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Thread: New Rabbit Owner, Gauge Problems

  1. #1
    Junior Member rossmcloch is a jewel in the rough rossmcloch's Avatar
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    New Rabbit Owner, Gauge Problems

    Hi all,

    I just purchased an 84 wolfsburg rabbit convertible a week ago and I've got some questions.

    The big thing that doesnt work right now is most of the gauge cluster. The speedo/odometer and clock work, but the tach, water temp, fuel gauge, backlight, and led warning/signal lights all do not work. The actual turn signals flash, I just get no indication on the dash. Also the 3 round gauges above the shifter all work including the backlight.

    The gauges did not work when I bought the car, so its nothing new that I introduced. Today I pulled the fuse block cleaned up the wiring a bit and checked all the fuses so they are good.

    What do I do about the guage cluster? Any ideas what might be wrong?

    The other thing I noticed is my right turn signal is much weaker than the left. It still flashes but it is faint in both the front and back. What would cause this?

    Finally, when I pulled the fuse box I tried sorting out the relays based on the 83-87 diagram from cabby-info. I noticed that I have no "Fuel Injection Power Supply (aka Lambda Relay, CIS)" or empty spot for one. Is this normal? The car runs...

    I've got a bentley manual on the way but dont have it in front of me yet.

    Thanks for any help.
    Last edited by rossmcloch; 08-29-2009 at 07:48 PM.

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234's Avatar
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    Welcome to Cabby hood.




    The big thing that doesnt work right now is most of the gauge cluster. The speedo/odometer and clock work, but the tach, water temp, fuel gauge, backlight, and led warning/signal lights all do not work. The actual turn signals flash, I just get no indication on the dash. Also the 3 round gauges above the shifter all work including the backlight.



    That is one of 3 things, a bad connection on the main connector pin 2 (ground)

    A bad connector in general

    or

    voltage stabilzer or

    All the above.

    you will have to remove the Fascia, that is pull off all the knobs, then remove all the switches and radio heater selector face plate..

    Remove the (UPTO) 6 SCREWS THAT HOLD IT ON,
    remove the 2 screws that hold the heater controls

    Remove the 2 screws that hols the instrument pod to the frame.

    Worm your hand behind the cluster and disconnect the speedo.

    Slightly lift the cluster out and disconnect the up 2 3 additional connectors
    3 if you have cruise control.

    Then on the back of the Cluster on the top right of the speedo is a (transistor looking thing screw to a heat sink.) that is the voltage stabilizer.
    They are avail at a scrap yard near you, (most VW's used them up to like 96.)

    or from the dealer or.

    http://www.busdepot.com/details.jsp?...mber=357919803

    Also you want to replace the bulbs for the clock, and dash lights at this time.

    For the connections... You need to place a piece of tape (one piece) on the connector side of the tongue for the Mylar.


    Voltage Stabilizer:



    Tape on the connector tongue.









    The other thing I noticed is my right turn signal is much weaker than the left. It still flashes but it is faint in both the front and back. What would cause this?

    Bad Grounds at the bulbs on the left side




    Finally, when I pulled the fuse box I tried sorting out the relays based on the 83-87 diagram from cabby-info. I noticed that I have no "Fuel Injection Power Supply (aka Lambda Relay, CIS)" or empty spot for one. Is this normal? The car runs...


    Could be as the 84 if mid year is more of a 85 than a 84.

    see www.cabby-info.com to answer all your questions, well most of them anyways


    I've got a bentley manual on the way but dont have it in front of me yet.


    you'll need it.
    Last edited by briano1234; 08-29-2009 at 08:55 PM.
    What do Divorces, Great Coffee and Cars all have in common?
    They all Start with good GROUNDS.
    Replace all of them that you can, 99 percent of flakiness will disappear.


    92, 93 Cabriolet.... 89, and 90 are Deceased.


  4. #3
    Junior Member rossmcloch is a jewel in the rough rossmcloch's Avatar
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    thanks for the detailed response.

    by main connector you are referring to the ribbon looking connector on the cluster?

    My speedo is a little bouncy so I'd like to grease it while Im in there. cabby-info recommends using 'tri-flow' or something like it. Im not familiar with tri-flow. is there a more common lubricant you would recommend?

  5. #4
    Super Moderator briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234's Avatar
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    Bouncing speedos are a little bit different, as that is usually a sign that the Cable is more the issue than the actual speedo.

