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Author Topic: Cluster Restoration.  (Read 116769 times)
XH29N0G
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« Reply #150 on: March 09, 2014, 06:58:51 PM »

In pulling and reassembling my cluster a second time, I was checking continuity and found that it was not good after reassembly.  (I have been having issues with continuity to the various gauges.)  What I did (and others can comment whether this is a bad idea) was to remove the nut (pictured below and run the contact surface across fine sandpaper (I used 800 grit) to clean it and hopefully to make a better contact with the copper of the board.  After doing this, I did not have any issues with continuity to and from the gauges.  I will see if issues appear in the next few weeks, but hope this solves the problem.  

Quick update:  I just filled the gas tank and the gauge now reads full rather than 3/4.  I thought I had a sending unit issue.  It appears to have had something to do with the connection of the gas gauge to the board. 


* try51.jpg (10.2 KB, 164x116 - viewed 1976 times.)
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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
Just 6T9 CHGR
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« Reply #151 on: April 05, 2014, 11:49:55 AM »

In pulling and reassembling my cluster a second time, I was checking continuity and found that it was not good after reassembly.  (I have been having issues with continuity to the various gauges.)  What I did (and others can comment whether this is a bad idea) was to remove the nut (pictured below and run the contact surface across fine sandpaper (I used 800 grit) to clean it and hopefully to make a better contact with the copper of the board.  After doing this, I did not have any issues with continuity to and from the gauges.  I will see if issues appear in the next few weeks, but hope this solves the problem. 

Quick update:  I just filled the gas tank and the gauge now reads full rather than 3/4.  I thought I had a sending unit issue.  It appears to have had something to do with the connection of the gas gauge to the board. 

I think this is the same issue I was having with my oil psi gauge.  While cluster was in car I probed the back of the studs with my voltmeter....no continuity so I fugured my gauge was burnt out.

Ordered up a new OER repro (nice piece by the way) & took the cluster out.  While I had gauge out of the cluster, I rechecked the continuity....works perfectly.  i suspect, as well it was the copper contacts.   I will be removing all the gauges now & sanding the copper contacts as well as the backs of the speed nuts this time around thumbs
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resq302
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« Reply #152 on: April 05, 2014, 05:20:39 PM »

I just had a chance to replace my temp gauge with another one that I sent out to have calibrated.  My old original one was reading 30* higher than what it actually was (rather have it read too high than too low!) While my cluster was out I cleaned up all of the contacts on the back of the circuit board.  Hoping the new / re-calibrated gauge is correct when I get a chance to take the car out.

I wonder if a bad connection could make it read too high.   scratchchin  Im sure, if anything, it would have made it read too low.
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Brian
1969 Dodge Charger (factory 4 speed, H code 383 engine,  AACA Senior winner, 2008 Concours d'Elegance participant, 2009 Concours d'Elegance award winner)
1970 Challenger Convert. factory #'s matching red inter. w/ white body.  318 car built 9/28/69 (AACA Senior winner)
1969 Plymough GTX convertible - original sheet metal, #'s matching drivetrain, T3 Honey Bronze, 1 of 701 produced, 1 of 362 with 440 4 bbl - auto
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« Reply #153 on: April 05, 2014, 05:34:43 PM »

I do not know.  I suspect greater resistance will mean less current and a low reading. I also do not know if my change makes sense.   Maybe someone who knows about these things will pipe in.  It seems like we would need a change of a few ohms across the connection to explain the behavior I saw and I do not know if an Al oxide coating could do that.   shruggy  But I think I am seeing a marked change in my gas gauge so I thought I would post it to bring it to people's attention in case it was reproducible.
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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
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« Reply #154 on: April 05, 2014, 05:37:03 PM »

True but like I said, I have not fired up my charger since I've done this so I have no comparison to go by yet. shruggy
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Brian
1969 Dodge Charger (factory 4 speed, H code 383 engine,  AACA Senior winner, 2008 Concours d'Elegance participant, 2009 Concours d'Elegance award winner)
1970 Challenger Convert. factory #'s matching red inter. w/ white body.  318 car built 9/28/69 (AACA Senior winner)
1969 Plymough GTX convertible - original sheet metal, #'s matching drivetrain, T3 Honey Bronze, 1 of 701 produced, 1 of 362 with 440 4 bbl - auto
MxRacer855
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« Reply #155 on: July 28, 2015, 07:29:02 PM »

Hey guys, I just saw this thread and was curious who still does cluster resto's?

