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Technical We have dashboard lights... 1960 Biscayne

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rob-redm, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. According to the linked diagram, there's a dark green (dk grn) wire from the switch to the fuse panel (for dash light power), then goes through a fuse, then several grey wires leaving the panel feeding the lights.
     
  2. I checked the fuses all looked great... I did notice the fuses contact look a bit crusty in box.. Disconnect the battery and get some emery cloth and clean the contacts and put some di-electric grease on the fuse contact. put in some new fuses may be a good idea. Thank you Crazy Steve, I will check that wire at the fuse box .. I will clean the fuse box of any corrosion at the contacts..
     
  3. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,703

    B.A.KING
    Member

    My fuse panel lettering had faded so i went to ebay, typed in "wiring harness for 59-60 chevy" it came up with new fuse block pic i took a pic of it so when i'm under the dash looking at panel, i know what i'm looking at. I 'm sorry i still have pics but do not know how to post them here.Man i laid on my back and chased those gray wires... gives me chills to think about it again.... I do have the pic of fuse panel saved on phone , i can send you a pic in a text if that will help.
     
  4. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,703

    B.A.KING
    Member

    I keep remembering things i tried. Get you A known hot wire that you are sure is hot and Well ,maybe put a inline fuse in it just for safety. Touch the out feed side of fuse panel for instrument lights.That will be the side out the outer edge of fuse panel.See if they (lights )work.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  5. I'll go with a wire disconnected. Assume the position, dive under the dash with a good light and it should be obvious.
     
  6. bangngears
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 938

    bangngears
    Member
    from ofallon mo

    Perhaps as simple as turning the knob and see if the rheostat will bring them back
     
  7. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,335

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    The straight forward way is to get a voltmeter or test light, start at the fuse panel, and follow the wiring harness. Having the circuit diagram makes this a lot easier to do. Assuming it goes something like (fuse panel) --> (switch) --> (light bulb) --> (ground) you start at the fuse panel and look for 12v on your meter. Good? Move on to the switch. Got 12v going in to the switch? Got something less than 12v coming out of the switch? Turn the rheostat, check to see that the output goes from 0v to 12v ok. Good? On to the first bulb socket. Got 12v in? 12v out?

    At some point, you'll find 12v in and no 12v out. That'll tell you where to look closer. Could be a wire off, or broken internally, a bad connection at a fuse or other device in the circuit. If there are connectors, those can fail too.

    Depending on the circuit, you can sometimes narrow down where to look first. The dash lamps are likely to be wired in parallel, not in series, so if one goes out they don't all go out (like old school Christmas tree lights). It's possible, but unlikely, that all (47?) bulbs would burn out at the same time. You can pull out one or two bulbs to check them on a 12v source to be sure. Assuming at least a couple of them are good, look for what they have in common. The fuse that feeds them, the switch, possibly a single wire between switch and bulbs or between bulbs and ground.

    It's somewhat oversimplified, but for a circuit like this you can think of electricity like water in a pipe. It flows from the source (fuse panel) through some stuff to its final destination (ground). Somewhere in the middle, you have a break in the line.
     
  8. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,754

    BJR
    Member

    Hard to believe 37 posts to get dashboard lights to work. Come on it's not that hard! We put Hemi's in model T's with less drama.
     
    cosmo, 41 C28 and Truck64 like this.
  9. yep , I tried that...
     
  10. no drama here, just guys being helpful.. and helping someone out... going to pull the fuses tonight and clean the fuse box of any corrosion I may see.. I did find a another thread on a different forum.. same year 60 Chevy... exact problem I had... fuses looked good... cleaned his fuse box,, used some die-electric grease... and the lights came back on... going to try this..
     
  11. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,703

    B.A.KING
    Member

    Like i said i worked a while on this before i found this problem. You leave car outside? Does it leak? This could lead up to this.
    I think i ended up using a dremel with the little wire wheel that comes with it...... I think?
     
  12. garyf
    Joined: Aug 11, 2006
    Posts: 229

    garyf
    Member

    . A over charging condition or power spikes from a charging system can take out all the dash bulbs. When switched on Their filaments are the smallest item in the electrical system.If its power spikes,You can keep them slightly dimmed and this will prevent that from happening.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  13. If ALL the dash bulb's are knocked out, wouldn't you think it was a direct short? and the 47 number was a lil excessive....ya think? :rolleyes: . the switch dropped a leg but it's been replaced...... A bad connection,or it's a ground.....
    never HEARD OF AN OVERCHARGING CONDITION that would only affect dash lighting.......
    Try again!:confused:
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  14. the car is stored in a garage, it's cinder block walled garage... Is parked next to the wall, and it feels damp in the garage..
     
  15. garyf
    Joined: Aug 11, 2006
    Posts: 229

    garyf
    Member

    I have been an auto tech 35+yrs. ase cert. in auto elect.and never seen any car having 47 dash lights . Are we talking about a Christmas tree or a car? By the way I have replaced all dash lights blown at once, several times .No need to try again!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  16. Didn't get to it last night... stopped off at the parts store and bought some die-electric grease... need to get some more fuses since my kit doesn't have a few that are listed on the fuse box... Lol
     
  17. nor tonight, going to wait till Saturday when I can do this in the day light... and see a bit better.
     
  18. so time to dive in with the test light tomorrow...removed all the fuses from box ... cleaned all the contacts from top to bottom replaced all the fuses with new ones... still no dash light this evening... I will hit it again Sunday....
     
  19. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,703

    B.A.KING
    Member

    well crap.Did you figure out which one goes to dash lights?
     
  20. not tonight , going over again tomorrow and do some fooling around with my test light..
     
  21. Are the dash lights all common? The ones on my Ford cluster were all daisy-chained together, same color.
     
  22. So I have power on the right side of fuse @ the fuse box.. Should both sides of the fuse light up with the test light?
     
  23. Well I did get the blower fan to work again ...that's a bonus
     
  24. donno
    Joined: Feb 28, 2015
    Posts: 421

    donno
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

     
  25. donno
    Joined: Feb 28, 2015
    Posts: 421

    donno
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You say the fuses "looked " okay, but did you ohm them out?
     
  26. dirtracer06
    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 198

    dirtracer06
    Member

    Yes, unless the fuse is bad...
     
  27. so it blew two fuses, (fuse box says 3 amp)... My buddy came over with his fluke meter.. I blew the first fuse... and he replaced and it blew again... he connected the fluke in line were the fuse was and he blew the fluke meter's fuse...ran out of time this evening.. left it a part with the old headlight switch installed and hanging... pretty sure it blew the fuse for the third time no taillights/ brakelights... wondering if there is something pinched...had taillights/front marker lights earlier and the headlights worked fine... we checked all the connection from the stereo that was put in ( everything checked out ok there)
     
  28. something has to be grounded out... going to also remove the left kick panel and make sure the parking brake hasn't chaffed a wire...wondering if maybe some back feeding is coming thru the taillights ( socket or bulb element) back to the fuse box and switch... the car also has a trailer hitch on it... wondering the pig tail for trailer lights could because...
     
  29. Blowing the fuses like that tells me that you have a dead short in the circuit.

    Find all the other items that run on that circuit and chase your wiring starting from the fusebox.

    One step at a time and you will find the issue for sure.
     
  30. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,703

    B.A.KING
    Member

    Man, that sounds just like what mine did!You said you had stereo or new radio installed, look and see if you can find NEW screws put in somewhere.would not be the first screw to cut into a hot wire some where.
     

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