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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dash lights seem VERY dim. Tried snapping a pic. I pulled a bulb and they are some funky looking thing, will hav to get a pic but does not look like a 194 or good ole style bulb. Not sure if they are an LED or what but they sure as heck are not bright.


What would be my best course of action, swap out one bulb and see if it makes a difference? Check all the bulbs? They are a nightmare to try and get too. it seems pulling the dashpad is no major task so I would be best to pop it off there for easier access?


I hardly ever drive the car at night but my OCD makes me want to have nice bright dash lights even if I never use em! LOL


Thanks a million for all the help you on here have provided. It is in valuable.


Pat
 

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The way it is lit up resembles a bad ground and/or poor connections between the bulb sockets and printed circuit.. Try removing a known dim one, clean the contacts on the socket and tweak them out a bit. Reinstall and see if anything changes. If they are LED's they are polarity sensitive and may need to be rotated in the socket.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Did you turn the H/light sw for max brightness? Maybe the rheostat in the switch is bad...

When I turn the switch I can dim them all the way off.When I bring them back up they get as bright as they are gonna get within probably 20% of the total movement of the switch. The rest of the time you are turning the knob but they are not getting any brighter. Not sure if that is normal or not for these cars.


When I turn the switch all the way to the left the dome light does come on as it should.
 

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This is what I did to get brighter dash lights, On my 70 driver. I installed relays on my headlights. Also Halogen headlight bulbs. ( WOW,,,, What a difference.) Now the headlights get direct Batt. voltage and not leftover voltage from inside the cabin.
My dimmer switch is now a trigger for the relays. I am very happy with this up/grade.
Bob
 

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Check the plug in from the hot wire in your harness from battery to the fuse block bulkhead. These tend to corrode and cause this eventually failing and then = no dash lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Check the plug in from the hot wire in your harness from battery to the fuse block bulkhead. These tend to corrode and cause this eventually failing and then = no dash lights.

This car has all new wiring, purchased it in June and it just had a frame off restoration, everything new. So not saying something is not wired incorrectly but there are no corrosion issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here is what the person said I purchased the car from


They are great when they are working, HA! HA! The problem is with the socket, they are new but I have found that an original socket seems to work better. Do you have any connection to find them in a car some place. I have a few here but if you pull the dash I would change all of them. I bend the contact tip on the socket to put more pressure on the printed circuit board. If you play with the dash make sure you disconnect the battery.
 

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When I turn the switch I can dim them all the way off.When I bring them back up they get as bright as they are gonna get within probably 20% of the total movement of the switch. The rest of the time you are turning the knob but they are not getting any brighter. Not sure if that is normal or not for these cars.


When I turn the switch all the way to the left the dome light does come on as it should.
It sounds like your switch may be the problem.
The lights should get progressivvely brighter as you turn the knob, not stop at 20%.
If you can pull the light switch, try to get some contact cleaner into the area of the rheostat.
Work it back and forth while the cleaner is in it and see if they work better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It sounds like your switch may be the problem.
The lights should get progressivvely brighter as you turn the knob, not stop at 20%.
If you can pull the light switch, try to get some contact cleaner into the area of the rheostat.
Work it back and forth while the cleaner is in it and see if they work better.

Thanks Weldon, will give that a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So I messed with these lights all day. I think a couple sockets were not working because there is more light than there was. I tried one Sylvania LED and did not notice much difference. But...And this is why I hate electric issues. The socket in the upper left that lights up the amp gauge and light switch WAS working fine, now I can't get the damn thing to work. Rotated the bulb, changed the bulb nothing. I must have screwed something up! Ugh.
 

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Note that one said the tabs, I second that. Bend the tabs, insert, lock, unlock, relock.. I found that doing good that it provided better contact. It drove me frickin. Nuts.. now they all work

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Note that one said the tabs, I second that. Bend the tabs, insert, lock, unlock, relock.. I found that doing good that it provided better contact. It drove me frickin. Nuts.. now they all work

Good luck

yep...it is driving me batty! Will play with the tabs tomorrow. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Went out and tried bending the tabs both ways, different bulbs, flipping the bulbs..Nothing and it was working yesterday!
 

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Hi Pat. Try bench testing them. 12 V battery and some alligator type jumpers and you can verify that the bulbs and sockets are ok. The tabs need to be protruding away from the base enough to guarantee contact with the printed cct. If the traces on the PC are good and the plug is good from the wiring harness to the cluster then you will be able to make them work. I've had to gently wire brush the contacts to ensure good contact as well.
 

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Even with all new wires there are 5 mounting points on the PCB that are GROUNDS. It’s critical that all these points have a great connection to the metal frame beneath.

 

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One thing to always keep in mind, although it can be inconvenient when testing---

Disconnect the (-) battery cable when working behind the cluster.

Many printed circuits, ammeters, etc have been damaged by slip-ups with tools, stray parts etc.
 
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