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Offline CRUISEWAGON77

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Bench testing gauge cluster circuit board
« on: February 23, 2014, 07:02:00 PM »
I was wondering if anyone could tell me how to bench test my newly acquired gauge cluster to ensure all the lights work.  I plugged it in and the tach doesn't seem to light up real well (even though I put good bulbs in it).  I looked in the factory manual but it was pretty vague on the wiring.  I would like to hook up some power to it so I can determine why it is/isn't working.


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Bought brand new by my Dad, 36yr OLD STOCK WAGON.  CAME AS YOU SEE IT, soon to have some bolt on goodies.

Offline dianne

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Re: Bench testing gauge cluster circuit board
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 09:19:41 AM »
Have the same problem in my Galaxie. I just hot-wired around the bulb that was wasn't getting enough electricity. You may have to do the same I guess.
Vehicles:

- 1972 Plymouth Duster (To be a Pro Street)
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- 1976 Mustang II mini-stock
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- 1979 Ford Pinto Runabout
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Offline amc49

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Re: Bench testing gauge cluster circuit board
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 10:50:51 AM »
You do realize there can be more than one wattage of bulb fit in there right? From not enough light to too much and melt the socket. You can also get around low light by using a pencil eraser on the bulb contact are as well. Run a voltmeter over the printed strip from end to end and see if it has unusually high resistance there, that would lower power to the bulb.

You simply run down a wiring diagram and it will tell you ground and power inputs into the gauge pack. The gauges are cut down from 12 volts to 5 I'm thinking, do not apply full 12 volt to them or fry city. The bulbs are usually straight 12 volts. There is a voltage dropping resistor on the pack to lower power to the gauges so look for that and the lower amount comes after power goes through it.

Offline CRUISEWAGON77

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Re: Bench testing gauge cluster circuit board
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 09:46:22 PM »
I took what appeared to be a good bulb (or two) from the old cluster and put it in the new one.  Nothing changed.  I figured the panel had a voltage reducer, just didn't know what it was.  I will try the contact thing to see if that changes anything.

Thanks.
Bought brand new by my Dad, 36yr OLD STOCK WAGON.  CAME AS YOU SEE IT, soon to have some bolt on goodies.

Offline amc49

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Re: Bench testing gauge cluster circuit board
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 03:41:51 AM »
Look for two pins sticking up out of the unit with what looks like a flat wire wound coil pressed onto them, that is the regulator.

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Bench testing gauge cluster circuit board
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 07:50:22 PM »
The resistor may be enclosed in a rectangular tin case with 2 studs protruding as well
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Offline amc49

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Re: Bench testing gauge cluster circuit board
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 09:28:22 PM »
Yes, that sounds like it as well.......... .......

Offline walker46

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Re: Bench testing gauge cluster circuit board
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2014, 09:03:14 PM »
Where do I get a gauge cluster for my 1977 wagon with a 2.3?

Offline jonz2pinto

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Re: Bench testing gauge cluster circuit board
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2014, 09:42:50 PM »
I changed my 78 v6 hatch dash to the 110mph gauge cluster and had alt light keep coming on.alternater and battery were fine.well i finally figured out the circuit board was was wired differently and the alt lights were reversed.ended up i head an oil leak after switching to synthetic blend of oil.ending up with arod knocking.just to let you know.
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