I want to get mine redone, but I have no clue who and where to send it out to.  shruggy

Thanks

Jeff
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69_Charger_RT
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« Reply #156 on: July 28, 2015, 09:57:46 PM »

Hey guys, I just saw this thread and was curious who still does cluster resto's?

I want to get mine redone, but I have no clue who and where to send it out to.  shruggy

Thanks

Jeff

Instrument specialities and Redline gauges can do them.  Just google those names  2thumbs
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MxRacer855
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« Reply #157 on: July 29, 2015, 04:54:06 AM »

Thanks 69!
 cheers
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resq302
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« Reply #158 on: July 29, 2015, 08:53:51 AM »

I've had good luck with Performance Car graphics as they can redo / rebuild instrument clusters as well.  They do everything from screening the print on to repairing the gauges and even can rechrome the plastic if needed.
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Brian
1969 Dodge Charger (factory 4 speed, H code 383 engine,  AACA Senior winner, 2008 Concours d'Elegance participant, 2009 Concours d'Elegance award winner)
1970 Challenger Convert. factory #'s matching red inter. w/ white body.  318 car built 9/28/69 (AACA Senior winner)
1969 Plymough GTX convertible - original sheet metal, #'s matching drivetrain, T3 Honey Bronze, 1 of 701 produced, 1 of 362 with 440 4 bbl - auto
69ELPASOCharger
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« Reply #159 on: August 14, 2015, 11:47:11 AM »

Good day. I'm having issues with my gauges and just not knowing what i am doing doesn't help. The fuel gauge doesn't work and none of the instrument panel lights work either. Is there something wired wrong or am I just messing things up? Could use some help on this. Thanks
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XH29N0G
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« Reply #160 on: August 14, 2015, 07:22:58 PM »

There is a lot of information in this thread and elsewhere on checking the different gauges.  I do not know what your background is, and mine is self taught and mostly from people here, so please excuse me if what I write is something you already know.  

Checking gauges:  I believe all the gauges work on a 5 Volt reading for max reading. 12 volt or 9 volt will fry them.  This is outlined on the first page of this thread, and several ways of getting 5 volt power supplies are described throughout.  You also can use three 1.5 volt batteries in series to get 4.5 volts.  This will allow you to check each gauge.  I believe the gauges operate on the principal that the current heats them and then they bend into position.

The amp gauge is the exception and you should be careful with that not to short on it.

Then, if you have a multimeter, you can check for continuity between the gauges and the parts of the board that run them.  If you do not have a multimeter, consider getting one, it is very useful.  You can also check the voltage and whether it is reaching the right places on the cluster.

The types of things that went wrong with my 70 include connections (which can be made by aluminum nuts on the backs of the gauges getting oxidized (they can be sanded lightly), , the bulbs and the connections made by the bulbs, and the switches (like the light switch) being oxidized (I took my switch apart and immersed it in heated vinegar to dissolve some of the corrosion and then rinsed it with a baking soda saturated solution to neutralize the acidity and then coated with light oil.  This seemed to fix my light switch.  The multimeter (ohm meter part) allowed me to check bulbs and a number of connections.

There is a regulator that drops the voltage on the cluster to 5 volts.  I believe it is a mechanical device and can get stuck which can fry the gauges.  I looked up a replacement electronic gauge cluster regulator using the search tool and replaced it.  I think most here would recommend that replacement.

I also found the wiring diagrams in the factory service manual (FSM) very helpful for sorting out electrical issues.

I do not know what else.  There are a number on here who are much better versed than I in this, and they will undoubtedly pipe in.

I think most on here love to see the cars people work on and especially from people just joining.  There are places to do that on the forum.   Twocents  Welcome.
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Who in their right mind would say

"The science should not stand in the way of this."? 

