Question about 1998 Chevrolet S-10 Pickup

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Electrical problem with the dash.

I just bought a 1998 Chevy S10 extended cab pickup today. It worked fine. Got it home and less than 8 hours later the lights on the dash are acting strange. All of the lights are on and stay on. The odometer does not work at all. The speedometer, RPM, and fuel gauge all do not work. Can anyone tell me what the problem might be and how to fix it.

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  • b_scheirer Apr 19, 2009

    I bought the truck on ebay. I called the guy when the problem occurred. He explained that he replaced the engine and when he did he replaced the dash also. He said if I bring the truck back he will put the old dash back in. I don't know if he will give me my money back or not.

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This wiring problem can be much more costly, and time consuming, than you want to take on.
Professional mechanics cringe, when a wiring problem of this magnitude comes their way!

It's probably a bad ground for the instrument cluster.
The instrument cluster housing is plastic. There is a flat, thin, 2 to 3 inch wide, piece of plastic that is the wiring harness for this instrument cluster.
In this flat piece of plastic, are thin flat copper strips. These are like wires, to conduct the electricity to the gauges, lights, and the rest of the instrumentation.

Since the plastic instrument cluster is not metal, and therefore it can't be used as a Ground source, the flat piece of plastic I mentioned above, has a Ground wire to it. May be more than one.

This ground wire/s could have corrosion on the terminal end, where it attaches to the truck body.
Bad ground, everything goes haywire. The ground wires, might loose on the terminals used for the flat piece of plastic.

Another source of a bad ground problem overlooked, is that the cab of a truck receives it's,
Main ground from the engine.

There should be Two ground straps, coming from the firewall over to the engine. Sometimes, when the upper part of an engine, or the engine is replaced, the mechanic neglects to reinstall these ground straps.

Sometimes just one ground strap is reinstalled, and this is No good!
Also both terminal ends of these ground straps are a good source for corrosion to develop.
Corrosion makes a bad contact.

I myself would take the truck back.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Apr 19, 2009

    Replaced the old dash? Why?

    What was wrong with the old dash, that it needed to be replaced?
    Is it the correct replacement? Where did the dash come from?

    What experience, of a professional nature does this person have, relating to automotive rebuild and repair, and is it related to automotive electrical systems, or is this person just a 'Pump Jockey'?

    Bring it back and the dash will be replaced with the old one? If there was something wrong with the old one, that a new one needed to be installed, why would this person think you would want the old one?
    How much of an inconvenience will this be for you? How long will it take? Is there a guarantee this will fix the problem?

    Don't know if this person will give you your money back or not?

    The United States has a 'Lemon Law'. Individuals, as well as dealers fall within this.

    Your State Attorney Generals Office - Consumer Division, will NOT find this amusing, should you return the truck in the shape you bought it, and your money not be returned!

    Suggest this 'Mechanic', didn't attach those ground straps I mentioned, from the firewall to the engine block. OR, if this person did, they attached them to a Painted surface.

    Also, probably did Not attach the ground wires to the flat plastic panel, I mentioned. (Hint/hint)


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