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Tachometer issue on 2001 Sporster LX and wiring diagrams?

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Hello all, just picked up a 2001 Malibu Sportster LX. Only real issue is the tachometer and hour meter doesn't work. I have searched through the forums here and found a few things.

Here is what I have know and have done so far:

The PO bought a second tach which is in much better shape and will buzz and move slightly when the ignition is turned on but will not show RPM. I have unplugged it to looked for corrosion at the plug but looks OK.

I plugged in the old tach and it did not buzz at all when turning on the ignition. I also tried disassembling the original one after reading one of the threads on here, but could not get the needle off to go any further.

The wiring diagrams would be very helpful to trace this down and to see if it is getting a signal from the engine.

Does anyone have access to the diagrams for this model or can point me in the right direction?


Thanks in advance!


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Interested in this too as mine stopped working as well. I do know the signal comes from the engine from “the gray wire” in the dash from when I installed perfect pass... that reads the rpm fine.

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First step is to swap the connector at the back of the tach with a known working gauge and see if that fixes it. If that doesn't work you'll need to check the continuity between the grey wire on the 18 pin connector going to the MDC box under the dash with the grey wire coming from the distributor. This passes through a cannon plug which is know to have continuity issues. This is the large circular plug at the back of the engine by the main circuit breaker with all the signal wires running to it.

Here's the MDC troubleshooting guide for your reference: 


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Got the tach working. It appears the PO may have had a perfect pass system of something else installed and found the gray wire behind the gauges (coming from the engine) had been cut in 2 and capped. Did a continuity test from engine to controller and it tested positive. Reconnected and got my tach back.

FWIW and I assume most people know this, you can interchange any of the gauge plugs with any of the gauges. That could help in diagnosing if it is a corroded plug issue.

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