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Old 07-24-2010, 01:50 PM   #1
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Instrument Cluster - Fuel Level Guage

Went behind my cluster today to see if the speedo cable came loose and when I reassembled everything the fuel level gauge don't work...... I reconnected everything I disconnected but I see a black wire coming from the rear of cluster connected to a nut and has a 1-pin slide in connector on the end of it but can't find anything in the dash to hook it up to....I don't know if I possibly yanked the cluster too hard and pulled the connection or what.Also I see a green connector and a regular connector coming from the same harness that the cluster's 2 connector harnesses come from but can't find where either the 2 loose connectors go...Can anyone help me with my problem?
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:16 PM   #2
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black wires are usually grounds , did you tried to ground it to see if it works ?
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:25 PM   #3
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Yes, the black is a ground and needs hooked back up. The fuel level wire is yellow with a red stripe. Not sure on the connectors.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:05 PM   #4
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tried grounding it to the tranny shifter and still nothing
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
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The black wire doesn't need to be connected to anything (it is an AC connection), for the gauges to work. If you ground that wire, it supposedly makes it so the cluster won't work at all....not sure if it fries it permanently, or just temporarily.
The only wires that have anything to do with the fuel gauge are in the 2 connectors that plug into the cluster.
One of your loose connectors probably went to the seatbelt buzzer. Does the connector contain 2 female spade connectors orientated like this --| ? Oops, ignore the last 2 sentences....the seat belt buzzer wires connect to the backside of the cluster itself, they don't go into the wiring harness.
Can't remember offhand what the green connector goes to....maybe a driving lights switch or rear defroster switch.
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Last edited by skyhiranger; 07-24-2010 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyhiranger View Post
The black wire doesn't need to be connected to anything (it is an AC connection), for the gauges to work. If you ground that wire, it supposedly makes it so the cluster won't work at all....not sure if it fries it permanently, or just temporarily.
The only wires that have anything to do with the fuel gauge are in the 2 connectors that plug into the cluster.
One of your loose connectors probably went to the seatbelt buzzer. Does the connector contain 2 female spade connectors orientated like this --| ? Oops, ignore the last 2 sentences....the seat belt buzzer wires connect to the backside of the cluster itself, they don't go into the wiring harness.
Can't remember offhand what the green connector goes to....maybe a driving lights switch or rear defroster switch.
Yes its a 2-pin connector the normal one that comes from the harness...so the fuel level gauge works through the 2 plug in connectors at either end of the cluster...so whats my next step into getting it to work?
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:11 AM   #7
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Yes, all fuel gauge connections go through the 8 pin and 12 pin connectors on the backside of the cluster.

Test the gauge, test the wires, test the sending unit. You have a fault in at least one of them.

For the gauge....see if you are getting power to one side (check for power on the gauge pin on the backside of the cluster, with the key in run), the other side (pin) has the wire from the sending unit going to it (it should be a yellow/red wire that goes into position 15 of the 8 pin plug). The resistance coming from the sending unit varies as the fuel sending unit sweeper arm goes up and down and that is what changes the gauge reading. If you had a potentiometer you could hook that up to the side of the gauge that the yellow/red wire hooks to and slowly vary the resistance and see if the gauge changes. But for a quick check, if you ground the pin on the gauge that the yellow/red connects to, then the gauge should slowly rise to "full" (you will need to have 12V on the other pin of the gauge....either by having the cluster plugs plugged in and turning the key to run, or by hooking up a 12V wire directly to that pin on the gauge.

For the sending unit....if you can remember about how much gas you have in the tank, you can check the yellow/red wire coming from it for resistance. The resistance should be as follows....
E....110 ohms, +/-7 ohms.
F....3 ohms, +/- 2 ohms.
1/2...32.5 ohms, +/- 4 ohms.
You can check this wire either back at the tank, or at the instrument cluster plug, or at the gauge itself. I would start at the gauge itself and if it checks out like it should (somewhere between 117 ohms and 1 ohm...depending on how much gas you have in the tank), you know it is good. If it doesn't, move to the cluster plug, then to the tank.

For the wires....if you are getting 12V to one side of the gauge, then you know the +12V wire is good (check for voltage on the pin on the gauge). If you test the other pin of the gauge, on the back of the instrument cluster, for resistance, and it corresponds approximately with the appropriate ohm reading for how much fuel you have in the tank, then that wire should be good too, all the way from the sending unit up to the gauge.

Of course, all of these tesing procedures are in the FSM, I suggest you find you a copy.
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:08 PM   #8
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I have an '88.5 and two '87's... all three have a single black wire going to chassis ground. YMMV.

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Old 11-24-2010, 04:05 PM   #9
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:25 PM   #10
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Fixed it for ya, Sarge.
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