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Old 11/04/2011, 03:39 PM   #1
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dash lights

Question for the electrical wizards. Here is what I did.

I was replacing my stock stereo with a later model, (early 70's) stereo with 8-track, Yes,I'm showing my age!!!
Seems simple enough, unplug, unscrew and put the new one in, plug it in and all is good. Did all that and stereo works great, even the 8-track, but now I don't have dash lights or radio lights!!! Replaced all the fuses, checked the wiring. All gages work, high beam indicator works, just no dash or radio lights. I'm thinking it is the headlight switch although it's only like 3 years old. Also checked the grounds I could find behind the dash.

Any thoughts or ideas greatly appreciated.


Bret
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Old 11/04/2011, 07:23 PM   #2
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Each bulb is individually Grounded thru the socket bases. Power for these bulbs comes from the H/L switch, thru a fuse, to the instrument lights.
Fuse OK?
Power from H/L switch OK?
Cluster connector OK?

Neil
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Old 11/04/2011, 09:00 PM   #3
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The power lead for the radio also shares the power lead for the illumination lamp. Meaning the double wire with 12v for the radio also has 12v positive for the radio light.
That second wire is not a ground.

Check your wiring schematic, you probably connected your radio ground wire to the radio lamp wire. You found your dash light fuse blown?

Scott Behncke
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West Coast Classic Cougar A good source for Mustang mechanical parts too.
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Old 11/05/2011, 10:12 AM   #4
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Neil, checked and replaced all fuses, pulled the cluster out and connections are good and the headlight switch powers everything else.

Cougarcj, I used the original harness plug for the radio and sliced in the pigtail from the old radio, so it's wired the same as the old radio.

Since everything is wired through the headlight switch, is it possible for the switch to go bad for just that part of the lighting? Or would I loose all lighting?

I've checked the wiring schematics and I didn't see any difference in the wiring between AM, AM/FM, or AM/FM 8-track. Maybe I should try a switch from a '69 that is heavier duty?

I'll play with it some more today since the weather is breaking.

Just had a thought, second guessing myself, would the radio work if I got the pigtail reversed at the radio? I'm sure I checked the color codes for the wiring, but will double check.
Thanks for the input guys,
Will check back later
Bret
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Old 11/06/2011, 05:28 AM   #5
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Scott is correct, and I also believe that is the problem here. Did you run a seperate ground to the chassis for the new stereo or use the factory plug? If you have any doubts, disconnect the connections to your stereo, make sure the dash light fuse isn't blown and see if the lights come back.

Steve

The wannabe formerly known as an owner.
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Old 11/06/2011, 08:20 AM   #6
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I just installed an AM/FM in my CS. The connector for the radio was adjacent to the ashtray, a 2 pin receptacle. The 2 wires to that receptacle are Yellow/Black stripe for radio power (wire #137) (powered only with the Ign Sw ON or RUN position).The second wire is Blue/Red stripe (wire #19B). That's for the radio light (same circuit as the instrument lights). Ground for the radio is accomplished through the mounting bracketry (Case Ground). Ref: Wiring diagram 2-E15. Hope this helps.

Neil

Last edited by franklinair; 11/06/2011 at 04:48 PM..
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Old 11/06/2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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Yup Neil, That's the way mine is also. 137 to the ignition switch and 19(B) turns into 19(A) after a three prong plug and goes to the fuse block with 2.5 Amp fuse, then to the light switch, D2 position. And 19(C) goes to the cluster plug. So, it's 2 pin, 3 wire. I'm still thinking light switch, because everything works in the dash and radio, except lights. I could try another 2.5 amp fuse, since it's between the plug and light switch.

Nothing better than a good challenge to make us appreciate our cars.

Bret
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Old 11/06/2011, 04:50 PM   #8
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The H/L switch could be the culprit. The 12V for the dashlights comes off of the rheostat in the H/L switch.
Radio works OK? Just no dashlights?

Neil
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Old 11/08/2011, 08:00 AM   #9
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I unplugged the radio and still no dash lights and fuses good. Wiggled all the wires I could reach under the dash to see if anything happened, but no luck. All the dash connections are tight. Going to order a H/L switch.

Bret
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Old 11/08/2011, 09:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklinair View Post
The 12V for the dashlights comes off of the RHEOSTAT in the H/L switch.

Neil
I know this sounds silly, I'm sure you've made sure your dimmer isn't all the way to the left, turned down? It looks like you've checked everything else, but I didn't see this mentioned right up front.

Sometimes it's the simplest things we over look. Been there, done that with a 65' coupe that I didn't drive much. Went out to start it one day, turn the ignition and nothing. Went a few days trying things, replacing starter relays and such. Just about to pull my hair out. Turned out the auto transmission lever had been pulled back toward reverse. So it wouldn't start because it wasn't in park. When my son was 3 or 4 I would let him play in it while I worked around the house. He must have tugged on it. I didn't think to check that up front.

Previously Monkey Golf

MIKE
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Old 11/09/2011, 05:39 PM   #11
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Been there done that also Mike. That is kinda my motto, check the easy and cheapest stuff first and go from there. I twisted the knob till I was blue. So, today I bought a new switch and put it in, checked the dash wire plugs again, fuses, even got an inspection mirror and looked at all the wiring behind the dash for a nick or break in a wire, nothing. Radio unplugged. Back to the drawing board.

Thanks for the ideas.

Bret
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Old 11/10/2011, 09:22 AM   #12
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Here's another obvious answer but I'll throw it out there anyway.
Have you check the bulbs?

When you installed the radio you may have done something to blow the bulbs. The fuse should have blown first but we're talking about a 40 year old car so who knows.
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Old 11/10/2011, 07:45 PM   #13
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If you have the instrument panel out and with the wireing still pluged in check and see if you have voltage at one of light sockets if not unplug the conector and check the dash end for the blue red wire for voltage. Also check if the instrument cluster is grounded.
Good hunting! Marty

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Old 11/11/2011, 02:36 PM   #14
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Problem solved, whew what a relief.

Turned out to be the fuse marked "radio pilot" with one of the contacts having quite a bit of corrosion. Got out my trusty spoon file, stood on my head and filed away. Put in a new fuse and I see the lights. Didn't even know it was part of the circuit, but guess it is.

Thanks to all for the input. What a great site with a wealth of info and always willing to help.

Bret
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