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Old 07-13-2006
Drayke's Avatar
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gauges - needle issues

hey guys, i just modded my gauges following naelz's guide to painting it. went with blue. it looks sick. but that's not the problem

FIRSTLY! my speedo is off. but thats something i know how to fix.

the big issue, and SECONDLY, is that my gas gauge needle isnt... uh... moving.

now i know you're thinking that the needle wont move because you're not burning gas sitting in park. well i KNOW its not moving because the first time i pulled it apart, painted, and put it back together and drove the next couple days, the needle didnt move but my "check gage" (ford cant spell apparently) light came on eventually, and sure 'nuff i was super low on gas. SO! basically, my question is: what the f.

did i push the needle down too far? not far enough? or what? i can't figure it out.




and while we're on the subject, how do you change the color the actual plastic needle lights up, from the stock 'orangy' color to something else? paint the needle or paint the plastic circle on the overlay?
ps: ill get pics once i fix everything.

thanks,
Mike
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Old 07-13-2006
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You pushed it down to far most likely.. and to get them to light up a different color, just scrape off the paint on the underside of the needles and paint on whatever color you'd like. About the speedo being off, I suggest driving next to a friend or such and placing the needle (low speed of course and possibly on a vacant road), that's how I fixed mine and its pretty much dead on. Good luck!
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Old 07-13-2006
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Yeah you definantly just pushed the needle down too far, causing it to rub on the gauge face and stay stuck. Next time you pull the gauge bezel off, pry a plastic fork behind the needle slightly and gently until you feel it lift a little. It's safe to move the needle with your finger to test it's range of motion for any more rubbing.

In the mean time, clear your tripmeter when you're filling up. When you get close to the average mileage you get from a full tank, fill up. Leave a 20 mile buffer zone, just in case, and you'll never run out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwester04
About the speedo being off, I suggest driving next to a friend or such and placing the needle (low speed of course and possibly on a vacant road), that's how I fixed mine and its pretty much dead on. Good luck!
This is one way to do it, but I've tried many different methods and the only one I found to be truely accurate is this:
  • While the gauge is exposed (after you fix the fuel level gauge), measure the distance from the 10mph mark to the 20mph mark using whatever you can fit into that area. I used a "tooth" of my plastic fork and marked it with a Sharpie.
  • Remove the needle stop-pin by pulling it out gently. This is the small black pin the needle rests on when the truck is turned off.
  • Start the truck and let it gain a steady idle.
  • Use the measurement to place the needle on an IMAGINARY 0mph mark.
  • Turn off the truck, lift the needle slightly with a finger and re-insert the stop-pin.
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Old 07-13-2006
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what do you mean by a "imaginary" 0 mph mark?

where the 0 should be? hence, the measuring of the distance?
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Old 07-13-2006
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eh i tried those battery methods and everything.. didnt appease me so I just did it the old fashioned way and it works fine, didnt take a lot of time either.
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Old 07-13-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwester04
eh i tried those battery methods and everything.. didnt appease me so I just did it the old fashioned way and it works fine, didnt take a lot of time either.
I did mine the same way as you except I used my cop friend's radar gun and my speedo is accurate,more now than before the cluster swap.
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Old 07-14-2006
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Yea, it's down to much...the needles are very finnickly and need to be on JUST at the end, not even 1/5 the way down it (unlike how the factory has it). For the MPH I started up and but it at 0 and took off, I was off about 10 MPH, I fixed it driving with no traffic and checked it the next day with a speed trap- precise as hell
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Old 07-14-2006
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thanks for all the help guys, im in palm springs right now so i cant get in my dash and fix it (no tools out here) but ill get to pulling that needle out a bit my next free weekend.

this is why i love RF
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Old 07-15-2006
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Say my gen 1 ranger is having a very similar problem. I alredy know the problem isn't the gear in the transmission, it was reading correctly with the same wheel and tire combo up until about 2 years ago. So will these same methods work for it? I don't have a stop pin in those early ones either. Also anyone that has a first gen can you get a picture of where the needle sits with the truck turned off.
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Old 07-15-2006
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ok gas guage...alls i did was leave the clear plastic off go to the gas station and fill up till it was in the neck put it at full and at E theres about 15 liters in the tank so its a good buffer zone just in case...worked awsome..
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  #11  
Old 07-16-2006
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Well mine is now fixed, I went and tried it yesterday and now it is within 2 mph of correct. I used a speed monitoring trailer that stays set up near by, we know it's pretty accurate.
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2006
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Needle guages arent accurate from the factory anyways, they are usually 1-2 mph off. The most accurate are the digital ones I believe, but we have yet to see someone make a digital dash...hmmm, thatd be a good project!
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