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'86 vs '88 oil gauge


vagabond80

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Hello folks

I've been reading about the ""options"" or sensors or senders with an idiot light for a gauge.

I just swapped a whole cluster from an 86 2.9 xlt into a late 87(88 model year) 2.9 XL.
The rest of the instrumentation seems to work normally, but when running the oil gauge is resting on L. When I turn the engine off but leave the key on, the gauge goes up to the top of the normal range. When I take the key out, it gradually falls back down to the L.

Does this behavior seem to align with having a proper sending unit, but a resistor(idiot light mod) on my gauge? Or is something else wrong, or do I just have no oil pressure? Good way to test this without taking the dash back apart? Not that it was too complicated
Engine seems to run fine, don't have much time on it since getting everything put together yet though

Thanks for insights
 


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Shran

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Well if your engine is not making noise it's got at least some oil pressure. I would rule that out.

As far as I have always been aware... either way, the oil pressure sender was always just a switch... you either have oil pressure and it shows "something" on the gauge or the light is off, or you don't have oil pressure and the gauge reads zero or the light is on.

I have zero faith in factory Ford gauges from the 80's. In your case it could be a difference in the truck's wiring, a bad gauge, who knows... I have aftermarket gauges in two of my first gen trucks because the factory ones suck so bad.
 

vagabond80

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SenorNoob

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Oil gauge? My 88 only has a light. I know there are 2 "sending units" listed for 88.

There's the small switch (for the light) and the big can sender (for the gauge).

IDK if there is a corresponding wiring change or not. Since both are a single wire, and you gauge moves now, I'd suspect not.
 

vagabond80

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4WD
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2" skyjacker
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31x10.5R15
Oil gauge? My 88 only has a light. I know there are 2 "sending units" listed for 88.

There's the small switch (for the light) and the big can sender (for the gauge).

IDK if there is a corresponding wiring change or not. Since both are a single wire, and you gauge moves now, I'd suspect not.
The dash is from the 86 xlt, which seemed to plug in quite naturally. I don't recall anything unused or out of place when I did the swap. Perhaps I have a switch trying to signal a gauge... I won't be back to the truck for a couple weeks now, but it's a good research direction
 


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