Science is just observation and hypothesis.  Policy stands in the way.........

Or maybe it protects us. 

I suppose it depends on the specific case.....
69ELPASOCharger
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« Reply #161 on: August 20, 2015, 09:46:19 AM »

Mike I see that you are a very datails kind of guy. I would like to know how I can purchase one of your pieces of art you're creating? We can do some kind of exchange or I'm sure we can work something out to make us both happy. Let me know if that is possible ar if there is an exact cost for one of your clusters. Thanks  JR
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« Reply #162 on: August 20, 2015, 12:28:21 PM »

Mike this is JR again. I'm having problems with my dash. My gas gauge doesnt work and none of the lights for my panel light up. On top of all the issues my speedometer jumps all over the place and the high beam bulb connector is broken. The turn signals work, wipers work, the hazard lights flash. The E brake light doesn't work either. Just want to know what provides power to those bulbs? Just not to good with the electrical part of the car and the wiring diagram only tells you part of what you need to know. Thanks again JR
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« Reply #163 on: August 20, 2015, 03:50:20 PM »

Mike I see that you are a very datails kind of guy. I would like to know how I can purchase one of your pieces of art you're creating? We can do some kind of exchange or I'm sure we can work something out to make us both happy. Let me know if that is possible ar if there is an exact cost for one of your clusters. Thanks  JR


Mr. 69ELPASO, Mike hasn't been in the forum since '11.  If I were you, don't get your hopes up that he sees this & wait on him to contact you.


By the looks of things XH will be your best bet for valuable information. 

If you click on a member's username you can see their profile.  Mike has an email address listed.  Perhaps try to contact him through that.  I remember him being a busy guy so good luck.



Seeing all these members chasing after Mike sure has me kicking myself.  I bought over a dozen clusters back in the early '00's with intentions of restoring & reselling to fund my Charger.  Bought the power supply & everything else.  I also pulled all Mike's threads in this post & made a cluster restoration booklet.




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69ELPASOCharger
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« Reply #164 on: August 21, 2015, 08:16:56 AM »

Thanks for the heads up. I just can't seem to get this dash cluster tright so I will just keep trying.
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Dino
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« Reply #165 on: August 21, 2015, 03:06:11 PM »

Thanks for the heads up. I just can't seem to get this dash cluster tright so I will just keep trying.

I restore mine myself.  What's the issue you're having?
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69ELPASOCharger
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« Reply #166 on: August 24, 2015, 10:55:43 AM »

Dino, thanks for asking. Well were do I begin... 1. The fuel gauge doesnt work 2. The lights on the cluster don't turn on 3. The bulb holder for the high beam is broken 4. The speedometer gauge needs to be replaced.  I think that all the issues minus the speedometer issue are linked together. Just so many isues to tackle at one time. I have been reading and I do believe that I will need a voltage limiter to solve my issues. If you have any idea were I can find the high beam bulb holder Please let me know. Well these issues just don't go away so I will keep trying to solve them.

Dino hope you can help. 
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Dino
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« Reply #167 on: August 24, 2015, 11:05:21 AM »

The bulb holders used to be available at parts stored but I'm not sure that's still the case.  You may find them at megapartsusa.com or one of the resto places.

The non functioning dash lights could be either no power feed to the cluster or one or more loose pins on the circuit board.  Even when they feel tight they still may have issues so you can do what I did to mine:  clean the board and solder the pins to the board, both sides.  That solved all my light and gauge issues.  Speedometer gauges can be rebuild, bought used, or bought new.  The latter is a bit costly but they can be found cheap used.  The gauge decals from performancecargraphics.com are very nice and will make the guages look brand new.  I did this on mine a few years back.

The voltage limiter is best replaced with a solid state model from RTE.  I think you need the IVR4 if I recall.  Works just like the original but won't fry the gauges if a oltage spike occurs.

Gauges can be calibrated out of the car so I'd start with taking the cluster apart, clean up what you can, solder and clean the circuit board and get that voltage limiter.  With a few test wires you ca then calibrate each gauge.

