View Full Version : Dash Lights

11-19-2009, 10:16 PM
My Dash Lights were not working on our '82 during a recent trip. We don't like to drive at night but I got off work late and we both wanted to get underway.
The Rheostat portion of the Light Switch was bad. I was able to move the Dash Light Wire to the R Terminal on the Light Switch. I tried to find one locally but couldn't so I called Newell and Chuck told me that he had one in stock.
If anyone has this problem I would first try Newell. When they run out it is an early Ford Headlight Switch #B9AF-11654-A. You will need to re-use the Stem portion of your old Headlight Switch (there is a release button between the Terminals.
Just wanted to share this repair for others.

11-19-2009, 11:56 PM
My dash lights work, but when they are on the radio turns off....very weird. I don't do much night driving, but when I do it's very irritating. If I turn the dash lights off using the reostat, the radio turns off. As soon as I turn them back off, the radio comes back on. Any ideas??

11-20-2009, 12:30 AM
I would trace the Radio Wires to find out where the DC Source is coming From. This sounds as if there is a poor Ground or the Wires somehow are interconnected to the Dash Lighting...see if the Radio has a seperate circuit for the Display Illumination..
Normally on our '82s the Radio would come on with the Ignition Switch. This would have the Radio using the Engine Batteries, I am going to move my Radio over to the House Battery so we can have it on while Moored.
Good luck to you and Elaine on going North, did you get the Electric Socks yet? ha-ha

11-20-2009, 07:23 AM
The radio doesn't come on with the ignition....I have to manually turn it on. I think something is crossed somewhere. The radio does have a separate circuit for the display illumination. I checked the ground, and even changed the power source, but still the same thing...some how the reostat and the radio are wired together....hmmmm?

Didn't buy the electric socks, but they are intriging....safe travels Steve...

11-20-2009, 10:08 AM
Clarke, does the radio work at all with the ignition off? I think that is what Steve was suggesting. If it doesn't turn on at all until the ignition is on, it is definitely tied to the chassis batteries. It could be tied to the chassis batteries but not through the ignition even it does turn on without the ignition on. Steve's suggestion to move it to the house batteries is a good one. That might help locate the issue you are having.

Stay warm. It is 65 in Austin at 5:10 AM.

11-20-2009, 12:34 PM
Morning Michael! It's about 5:30am here...so must be 7:30am there....and you are probably on your way to work. The radio is completely separate from the ignition. I stays on after I turn off the ignition. Rewiring it will be a project for after the trip....it's just one of those annoying problems that will have to be dealt with eventually...lol!

Richard and Rhonda
11-20-2009, 12:56 PM
You said the radio has a separate circuit for dimming it's display. That would have to be wired to the rheostat for it to work. I would start by disconnecting that dimming circuit wiring and see what happens.

11-20-2009, 02:44 PM
If the DC Power Source is from the House Bank and the Illumination is from the Engine Bank, it sounds like a possible Ground issue. I like Richard's suggestion, disconnect the Illumination Source and find out if this solves the problem. If so a simple solution could be to simply use the same DC Source for Both Circuits (I would use the House Bank). Only downside with doing this would be that the Illumination would be on Continuously if it isn't switched inside the Radio.

I would get bored while moored and go after this and I am sure that others including Richard would as well. I do not like Electrical Gremlins, but they are usually the result of someone else.

11-20-2009, 03:44 PM
Hi Richard....I will have to get out the wiring diagram for the radio to figure out which wire is going to the dimmer. The radio was installed by the prior owner after market....I should say he had some radio shop install it, so Steve, you are probably right...it is the result of someone else.

Well, we are off on our adventure in about 30 minutes, so I will extricate myself from this computer and "see" ya'll on the road later today....should be in St. George, UT by 4pm.

11-20-2009, 04:34 PM
Kind of sounds like a Ground problem to me, what about you.