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Old 05-22-2004, 08:40 PM   #1
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Default Need help. Compass, gas guage and info center don't work...

My parents have 1994 SSEi that just started having some problems. The compass, gas gauge and information center no longer work. Mom just told me about it yesterday so I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. Besides checking the fuses what else should I look at? I don't want to take it to the dealer and get screwed for a diagnostic charge. Just looking for any thing I can look at/replace myself before we take it to the dealer.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2004, 08:48 PM   #2
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i had a similar prob only mine was with oil pres, fuel, engine temp and the car display and i found it to be a busted ground wire in behind the gauges i would say could check there but it can be a long job sometime you have to remove the dash.
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Old 05-22-2004, 11:22 PM   #3
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bonnie94sse and I are thinkin along the same lines, check the dash cluster. Sometimes the connections get dirty and oxidized. There is an article in TECHINFO, check the link at the top of the page and do a TECHINFO search for 92+ cluster removal. I believe the article was done by acg_ssei.
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Old 05-23-2004, 09:47 PM   #4
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I took the dash apart today and checked it all out. The gauges worked for a little bit and then stopped. All that works now is the tach and the speedometer. :( I'm at my wits end on this. I would check the ground wire if I knew which one it was. The other option is to get a used cluster from a junk yard.

So here'* what I guess I need.
1. What color is the ground wire and where in the wire bundle is it?
2. If I have to get a used cluster, anyone know a reliable place to get one?

Thanks.
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Old 05-24-2004, 12:17 AM   #5
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Old 05-25-2004, 03:11 PM   #6
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Thank you once again for pointing me to the tech article, but I've already used it. Pulled the cluster out, took it apart and put it back together, no difference, it still doesn't work. Not an oxidation problem or solder break. Off to the dealership for some diagnostic work.
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Old 05-25-2004, 05:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1994SSEi
So here'* what I guess I need.
1. What color is the ground wire and where in the wire bundle is it?
2. If I have to get a used cluster, anyone know a reliable place to get one?

Thanks.
I don't think you're going to find just one ground wire back there; I think there are multiple ground paths. It'* hard to say where your problem specifically is, except that since you've apparently knocked out even more circuits now, you must be on the right track.

A couple of things here:

1) Are you sure that you properly reinserted both wiring harness plugs where they go into the back of the cluster? The fact that you have even less working than before, especially all the dead gauges, suggests that a multi-wire plug is loose, since there are very few places where several unrelated circuits come together.

2) When you had the dash cluster out, did you follow through and actually dismantle the individual boards? Unplugging and re-plugging the circuit-board connectors is needed, not just doing an R&R of the gauge cluster as a whole.

3) Is it possible that you didn't get something back together properly? For example, each gauge has four pins that must clip into the circuit board behind it in order to operate. Maybe one or more are not in properly, or a ribbon connector from one board to another got overlooked during reassembly.

I would suggest retracing your steps one more time (all the way through the procedure of removal, disassembly and reassembly) before looking for a junkyard replacement.
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Old 06-14-2004, 12:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acg_ssei
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1994SSEi
So here'* what I guess I need.
1. What color is the ground wire and where in the wire bundle is it?
2. If I have to get a used cluster, anyone know a reliable place to get one?

Thanks.
I don't think you're going to find just one ground wire back there; I think there are multiple ground paths. It'* hard to say where your problem specifically is, except that since you've apparently knocked out even more circuits now, you must be on the right track.

A couple of things here:

1) Are you sure that you properly reinserted both wiring harness plugs where they go into the back of the cluster? The fact that you have even less working than before, especially all the dead gauges, suggests that a multi-wire plug is loose, since there are very few places where several unrelated circuits come together.

2) When you had the dash cluster out, did you follow through and actually dismantle the individual boards? Unplugging and re-plugging the circuit-board connectors is needed, not just doing an R&R of the gauge cluster as a whole.

3) Is it possible that you didn't get something back together properly? For example, each gauge has four pins that must clip into the circuit board behind it in order to operate. Maybe one or more are not in properly, or a ribbon connector from one board to another got overlooked during reassembly.

I would suggest retracing your steps one more time (all the way through the procedure of removal, disassembly and reassembly) before looking for a junkyard replacement.
I went back through the whole document again. I pulled the cluster and removed each one of the circuit boards. Check the ribbon cables, put it all back together and it'* still dead.

I've got a new (used) cluster through a local juke yard. The price was $150. Seemed pretty good considering the dealer wanted $500 for rebuilt and $1500 for new. The first cluster from the yard was a dud. They got me a 2nd one and it worked fine the first time I plugged it in.

Thanks for all of your suggestions and help! Without that tech doc, I would have been up the creek...
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Old 06-14-2004, 12:06 PM   #9
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Nice job! Did you have to have the dealer reprogram the cluster for mileage, or did it just pop up? (I wasn't sure the mileage was stored in the cluster or not)
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Old 06-14-2004, 06:06 PM   #10
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I just popped it in. The milage was off already because a short block was installed 6 years ago and the dealer didn't reprogram it then. It'* now off by 120k, but dad doesn't care. He'* just happy to have the cluster working again.
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