    Triflo is about the best that you can use as it is a teflon based thin oil. Dribble a few drops down both cables, the one in the dash and the one connected to the black box on the firewall.

    Yes I am talking about 3 separate things.

    Remove the connector off the back of the cluster, then remove the wide connector shell off the cluster (2 finger tabs).

    Carefully lift the mylar off the connector tongue. Apply one piece of electrical tape to the pad side of the tongue (that is the side where the copper pads lay).


    Find the brow wire that is on the big white connector (pin2) and about 6 inches back strip the insulation off of the wire. Solder a new 10 piece of wire there, and screw it to the frame (you are adding a frame ground that is in addition to the original, and tape over the splice.

    Lastly you need to change out the Voltage Stabilizer. That controls the Tach, and sets the bias for the Fuel and Water guage, as well as the led's.


    Replace the Bulbs for your lights ( don't even think about not doing it.).

    What I do is run to the Junkyard (where you could get your voltage stabilizer ) and find a Saturn, Rodeo, Pathfinder, and get the bulb sockets out of the warning lights (little ones). Then go to your favorite parts store and look up the car you removed the bulb sockets on, and choose the "WARNING" bulbs, as they are higher wattage than the regular illumination ones. replace the new bulbs in the socket and insert them in your dash.

    You can also carefully remove the cover where the bulbs sit, from the instrument housing and remove the green film (which gets cloudy), and you will not believe that you can actually use your gauges at night again.

    OH Remove the negative battery cable before trying to take the dash apart if you have a genuine vw radio, make sure that you have the radio code.
    What do Divorces, Great Coffee and Cars all have in common?
    They all Start with good GROUNDS.
    Replace all of them that you can, 99 percent of flakiness will disappear.


    92, 93 Cabriolet.... 89, and 90 are Deceased.


  6. #5
    Junior Member rossmcloch is a jewel in the rough rossmcloch's Avatar
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    So I pulled the instrument cluster today and noticed a few things.

    1. There is an 8 pin connector with 1 brown, 1 red/black, 1 green/lime green, 1 black, 1 white/purple wires that was not plugged into anything.



    2. There is a 2 pin connector with 1 brown, 1 white/blue wires that was not plugged into anything.



    My instrument cluster had one long main connector and a 6 pin secondary connector with a single blue/yellow wire, connected to it



    My car does have cruise control (or at least the controls for it).

    Does this mean my instrument cluster is not original? Or is something else going on?

    Instrument Cluster:






    With regards to the lightbulbs. Do you replace yours with saturn/rodeo/pathfinder parts because the originals are hard to find or just because the originals are inferior?
    Last edited by rossmcloch; 08-30-2009 at 03:15 PM.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234 has a reputation beyond repute briano1234's Avatar
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    Okay I used the Saturn /pathfinder/rodeo parts are I have had the dash out in all of them at one time or another and noticed that the bulb were socketed and that means replaceable. VW's are not. The bulb and socket are one.

    VW bulbs are 3watt, and the way the dash is lit at night I wanted brighter lights.
    Brighter lights means a higher wattage bulb 5 watt warning lamp will not melt your dash but give you better illumination.

    The 2 pin connector is for your cruise control pickup.


    If you look at my pic you will see a 2 pin connector to the left of the speedometer cable connector that is what you are missing from your cluster. As in the speed pickup is missing. That is your grey/blue and Brown wire in the 2 pin connector.

    It should look close to this:



    Your 8 pin connector with 1 brown, 1 red/black, 1 green/lime green, 1 black, 1 white/purple wires that was not plugged into anything.

    Actually should go to the Brake Warning light /Seat Belt indicator on the left side of your Dash under the headlight switch.

    The single one that you have is your upshift indficator....


    So you are missing your cruise control sensor so your dash is set up for one, as the little mylar connector is there.... You are but missing the sensor.

    The dash is good, and I stand by my original voltage stabilizer/bulb/ remark

    And the one connector that you have needs to go to the barking brake/ seatbelt warning lamp. (That is the only connector that you can put on backwards.)
    What do Divorces, Great Coffee and Cars all have in common?
    They all Start with good GROUNDS.
    Replace all of them that you can, 99 percent of flakiness will disappear.


    92, 93 Cabriolet.... 89, and 90 are Deceased.


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