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  #1  
Old 03-15-2007, 01:35 AM
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Location: New Hampton, NH
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Unhappy Console light problem

Tonight while connecting a boost gauge I shorted the console lights. They stoped working and I assumed I had a blown fuse. I could not find a problem with any of the fuses in the fuse box under the hood. The insterment cluster lights still work fine and the dimmer switch seems to be functioning fine. Is there another fuse in the system? What should I check next? Any Ideas? Am I the only idiot to make this mistake?
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1980 300TD with 1985 300TD Turbo motor and 240D 4 speed.
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2007, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
Tonight while connecting a boost gauge I shorted the console lights. They stoped working and I assumed I had a blown fuse. I could not find a problem with any of the fuses in the fuse box under the hood. The insterment cluster lights still work fine and the dimmer switch seems to be functioning fine. Is there another fuse in the system? What should I check next? Any Ideas? Am I the only idiot to make this mistake?
I suppose you could have blown a bulb down there. Do a search for console bulb replacement. I remember someone doing one recently that wasn't too hard or time consuming. Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2007, 11:15 PM
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It is not a bulb. I tested with a multi-meter... No juce.
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  #4  
Old 03-15-2007, 11:49 PM
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I am not an expert, but I am pretty sure that the switches you speak of are powered by fiber optic light. In this system there is a main light source (which I believe is located behind the center switch panel). This light source has several "tubes" which are fiber optic lights that are attached to it sort of like an octopuses arms are attached to its body. The light travels through these fibers and ends in a small light at the switch. If you have blown out the light source in the body of the octopus, I am not sure how to fix it, as I have never had to do this. Hopefully, someone who has had to tackle this job will type and answer for you. To start to investigate you will need to take out the ash tray then unscew the bolts that hold in the ash tray drawer. You will also probably need to remove the center wood panel that has all of the switches in it. The octopus body should be behind the air conditioning buttons.

Gilbert
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  #5  
Old 03-16-2007, 11:59 PM
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Thanks Gilbert and Griesl. I know about the fiber optic thing. I was hoping someone could tell me about a fuse-able link for the console lights. They worked until I shorted the hot wire that runs them. It is just strange that it did not blow any of the fuses in the fuse box. I thought all the lights for the dash and the console where toghether on fuse #1. I don't understand why they all did not fail together. Looking at the Chilton wire diagram I can't find anything that gives me a clue on this one.
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2007, 11:26 AM
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I have not ever had to repair these lights, but I would guess that the light source bulb for the fiber optics has burned out if you can find no fuse that is burned. I have read though, that putting in clean new fuses (preferably copper tipped) and lightly sanding the fuse holders can work wonders. I have read that even though a fuse was not burned out, it was not getting a good enough contact to make the electrical circuit work correctly.

Hope you can figure it out,


Gilbert
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2007, 04:26 PM
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I would check the backside of the instrument cluster. You could have blown a copper circuit in the board. Check the circuit after the dimmer. I dont know how different your wiring is to mine. You should have continuity from dimmer to #12 pole(on mine).
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2007, 01:12 AM
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I bet that is it. I will give a look as soon as I can get some time. The #12 pole you are talking about is on the wire harness plug on the back of the dash... Right? How is this repaired? can I hard-wire around the bad circut bord or do I need to get the board fixed? Shouldn't the short blow a fuse before it burns the bord? Thanks for your help.
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2007, 03:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
I bet that is it. I will give a look as soon as I can get some time. The #12 pole you are talking about is on the wire harness plug on the back of the dash... Right? How is this repaired? can I hard-wire around the bad circut bord or do I need to get the board fixed? Shouldn't the short blow a fuse before it burns the bord? Thanks for your help.
I bet when you open up your instrument cluster (the oil pressure, fuel, and temp guages), you'll find one (or both) of the traces leading to the dimmer rheostat is burned up. If you have a soldering iron, you can jump the burned trace with some insulated solid wire. I did it and it was pretty easy. Now my console lights come on as they should when I turn on my headlights.

If no traces are burnt, check the rheostat itself for continuity. A bad dimmer will keep the console lights from working.
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