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Only the DASH Illumination Lights don't work
I tried to trouble shoot this for over an hour and I believe I have isolated where the electrical problem may be coming from.  After getting all of the instrument lights to work and reinstalling the cluster back into the dash, only the illumination lights of the dash went out.  I also heard a faint snap; similar to a short in the lower left corner of the instrument cluster or headlight switch.

Things that still light up:

dummy warning lamps
gas gauge works
flashers lamps
turn signal lamps
high beam warning lamp
and each of the illumination bulbs also worked after taking them out of the cluster and testing them on a 9 volt battery.
The headlights, emergency flashers and the turn signal lights OUTSIDE of the vehicle also work.

I already replaced the circuit board and the voltage regulator prior to this problem and every thing worked earlier before I tried to flip over one LED light to get in on. With various warning lamps and gauges working (beyond the illumination of the dash) I don't think the circuit board or the voltage regulator shorted out, but I may be wrong.

So, my question is whether or not the 'headlight switch' may have a problem with a wire burning out.  Is there a single wire which illuminates the dash?  When the headlight switch is pulled out to either the parking lamp position or the headlights, the dash lights do not come on.

Like I said, I tried to isolate this to make it easier for anyone that can help.
Thanks again,


Yes, either the headlight switch or the fuse. The snap you heard may have been the fuse.

There is one wire that runs from the headlight switch to the fuse panel, then it branches out after the fuse.

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
Dash lamps are on a completely different circuit than turn signals, high beam, and gauges. Yes, your description indicates a problem with the headlight switch (where power for the dash lamps originate), the rheostat on the headlight switch, the smallest fuse in the fuse box, and the wiring between the headlight switch and the fuse box, and from the fuse box to the dash cluster connector pin.

Let me check your shorts!

[Image: Flamicon2.jpg]

[Image: oldfart.png]
Thank you.
Now that we have narrowed it down to the headlight switch, is there a possibility that the problem is actually with the connector plug off the wiring harness to which the switch snaps into? If so, does anyone know which wire off the plug would run the dash lights and which wire I would jump too in order to get a currant to see if the lights turn back on to finally isolate the problem? It is easier to replace the switch and I'm hoping this is the fix, but if not, it is going to be a real pain to repair and diagnose the plug without the proper wire(s) identification.

Also, just put the car in a dark garage and found the light for the automatic shifter lights up, so that is good.
I hate these small bugs that arise after rebuilding the whole car from the bottom up.

The wire is light blue with a red stripe.

Did you check both sides of the fuse to see if it has voltage to it, with the switch turned to full bright (clockwise)?

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
ok. with the headlight switch pulled out one detent to the parking light position and the rheostat turned to full bright, the continuity setting on the voltage meter sings like a bird.  all fuses and fuse connections and the fuse itself are good in the fuse block.  The climate control also does not light up; as they are connected to the same wire set for the dash illumination.  Does this now sound like the headlight switch is bad, or is it the wire in the plug or as it leads out to the main harness?
The phots attach illustrate the fuse box and the back of the headlight switch still attached to the back of the dash.  I can now see the blue wire with the red stripe Don and I thank you for that clarification.

[Image: Fuse-Box.jpg]

[Image: head-light-Wiring.jpg]

I had the same problem with the illumination lighting. I also had Several of my marker lights and tail lights were really bad rusted and corroded and were intermittently working. After replacing those and the headlight switch everything works great now. I was able to find a 1971 OEM headlight switch on ebay for a good price.

"I drank what?" - Socrates
Where are you measuring the continuity? Between which points/connections?

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
First on each end of the fuse without any contact to the posts.
Then to the posts on each end with no contact to the fuse.
both were good.

when I checked the fuse posts, the fuse was 'still' in place. I just did not touch the fuse with the probs. Kind of a double testing..

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