I have a '77 and a '79 Lil Red Express and both trucks have had problems with
the Amp gauge. In fact, there have been fires reported due to the guage.
Here is some information about the Amp
gauge. It is from the Dec. '97 issue of "The Adventurer" Li'l Red Express &
Warlock Club newsletter. There have been dashboard fires caused from the Amp
Gauge. There were two problems: First, the gauge installed by Dodge was a Field
Current type, that requires current to pass through the gauge to measure
amperage, causing heat. The better choice of an Amp gauge would have been a
Shunt type gauge. Second, Dodge used a fiber washer on the high side of the
gauge and as time went on it would expand and contract causing the nut to
Take the dash apart and check the connections to the amp gauge. I bet you'll
find loose/corroded connections, causing high resistance in the charging
circuit. The solution is to replace/repair the gauge -- or, remove the wires
and connect them together, bypassing the gauge. That should get you on the
Hope this helps....
From my experience -- and from having the dash apart numerous times -- I don't
think you will find an aftermarket gauge that will fit in the original
location. Especially an Amp gauge because most -- if not all -- gauges are now
Volt gauges. You could add an aftermarket Volt gauge, probably in a bracket
under the dash.
You might have luck repairing the original gauge. On my Lil' Red Express, I
removed (actually broke out, because the heat had melted the plastic around the
studs of the gauge) the Amp gauge and used several nuts and washers to tighten
the studs back on the gauge body and to provide spacing between the back of the
instrument cluster to mount the gauge in the original location. I hooked
everything back up and -- viola -- it works like new. Once you get it apart,
you will see what I am describing. Good Luck.
Just one course of action for you, but the most logical.
"KJP" <halu...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER USE A TEST LIGHT IN A TRUCK WITH ELECTRONIC
It MAY be alright in a 1977, but you don't want to get into the habit of
using them. Get a good meter.
"Our Integrity is the only asset we have that cannot be taken away by anyone
or anything except by ourselves, and we will not allow it to be compromised
for any reason." - Taken from the mission statement of The CAD Specialists
"Tech Jim" <jlilly3airwa...@jefnet.com> wrote in message