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No Dash Lihgts?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Difaz, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Difaz

    Difaz Karting

    Mar 30, 2005
    114
    Sydney Australia
    Full Name:
    Phill
    I don't drive at night very often but a friend asked if I could drive his daughter to a restaurant for her birthday as a surprise.
    When i turned my lights on, the instrument cluster backlights and the light in the handbrake lever did not iluminate.
    The headlights, indicators etc all worked just no dash backlighting. I have owned the car for 10 years and never had any electrical issues. There are no blown fuses and I have'nt yet removed the dash to inspect.
    I don't have birdmans fuse blocks but i have checked the circuit for continuity at across the fuse for the instrument lighting and it was fine. This fuse also controls one of the park lights and both park lights were working fine.

    Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks.
     
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  3. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    19,493
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve Magnusson
    Did you try giving the dimmer rheostat some twists back-and-forth to rewipe the contacts?

    Are the oil temp and clock lights not working too, or just the lights in the main instrument panel?
     
  4. Difaz

    Difaz Karting

    Mar 30, 2005
    114
    Sydney Australia
    Full Name:
    Phill
    Thanks Steve,

    Yes I did try the dimmer but it didn't help, perhaps i could remove the dash and try to clean the contacts.
    I'm not able to check this at the moment but I am quite sure the oil temp and clock lights are not working also.
     
  5. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    19,493
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve Magnusson
    Might be easier to make some voltage measurements at the oil temp and clock gauge wiring, before deciding if you need to get into the dimmer rheostat (but it is a prime suspect).
     
  6. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

    May 17, 2006
    12,722
    Dallas, Tx.
    Full Name:
    James K. Woods
    What kind of car was that? I am having the same problem on my 1986 Testarossa...
     
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  8. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    19,493
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve Magnusson
    Are you often blowing fuse #13, or are all the fuses OK, but no dash lights?
     
  9. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

    May 17, 2006
    12,722
    Dallas, Tx.
    Full Name:
    James K. Woods
    Haven't looked at the fuses yet, but no - never blown a fuse thus far & have had it 6 years.

    I guess I will take it in and have a look on Friday.
     
  10. teachdna

    teachdna Formula Junior

    Sep 1, 2001
    374
    Cincinnati
    Full Name:
    Jeffrey Robbins
    This type of stuff happens. If it's not the fuses or rheostat, it's invariably a relay or two. They age and die.
     
  11. Difaz

    Difaz Karting

    Mar 30, 2005
    114
    Sydney Australia
    Full Name:
    Phill
    Sorry, obviously I should have mentioned its a 1978 308 GTB euro.
     
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  13. Jmjm911

    Jmjm911 Karting

    Jul 17, 2011
    72
    USofA
    Full Name:
    Jeff
    I had similar problem in my 98 F355.

    Turned out to be the fuse box in the luggage compartment. Had to replace the whole thing.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Difaz

    Difaz Karting

    Mar 30, 2005
    114
    Sydney Australia
    Full Name:
    Phill
    Thanks for all the input. I will post the fix when I find it.
     
  15. stevew3765

    stevew3765 Formula Junior

    Oct 27, 2012
    716
    Tulsa, Oklahoma USA
    Full Name:
    Steve Wool
    Hi I was searching for this subject because my dash lights along with my op gauge doesn't work. It has a short because I used to be able to hit the cluster and they would blink on. Then I pulled the cluster today and wiggled the wires a bit and could actually hear the lights energize. And now it won't even respond no matter how much I wiggle or what/where. Any idea where or how to trouble shot this if my fuses are good? Thanks 97 f355 spider 6speed
     
  16. RBV24961

    RBV24961 Formula Junior

    May 23, 2006
    283
    Rye, New York
    My bet is on the bus bar in back of the fuse box. although you get contact across the fuse holders the bus bar must make contact with the first three upper contacts in the back.
     

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