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Old 05-18-2010, 10:46 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4
85 300td fuel and temp gage

Hi all... I bought a 85 300td for my neice for her first car. I have been slowly working on it mostly cosmetically to get it ready for her. It runs good, I adjusted the valves, changed all fluids, new tires, air cleaner, etc. I finally found my turn signal problem (bad wire) and am now trying to figure out why the fuel and temp gages do not work. Tach works fine. I have been searching the posts and see that the ground wire from instrument cluster can be a problem but it appears to have a good ground so where should I look next? She and I really dont't have any more money to put into this taking it in to a mechanic. If I cannot fix it she will be writing down her milage and trying to figure out when to fill up I have checked all the fuses and they are good. On a related note the instrument lights don't light up either. Turn signals work fine but dont blink on the cluster or make a ticking sound but they work fine "outside". I have read about the fuel sending units being bad but I also read that there is some sort of "tie in" between the gas gage and temp gage not working, that if one is not working the other is often not working and I for the life of me can't find the thread that was talking about this... Any help from you guys would be appreciated and I will surely post my findings, I have to get this out of here soon as I need the barn space back for myself and my neice is 16 and has to be going crazy having not recieved the car yet (it was her christmas present from my wife and I and its now may 18)
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:05 PM
vstech's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mount Holly, NC
Posts: 26,180
you are having a girl drive a station wagon as a first car? brave indeed!
you know the seats ALL fold down right?

okey dokey, if the ground is good, check to see if the temp sender on the head near the glow plugs is connected, and if it is, disconnect it and short it to ground. that should peg the temp gauge. if it does not move, then it's a bad gauge in the cluster.
OR it could simply be loose screws in the cluster. the screws give ground to the cluster via the center gauge. often the face is damaged, and the screws will not tighten. take it all apart, pickup the broken pieces of plastic where the screws go, and glue them back together. then clean all the parts that touch, and reassemble.
the lights don't work because the porcelain dimmer sucks. solder a jumper across the two terminals on it.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:21 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4
I will take a look at it tonight and see what I can find...
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