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Bypass rheostat to reinstate dash lights

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Old 10-16-2013, 09:38 PM   #1
yeast [OP] yeast is offline
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Bypass rheostat to reinstate dash lights

My equipment cluster lights in the dash don't work. These are the background ones that everyone seems to have changed to red (in the process, I have put in new 194B bulbs to change mine to blue to match the interior).
Everything else works--the aftermarket radio that the previous owner put in, the gauges, the headlights, tail lights, license plate lights, dome light, door buzzer, everything.
However, I don't have any lights so I can my speedometer at night.
I think my rheostat (dimmer) is dead. I'd love to bypass this, but every attempt has blown my tail light fuse. I've tried this about a dozen times, and have run out of fuses. Having the lights on constantly is no big thing. Or, having them controlled by a rocker switch would work too. I bought one, and can not wire it up without blowing the fuse.

There has to be a defective ground or a short, but all the wires leave the rehostat and duck into the dash, coming out at pin D of the equipment cluster.
I'm obviously an electricity noob. Please help me, in the most simple terms possible.

I'm planning on going to a junk yard this weekend to get a new rheostat, but something killed my old one (aftermarket stereo?) before I bought the truck, so I don't want to kill this one too.

If the rehostat is the issue, why can't I bypass with this a rocker switch without having it blow the fuse immediately?

1992 V6 xtracab AT, 4wd.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:56 PM   #2
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Mine did the same thing when a friend and I hooked up my aftermarket radio, we weren't supposed to hook up the orange illumination wire.. and we did.
Dealer tried to charge me $330 to fix it, thank god for extended warranty. Was only $100.

Not sure if that's the only way to fix it or not. It sure beat driving with a flashlight on the dash..
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:58 AM   #3
yeast [OP] yeast is offline
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Do you know what the dealer did? I'm guessing you still have the aftermarket stereo, but did they unhook the orange wire?

I've see posted somewhere that the after market heads pull too much power if they aren't on the factory wiring, and kill the rheostat. That might be my issue, but I don't know of a way to test until I get a new rheostat (or two from the junk yard) and test 1st with the radio fuse unhooked.
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