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 Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation

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CrusinDan
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Name : Dan Shields
Location : Central Florida
Joined : 2017-03-12
Post Count : 17
Merit : 5

Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation Empty
PostSubject: Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation   Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation EmptyTue Feb 06, 2018 3:06 pm

The instrument panel (Gauges, odometer, tach) works sometimes but will go dark and then come back on. This is on Jim's 1995 that has been stored in the garage for a while. I am thinking it is likely either a loose connection in the power supply, or a bad ground, but is there someplace in particular that I should check first?

Thanks,
Dan
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albertj
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albertj


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Location : Finger Lakes of New York State
Joined : 2007-05-31
Post Count : 8311
Merit : 173

Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation Empty
PostSubject: Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation   Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation EmptyTue Feb 06, 2018 5:44 pm

You can get to the backs of the gauges by removing the trim off the face of the instrument cluster. Some people can remove the lower dash trim and reach up into the mess of wires, if their hands/arms are slender enough. If going in from the top, also you may want to remove the steering wheel clamshell but be careful not to break the bosses.

I am thinking rodent damage, maybe.

Thinking about it more, it would be a *real* good idea for you to get a factory service manual.

Albertj
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CrusinDan
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Name : Dan Shields
Location : Central Florida
Joined : 2017-03-12
Post Count : 17
Merit : 5

Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation Empty
PostSubject: Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation   Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation EmptyTue Feb 06, 2018 5:57 pm

Albert,

Thanks for the quick reply and guidance, on this and the wiper issue. I'll take a look next time I can get over to where the car is. Haven't seen any evidence of rodents, but now I know how to get access.

Dan
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CrusinDan
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Name : Dan Shields
Location : Central Florida
Joined : 2017-03-12
Post Count : 17
Merit : 5

Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation Empty
PostSubject: Update   Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation EmptySun Feb 11, 2018 1:49 pm

Visited the Riviera yesterday. Saw no evidence of rodent damage or other wiring issues behind the dash. I could not figure out how to remove any of the dashboard trim panels and didn't want to break any plastic tabs, but I got a good look from underneath. Since the instrument panel issue has been intermittent, I tried wiggling all the fuses, relays, etc. while someone watched the instrument panel.  All the gauges and OD came back on and stayed on when I wiggled one of the fuse/relay panels up in the right front corner of the engine compartment. So it looks like we had a dirty contact there.

Dan
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albertj
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albertj


Name :
Location : Finger Lakes of New York State
Joined : 2007-05-31
Post Count : 8311
Merit : 173

Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation Empty
PostSubject: Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation   Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation EmptySun Feb 11, 2018 4:01 pm

CrusinDan wrote:
Visited the Riviera yesterday. Saw no evidence of rodent damage or other wiring issues behind the dash. I could not figure out how to remove any of the dashboard trim panels and didn't want to break any plastic tabs, but I got a good look from underneath. Since the instrument panel issue has been intermittent, I tried wiggling all the fuses, relays, etc. while someone watched the instrument panel.  All the gauges and OD came back on and stayed on when I wiggled one of the fuse/relay panels up in the right front corner of the engine compartment. So it looks like we had a dirty contact there.

Dan

I wish I'd thought of that.

It would not be a waste of time to pull that fuse/relay pod and reattach it/its relays with conductive grease or tuneup grease on the contacts, so it does not hassle you by surprise.  

Great there's no apparent rodent damage.

To get to the dash - best is to get a factory service manual however in general you push the pins in the retainers of a black cover panel that is hidden under the padded dash overhang.  he panel will pull down pretty easy once those pins are disengaged. Then you remove the plastic panels (one is a fuse box cover) from the side ends of the dash.  hen you remove the screws that you found under the black plastic panel as well as on the side ends of the dash under those covers.  install is revers of removal but do not undertorque (squeaks) or overtorque (breakage) the screws.  consider putting electricians tape or silicone tape on the holes where the screw heads land,  torquing with a torque wrench/screwdriver bit, and using blue loctite so the screws stay torqued.  Then you get no phantom squeaks.

Albert


Last edited by albertj on Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:17 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : fix minor errors)
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LARRY70GS
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LARRY70GS


Name : Larry
Age : 65
Location : Oakland Gardens, NY
Joined : 2007-01-23
Post Count : 2063
Merit : 138

Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation Empty
PostSubject: Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation   Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation EmptyWed Nov 24, 2021 1:03 pm

Albert do you know where the fuse for the instrument lighting is? I lost all my dash lights yesterday. Want to make sure it isn't the fuse before I delve deeper.

_________________
98 Riviera SC3800  All stock except gutted air box.
1970 Buick GS455 Stage1, TSP built 470BBB, 602HP/589TQ
Best MPH, 116.06 MPH, Best ET, 11.54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHCda-t_Jls
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfT2tEO4XcU
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LARRY70GS
Aficionado
LARRY70GS


Name : Larry
Age : 65
Location : Oakland Gardens, NY
Joined : 2007-01-23
Post Count : 2063
Merit : 138

Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation Empty
PostSubject: Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation   Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation EmptySat Nov 27, 2021 9:32 am

Never mind, I found it. Instrument panel fuse box. 3rd row down, inboard 10 amp fuse. One of my door handle well light splices had frayed and was shorting. Fixed it and all is good.

_________________
98 Riviera SC3800  All stock except gutted air box.
1970 Buick GS455 Stage1, TSP built 470BBB, 602HP/589TQ
Best MPH, 116.06 MPH, Best ET, 11.54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHCda-t_Jls
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfT2tEO4XcU
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albertj
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albertj


Name :
Location : Finger Lakes of New York State
Joined : 2007-05-31
Post Count : 8311
Merit : 173

Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation Empty
PostSubject: Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation   Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation EmptySun Nov 28, 2021 3:54 pm

LARRY70GS wrote:
Never mind, I found it.  Instrument panel fuse box.  3rd row down, inboard 10 amp fuse.  One of my door handle well light splices had frayed and was shorting.  Fixed it and all is good.

Sorry, I was traveling & offline.

Which reminds me I have to fix the little light in the driver's door pull. It just quit.
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LARRY70GS
Aficionado
LARRY70GS


Name : Larry
Age : 65
Location : Oakland Gardens, NY
Joined : 2007-01-23
Post Count : 2063
Merit : 138

Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation Empty
PostSubject: Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation   Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation EmptySun Nov 28, 2021 5:03 pm

albertj wrote:
LARRY70GS wrote:
Never mind, I found it.  Instrument panel fuse box.  3rd row down, inboard 10 amp fuse.  One of my door handle well light splices had frayed and was shorting.  Fixed it and all is good.

Sorry, I was traveling & offline.

Which reminds me I have to fix the little light in the driver's door pull. It just quit.

I used an LED. Had to drill the holder out to a larger size.

_________________
98 Riviera SC3800  All stock except gutted air box.
1970 Buick GS455 Stage1, TSP built 470BBB, 602HP/589TQ
Best MPH, 116.06 MPH, Best ET, 11.54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHCda-t_Jls
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfT2tEO4XcU
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Intermittent Instrument Panel Operation Empty
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