Instrument panel lights and fuel gauge - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-07-2014, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Instrument panel lights and fuel gauge

My '64 ranchero's instrument panel lights and fuel gauge don't work. I replaced the instrument cluster voltage regulator and they worked for a day or two. I figure I have a short somewhere. Any suggestions on how to track it down?

Also, the temperature gauge is working as well as the signal lights, high beam indicator, generator and oil pressure lights. The cab light works too.

Thanks


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 04:00 AM
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Re: Instrument panel lights and fuel gauge

Fuel gage and temp gage are the only things going thru the instrument panel voltage regulator.

If one gage is working, but not the other-----gauge or connection issue.

Fuel gauge---describe "does not work"----read full or read empty all the time???

Reading full is probably a broken wire going back to the tank
Empty-----probably no power------or bad gage
Could also be a rotted out sending unit-----probably.

Instrument lights----powered by the headlight switch and fused.
If all of them are not working---check fuse or you may have some "creative" wiring done in the past. Headlight switch on a Ford is "iffy" at best----might be bad connections on the headlight switch or a bad switch itself. The dash light's power tuns thru a rheostat on the HL switch and if they are not clean they will not work very well---or at all. If the wound wire on the rheostat is broken---may not work either----but might to a certain point.

59 ElCamino-454/5-spd
66 ElCamino-307/5spd
65 Ranchero-289High Performance/4-spd-bought new by my uncle(now with a 302)
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Instrument panel lights and fuel gauge

Fuel gage reads empty. It worked for a few days when the dash lights were working so maybe it is a fuse. Thanks for the direction.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 03:20 AM
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Re: Instrument panel lights and fuel gauge

On the fuel gage----not a fuse if the temp is working.
temp and fuel get the power from the instruments voltage regulator.
Nothing else goes thru that regulator.

reading empty-----could very well be a bad sending unit..might check for a frayed wire somewhere in the harness. The fuel sender wire is a yellow wire that runs into the left kick panel, makes a connection, and then goes off the othe fuel tank. Not sure but I would bet that wire runs under the back seat and goes thru a hole to the tank (I have a Ranchero, wire goes all the way to the taillights and then tot he tank)

The temp and fuel gauges run on about 7volts---do not apply 12 volts
directly to the gauges

Dash lights----completely separated from the gauges
they are powered directly from the headlight switch

one has nothing to do with the other.

59 ElCamino-454/5-spd
66 ElCamino-307/5spd
65 Ranchero-289High Performance/4-spd-bought new by my uncle(now with a 302)
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 03:23 AM
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Re: Instrument panel lights and fuel gauge

Just noticed the front plate on a pic of your car.
You in Texas????----where????

59 ElCamino-454/5-spd
66 ElCamino-307/5spd
65 Ranchero-289High Performance/4-spd-bought new by my uncle(now with a 302)
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Instrument panel lights and fuel gauge

I might have fried the fuel gage by checking it by direct wiring to a 12 v battery. Rookie mistake.

I'm in austin.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Instrument panel lights and fuel gauge

I figured out the panel lights issue. The individual lights weren't grounding to the instrument panel. The lights had a plastic housing with a small metal clip used for ground. Those sucked so I replace all lights with metal housings and everything is working now. Fuel gauge is next.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 04:06 AM
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Re: Instrument panel lights and fuel gauge

Should only be 2 of those plastic light sockets.
One for the alternator and one for the turn signal

The rest of them should be the all metal ones.

As for the fuel

The wire to the fuel sender should be yellow
The connector to this is a 4 wire connector near the steering column between the column and the driver kick panel

There is a 6-way connector and a two way connector
(where the turn wires come out of the column)

The yellow wire in the 6way goes behind the driver kickpanel
and runs all the way back to the left rear bumper bracker area.
(part of the taillight harness)
Should be a connector at the left rear corner of the fuel tank and then the fuel sending connector at the aending unit.

tank (and sending unit) must have a good ground path or the guage
will not work

59 ElCamino-454/5-spd
66 ElCamino-307/5spd
65 Ranchero-289High Performance/4-spd-bought new by my uncle(now with a 302)
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Instrument panel lights and fuel gauge

Thanks for the directions. I'll try to track down the issue this weekend. In the mean time I have been keeping track of fuel consumption the old fashion way. I'm getting 17mpg on average so I track mileage and hope I don't run out! Keeps things interesting.


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