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Gauge cluster illumination issue

1149 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  BuschRanch
I have a 97 f250 4x4, pulled the gauge cluster to clean it up and change incandescent to led. Before pulling the cluster the right side of speedo and left side of rpm wasn’t illuminating, assumed it was bad bulbs. During bulb swap I did not pull anything but the gauge window off to buff up and replaced it then switched bulbs out, that’s it. Re installed and same bulb positions weren’t illuminating. While lights were on I figited with the bulb holders while look at the gauges and there wasn’t any flickering. Pulled the plug and checked the contacts on the back of the cluster, all were lined up and intact, spread the contacts on the plug out a bit to make sure they were touching and still no change. I’m at a loss now. Any help would be much appreciated.
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Broken circuit board

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Any way to repair? By circuit board you mean the green film with the copper veins running through it right?
The copper that you can see is what carries the voltage and ground for the lights and the information for the gauges.

Unless you are familiar with circuit board repair you would likely create more problems than you would fix.

But you can use a volt meter and verify that it is something other than the bulb or sockets by checking the voltage where the bulb plugs into the board.

There are places that will repair it for you but they cost quite a few bucks.

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It's very easy, safe, & reliable to solder jumper wires across the film circuit. I've done it for MANY reasons to many vehicles (mine, friends', & customers'), with no problems. This one worked for ~20 years, and probably still would if I still needed it.

(phone app link)

But it's much more likely that you just have some dirty terminals. Use brown paper or a pink eraser to polish all the Copper contacts & their mating terminals to a shine.
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Appreciate the replies. It ended up being one way led bulbs and when I flipped them around they worked. Before and after photos attached.


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Yes, most LEDs are simple diodes, which only work when polarized correctly. Only a few have additional diodes to create a rectifier that will work in either polarity.
I did not know that. Thanks for the info.
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