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Old 10-18-2010, 01:05 PM   #1
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Default tach, speedo, oil not working.

So I fired up my car last night after it being in pieces for a while.

Now my dash lights up, all my indicators work, but my gauges don't read anything. My speedo, tach, and oil pressure are doing absolutely nothing. Fuel gauge is fine. I also have not messed with the cluster. It was put in a box immediately after pulling where it has just sat on a shelf.

I have a few questions.

1. How many wires plug into the cluster?

I have two long thin connectors, one white and one black, that plug into the the left and right sides plus the speedo cable. Did I miss something?

2. Are these things fused anywhere?

Could a popped fuse be the culprit?

3. Anyone have a layout of what these connectors do, or a more in detail cluster removal "how to"?

I'm using the dash removal pdf from m.net. It was great in getting it out of the car. It severely lacks in explaining anything. It also doesn't show a lot of the connectors so I have been just looking for what fits where.

The only other thing that is not working is the alarm. The car runs and sounds just fine. I don't see any unused connectors but I could be mistaken. Its a chore getting under the dash for me. My shoulders are almost too wide to get in the foot well at any sort of useful angle.

My suspicion is that this is something simple I overlooked being that all three gauges are not working. Everything was fine before pulling the dash.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:05 PM   #2
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meter fuse?
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
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I'll check it out. It lights up though... So unless I'm mistaken, which is quite possible, it should be good.

Could it be a ground issue?

I'm going to check if my speedo wire is plugged in on the firewall side later. Its defiantly in the cluster, but maybe it fell out back when I was fitting the dash.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:34 PM   #4
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meter fuse powers the gauges themselves, not the lights.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:48 PM   #5
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Since your speedo isn't working, I'm going to assume that you have a '99 or later car.

Why dont you help us help you, put your car in your sig. Difference between a '94 and a '99 is HUGE in terms of your gauges.

If it turns out to NOT be the meter fuse:

The most important ground strap for your gauges links between the bolt that secures your dipstick to the trans plate, and the firewall where the horizontal body color plate beneath your brake master cylinder meets the vertical firewall. That ground strap is 6-8 inches long, and secured by small bolts w/10mm heads on both ends.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:06 PM   #6
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Sorry. I forgot that bit of relevant info. The car is a 1990. It doesn't help that my wiring harness is a mess under the column due to a sloppy alarm install by the PO. Also the new dash was from a 93 with some options mine did not have. I have not touched anything under the hood as of yet. So I'm thinking the ground by the dipstick should be sound. Everything was working great before the dash removal.

I'll check the fuse for the oil and tach and recheck the speedo cable.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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indeed, the speedometer function on a pre-99 car will be completely independent of any other gauge functioning.

IIRC, You should have 3 things that plug into the instrument cluster, a little plug, a big plug, and a speedo cable.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:02 PM   #8
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Okay well the three connectors are plugged into the cluster as well as they are going to be.

I found the meter fuse, using this diagram linked from m.net, and still no luck. It was not blown but I swapped it anyways.

http://forum.miata.net/vb/attachment...chmentid=49226

The weirdest thing happened when I was changing the fuse. I accidentally put the fuse in the wrong spot, like only one half was in the right spot, and my alarm started working again... The gauges did not work though.

What else could be the culprit? Is that meter fuse apart of a bigger circuit? I put one of those light up fuses incase it blows. This way I'll atleast know I have a short.

Anyone know where that fuse or the whole fuse box is grounded?

This is really annoying
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:27 AM   #9
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Check the back of the cluster adn see if the green plastic what ever its called is ok. I had something similar happen and I burnt one of the lines (lack of a better word). It ended up beeing a ground. All I did was find the correct screw and made a jumper to the proper wire and all was good again. Worth a try.

Have a great day,
Jared
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:15 AM   #10
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dude, for serious, put your damn location in your profile. ****, you could literally be right up the street from me, and I'd never know it. I'd come out and fix it for you for the price of a beer.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:54 AM   #11
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Location updated.

I'll check the cluster to see if anything funky is going on.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:45 PM   #12
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damn....it'd have to be one helluva beer...
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:45 PM   #13
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if the speedo isnt working wouldnt the cable be unplugged? It could look like it is but the cable might not be fully pushed in. It might be worth taking it off, jacking the back of the car up and turning the rears tires to change where the speedo cable is clocked. Jared is right, if the printed circuit board (green thing) has been compromised it wont wo.rk. By compromised I mean, a tear threw it or one of the lines broken. It should be pretty easy to spot if something like that was wrong
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:47 PM   #14
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das boot?
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:49 PM   #15
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There is 2 big ones not one and a little one(for the rear defroster) and the cable. Assuming both big *** ones are hooked up there is a problem in your wiring or fuse.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:52 PM   #16
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If the speedo gear cable is connected to the tranny, then there shouldnt really be a way for it to not be connected correctly at that end. The gauge cluster end, however, is a real PITA to get connected right.

You can remove the tranny end of the cable and attach a variable speed drill to it (with the car on or off, doesnt matter) and with the drill in reverse, activate the drill slowly, and the speedometer should move.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:03 PM   #17
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I meant to get the cable to line up with the socket in the back of the cluster. The OP said it was out of a 93, so who knows, I just dont think it is lined up and not seated all the way in the cluster
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:26 PM   #18
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if it pulls out easy, it's not seated right, like i said, it should be a PITA to get it fully seated in the cluster because the line is just too short to give you room to get your hands back in there. If it pulls out freely when you pull the cluster away, it's not properly seated, and that's the reason it's malfunctioning.
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:20 PM   #19
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I get what your sayin now, sorry I was too tired to understand last night. But yeah, you are right. The speedo not working has nothing to do with electronics, its a mechanical driven speedo. Granted I dont know **** about the new stuff, "indeed, the speedometer
function on a pre-99 car will be completely independent of any other gauge functioning." so does that mean a 99 and later has an electronic sending unit? And whats the deal OP you fix the problem?
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:56 PM   #20
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yes, 99 and later cars use an electronic speed sensor
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