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Tips for troubleshooting dash lights?
#1
How can I troubleshoot dash lights not working.  I have already tested the fuses and the lights are new LED bulbs.  The cigar lighter doesn't work either.  

I have all of the ground wires hooked up and don't see any obvious breaks in the wiring.  How would I use a meter and test light to figure this issue out?

Thanks!
Wade
1972 Mach 1 351 cj 4speed
"We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it."--Thomas Jefferson

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#2
Many LED lamps are polarized, so they must be inserted into the socket so that the power goes to the proper post.
The cigarette lighter runs off a fuse (bottom left), and needs to be grounded as well. You could have a bad element.

Let me check your shorts!
http://midlifeharness.com

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#3
(02-03-2018, 10:17 AM)scgamecock Wrote: How can I troubleshoot dash lights not working.  I have already tested the fuses and the lights are new LED bulbs.  The cigar lighter doesn't work either.  

I have all of the ground wires hooked up and don't see any obvious breaks in the wiring.  How would I use a meter and test light to figure this issue out?

scgamecock,
tested the fuses how ? continuity tester or voltmeter ?
would like to be seeing power on both sides of the fuses with ignition on and dash lights on.
looks like the 4 amp interior dimming fuse is a function of the rheostat in the headlamp switch
no power thru the cigarette lighter fuse = no power thru the 4 amp interior dimming fuse.
you never stated if any of the other interior dimming was working or is it ONLY dash lights (in the instrument cluster )?
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#4
I wanted to wait until others (Midlife) commented as I knew that those would be pointing to question! I took the time to look at all of the OP posts, on car/light issues and questions.....so my reply is more "how you are doing this" than it is fuse # this, circuit that.

It looks like this car was "all apart" and (correct me if I'm wrong) on reassembly you haven't COMPLETELY hooked up all of the wires and have been asking for some time on why not working. Having just gone through this with a 1971 - all I can say is I DID IT differently. Completely wiring the car, in order from front to back AND had no issues (SMD's in all sockets for a test for Bill@ hipopart.com including a prototype "non polarized" dash 197)

With all LED/SMD's you should TEST with 12V (to confirm working and posts) first. That way if you have issues in the dash you know they work on the bench. If you follow the provided schematic - you usually don't have any issue. WHEN there are issues in the car......(assuming everything is connected) you would have to look at CONNECTIONS especially for the front to body harness under the dash AND at the printed circuit for the cluster.

You can test your cluster with just 12V (use the schematic if you bought hipoparts kit) AND you may find OK. THEN it is other areas (above) OR may find just loose bulb holder contacts OR shorted wires at the plastic. Hope you photo car some might see glaring issues with wiring, OR just let us know "how you are doing this testing".

Mark
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#5
(02-03-2018, 02:00 PM)boilermaster Wrote:
(02-03-2018, 10:17 AM)scgamecock Wrote: How can I troubleshoot dash lights not working.  I have already tested the fuses and the lights are new LED bulbs.  The cigar lighter doesn't work either.  

I have all of the ground wires hooked up and don't see any obvious breaks in the wiring.  How would I use a meter and test light to figure this issue out?

scgamecock,
tested the fuses how ? continuity tester or voltmeter ?
would like to be seeing power on both sides of the fuses with ignition on and dash lights on.
looks like the 4 amp interior dimming fuse is a function of the rheostat in the headlamp switch
no power thru the cigarette lighter fuse = no power thru the 4 amp interior dimming fuse.
you never stated if any of the other interior dimming was working or is it ONLY dash lights (in the instrument cluster )?
What???  Cigarette lighter on a completely different circuit and fuse than dash lamps.  Interior lamps (not dash) are on yet a third circuit and fuse.

Let me check your shorts!
http://midlifeharness.com

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#6
I did get the steering column and all wiring hooked back up before trying the lights again. I did a continuity check on the fuses.

So I need to do a voltage check as well?
I should have 12v on both sides of the fuse with fuse in?
I should have 12v only on one side with the fuse out?
Is there a way to test that a ground is good?
How do I bench test the LED's?
If there is a problem with the gauge circuit board would that prevent the rest of the lights from working?

What Doesn't work:
Dash lights
Heater blower
Cigarette lighter.

What works:
The headlight switch is new
W\S wipers work,
interior dome light works
Brake lights,
headlights Low and High beams work.

Please forgive the stupid questions I am not good with wiring. All the other stuff on a car comes fairly easy to me. Its electrical that has me pounding my head!!!

Thanks!
Wade
1972 Mach 1 351 cj 4speed
"We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it."--Thomas Jefferson

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#7
Hey once you figure this out you can come help me. I have pretty much the same results in my car. Have had the instrument panel out many times and never could get everything to work.
On a different note since lots are looking at this. Had a guy here buying parts couple weeks ago and he stated he bought and entire new wiring harness for his car with every wire included. He told me source but I cannot remember it, lol. He is due to come back and cut some door jams out of the crashed vert and I will ask where he got it.
We had a great guy here for electrical but he moved back to South America. I have not found anyone the you can tell what is wrong and they go to the issue. He would look at the issue and usually found problem in less than 5 min.. My friend with restoration shop used him several times and he always went right to the problem without having to search.
I will be happy when they invent wireless circuits, lol.
David


When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Tongue
David
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#8
(02-04-2018, 10:42 AM)scgamecock Wrote: I did get the steering column and all wiring hooked back up before trying the lights again.  I did a continuity check on the fuses.  

So I need to do a voltage check as well?
I should have 12v on both sides of the fuse with fuse in?
I should have 12v only on one side with the fuse out?
Is there a way to test that a ground is good?
How do I bench test the LED's?
If there is a problem with the gauge circuit board would that prevent the rest of the lights from working?

What Doesn't work:
Dash lights
Heater blower
Cigarette lighter.

What works:
The headlight switch is new
W\S wipers work,
interior dome light works
Brake lights,
headlights Low and High beams work.

Please forgive the stupid questions I am not good with wiring.  All the other stuff on a car comes fairly easy to me.  Its electrical that has me pounding my head!!!
You will not have a full 12V on the small 4 amp fuse because of the rheostat on the headlight switch.  With the switch pulled out, you will see voltage on both fuse clips.  With fuse out, voltage will be only on one clip.

Cigarette lighter is shared with horn; fuse is lower-most left side. If horn works, then fusebox is unlikely to be the issue.
Heater blower is fused and tied to ACC; fuse located uppermost right side.

Let me check your shorts!
http://midlifeharness.com

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