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If you think there is a problem with instrument cluster, unplug the instrument cluster, see if it still blows the fuse. Could be a wiring circuit problem, somewhere? Maybe fuse box issue?
Sometimes, I use a test light in place of the fuse, to keep from blowing all my fuses. If the test light comes on, the circuit is going to ground, somewhere. If the instrument cluster is unplugged, then hopefully, that is ruled out.
Take out the instrument cluster and spray both the connector and the socket with electronics contact cleaner. Plug them back together and see if it works for you. You may also check the underdash fuse box, but it is doubtful it's a fuse issue as you are getting power.
It isn't the ground; if you lost the ground, it wouldn't be blowing fuses-it wouldn't be doing anything.
There may be a short in the panel, or in the wiring to it. You will need to pull the instrument cluster out to investigate. If the wiring and connectors look good, probably need a new cluster.
The Meter fuse controls the circuit energizing the odometer in the instrument cluster. If the fuse blow there is usually a short in the circuit powering the instrument panel or in the connections at the back of the instrument panel.
Try to remove the instrument panel and disconnect the harness to see if doing that gets rid of the blown fuse when starting the car. If it does, then the instrument panel should be replaced with another. If the fuse still blows when starting, then there is a wire shorted to ground somewhere.
--- Instruments and SwitchesInstrument ClusterRemoval & InstallationTo Remove:
Remove the instrument cluster trim plate.
Remove the instrument cluster mounting screws.
Rotate the instrument cluster rearward and lift up on the top of the cluster in order to disengage the locating pins.
Disconnect the electrical connectors from the instrument cluster.
Remove the instrument cluster.
Connect the electrical connectors to the instrument cluster.
Position the locating pins to the holes in the instrument panel.
Install the instrument cluster by rotating the top inward.
My 2002 F350 keeps blowing fuse 45. I lose the instrument cluster (all gauges) and there is no throttle response. Sounds like a wire for the od button is shorting out in the steering column. Remove the ignition switch and column shroud and look for a bare wire. be sure and look by where the boot sits. I am just looking for more info before I try it myself. Hope this works for others.
Interior fuse box fuse no.33(15amp) supplies power in run/acc postion to BK/PK wire pin 19 of cluster.
Interior fuse box fuse no. 45(10 amp) supplies power in the start or run postion on the RD/YE wire pin 20 of cluster.
Interior fuse panel fuse no. 41(10amp) supplies power to the battery saver relay on LG/OG wire pin 11.
Interior fuse panel fuse no. 35(10amp) supplies power to interior lamp relay on BK/LG wire pin 12.
The last 2 are hot at all times.