't really want and obviously don't need, but it was the only one i could find that was similar to mine. the compass isn't auto-calibrating either but that'* not a big deal as long as it works.

well it doesn't work. it seems to have the same problem as my cluster, only more so. i had to squeeze the cluster around the DIC area just to get it to light up and turn the gauges on. so i gave up on that and put my original cluster back in

is there any place at all that fixes these clusters? i don't dare buy another used one as i'm afraid it will have the same problem. on the other hand i'm sure new ones are $$$. is this a common problem and maybe something i could fix myself? the problem is definately in the cluster itself (both of them).

any help greatly appreciated!!! right now i just want to pay off the car and unload it ASAP but that won't happen for another year or so.
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Old 07-18-2005, 10:24 PM   #2
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Old 07-18-2005, 10:37 PM   #3
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thanks for the link! i guess i'm going to start taking this '93 cluster apart and see if i can find anything, clean all connections etc.

btw, i don't suppose i could swap out DICs between clusters could i? the '93 cluster i picked up today has 156,000 miles but my car has 108,000.

thanks again for the quick reply
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Old 07-18-2005, 10:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malibuolds
thanks for the link! i guess i'm going to start taking this '93 cluster apart and see if i can find anything, clean all connections etc.

btw, i don't suppose i could swap out DICs between clusters could i? the '93 cluster i picked up today has 156,000 miles but my car has 108,000.

thanks again for the quick reply
hmm i never really thought of that i doubt that though
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Old 07-18-2005, 10:48 PM   #5
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Ahhh Kenn .. next time give up my pic too. Ur making me type again..lol

Ok here'* a close up on the back side of the cluster. The DIC module is the first green board to the left of the speedo still in the plastic of the cluster. It should be swappable.
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On the other hand. I have a known good 93 cluster US = MPH that is missing the little green board all the way to the left in the cluster. Because anyone that has epileptic temp/oil/boost swaps this board and is all set.

Now back to the real stuff. Do you have water leaks? I doubt you got two clusters that do exacty the same thing. I'm thinking you have bad grounds or wet grounds. There are grounds on the d/* floor that will make everything completely crazy in your car if they get wet.

If you still want the cluster PM me with a low crappy offer + shipping and if I can convince Randman to bring it next trip you'll have it soon.
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:11 PM   #6
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thanks for the pic. i'm taking the '93 cluster apart right now. i may give you an offer on that cluster soon, but i'm going to see if i can find any obvious problems with this one first. do you happen to know the mileage on the cluster?

oh, i've never noticed any water leaks at all, even driving the car in hard rain. but i can squeeze the '93 cluster around the DIC to make it work. as soon as i loosen my grip on it it pops back off again. the '94 cluster (in the car right now) seems to have a mind of it'* own....don't know what'* up with that one yet.
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:27 PM   #7
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130K ish I think...Randman might be a better person to ask.. He'* plugged it in lately. I haven't.
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Old 07-19-2005, 12:08 AM   #8
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well i just completely disassembled the cluster and put it back together. i didn't find anything that was obviously wrong and no signs of cracked solder joints. i cleaned all connections and will have to just try it out again tomarrow.

right now i don't think the DIC display/circuit board is the problem, since the compass and gauges all stop working at the same time. i'm suspecting the trouble is where the cluster plug is soldered to the circuit board (the one behind the DIC). i suppose the only way to prove that theory is to check for continuity between the prongs and the solder joints and try to see if any of them have intermittent connections. thanks again for the help
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Old 07-19-2005, 05:59 PM   #9
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ok took the cluster back out. the '93 cluster (with boost gauge) definately has a problem somewhere in the main circuit board (the circuit board that both dash harnesses plug into). yesterday when i tried this '93 cluster it would not work unless i squeezed the cluster around the DIC area. on the other hand, i really have no idea where the problem is on my '94 cluster.

so today i decided to swap the main circuit board from the '94 cluster into the '93 cluster. that seems to have worked. the cluster works fine without sqeezing it now. also, the '93 cluster now reads the correct mileage. weather it will have the same problems as my '94 cluster remains to be seen. i think it will have problems. IOW i think the main circuit board on both clusters are the problem. the '93 is definately worse though (and it has the wrong mileage).

slowly figuring this stuff out. i'm hoping mix and match parts that will give me a working cluster and the correct odometer reading.
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Old 07-20-2005, 11:20 AM   #10
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that is exactly how I found the epliptic gauge solution. I had heard a few members swapping parts and gave it a try. Certain years may not be swappable, but I believe 92-95 and 97-99 are possible as long as you stay in those year groupings. For example putting a 98 into a 99 or 92 into 95. But not 92 into 97
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