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Discussion Starter #1
I've read a few posts about people having trouble with a twitching fuel gauge. The fuel level may not be showing up correctly and/or acting erratic but mostly the gauge needles twitches or buzzes back and forth really quick.

I've seen where it could be anything from a sending unit problem to the gauge needing replaced (aka 'you need a new cluster')

I've the same problem happening on the 'burban. 1999 that was just purchased and the fuel gauge looks as though it's had way way WAY too much coffee. When we actually first got in it the fuel was very low and the gauge actually started low then slowly rose up to full after a few slow minutes, kicked back down and then was all over the map. Once we topped off the fuel the gauge started with the vibrating.

I don't know if it's tied in with the fuel gauge, but the volt gauge is acting up as well. When I turn on the turn signal the needle on the volt gauge will dip slightly when the light comes on, then back up when the light is off, then dip, then up, then dip... along with the turn signal.

But I digress....

Original point to this post is has anyone gotten this looked into and come up with a solution to the problem of the fuel gauge turning into a spaz?


Thanks!

PS - if this solution has already been posted, I apologize! I've not come across a definitive answer in the posts I've read.
 

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i have the same problem with all my gauges but its only right after i play in the mud, so not sure if its from something with the 4wd or something gets dirty? becuz right after i clean everything off and i drive it a few days later it stops
 

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the tank unit is a resistor bar and it wears out and or get oxidation on it. i cleaned mine real good and acts as if 1/4 tank is empty not in the orange. the fuel acts as coolent for the pump so running it lower causes the pump to run hot and burn up faster.....mike
 

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my suburban had the Ticking volt meter problem too. I never cared enough to fix it. :neutral:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Unfortunately it seems as though they are only available for 03-06. I'll keep looking around, though.

Doing SEMA in a few weeks and may just poke around to get my cluster working perfectly once again.

Thanks for the information!
 

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I have the same problem. I have a friend who just the pump and sending unti(which come together replaced) his is still spazzing out. The dealer told him he needed a new cluster, or at least one from a wrecking yard. Much cheaper. Mayber even try ebay.

Hope I helped.
 

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As I said earlier... It is a $10.00 15 minute fix:

The stepper motor that controls that gauge has gone bad. GM apparently had quite a number of instrument clusters where one or more gauges either failed or went just plain nuts. GM wants $400.00+ for this repair, but you can fix it yourself for about $10.00 per gauge by replacing the stepper motor. there's a guy on ebaY selling the replacement stepper motors. I just did my speedo yesterday. It took all of about 5 minutes to get the cluster out, another 10 to disassemble it and replace the motor, and about 5 more to re-install it.

I do have an electronics background, but all that is needed is a small amount of ability with a soldering iron.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
uges either failed or went just plain nuts. GM wants $400.00+ for this repair, but you can fix it yourself for about $10.00 per gauge by replacing the stepper motor. there's a guy on ebaY selling the replacement stepper motors. I just did my sp


I contacted him and unfortunately the stepper motors are only available for 03-06.

BUT! I'm headed to SEMA in a few weeks' time and I'll most likely get a few more options on what I could do to give the suburban a little extra oomph while going ahead and replacing the cluster. I have a day-dream that I paint over the current cluster face (save the warnings lamps), drill holes and install custom gauges in place. I don't know.. would love to just get a whole new look with some custom gauges but still keep all the idiot lights!
 

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I realize this is an old but there's still a lot people trying to figure out why their instrument cluster needles are bouncing around. The cluster gauges on 99-02 GM trucks use air core motors, and the cluster gauges on 03-06 GM trucks use stepper motors. There's fluid in the center of air core motor, and when the fluid breaks down it allows the gauge needle to bounce around. The only way to fix this is to remove the instrument cluster, and replace the air core motor. Before you order an air core motor, you'll need to take the instrument cluster apart and see what the first letter is on the old motor.

The first letter on the air core motor will generally be:
  • Fuel: F or C
  • Oil Pressure: P
  • Speedometer MPH: S
  • Tachometer RPM: S
  • Transmission Temperature: S
  • Temperature: T
  • Voltage: V
 

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I realize this is an old but there's still a lot people trying to figure out why their instrument cluster needles are bouncing around. The cluster gauges on 99-02 GM trucks use air core motors, and the cluster gauges on 03-06 GM trucks use stepper motors. There's fluid in the center of air core motor, and when the fluid breaks down it allows the gauge needle to bounce around. The only way to fix this is to remove the instrument cluster, and replace the air core motor. Before you order an air core motor, you'll need to take the instrument cluster apart and see what the first letter is on the old motor.

The first letter on the air core motor will generally be:
  • Fuel: F or C
  • Oil Pressure: P
  • Speedometer MPH: S
  • Tachometer RPM: S
  • Transmission Temperature: S
  • Temperature: T
  • Voltage: V
WHAT TYPE OF CLUSTER GAUGE DOES A 1998 CHEVY C1500 USE?
 

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You dont need to change the whole cluster, just the steeper motor. The steeper motor drives the gauge it is attached to, but each steeper motor is different. You just need to look up the info for your truck and whatever steeper motor you need. They are still avaliable. In the GMT 400 trucks (1988 to 1998) body style, the stepper motors are bolted in. In the GMT 800 trucks the steeper motors are soldered in. I looked at changing my fuel gauge steeper motor in my 97 Silverado. I think it was around $45 for that stepper motor on e-bay. At about the same time I found a Denali cluster for $50 I think, so I swapped clusters. The Denali cluster has a 120 MPH speedo, and the needles are white untill you turn on the lights. Then they turn yellow, and the numbers for your speed turns blue. I think the Denali was a 1999. The Denali, Tahoe Yukon, and Suburban did not change body styles until 2000. The Denali cluster was a direct bolt in. I just pulled out my Silverado cluster and installed the Denali cluster, although I did have to recalirbrate the speedometer. It was off 7 or 8 MPH. The Denali may have had different rear end gears, IDK.
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