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Center gauge and door chime problems 1981

 
Old 08-26-2018, 12:41 AM
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shaun8484
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Default Center gauge and door chime problems 1981

So I finally got around to installing my new head unit and rewiring my speakers. Now it sounds great, however, none of my center gauges work and the only way to get the door chime to go off is to connect the seatbelt. I thought the big connector clip that plugs in behind the gauges only goes one way but is it possible i put it in upside down? As far as the door chime...I have no idea. I read some posts about lubing the key and put it in and out of the ignition cylinder but even after I shut the car off, it still goes off for a period of time. It sounds like it would last as long as the courtesy timer keeps the lights on. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. And the car is an 81 and everything worked prior to radio swap. I also had a head unit in there so no other wires were spliced or touched other than radio wires. TIA!
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:42 AM
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Rotonda
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In my 77, the center gauges plug is wired as follows:
Passengers side top to bottom
black (ground)
green
pink w black or white stripe (this goes to my seat belt timer & buzzer and Key Warning buzzer)
empty
empty
orange

Drivers side top to bottom
gray
pink
yellow
black (ground)
brown
dk blue
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:29 AM
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Street Rat
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I'm putting some replacement gauges in my '81. The connector should only go one way unless Bubba has been there.I haven't got it all connected yet. Here is the connector. I think you have a hot wire powering the chime somehow. Check the gauge fuse first and an the possibility of a reversed connector. You may have hit a hot to a ground and blown the fuse. Be sure to always disconnect the battery before working on electrical items.

Craig

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Old 08-27-2018, 03:59 AM
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I agree the connector should only go in one way. Just be sure that the PCB on the gauges in in good condition especially around the connector. I had problems with mine in that area. (left the lights on but switched the ignition off and the engine stayed running&#128514
Could also be a poor ground so may need to check that
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:47 AM
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Thanks for the info and pics everyone. I am going to try to work on it tomorrow at some point and hope its an easy fix. Is there an easy way to tell if the control board is bad? And if it is, is it hard to replace?
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Old 08-28-2018, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by shaun8484 View Post
Thanks for the info and pics everyone. I am going to try to work on it tomorrow at some point and hope its an easy fix. Is there an easy way to tell if the control board is bad? And if it is, is it hard to replace?
If it's bad you'll see the copper tracks are starting to come away from the plastic.
Easy job to do.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:33 AM
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Finally going to pull this apart today to try to figure it out. I forgot to mention that I had put LED bulbs in the center gauges, that wouldn't have anything to do with it would it?
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:31 PM
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Have LEDs in mine.no issues.
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Old 09-01-2018, 06:45 PM
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SwampeastMike
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Don't forget to check the GAUGES fuse. It's way up high in the box and extremely difficult to see/access.

Check the "fingers" in the printed circuit where the connector goes in. They are prone to loosening and shorting against one another. Applied very carefully, gel type superglue will hold them into place. Replacement circuits are readily available in, in my opinion, superior in quality. The only problem is that they are significantly thinner and the low fuel warning module may not connect securely. Install a piece of thin cardboard (like the back of a notepad) between the metal body and the circuit and the module will fit in tightly.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:47 AM
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Unfortunately, I have not had the time to even look at this with everything I have going on. I did however take her for a quick spin around the block the other day and not only do the gauges not work, now that radio doesn't even work and the rear deforest will only come on if I push it up hard and hold it. Once I release pressure the light goes out...Im so lost and have no time to even look at it. Does these extra problems narrow it down at all? Hopefully it is just a fuse.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:37 PM
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So I finally got to work on her today. Everything now works except the temp gauge and the fuel gauge and the seatbelt light. Any ideas?
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by shaun8484 View Post
So I finally got to work on her today. Everything now works except the temp gauge and the fuel gauge and the seatbelt light. Any ideas?
Have you replaced the printed circuit?
What is the temp guage doing? This can narrow it down a lot.
Are you still using LEDs for the lights? If you are have you tried turning them around? Most LEDs only work one way.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Antz81 View Post
Have you replaced the printed circuit?
What is the temp guage doing? This can narrow it down a lot.
Are you still using LEDs for the lights? If you are have you tried turning them around? Most LEDs only work one way.
Antz, I did not replace the PCB, the only thing I did was check to make sure all the fingers were good and the board was not pulling away from itself or broken. My only concern with the board was the top, passenger side finger of the board was not "glued down". but I thought as long as the big clip was in it would have pushed it down. Also, the clip was very hard to push it and now that I think about it, the top part of the clip may not even be pushed in all the way. As far as the LEDs, they are all working just fine. The temp gauge wasn't doing anything, nor was the fuel gauge, which reads empty (and its not).
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Old 03-02-2019, 09:10 AM
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So Just a follow up, I got the chime to stop by sliding the key in and out with a small dab of white lithium grease, so that works great now. The top of the plug for the center gauges was not clipped all the way in at the top so I have clipped that in, however it does not appear that the fuel gauge or the temp gauge are working, unless I didn't let it run long enough and I am actually out of gas. The copper or brass part of the PCB fingers has come away from the board itself, could this be the issue? Would anyone recommend just replacing the PCB anyway due to age and to just rule it out of the equation? Thanks for the advice everyone.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:03 PM
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ok, good news and bad news. Well not necessarily bad i guess but anyway, took the 81 for a ride to get some gas...turns out the gas gauge DOES work, I just had NO gas. Temp gauge still doesnt work though. I did buy a new PCB from Wilcox and will install that, hopefully that will fix the problem. As far as the door chime goes, not only does it no longer go off when it shouldn't, it no longer goes off when it should....

Last edited by shaun8484; 03-12-2019 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by shaun8484 View Post
ok, good news and bad news. Well not necessarily bad i guess but anyway, took the 81 for a ride to get some gas...turns out the gas gauge DOES work, I just had NO gas. Temp gauge still doesnt work though. I did buy a new PCB from Wilcox and will install that, hopefully that will fix the problem. As far as the door chime goes, not only does it no longer go off when it shouldn't, it no longer goes off when it should....
I've asked this before but never got the answer I was looking for, what does coolant gauge do? The position of the needle can be used to narrow down what the issue is. New pcb may help, but may not. When I replaced mine it was in a similar condition to what you have described, except the fingers were occasionally shorting to each other giving me a problem when I turned the engine off but left the lights on.
As far as the door chime i just had an issue with mine, where it would randomly start buzzing for no reason giving me a flat battery. Found all of the terminals on it were loose causing it to do strange things. I don't believe there is a replacement available, and repairing the loose connections is not the easiest unless you are good with a soldering iron.
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