78 Elky Gauges Malfunction - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 00, 4:44 PM Thread Starter
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Dale
 
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Lawton, Oklahoma
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I've got a 78 Elky that I'm having problems with the gauges. Apparently
they are on a circuit board or there's a single feed to power them somehow.
I haven't crawled up under the dash yet so I'm not sure what's up there.

The Elky has the factory gauge package (fuel, volts, oil pres, and water
temp). Not long ago, they started "sticking" and not registering at all. A
light tap on the dash would bring them back so I know it's not a blown fuse.
Lately they won't come back up at all - maybe I banged too hard?

Anyway, what do I look for to get them operational again? Is there a single
wire feed, ground, and do I have to pull the panel to fix it?

Never worked on this "new" stuff before with circuits.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks...

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Dale McIntosh
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 00, 10:55 PM
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Dale sounds like a loose connection. My 78 elky has lights instead of guages (you wanna trade ) Mine has a large plug that slides into a socket and contacts the printed circuit. I have had to clean the contact area to get my cluster to work. Didn't seem to affect the lights just the gas guage. There is also the possiblity that there is a dash panel voltage regulator. They can be a mechincal device and if mal functioning will give you an intermittant problem. Banging on the dash could have freed up the contacts and now they are totally gone.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 00, 10:59 AM
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Dale, there is a connector behind the dash that Philip talked about and the G-body Monte Carlo SS has the same problem and the connector is usually the problem. You will have to pull the cluster to access the plug to clean and tighten the connection. Try pushing on the dash at the top-center of the cluster with the engine running and see if that helps, if it does, the connection is the problem. Look here for more info; www.montecarloss.com .

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Leo Paugh
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[This message has been edited by chev64 (edited 07-29-2000).]



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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 00, 4:34 AM Thread Starter
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chevy64: Gently tapping the top center of the dash pad did bring the gauges back. How hard is it to remove the cluster? Any tricks from underneath or rear? Has tilt column w/automatic, steering wheel need to come off?



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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 00, 6:07 AM
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Dale, I haven't had a G-body cluster out in a while, so I don't remember,but I think I did drop the column and don't forget to unhook the shift indicator cable from the column first. I have a 86 MCSS that I need to do that to as well as some other work so I guess I better get to it. I got that tip from the MCSS site.

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Leo Paugh
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 00, 7:19 PM Thread Starter
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Can anyone give me any starters on dropping the instrument pod on a 78 Elky, or directions to a G-Body site that could help?

Thanks,


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 00, 7:16 AM
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Dale, Try this, I did a quick look up and I think this might help. There are many technical articles on the montecarloss website, go to www.montecarloss.com. and click on Technical info and scroll down to the electrical section. Hope this helps.

[This message has been edited by chev64 (edited 08-08-2000).]

[This message has been edited by chev64 (edited 08-08-2000).]



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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 00, 8:36 AM
 
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Removing the G body dash bezel is fairly easy. There is no need to remove the steering wheel or the steering column. On the outer bezel there are three screws above the instrument cluster and four screws on the bottom. If factory original all of these screws have torx heads. The plastic cover has four screws holding it. The actual instruments are removed by removing 9/32 head screws (sometimes a couple of these will have heads) The instruments simply plug into the circuit card. The clock has a couple of wires attached and the speedo has a click on connector for the speedo cable. The circuit card has four studs with self-locking 10mm nuts. Remove these four 10mm nuts and the circuit card comes out. Good Luck.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 00, 7:24 PM Thread Starter
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Exactly what I needed G-Man...thanks. Apparently it's been into before or the Elkys were different, no torx screws at all. Connector to circuit card is at bottom right of pod. Cleaned it and it's working again...don't know how long, but it's working.

Thanks again all for your help.



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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 00, 8:01 AM
 
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Your welcome. Had my 79 apart several times trying to get my fuel gage to work. I even changed the tank sending unit still didn't work. Got a fuel gage at the wrecking yard and stuck it in darn thing has been working great for almost a year.
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