Starter blows out the fuse for guage cluster

This is occuring on a 1997 Land Rover Discovery, but I have read of similar problems on many other “modern” cars. When I start my car, the fuse for dash guages blows. Then with the blown fuse, the next time I try to start the car, the switch will not activate the startee solenoid relay. If I replace the dash fuse it will start again, but blow the fuse instantly, thus perpetuating the problem. This car is a beater off-road truck and I am willing to just bypass the starter switch and run a hotwired pus-button switcch directly to the solenoid. Will this bypass any critical electrical operations? Shoudl I wiret eh switch through the existing relay, or should I install a completely separate “siolated” relay? I having trouble tracking down how/why the starter solenoid relay would be related to the guages…and if it is a short in the current starer solaenoid circuit, can I just direct wire it to eliminate the problem?

If it’s just a “beater off-road truck” then just isolate the starter circuit completely. That should work. I would normally just advise you to have the vehicle looked at by a good independent mechanic. I don’t like “work around” fixes but sometimes they are necessary to keep a “beater” running.

Before you direct-wire the starter solenoid, check all the GROUND connections, battery to engine block, battery to body, battery to vehicle frame…

Not just the ground connections, but the high-amp battery positive connections between the battery and starter. We had a similar problem on a Chrysler, and the battery junction at the main fuse block was badly corroded. The battery cable went from the battery to this junction before going to the starter. Cleaning up all the contacts there fixed it right up.