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Gents, Long time lurker, and previous member - new email address so I'm startin' over with posts.

I have a '04 LLY Crew Cab 4X4 with 53,000 miles on it. This past November I was returning from a trip to Tampa when I hit the biggest doe in the state of Florida just east of Gainseville. I was extremely lucky in that 1 - it didn't come thru the windshield, 2 - the air bags stayed stowed, and 3 - all the damage to the truck was cosmetic. No paint had to be shot to fix the front end damage, but everything below the hoodline and from the right side to the left side had to be replaced.

Here's my dilemma. Shortly after I murdered Bambi with my truck, I noticed that the Volt Meter was no longer working. Actually, it was max'd out - all the way over to the right. It was late at night, and I was out in the middle of BFE, and the truck seemed to run fine, so I pushed on. I wasn't sure if the deer had done any damage to the electrical system, but since I had all but one light in the front busted, I figured it must have been related. I called the On Star folks, and they ran a diagnostic check as I putted up Hwy 301 toward Jacksonville. They couldn't find anything wrong with it either.

The next day, as soon as I got back to NC I reported the accident. Little did I know that I should have filed a police report, but that's another story. To make a long story short, the insurance company (GEICO) paid to repair the damage, and the truck looks great.

Except I forgot to mention the Volt Meter gauge, and now the dial is way over to the right - pointing to the 4 o'clock position. Like it's DOA..

This past week I finally broke down and took the truck to my local Chevy dealer for them to take a look at it - more to be safe than sorry later down the road somewhere. They called me at work and told me that I need a new gauge cluster, and that it's going to cost me $385 to have it replaced. They couldn't tell me why the Volt Meter gauge isn't working, just that I need to replace the entire gauge cluster.

I'm not sure I'm buying it. Perhaps I should be.. but I'm skeptical.

Here's a couple questions you gents may be able to help answer.

- has anything similar happened to any of you? If so, did you simply have the cluster replaced?

- can I replace the cluster myself without too much effort and without screwing up anything else?

- if I can do it, is there a place I can buy a gauge cluster for less than what my local dealer wants to charge me?

Any other advice or info y'all can provide will be much appreciated.

Thanks ahead of time,

Chris in NC
 

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Your questions I don't know the answers for, I hope you kept the venison?
 

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Check out ebay, there are some refurbished clusters available with warranty. The volt meter probably became shorted because of the accident. With no lights, just broken wires, your power probably went to ground and pinned/shorted the gage.
 

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NC Max;1572270; said:
I'm not sure I'm buying it. Perhaps I should be.. but I'm skeptical.

Here's a couple questions you gents may be able to help answer.

- has anything similar happened to any of you? If so, did you simply have the cluster replaced?

- can I replace the cluster myself without too much effort and without screwing up anything else?

- if I can do it, is there a place I can buy a gauge cluster for less than what my local dealer wants to charge me?
...
000. The cluster should be $250 for an EXCHANGE. Ask your parts guy how much an EXCHANGE would cost; if they wont do it, go to another dealer. It should be a $250 fee, you turn in your old, they give you back a new programmed with your odomoeter and hourmeter readings.

001. If you do a little looking around you'll see clusters being replaced somewhat frequently around here. They go bad for a number of reasons, and usually the only option is replacement.

002. Yes. Replacement is simple; you have to pull the dash bezel and then the cluster itself is held in with 4 I believe 7mm bolts. Search "cluster replacement", you'll get some good instructions.

003. Also yes. There's a guy who I've heard does exchanges or repairs for ~$100; replaces the broken guage's stepper motors and then has it shipped back out to you the same day. Do a search, or I'll try to find you the link.
 
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