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Instrument Cluster/Dash lights all out! Help please!!

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Old 03-18-2013, 01:42 AM   #1
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Instrument Cluster/Dash lights all out! Help please!!

Well I Installed a new in dash DVD touch screen in my 04 Taco and as soon as I went to turn on my head lights after hooking it up, I heard a little pop and all my dash lights went out... (Found the ACC 10a fuse popped and replaced it with new 10a fuse.) I have been struggling now for the last 2-3 days trying to get this dang dvd player to work and also trying to get my dash lights to come back on but no luck! Even after replacing the fuse, it still didnt help.

After fighting with this "new" DVD player (It was having some major issues) I decided to put my stock stereo back in PRAYING this would fix everything but nope!! Still no dash lights. The headlights and all exterior lights still work normal but when i turn on the head lights, the dash lights should come on but they are not! So now my truck is fully back to its original form with harnesses and all connected again correctly but having issues. (Driving at night is difficult when you cant see your gauges)

For obvious reasons I checked the basics... dimmer switch isnt all the way turned off, checked every single fuse in the fuse panel inside the truck as well as under the hood, no blown fuses. Even the lights that illuminate the letters/numbers on the shifter are out. The clock on the dash is working and the stock radio is illuminating.

PLEASE HELP!! Any ideas would be very appreciated!
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:27 AM   #2
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Pull out the gauge cluster and look at the circuit board behind it. That pop was probably something frying on the board and you will see a burned area. Unless you can replace individual components, or find someone who can, you may need a new board. I'm guessing you didn't have a pre-made harness for your DVD player and tried to wire yourself? Sounds like you gooned it up. You should take to car stereo installer and get it done right.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:13 AM   #3
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You most likely blew a fuse. Use a test light or a multi meter to test your fuses.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #4
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Ya I did wire everything up myself no harness. I will try to pull apart the dash cluster and check the circuits. Also will be picking up a test light today. All the fuses have been checked visually and none are popped.

So I did discover this... when I take the illum wire from the truck and touch it to the 12V battery wire the dash lights come on when light switch is turned off. Then when I go to turn my head lights ON the dash lights turn off. Almost like its reversed when it shouldn't be.

Any more ideas while I bash my head on this one? Thanks guys!
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyclic85 View Post
Ya I did wire everything up myself no harness. I will try to pull apart the dash cluster and check the circuits. Also will be picking up a test light today. All the fuses have been checked visually and none are popped.

So I did discover this... when I take the illum wire from the truck and touch it to the 12V battery wire the dash lights come on when light switch is turned off. Then when I go to turn my head lights ON the dash lights turn off. Almost like its reversed when it shouldn't be.

Any more ideas while I bash my head on this one? Thanks guys!
As mentioned, check them with a test light. A fuse can visually look fine, but still be blown.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:47 AM   #6
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that's why I always pay the $7 for the harness...it's too much of a pita to deal with which wire is which sometimes...good luck. I really hope you didn't fry anything...
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:52 PM   #7
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Sounds like a wire getting grounded out, double check the wires you did
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:21 PM   #8
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The 10a ACC fuse is in the engine compartment... plus fuses generally don't make popping noises. You fried something.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:36 PM   #9
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Actually a fuse blowing will make a pop or snap type noise. Heard many a fuse blow in my line of work when looking for shorts.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:49 PM   #10
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Well I work in a car audio shop and I'll telling doing it with no harness free could be multiple problems
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:15 PM   #11
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Ya I learned my lesson on this one. Running into a whole heap of problems. Im trying to just get it back to normal again. Stock CD player is back installed and works fine... great but sucks not having dash lights.

