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Gone but never forgetten
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Problem solved. As I had orignially suspected, there's no need for a seperate ground wire on the '69, like there was on the earlier years. The ground wire is part of the main harness and plugs right into the dash cluster in the big clip. The whole cluster uses that wire for ground, but the lights use it through the casing itself, via the mounting screw of the CVR and the ground screw near the ammeter gauge.

The problem with my gauges turned out to be that the posts of the gauges (fuel and temp) were shorting against the case. When installing the circuit board, it is IMPERATIVE to hold those guauges just right and make damn sure they don't move while tightening.

Just thought I'd pass on my experience in case others run into this same problem. All gauges function now, although looks like I have a bad temp sending unit (gauge barely registers after letting the car idle 1/2 hour), and the PO decided for some stupid a$$ed reason, to remove the oil pressure extentsion tube/sending unit, chop off the wire and plug the sending unit hole with a bolt. I guess he figured, if he had no oil pressure, he didn't want to know about it *LOL*.

A "ground" test of the wires, though indicates all gauges are functioning propperly.
 

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hey! i am still suffering here. just kidding. no my fuel and temp guage have something wrong with them. my fuel and temp guage move but very little. i don't know how much gas is in my tank so i don't know. it may be that empty (front end still needs aligned so i is still in the garage and hasn't been driven for awhile) and after getting the motor warm the temp guage barely moves. could be a bad temp sender.
 
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