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Dash Lights Out

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by PonchoCatalina, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. PonchoCatalina

    PonchoCatalina Registered Member

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    College Station, Texas
    I bought an '86 diesel Suburban last weekend so now I'm going through it fixing the little things (e.g. screaming rear a/c unit, broken wires at cruise control unit, etc.). The one problem I haven't been able to fix yet are the dash lights - they don't come on with the headlights. I just searched this site and read several pages of "dash lights out" posts, and they have helped determine what *isn't* the problem, but still no lights. Here's what I've got: headlight switch pulled out, radio dial light comes on; twist the headlight switch, radio dial light dims and brightens appropriately; twist headlight switch all the way to left, dome lights come on; turn key in ignition, glow plug light and other idiot lights illuminate; check 5-amp fuse for instrument lamps and it is good. So, I have eliminated the fuse and (I think) the switch as the cause. What next? I assume dismantling cluster to check connections there, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask before I start pulling apart the cluster. Any ideas are most welcome. Thanks for the help.
    - Ian
     
  2. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    bad grounds...

    If you have power to SOME of the dash lights,then I assume the fuse is good (you did check them,right?)...then it might be a ground problem...there is a black ground wire that goes from the dash to the body of the truck,it is bolted near the E-brake pedal bracket--many times this wire gets pulled off by your left foot,or gets forgotten when the cluster was removed...

    It might be several bulbs are blown too,if intermittent ground caused them to flash on and off too many times...or it could be the printed curcuit board or the sockets that hold the bulbs...good luck...NONE of the GM trucks I've owned have all the dash lights work properly!!--always at least one bulb that wont light unless you smack the dash with my fist!..and all of them are DIM,even when the bulbs all work!... They should make hologen 194 bulbs just for GM truck owners!...
     
  3. fordeater

    fordeater 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    i just had the same problem in my truck. I pulled the cluster out and had to replace probably 5 bulbs and now it works perfect.
     

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