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Old 11-04-2012, 11:57 PM   #1
hkprofection
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Default STI cluster problems..

I have a wire that has started to melt the rubber casing off of it. It's black with a white stripe on it going to the green plug i12. I pulled the pin and it seems to control the illumination of the cluster. I can see another pin starting to melt in the green plug that connects to the far right side of the cluster.
Anyone have any idea why this would be occuring?

Where can I find the production date code on the cluster? I found some numbers on the rear that seem to place it being produced on 2/23/06.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:53 PM   #2
hkprofection
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Nobody has had this issue??

Does the STI cluster pull that much more power than a WRX for illumination that it would melt the wire?
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
Cougar4
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Something is causing excessive current to flow through the wire. Apparently it isn't enough to blow the fuse. I suggest you try and verify that the wires are supposed to tie to the illumination circuit. If nothing has been modified in the cluster and the wires are going to the proper connections then it would seem something inside the cluster is bad.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:23 PM   #4
hkprofection
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar4
Something is causing excessive current to flow through the wire. Apparently it isn't enough to blow the fuse. I suggest you try and verify that the wires are supposed to tie to the illumination circuit. If nothing has been modified in the cluster and the wires are going to the proper connections then it would seem something inside the cluster is bad.
Would the STI cluster draw more current as it stays on ALL the time while the car is running vs the stock WRX cluster? The copper under the casing isn't burnt, it just seems to be drawing a bit more current and heating up more than the casing can resist.
Forgive me if I'm wrong as it was already installed when I purchased the car, but I don't remember other WRX clusters being all lite up when the headlights were off. I would be willing to bet the STI cluster would have more bulbs in it that the WRX just from looking at the difference of them online.
This may be an almost common problem, but I would assume most people wouldn't pull their cluster out and inspect the harness often after installing it if everything is functioning properly as mine was/is. I just happened to notice it..

Does the STI wire harness have a larger gauge wire running the illumination?
And also, how would I determine the year of the cluster to check if the pin outs are correct (I assume they are since it functions properly)?

I will check the gauge of my wire tonight, if someone with an STI could verify theirs!
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:47 AM   #5
Cougar4
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It sounds to me that something has been modified and is causing too much load current for the wires to handle. There shouldn't be any real difference in the clusters that I know of. At least as far as current draw for them. I assume you can't change the intensity of the dash lights.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:27 PM   #6
hkprofection
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar4 View Post
It sounds to me that something has been modified and is causing too much load current for the wires to handle. There shouldn't be any real difference in the clusters that I know of. At least as far as current draw for them. I assume you can't change the intensity of the dash lights.
Yes they are adjustable. I've adjusted both 'dim' and 'bright' settings so that hopefully it'll pull less load. Ill check them in a month or so and see how it's holding up.
Again, I would never have noticed the problem if I weren't installing the other gauges in an SMY cluster surround.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:38 PM   #7
Cougar4
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If the melting problem is happening right at the connector then the connector contacts have excessive resistance. If the wire insulation away from the connector is melting then the wire is being overloaded by too much load.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:51 PM   #8
hkprofection
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar4 View Post
If the melting problem is happening right at the connector then the connector contacts have excessive resistance. If the wire insulation away from the connector is melting then the wire is being overloaded by too much load.
It was happening at both points. I haven't pulled it since to see if running the gauges at a dim setting has helped. I keep a screw driver and a small ABC Fire Extinguisher in the car now JIC!
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:13 PM   #9
Cougar4
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It would be interesting to know how much current is running in the wire. If the wire insulation is melting beyond the connections then you run the risk of also damaging other wires inside the harness. That will be a pretty expensive repair bill if it happens.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:30 PM   #10
hkprofection
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar4 View Post
It would be interesting to know how much current is running in the wire. If the wire insulation is melting beyond the connections then you run the risk of also damaging other wires inside the harness. That will be a pretty expensive repair bill if it happens.
Yes you're correct! And ONLY if that happens and doesn't start a fire which could lead to a complete loss!
I now keep a 5lb fire extinguisher in the car!
I plan to pull the cluster again when it warms up to have a look at its condition then. I've also been keeping the running lights on all the time with the cluster set pretty dim, in hoping it'll pull less voltage.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:24 PM   #11
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I am also running an STi cluster (Subaru calls it a combination meter), and I can assure you I have NO wires that appear to be melting. As far as current draw, the STi version uses LED's, not bulbs, so current draw should in fact be LESS than the WRX version.

Now call me crazy, but if I was worried that much about something catching fire that I'd be driving around with a fire extinguisher, I would NOT be driving with the possible source of combustion!!!

Get a WRX cluster in the interim from someone, I'm sure you can get one cheap, till you get this thing worked out!
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:19 PM   #12
Cougar4
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It appears that something is seriously wrong inside the cluster.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:27 AM   #13
hkprofection
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moby4dick View Post
I am also running an STi cluster (Subaru calls it a combination meter), and I can assure you I have NO wires that appear to be melting. As far as current draw, the STi version uses LED's, not bulbs, so current draw should in fact be LESS than the WRX version.

Now call me crazy, but if I was worried that much about something catching fire that I'd be driving around with a fire extinguisher, I would NOT be driving with the possible source of combustion!!!

Get a WRX cluster in the interim from someone, I'm sure you can get one cheap, till you get this thing worked out!
How long have you been running the STi cluster? I don't know how long it has been installed in my car. It's not my DD and I've only put roughly 4k miles on it since July.
The fire extinguisher is a norm for me honestly. I work in Fire Protection so I have an over abundant supply of fire extinguishers.
Is there than many more LEDs than there are bulbs in the WRX cluster? I can't see the small bulbs pulling much current either, I figured it was because there's a constant load on the STi cluster compared to the WRX (assuming the WRX cluster only lights up when the marker or headlights are turned on)
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:23 PM   #14
hkprofection
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Got a new harness coming to me! I'll change it put and check the old one I fixed. I'll post pics once I get it out.
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