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Old 05-05-2018, 02:24 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Missouri
Posts: 50
Vehicle: 97 D21 for the most part
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Default Questions about cluster swap

Heyo, hardbuddies. Long time lurker, first time poster. Apologies if all my questions have been answered before, but I've been searching around the webs for a couple hours now and haven't found anything helpful to my skill level or what feels like a relatively unique situation, lol. Apologies beforehand for the long post.

To preface, I'm learning about vehicles as I fix my own, so anything I haven't fixed yet I have no idea about, for the most part. As I haven't done any electrical work yet, I have no idea what I'm doing, really.

So, to the meat, finally: I've been moving parts over from my old 1994 D21 XE 4x4 to my 97 of the same type. Recently I decided to switch my instrument cluster over because my 94 had a clock and my 97 didn't. I also had the engines swapped before so I wanted my mileage to be correct on the cluster. Seemed pretty straightforward to me (should have known better).

Before I swapped, the original 1997 cluster worked fine with all the lights and everything, with the exception of the cruise control light, though I think this is due more to the cruise control itself and not the cluster. I think. Whenever I would start the truck, all the lights would cycle like normal. Airbag light, ABS, all the fun stuff.

Well, I took the clusters out of both trucks. Instead of just swapping the whole units like I probably should have first, I took them apart completely and only swapped the two parts that I needed: the tach with the clock and the odometer with the correct mileage. I also swapped over all the screws and bulbs one-by-one to make sure I had copied the old cluster exactly.

I put it in and it worked... kinda. First, the low gas light stopped working. The ABS and Airbag lights also stopped working. Every other light appears to work fine (except for the cruise, I won't know until I fix it, if I ever do). The clock also clocked, although the backlight didn't come on.

This was a while ago. Recently I decided to try to bring it back up to full operation. I decided to try to switch it back to the original cluster board by doing a reversal: I swapped every part back one by one to ensure that I wasn't going to blow a fuse or something. I also put in the clock. What I had now was basically the original board I began with, with the addition of the clock. I put it in and tried it out, but a few things happened: the tach stopped working (because I blew a fuse), the clock light actually started working, though it dimmed whenever I turned my lights on, my check engine light (02 sensor) went off and my battery light came on (because of the wiring in the cluster, I know for a fact. Truck runs fine otherwise).

I figured the clock was blowing the fuse, and I'd rather have a tach than a clock, so I took the clock out but the fuse still blew.

It started getting dark so I decided to just bring it back to the way I had it before I decided to try and fix the problem. I put everything back exactly the way I had it but: the clock still doesn't light up though it tells time, my ABS light comes on now when I start the truck, my check engine light no longer is on, my tach works again which is nice and it didn't blow a fuse (which is good because I'm running out) and of all things my glovebox light has started working. I didn't even know I had one of those.

When I noticed I fixed the glovebox light I realized I seriously have no idea what I'm doing. Though that may have been from me cleaning dog hair out from the headlight switch on the steering wheel.

So yeah, sorry for the long post. Figured I'd be descriptive in the hopes all you hardbody gods can shed some light on a peasant.

I have pictures!

This is the board from the 1994:

link to closeup: https://i.imgur.com/70DoS7B.jpg

This is the board from the 1997 as it is currently:

link to closeup: https://i.imgur.com/Zyfe7sG.jpg

Only difference I can see is on the very top left wire (is it called a wire if it's built in like that?) above the black wire on the green 97 board there is a resistor (correct me if I'm wrong) and on the blue 94 board there isn't
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