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Unread 07-20-2010, 10:12 PM   #1
dd4bama
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Dash lights for dummies

I've read most of the dash light threads without success. My instrument lights have never worked, except for about one second when I was turning the dimmer switch on one occasion. I replaced the switch and it did nothing. I am hoping it's a fuse issue, and have attached a picture of my fuse box - someone on here may see something I don't. I've also attached a wiring photo, just in case someone can see something there as well. Thanks.





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Unread 07-20-2010, 10:19 PM   #2
walkerhoundvm
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By dimmer switch, do you mean the headlight switch that rotates and controls dash light intensity? Or the dimmer switch on the floor that controls the high beams?

The headlight switch in the dash would've been my guess, probably not if you replaced it. Second to that would be a main ground somewhere. I haven't gotten that far in my electrical system rebuild yet, but someone here probably has! All your fuses look OK to me.
-N
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Unread 07-20-2010, 10:23 PM   #3
dd4bama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkerhoundvm View Post
By dimmer switch, do you mean the headlight switch that rotates and controls dash light intensity? Or the dimmer switch on the floor that controls the high beams?

The headlight switch in the dash would've been my guess, probably not if you replaced it. Second to that would be a main ground somewhere. I haven't gotten that far in my electrical system rebuild yet, but someone here probably has! All your fuses look OK to me.
-N
Yep...talking about the dash switch. I replaced it thinking that was it, but it wasn't. It must be a grounding issue since they came on at one point for about a second and popped off again. Thanks though.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 10:40 PM   #4
VACJ7
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Just about everything on the dash grounds through the dash itself. I ran a dedicated ground wire from the battery to my dash. When I had the exact same problem, replacing the switch and adding ground fix it. Also used some emery cloth to clean up contacts and ground points.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 10:45 PM   #5
dd4bama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VACJ7 View Post
Just about everything on the dash grounds through the dash itself. I ran a dedicated ground wire from the battery to my dash. When I had the exact same problem, replacing the switch and adding ground fix it. Also used some emery cloth to clean up contacts and ground points.
Thanks. Is there a ground off the switch itself that needs to be connected to the dash? Also, dumb question...are all grounds black on CJs?
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Unread 07-20-2010, 10:59 PM   #6
VACJ7
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I want to say that switch has a ground wire, but you can download the Factory Service Manual (FSM) on this site and it has wiring diagrams. I would not go on faith that all black wires are ground. One of the POs of my Jeep apparently used whatever wire he had handy and sometimes spliced black wire into hot feeds as power wires. If you have a multimeter with a continuity setting you can test a wire. Connect one side to the wire and the other side to a known good ground. Mine beeps when there is a complete path. I disconnect the battery first.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 06:36 AM   #7
scooby533
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Unless you can verify by tracing a wire path, NEVER take for granted a certain color is what it should be. What it "should" be and what it is are vastly different in most cases on CJ's because of PO's.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 07:07 AM   #8
frank c
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In your first picture of the fuse box notice the tell tale GREEN fairy dust accumulated on the bottoms of the cubicles.
Buy a can of contact cleaner and one at a tine remove each fuse/flasher and spray clean the contacts, if you have a compressor blow some air into them also after spraying while still wet to help dislodge any debris/corrosion.
That should help to some extent in general for all connects there.
While you had your light switch apart did you notice any corrosion on the contacts if so take apart again and clean same with all connects you can get your hands on, ground mounted wires also.
I took for granted when I started to restore my 81 that had been sitting for years that the wires were going to be shot everywhere. After starting to get into it and inspect most all wires were looking good for general integrity only connections were showing corrosion.
Good Luck with it.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 07:17 AM   #9
alex211
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Ground out your dash, it should fix the problems.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 08:38 AM   #10
dd4bama
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I appreciate that. I would like to test all of them before putting the dash back on...is there a way to ground it out properly without the dash being installed?
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Unread 07-21-2010, 10:10 AM   #11
sgttaylor83CJ7
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Jumper cables
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Unread 07-21-2010, 10:35 AM   #12
andyt86CJ
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I cannot turn on the lights UNDER the dash. I just got an 86 Laredo that is near mint. My old 85 I had had under dash lights and I can't remember how they turn on. Twist the headlight knob to the left ?? I tired that nothing happened. Was going to change out that switch if need be
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Unread 07-21-2010, 10:41 AM   #13
albinoplatypus
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the switch should click once it's rotated all the way to the left. if they don't come on check the bulbs then the switch.
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Unread 07-21-2010, 10:42 AM   #14
andyt86CJ
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no click. thanks man !
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Unread 07-21-2010, 11:03 AM   #15
Rusty Barrels
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Also check the clips that the fuse inserts into, one side can be broken off
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dash , dash lights , dimmer switch , gauges , ground wire , wiring , wiring diagram

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