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I was about to replace all of the bulbs in my gauge cluster, except they all looked fine. A double-check with a multimeter verified my finding (I measured a new bulb first and got a resistance of 5 ohms). With a little cleaning of all the contact points on the printed circuit, I think I've got all the lights working (I can certainly see more of my instrument panel now).
I figured I'd make sure that the voltage regulator was working correctly before I button it all up (my concern being that the main wiring harness voltage regulator had failed and allowed voltage to get to at least 18V and I was concerned that it had fried the gauge cluster voltage regulator). I pulled the connector off of the gas tank level sending unit and tested the voltage. My digital multimeter indicated fluctuating readings from 0 to 8 volts (I saw it hit 9 volts only once). It's my understanding that the voltage regulator sends out a fluctuating voltage and that it's supposed to be about 5 volts. Is the gauge cluster voltage regulator in my car working right?
 

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The average pulsating 5.0 volts will be at the gauge terminals. Not the sending unit side.
On the sending unit side the voltage will fluctuate depending on what scale you have the voltage meter set at. The main thing is that it is pulsating on this end. If it is steady, then the IVR is bad. A test light is usually used for this test.
 

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the regulator is just to keep the voltage from spiking, and to direct volts where needed. same as the one in your alt, wait, jon told me the regulator was on the firewall, anyways, same as that but smaller scale
 
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