Just fixed my 98 tj too. Took pulled the guuge cluster (don't be afraid, it is pretty simple). Cleaned all the contacts with color TV tuner cleaner. Then wedged a very small peice of wood under the bottom of each connecter. Put everthing back together. Works great. I have ordered the new connector assembly, but won't put it in until I have the problem again. I think the key is the wedge.
My98 tj did the same thing pull the dash out it is one big assembly there are 2 connectors that sit into a metal bracket. bend the bracket toward the steering wheel slightly then put it back together problem should stop.
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Re: 1998 jeep wrangler dashboard
You will need to pull the cluster ou of th4e dash and check all the connectors to the cluster from the wiring harness, if you don't see any damaged connections then you will need to send the cluster out for a rebuild/repair by an authorized Mopar service shop, your dealer cna provide a name or do a web search.
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Its most likely to be a cold soder in the instrument cluster itself. Most of the time the cold soder is right where the cluster plugs into the vehicle. If you take it out and resoder all the pin most the time that will fix it. Or you can just go to a salvage yard and get a different one and change it. Good Luck and if this helps 4 thumbs up is appreciated.
There is a loose connection (or corrosion) where the instrument cluster attaches to the wiring harness mount. Remove the screws (2) from the dash cover below the steering wheel and remove the panel. Remove the defrost vent cover (just lift carefully, it only snaps into place. Remove the screws around the cluster panel cover and remove the cover. Remove the the instrument cluster (it pulls straight out toward you) and make sure the wires are not corroded. Make sure the wiring harness is firmly attached to the metal bracket that holds them in place. Carefully push the instrument cluster back into place. While firmly holding the cluster in place, install and tightnen the screws that hold the cluster. After tightening, wiggle it and make sure it's solid. Start your Jeep and make sure everything works. Shut jeep off and install the rest of the panels in the reverse order of removal. This should fix your problem. What happens is, the cluster becomes loose, speedo quits working (sometimes all other gauges quit also) and gives an airbag code.
Have you checked it with a scan tool to be sure it is actually getting the information? The instrument cluster do go out, meaning the ribbon on the back.I would check the connection, then turn to a way to determine if it is recieving a signal from ECM.
Difficult to explain step by step. You need yo remove the instrument cluster. If youre technically minded its not very hard, start by loosening the Phillip"s head screws that is visible on the panel directly under the instrument cluster, give it a try!
IF YOU REMOVE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER AND UNPLUG IT,PLUG IT BACK IN AND UNPLUG IT AGAIN..DO THIS A FEW TIMES..IT SHOULD CLEAN OFF SLIGHT OXIDATION ON CONNECTOR TERMINALS..HAVE SEEN THIS BEFORE..I ALSO THINK REPAIR CONNECTORS AVAILABLE FROM DEALER
A poor connection at the self docking connections of the cluster. Remove the trim across the top of the intrument panel. Remove the screws at the top of the cluster trim and remove the trim. Remove the cluster screws and cluster. Apply dielectric grease to the self docking connectors of the cluster and reinstall. This should take care of it.