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Old February 10th, 2020, 04:10
brap999 brap999 is offline
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Gauge cluster issue

I recently picked up a '99 XJ. I'm trying to get it street legal and to pass the state inspection here. One of the issues that came up recently was that when I started the XJ and turn the head lights on the gauge cluster wasn't working, and the airbag light was on. If I turn the headlights off and then back on again everything starts working and the problem doesn't come back as long as it continues running. It seems to happen randomly and I can't consistently reproduce the problem.

One day when I was test driving it the gauge cluster was working, but the airbag light was going on and off randomly. I'm not sure if that's related or not. It doesn't happen that often.

I'm not sure where to start on this problem other than to try to throw another gauge cluster on it, but I have to wonder if there is a better fix. Thoughts?
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Old February 10th, 2020, 05:15
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BigNuge BigNuge is offline
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Gauge cluster issue

I have read that the cluster being wonky is a somewhat common issue with the later model XJís. In fact, when I was looking at one (a 2000 that I didnít buy because it was rotted to death) it had a cluster that came in and out during the test drive.

From what Iíve read it is a pretty simple fix involving removing the cluster and cleaning up contacts.


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Old February 10th, 2020, 05:40
RCP Phx RCP Phx is offline
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Re: Gauge cluster issue

The air bag light may or may not have anything to do with the cluster issue. Usually the air bag light is related to the clock-spring failure but since they're both contained w/i the same column harness...........
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Old February 10th, 2020, 07:46
xjnp242 xjnp242 is offline
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Re: Gauge cluster issue

My gauge cluster has gone bananas a few times in the 20 years since i've owned my xj.
Removing the cluster and making sure there's no bent, dirty or corroded connector pins has always fixed it. Basically just re-seating the cluster.

In your case you've got something going on with the headlights which is affecting the cluster.
Before diving in too deep, i'd check better yet remove and clean all the grounds to the engine, chassis and firewall.
Its also possible there's a flaky fuse or corroded fuse socket causing intermittent issues.
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Old June 26th, 2020, 13:25
QuandAns42 QuandAns42 is offline
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Re: Gauge cluster issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by xjnp242 View Post
My gauge cluster has gone bananas a few times in the 20 years since i've owned my xj.
Removing the cluster and making sure there's no bent, dirty or corroded connector pins has always fixed it. Basically just re-seating the cluster.

In your case you've got something going on with the headlights which is affecting the cluster.
Before diving in too deep, i'd check better yet remove and clean all the grounds to the engine, chassis and firewall.
Its also possible there's a flaky fuse or corroded fuse socket causing intermittent issues.
I keep my fire alarm batteries going by shaking them aggressively and cleaning the contacts when they start to beep... it works for a surprisingly long time. Unfortunately I didn't think to try that with my cluster. My understanding is that problems like these are usually degenerative, and that was certainly my situation. It started out occasional and eventually it just died entirely.
It's great you've been able to limp by for so long, but I would be worried about depending on that method long term. Since I got mine replaced, no issues whatsoever, so I can throw that suggestion into the hat. Got good help from these guys, https://www.instrumentclusterstore.c...t_clusters.htm
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Old June 26th, 2020, 16:06
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Tim_MN Tim_MN is offline
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Re: Gauge cluster issue

My "new" 98 just started doing this.

When the cluster goes out and the airbag light comes ON, slap the top of the dash with the heel of your hand. If the cluster instantly comes back ON, cleaning the contacts almost always solves the issue.
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Last edited by Tim_MN; June 26th, 2020 at 16:10.
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