You can of course first make sure you are getting power to the circuit board itself.  There may be an issue with the wiring but they are dead simple so a problem is easy to spot.
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« Reply #168 on: August 25, 2015, 04:04:06 AM »

I sure as hell hope that Mike stays in the hole he crawled into back in 2011, because if he does surface I'll find him to wring his neck as he still owes me for several grand worth of parts wich he never forwarded to me.......

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« Reply #169 on: August 25, 2015, 12:08:26 PM »




Wow.  That's screwed up.  I believe you but he sure doesn't seem like the type to do that by reading his posts.

I hope it got lost or something.  Still, that's a lot of $$ to just forget about.

Surprised you haven't publicly hung him yet?   shruggy  He won't even respond to you through email either?

I'm sorry man, that sucks.
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69ELPASOCharger
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« Reply #170 on: August 25, 2015, 12:47:21 PM »

I guess that's why he went into hiding. Thanks to everyone that gave their advice. I will pull the dash out this weekend and see how it goes. Thanks again
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six-tee-nine
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« Reply #171 on: August 25, 2015, 02:04:01 PM »

I'm clueless into what happened to him. He got divorced and moved, changed his phone number and so I lost him. I never ranted off on him because he was a true stand up guy. I bought a shitload of parts wich he stored for me and crated up for shipping by boat to Europe. He never asked for a dime or anything until he just vanished.... Always thought he'd come trough eventually. but its been more than 4 years now. Most of the sheetmetal he still had I bought a second time.....

I can still use that OEM mint condition hurst console 4 speed shift lever among other misc small parts..... Its been so long I dont even get pissed over it anymore.... just dissapointed. The reaction above just slipped out in a moment of weakness I guess...

deep inside I still hope he's OK and just comes around again here to say hello.
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Greetings from Belgium, the beer country

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« Reply #172 on: August 29, 2015, 06:24:38 PM »

Wow, that is surprising.  He always seemed like a good guy.  I hope everything with him is ok.
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Brian
1969 Dodge Charger (factory 4 speed, H code 383 engine,  AACA Senior winner, 2008 Concours d'Elegance participant, 2009 Concours d'Elegance award winner)
1970 Challenger Convert. factory #'s matching red inter. w/ white body.  318 car built 9/28/69 (AACA Senior winner)
1969 Plymough GTX convertible - original sheet metal, #'s matching drivetrain, T3 Honey Bronze, 1 of 701 produced, 1 of 362 with 440 4 bbl - auto
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« Reply #173 on: August 30, 2015, 12:28:23 AM »

Dino, thanks for asking. Well were do I begin... 1. The fuel gauge doesnt work 2. The lights on the cluster don't turn on 3. The bulb holder for the high beam is broken 4. The speedometer gauge needs to be replaced.  I think that all the issues minus the speedometer issue are linked together. Just so many isues to tackle at one time. I have been reading and I do believe that I will need a voltage limiter to solve my issues. If you have any idea were I can find the high beam bulb holder Please let me know. Well these issues just don't go away so I will keep trying to solve them.

Dino hope you can help. 

You and I are having very similar problems. I isolated my gauge issue to the voltage regulator with the cluster out. Its very easy to test the circuit board and gauges with two AA batteries and two pieces of wire. It doesn't tell you if they are accurate or not, but with two AAs, my three gauges all went to about 3/4. And the circuit that runs the three bulbs on the PC board are testable too. I just ordered the VR yesterday off ebay ($59) cuz Dino vouched for it. I've read real good things. Plus, I read that the main cause of "dead gauges" is a bad regulator. But being that your others work, it might be okay. I'd replace it anyway. Just old electromechanic technology that needs updated. And you don't need that compressor barrel thing. I'm very short on cash lately, so the regulator was manageable for now. I also have troubles with the lights on interior/cluster not working. Gonna put some work in tomorrow and hopefully it helps us both. I have a feeling my dimmer might be bad too but its hard to say. Anyway, good luck El Paso. We can fix these Chargers, just read a lot and post a lot lol. And one thing I read a lot is MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS GROUNDED!!!!!  2thumbs
-Mike
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« Reply #174 on: August 30, 2015, 10:46:34 PM »

I edited my thread to remove your quote just in case.   Wink
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