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Old 06-27-2019, 06:38 PM   #1
FlintJunkie
 
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Default Dash lights Random cut out?

Did a few searches couldnt find really what Im talking about...

92 D21, My dash lights periodically turn off. I can usually slap the dash and it turns back on... but its getting more frequent. Starting to really piss me off...
Checked fuses.. or I wouldnt have power...
The rheostat is set to hi brightness...
Not too sure what else to report...

How/what do I do to rectify this?... Or where would I start to look? ...
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:35 PM   #2
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Hi Flint,
I would start by eliminating the dimmer. There will be 3 wires at the plug for the dimmer, 1 ground, 1 park lamp, 1 dash lamp. Jump the park lamp to the dash lamp and leave it disconnected from the dimmer. This will allow you to see if the problem is something inside the dimmer or in the dash lamp wiring.
The easiest way to test this wiring is with a meter. Measure against a known ground(not the black at the back of the dimmer). Turn on the lights, the one that shows ~12v on your meter and doesn't go up and down when you activate he dimming function is your park lamp circuit. The one that goes up to 12v and down when the dimmer is activated is your dash lamp circuit.

I have had to replace my dimmer due to the lights flickering/going off just like you describe in your OP.
Good luck.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:04 PM   #3
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As mentioned above, the dimmer is usually the problem. The actual headlight switch is also a known problem.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:36 PM   #4
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To add to what was suggested above, clean the connectors on the back of the instrument cluster with a wire brush
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:00 PM   #5
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OK thanks guys.. Ill take a look....
IF so....Is the rheostat a easy part to get/replace???

AL- Kinda new to all of this aspect, what connectors are you referring to?
And is that a fairly easy open up, or a bit of extensive surgery???
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:56 PM   #6
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You have to remove the lower plastic on the dash, the steering column cover, then the bezel around the instrument cluster to get to the mounting screws for the instrument cluster. Then just disconnect and clean the connectors on the back of it.
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlintJunkie View Post
92 D21, My dash lights periodically turn off. I can usually slap the dash and it turns back on... but its getting more frequent. Starting to really piss me off...

How/what do I do to rectify this?... Or where would I start to look?

I have a different theory. Next time your dash lights go off, pull over and see if your tail lights and parking lights are also off. Because these are on the same circuit, and dash light failure is a clue to check your running lights (headlights are separate from this).


I had this happen on my 1988 Mazda truck, and I had to replace my headlight switch to fix it. But that was better solution than to tap into the run circuit and have these on whenever the truck was running.
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Old 06-28-2019, 04:26 AM   #8
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cusser- just checked, the outside lights are on, just the dash board is off.
Now I did have it turn on/off by jiggling the light stalk..

So I reckon that's a whole new set of problems...
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:05 AM   #9
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As Caddy said above, the headlight switch is a very common failure item on these trucks. Those too can be disassembled, cleaned, and the contacts manipulated to provide more stable operation of they’ve lost their tension. All of these are just places to start looking until you find the problem, could be any of them, or all of them.
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