So spent another 20 bucks at Auto zone, bought enough fuses to replace every single one and a test light. Light indicates every fuse works and that doesn't seem to be the problem any more. The only fuses I was unable to test with the test light are the large square ones that run the ALT, ABS, and the PWR units. I replaced all the little fuses though. The prongs on my test light are too wide and cannot connect to the large fuses. Could one of these be the problem??
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:36 PM   #12
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Not likely. I will get into the wiring diagram at work tomorrow. Shoot me a PM with your vehicle information and we will get this figured out. Then when we get this figured out, I can help you get your new radio installed and STILL have your dash lights. lol
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:53 PM   #13
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OK, I started digging in the schematics... your problem looks to be in this circuit. The illumination for the instruments and radio comes from the tail light circuit. My guess is that you messed up the illumination wiring to the radio and shorted it to ground (which caused your meter illumination problem). The question is, what popped? On the left, it starts with the ALT 120A fuse... if this was blown, you would have a dead battery by now if you are driving around... plus the tail light fuse should have blown way before this. The weakest link should be the 10a tail light fuse in the engine compartment. I assume you checked/replaced this.

So you are going to have to go systematically through all this stuff and try to rule stuff out. Working left to right on the light bulbs in the schematic, see what is working and what isn't... parking, license plate, tail, rear diff locker, hazards, etc. Find out what is working and what isn't. Then look to see for common parts. Also check the dimmer rheostat and see if it works. Post back what you find out.

You can move on to others things later... the grey boxes are actually connectors in the instrument panel jb3. You may have to inspect these. Also, the instrument panel circuit board may be still a good thing to look at.

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Old 03-19-2013, 07:13 AM   #14
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According to the wiring diagram I have, the illumination in your cluster is powered by the same circuit (As indicated above) of your tail light fuse. Further in on my wiring diagram it shows that at JB3 (Junction block 3, behind dash, above steering column) is where it splits off to the following: Hazard switch bulb, rear diff lock switch bulb, pass airbag off indicator, radio illumination, auto LSD switch bulb, AC control illumination. Then it is also jumpered off from JB3, terminal C18 to terminal H6 of JB3 and then powers: ECT pattern select switch illumination, O/D main switch illumination, cigarette lighter bulb, ash tray bulb, and glove box bulb.

That is a lot of things to look at, but check each one of those to see if they are working properly. Stranger things have happened, but you might just find out that whatever happened blew out all of the bulbs in your cluster. Just to be sure though, check each of those illumination bulbs to see if they work ok. If they do, then we will find you have an issue on the circuit between connector C14 of JB3 and the cluster connector C13, or a problem in the cluster/bulb, or a ground issue (I think someone mentioned grounds). The terminal at connector C16 returns to JB3 behind the dash, and connects to A5, where it jumpers to A4, and goes down to your dimmer switch, which controls illumination on the ground side.

Looking at all of this, the easiest step may be just to remove the cluster. You will be able to access and test all of this by doing that, and if the bulbs are bad, then you already have the cluster out anyway! Good luck, and let us know what you find, or if you need any more information.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:51 PM   #15
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Awesome diagrams! Let me do some digging and see what I can find out from this information! I really appreciate the help! Ill be posting when I find something else out!

I don't know if this is relevant or not but, I noticed today I turned my AC on in my truck and when the button is pressed a little light on the button illuminates saying the AC is turned on. NOW, when the head lights are turned to the off position the radio is illuminated and the AC button light is on and the dash clock is bright. When I turn on the head lights, the light on the AC button turns off (AC is still blowing cold air), the radio looses its illumination to where I cannot see the screen w/o light source and the dash clock dims down. Weird huh? Serious electrical bug here...
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:59 PM   #16
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Check that when it is dark. Many car's illumination systems dim normally when the lights are turned on. Sometimes dim enough that during the day you may not be able to see them lit at all.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:07 PM   #17
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Well its been quite the battle! Any bets on what it was? The Rheostat was inop! Cooked it. Sooo after about 150 bucks in stuff and parts, finally boiled it down to the rheostat and replaced it and all is well now. But... still no in dash dvd player. What ever im not messing with that pos any more! Thanks for the help guys it was a fun journey!
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyclic85 View Post
Well its been quite the battle! Any bets on what it was? The Rheostat was inop! Cooked it. Sooo after about 150 bucks in stuff and parts, finally boiled it down to the rheostat and replaced it and all is well now. But... still no in dash dvd player. What ever im not messing with that pos any more! Thanks for the help guys it was a fun journey!
If you want the indash, I'll wire up a harness for you and you can just plug it in the stock plugs. No loose wires, no shorts, and no illumination circuit disaster
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