Dash lights intermittently working - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-22-2017, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
duathlete44
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Dash lights intermittently working

The dash lights (all) on my 79' CJ5 only work sometimes. No rhyme or reason to explain it. I've tried a new headlight switch, no luck. The headlights work fine. I've played with the fuses, wiggled wires etc and can't figure it out. It's obviously a wire but don't know where else to look. It's effecting all the gauges. I've checked power to the headlight switch plug it all seems fine. Is there a fuse for the dash lights? Is there a single ground for the dash lights that might be corroded? Help!

Thanks

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post #2 of 10 Old 08-22-2017, 07:46 AM
John Strenk
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Most likely it's corrosion build up on the dimmer portion of the light switch.

But you say this is a new switch?

Maybe the terminals inside the plug have expanded or corroded and is not making good contacts.
You can remove each terminal in the plug and give each one a little squeeze or just replace them when you have them out.

79 was a wierd year and there was two headlight switch for the CJ. Make sure you got the right one.



Usually this is not how the problem manifest itself if you have the wrong switch. Usually your parking lights have problems...


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post #3 of 10 Old 08-22-2017, 11:52 AM
LumpyGrits
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Cj

Run a dedicated GND(-)lead from the dash panel, to the NEG(-)battery post.
LG

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post #4 of 10 Old 08-22-2017, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LumpyGrits View Post
Run a dedicated GND(-)lead from the dash panel, to the NEG(-)battery post.
LG
^^^ great advice right there.

I used a power distribution block off an 89 Chevy pickup as a ground buss on my CJ, mounted it right above the battery and connected it to the battery and ran ground cables to the engine, frame, dash and about an 8ga cable to the rear bulkhead by the taillights terminated on a brass bolt, that point was used for the rear lights and fuel tank sender.

Dave's 78 Build
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-22-2017, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
duathlete44
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Great pic and used it a couple of weeks ago when trying to figure it out. The dash lights work intermittently with both the new and old switch.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-22-2017, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
duathlete44
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The dash panel meaning the metal dash that the gauges are attached to? I'm pretty sure it's grounded since I use it for a negative contact to clip my voltmeter to when testing things.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-22-2017, 02:23 PM
bob4703
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But is it a good ground? LG knows his grounds. When I rewired I ran dedicated grounds to everything electrical. You will be surprised how much brighter your dash lights are with a dedicated ground. Your gauges are grounded through pressure contact to the the painted dash and the dash through the screws attaching it to the tub. Take out one of the 1/4" screws that holds the dash to the tub and look if there is rust in the threads. Rust doesn't make a good ground.

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post #8 of 10 Old 08-22-2017, 02:29 PM
John Strenk
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Hmmm... I thought he meant the lights on the gauges. If the gauges readings are going bad, then it has to be a ground problem. That would be the only thing in common with both lights and gauge operation.

Take that ground point you are using for your meter and turn the volt meter to volts. Touch the other meter probe to the (-) on the battery, Yes the negative side. Turn the lights on. When the lights go out look to see if there is a voltage reading on the volt meter. If there is any voltage reading then ther is a bad ground.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-22-2017, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
duathlete44
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I am talking about the lights on the gauges and the marker plates for the dash switches and pull knobs. They light up when you pull the headlight switch out. Most of the time they will not come on but sometimes do.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-23-2017, 06:01 AM
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Don't forget to check the harness side of the issue. Many times the harness's get melted, or wires and contacts corrode. Installing a new switch won't help if the female spade on the wire itself is damaged or crusty.
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