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Old 05-15-2019, 05:01 PM   #1
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S13 Gauge Cluster Issues - Self Inflicted

Hey everyone. So long story short, left the key in the ON position, with a jump box hooked up to the battery and ended up frying my MSD ignition and apparently some of my gauges. Ignition has been replaced and the car is now running. The following gauges are now not working: gas, water temp, digital HUD. My tachometer does still work fine.

My assumption is that I fried/blew something. So far, I have checked all fuses, which seem fine. I have also, to the best of my ability, checked the fuse box under the dash with a multi-meter to determine if they are receiving power, which they all were.

My questions are, where should I even start? What things would have been likely to break, that would cause those three gauges not to work? Should I just remove the whole dash to inspect? Just not sure where to start diagnosing the issue.

Thanks!

- Derek
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:06 PM   #2
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Did you remove the cluster and look at it?

Have a great day,
jared
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:59 PM   #3
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I have not taken the cluster out yet. Is that where I should start?
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:00 PM   #4
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start checking for fried wiring at the back of the cluster. you may have burnt the printed circuit board.

your best bet will be to get a FSM and look at the actual wiring diagrams
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:17 PM   #5
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Got it, thanks guys! About to tear into this. I'll update with my findings.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:32 PM   #6
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OK, so no obviously burnt/fried wires. Nothing looks broken.

Is there a test I can do to determine if the circuit board is fried? Just swap it with another one that works?
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:36 PM   #7
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OK, so no obviously burnt/fried wires. Nothing looks broken.

Is there a test I can do to determine if the circuit board is fried? Just swap it with another one that works?
you need a voltmeter or circuit tester. I prefer a power probe
https://www.amazon.com/Power-Probe-I...60908451&psc=1
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:35 PM   #8
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Ok, so I'm using a multi-meter (set to DC volts). Kind of a noob question, but should I be testing the wires or the circuits? and should I be testing them with the key in the ACC position or the ON position? Found the link below, which seems to explain what each wire is. So I'm hoping i can just test the wires specified in the links diagram, that relate to the gauges I'm having issues with? Is my head in the right place? Thanks!

https://forums.nicoclub.com/how-to-f...s-t526276.html
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Old 05-18-2019, 11:12 AM   #9
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If one is new to diag then a power probe is a VERY bad idea.

Have a great day,
jared
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:09 AM   #10
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so after messing with the dash for a bit last night (unplugging and cleaning some ports) i was able to get the digital speedo to register intermittently. it would blink on for about a second, then off for about 2 seconds, but seemed to be displaying the speed accurately. I also through some fuel in it, which did register on the gas gauge. the water temp gauge still did nothing.

would this be indicative of a bad ground?
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:10 AM   #11
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so after messing with the dash for a bit last night (unplugging and cleaning some ports) i was able to get the digital speedo to register intermittently. it would blink on for about a second, then off for about 2 seconds, but seemed to be displaying the speed accurately. I also through some fuel in it, which did register on the gas gauge. the water temp gauge still did nothing.

would this be indicative of a bad ground?
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkicker10 View Post
so after messing with the dash for a bit last night (unplugging and cleaning some ports) i was able to get the digital speedo to register intermittently. it would blink on for about a second, then off for about 2 seconds, but seemed to be displaying the speed accurately. I also through some fuel in it, which did register on the gas gauge. the water temp gauge still did nothing.

would this be indicative of a bad ground?
It's a short of some sort. Most likely a ground as you mentioned. With all connectors plugged in wiggle each wire and see if it affects the dash. Do that with all wires.

Have a great day,
jared
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:19 PM   #13
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thanks for the replay man! i will definitely check that out this weekend and report back.

is it possible for a bad ground to also be messing with my a/f gauge and aftermarket water temp gauge, assuming they are tied to the same ground wire? I have not verified whether or not they have individual grounds. but im also having issues with those gauges and im wondering if its not all related to one improper ground.

Thanks!!
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:29 PM   #14
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You can always try grounding them separately from the cluster. They should be anyhow.

Have a great day,
jared
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:41 AM   #15
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sorry for the delayed reply, been busy. i ended up tearing the dash out, and found what i believe is the issue. i found a burned out inline fuse (not just popped but straight melted!), which was powering all of the aftermarket gauges.

Since then, i have installed all new gauges, wired and grounded them properly, and all is working fine!

The speedo is still a little funky and only works intermittently, and the factory water temp gauge still doesn't work, despite a new coolant temp sensor (CTS). I think this is a separate issue altogether though. Next step for me is to verify the wires on the harness that run from the coolant sensor to the dash, im thinking its just not getting power.

Appreciate all the help!!
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