1997 GMC Sierra C1500 Electrical/Charging Issues

  • TravisLang13
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4 weeks 2 days ago #203598 by TravisLang13
Hello everyone, new to the forum here, although I've been watching Eric the car guy videos for quite a long time now!
I own a 1997 GMC Sierra C1500, extended cab (2 door) shortbox, 5.7l V8
This is my forever truck, it's relatively simple, and the same year as myself, and even though it's 2wd I love it. (Plus i got a awesome deal on it, $2500 CAD, 180000 kms on it)
I've got a charging issue however, my battery only charges when I turn the headlights on. Also, when I turn the lights to either off or running lights (the first tick before turning on the headlights with the second tick) half of my gauge cluster dies. Oil pressure, fuel, alternator, and temp all turn off. From what I understand, the alternator is triggered to engage and charge by a signal from the alternator gauge on the dash.
So I acquired a second gauge cluster from a parts truck, and just swapped them out, in an attempt to further diagnose and hopefully solve the problem (thinking perhaps it was a fault somewhere in the circuitry of the cluster).
However, it did not work, exact same symptoms as before.
So here I am, asking for any and all help!
Thanks in advance

(Also, any other help, tips, tricks or anything with regards to these trucks is appreciated, like i said i plan on keeping this truck for as long as feasibly possible!)

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