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I have to take a run to my buddy's house this weekend to check out his 98 SE.....dash guadges keep going out, lights are fine. Mechanics have ripped the dash appart twice to check for shorts and the usual, but to no avail. However, they haven't swapped anything out yet. I don't think the mechanic's available to him have a clue on Jeeps, so I wanna help him out before he goes broke.

Found lots of swap-guides/articles for 98 CHEROKEE'S with bad Cluster Connector Patch Harness's...either needing replacing or shimming to the inside dash after becoming loose. However, nothing on our buddy SE. Is this a first place to start for me? (like most I hate dealing with electrical TS :x )

Another question I have is, does the ECU play any role at all with guadges in later year models? That was another item changed in 98's, and also where my knowledge fades.
 

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Do a search on this board. This is a common problem most of us with 98 Wranglers have experienced, and has been discussed numerous times. I was able to cure mine by pressing pretty hard on the dash near the odometer reset knob. The correct cure requires removing the dash, buy mine has worked for almost 4 years.
 

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I had the same problem. The connectors for the dash are captured in the sheet metal structure behind the gauge cluster so that the cluster disconnects (electrcally) when removed. If I recall (big IF) I reached behind the dash and forced the connectors to seat into the cluster instead of relying on a good connection from simply pushing the cluster into place. I've had no problems in over 5 years.
 

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  • Remove the cluster and
  • simply take a pair of needle nose pliers and
  • twist the spade connections about 5 degrees and
  • reinstall the cluster.

Problem solved.
 
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