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do i have a short? or just short on knowledge?

1262 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DrPepper
Putting the dash back together in my 66 Chevelle Malibu and have come upon a grounding issue, i think. I upgraded the idiot lights to gauges, and therefore ran wires for the new ammeter, Before reinstalling the dash i have tried to get the dash lights to work (the 5 backlit lights that are on Grey wires). I thought that i should be able to turn on the lights, and simply put a ground wire to the metal part that holds the lights to the back of the dash. This did not get the bulb to light. However when i put a positive lead to what i thought should be the ground connection, the bulb lit up.
i tried disconnecting all of the new wires that i installed for the gauges (and Vintage Air AC), and still get the same results. I am assuming that the back of the dash (metal ) is supposed to be negative ground, and that i must have a short in the wiring harness.

Any ideas or info would be greatly appreciated.

Paul in
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You are correct that the prongs that hold the socket to the dash are also the routing for the ground connection. Are you sure you are getting power through the gray wires? Is the fuse blown? Do you have a multimeter? If so you could do the following. With the multimeter on DC volts and the headlight knob in the position to turn on the lights take the positve probe and touch the positive connection in the bottom of the bulb socket (inside the socket) and the negative probe to a good ground. The meter should show something near 12 volts. Meters can be had inexpensively and are v ery helpfull. Also make sure the headlight knob is not turned all the way to the right as to dim the dash lights. There needs to be a ground wire run to the metal structure of the instrument lights which I assume you have from your seat track. I think you could find a closer ground source but if thats a good ground i guess its ok but I would clean off that paint or soundproofing around the immediate area that you have tha ground connection connected to.
Thank you for the advice. after many hours of tracing each wire connected to the dash light circuit, the issue turned out to be a wrong connection of the wires that supply current to the center console. I must have made this mistake while reconnecting the wires. Embarrassing, but a learning experience. Thanks again for the advice.
Paul F
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