please help!! dash lights will not work - Forums at Modded Mustangs
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post #1 of 32 Old May 3rd, 2007, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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please help!! dash lights will not work

please help!! gauge lights, my dash lights will not work unless the dimmer switch is all the way on, like where the dome light comes on, if the switch is all the way on the gauge lights will work, but anywhere else in the dimmer area they will not, the switch is new so thats not the problem, please help!!!!!
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post #2 of 32 Old May 3rd, 2007, 09:38 PM
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hmmmmm....

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post #3 of 32 Old May 3rd, 2007, 10:32 PM
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Anything aftermarket wired in that connects to the parking light circuit? i.e. tach, head unit ect.
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post #4 of 32 Old May 4th, 2007, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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i'm pretty sure no aftermarket parts are hooked into the wiring, the dash lights wouldnt work at all when i bought the car and the guy said it was the switch so i bought a new switch, and now the lights work its just when the dome lights are on. (switch all the way to the right) i dont know what to do, i figured i would just leave the switch like that and take the bulb out of the dome light but it keeps killing my battery. any suggestions?
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post #5 of 32 Old May 4th, 2007, 12:30 AM
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I have a similar problem on my car but I took the motor out before I fixed it so I'll be dealing with it in about a month or so when I get the car back together. Its a hard problem to diagnose without the car in front of me, I'm more of a hands on guy. I would think that there is a short between the dome circuit and the dimmer circuit. Does the dash lights come on when you open the door? also check for blown fuses.
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post #6 of 32 Old May 4th, 2007, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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yes, the dash lights come on when u open the door if u have the headlights on, they will come on like they're supposed to but if the dome light goes off, then the dash lights will go off too.
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post #7 of 32 Old May 4th, 2007, 06:50 PM
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obviously you have an open circuit untill your dome light comes on, which is odd, theyre not that tightly interlaced. obviously theres power getting to the poteniometer (dimmer switch).. so go from there. make sure first. by opening and closing the door while youre shooting for power at the potentiometer. theres a start for you, good luck.

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post #8 of 32 Old May 4th, 2007, 06:54 PM
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f my life, i missed the part where it keeps draining your battery, your dash lights are shorted to your dome light! duh.. check this out, make sure the terminals on the potentiometer are on correctly and not corroded.. and do the power check while opening the door still.. then while opening and shutting the door, check from the same spots for continuity to ground. that should tell you where your short is. chances are, its hidden behind the dash or you have a pinched wire on the drivers side by the door. im not sure what else is on that fuse.. but good luck. i hope you have a manual of some kind so youre not just shooting blind.

92 lx
351W w/ 60 overbore
holley 600cfm carb
weiand stealth dual plane intake
240/246@.510 cam
bbk long tube headders
msd coil

5 lug axle conversion
3.55 gears
mach1 style 17" rims
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post #9 of 32 Old May 4th, 2007, 11:55 PM
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sounds like you need a dimmer switch

1986 Mustang GT t-top time piece!
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post #10 of 32 Old May 5th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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he said he already replaced it.

92 lx
351W w/ 60 overbore
holley 600cfm carb
weiand stealth dual plane intake
240/246@.510 cam
bbk long tube headders
msd coil

5 lug axle conversion
3.55 gears
mach1 style 17" rims
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post #11 of 32 Old May 5th, 2007, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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yes, i replaced the dimmer switch, it is a used one but was functioning properly.
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post #12 of 32 Old May 5th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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The dimmer switches in the foxbodies are notorious for shorting out. It may have worked in the other car but during the transfer it went bad, I would buy a brand new one.
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post #13 of 32 Old May 5th, 2007, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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where should i get one from, i looked at 50resto and they were like 80 bucks, i know i need the lights to work but thats alot of money for a little switch!
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post #14 of 32 Old May 5th, 2007, 09:35 PM
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Try the dealer, I know they are pricey on a lot of things but if I remember right they were like $40 there.(don't quote me on this, it was like 3 yrs ago when I priced one out.) If not, try a parts store like napa or advanced ect.

I would also do what zero said before throwing money at it, this will narrow the problem down. The best way to tackle a problem like this is through process of elimination.
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post #15 of 32 Old May 6th, 2007, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
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i will try what zero said, but i do not fully understand what he is talking about, i know alot about cars but its hard to figure out what he's saying if im not looking at the wires in my face, im a hands on kindove person
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post #16 of 32 Old May 6th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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His switch was broken when you got it. Maybe he had spliced the wires at some point in time to use the dome switch to turn on the instrument panel lights. I would think the only way the panel lights could come on when the dome light is on is that the two wires are connected somewhere or the brand new switch is bad. You need a test light and start checking wires. I'm guessing its a plug and not individual wires. Disconnect it, use your test light to find the hot wire, run a jumper to the switch and check to see if you have any juice coming out the other side, or if it gets dimmer and brighter when you adjust the switch. Check all the wires, and only one should be a constant hot wire. All I can think of sorry.
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post #17 of 32 Old May 6th, 2007, 09:40 AM
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simple fix. if all else fails get some reverse glow gauge faces from ebay then you have dash lights man.

1986 Mustang GT t-top time piece!
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post #18 of 32 Old May 6th, 2007, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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i like the idea about the reverse glow gauges, i've always wanted some of them they come with a switch to turn them on, and change the colors dont they?
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post #19 of 32 Old May 6th, 2007, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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so, if i got the reverse glow gauges i could just bypass the whole dimmer switch all togeather correct?
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post #20 of 32 Old May 6th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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but doesnt your battery die? id fix the problem rather than covering it up. you have a short somewhere. find it or empty your wallet into new batteries

92 lx
351W w/ 60 overbore
holley 600cfm carb
weiand stealth dual plane intake
240/246@.510 cam
bbk long tube headders
msd coil

5 lug axle conversion
3.55 gears
mach1 style 17" rims
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