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Dashboard Lights Out


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Agree with Mike W...the rheostat in 02 headlight switches are known to fail with age--and dirt.  After making sure the fuse isn't at fault, you might try removing the switch from the instrument binnacle and cleaning the rheostat (the coiled up resistance wire that you can kinda see at the very back of the switch).  Some 02 switches have the rheostat more visible than others.  Anyway, clean it with tuner cleaner, and if you can reach 'em, pinch the contacts that the coiled up wire touches so it makes better contact.  If that resistance wire is broken (check with an ohmeter) you're hosed...You'll need to find another headlight switch.

 

Good luck

mike

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Mike and mike, he said all the dash lights not the headlight indicator.  Zo:

 

Check your fuses, clean the contacts (with battery disconnected and fuses out you can use a clean wire brush).

 

Check that the 12-pin multi-plug is well seated at the back of the cluster; you'll have to pull the cluster for this but not a big job.

 

Verify that the cluster is adequately grounded, this is a known problem on '02s that usually shows up in jumpy fuel and/or temp gages.  Some run an auxiliary wire from cluster to body to ensure good grounding.

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I think we're all interpreting tkrakowiak's problem differently.  When he said "all dashboard lights are out" I interpreted that as meaning the lights that illuminate the instruments.  Perhaps that's not what he meant.

 

So...what is really out?  All lights (warning lights, instrument lights) on the instrument cluster, or just one or the other.  Tell us that, and then we can give you the correct advice.  And yes, bill.in.mt, '76s have a dash (illumination) dimmer as part of the headlight switch just like the earlier cars--rotate the headlight switch knob to brighten or dim the dash lights.

 

mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think we're all interpreting tkrakowiak's problem differently.  When he said "all dashboard lights are out" I interpreted that as meaning the lights that illuminate the instruments.  Perhaps that's not what he meant.

 

So...what is really out?  All lights (warning lights, instrument lights) on the instrument cluster, or just one or the other.  Tell us that, and then we can give you the correct advice.  And yes, bill.in.mt, '76s have a dash (illumination) dimmer as part of the headlight switch just like the earlier cars--rotate the headlight switch knob to brighten or dim the dash lights.

 

mike

I want to thank all of you that replied. It was all of the lights that illuminate the instrument panel. After cleaning off the contacts in the fuse box with a wire brush and installing a fresh fuse they now work. Car had been sitting for about 10 years. Once again thanks

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