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Installed new head unit, now dash lights out

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by mlittle, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Jul 9, 2010 at 8:00 AM
    #1
    mlittle

    mlittle [OP] T O Y O T A

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    This probably just a coincidence, but I figured that I would get some input.

    I have recently replaced the factory stereo in my 2003 Tacoma with a new Alpine unit. After the installation, I have noticed that a couple of my dash lights (gauges) don't work. I am hoping that they are simply burnt out versus an electrical problem, but I wanted to see if anyone has experienced this. I find it odd that multiple lights would burn out at the same time.

    I have recently ordered LEDs to replace the lights, but I don't have them yet - the lights must know that I am in the process of replacing them. :D I have a few threads bookmarked on replacing the dash lights, but I don't recall finding information on the number of lights required. How many lights are used for illuminating the gauges? Does anyone have a diagram of the back side of the dash that indicates which lights are for gauges versus warning lights?

    While I was installing my stereo, I noticed that the backside of the AC/Heat panel is coating with orange. Do I just scrape this off with a knife, so my display is the color of my LEDs?

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Jul 13, 2010 at 9:13 AM
    #2
    mlittle

    mlittle [OP] T O Y O T A

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    I will replace the bulbs with leds to see if I still have issues.

    Can someone tell me the number of bulbs that are used to illuminate the gauges? Also, am I ok with scraping the orange coating on the AC controls, so the panel illuminates the color of the leds?
     
  3. Jul 13, 2010 at 10:27 AM
    #3
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    Hitch and wiring, aux back-up light, rear strobe lights, radio and underseat sub.
    Recheck your wiring on the radio. If good, check the voltage to the suspect bulbs. No volts=check the wiring again. Volts=bad bulb.
     
  4. Jul 13, 2010 at 10:33 AM
    #4
    krimson

    krimson Nothin

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    Did you check your fuses?
     
  5. Jul 13, 2010 at 10:43 AM
    #5
    mlittle

    mlittle [OP] T O Y O T A

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    I used a wiring harness, so the wiring should be fine. I have at least one bulb for the gauges that is working, so the fuse is good unless there are multiple fuses for the dash.

    I hope that my leds arrive this week, so I can troubleshoot this issue. I don't feel like pulling the dash apart to troubleshoot the lighting then again to install the leds, so I will wait to do everything at once.
     
  6. Jul 13, 2010 at 10:45 AM
    #6
    krimson

    krimson Nothin

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    You should check your fuse box, i don't know how the fuse box is setup on First gen's.
     
  7. Jul 13, 2010 at 6:15 PM
    #7
    Yamasaki

    Yamasaki Yamaha + Kawasaki!

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    I just had the exact same problem with my Tacoma. Installed a Kenwood deck.

    The issue that I had was that I wired two of the orange illumination wires together. You know how the Toyota plug in harness has two seperate wiring looms to it? Both of these looms have an orange wire.

    I accidently wired the orange wires together. Both of them were hot and when connected together, caused a short. The result was a loss of dash lights. (Includes lights behind speedometer and A/C controls) In addition to the loss of dash lights, the rear taillights were not lighting up when the headlights were on. Have you checked if you taillights are working yet?

    Before I installed the radio, I wired the harness in my living room. Splicing the stereo harness into the Toyota wiring harness using wiring connectors and electrical tape. When you have all the wires in front of you, it is very easy to make the mistake I made. Afterall, you are connecting wires of the same color together.

    When I plugged the Toyota harness into the factory harness in the dash and powered up the radio, it blew the taillight fuse (I did not hear this, rather discovered in later that night when driving home from work).

    The dash lights run off the taillight fuse. Its under the hood and its a 10 amp fuse. Check and see if that one is burned out. DO NOT replace it with a higher amp fuse. I did in an attempt to troubleshoot and the result was a burning smell and a burnt out rheostat (dimmer knob). I had to replace my rheostat but luckily was able to find one at a wrecking yard for $15. Toyotas cost on a new one was $150+.

    In my case had I removed the stereo and disconnected the orange wires and then replaced the fuse, Im pretty sure my rheostat would have been saved.

    Im sorry if this is confusing but I hope you get the point. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

    Toyota harness = The harness that you purchase for about $15.00 so that you do not have to cut and splice the factory wiring. You wire this harness to your radio and plug it into the factory harness

    Factory harness = The wiring in your dashboard.
     
  8. Jul 14, 2010 at 8:23 AM
    #8
    mlittle

    mlittle [OP] T O Y O T A

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    I will check the taillight fuse to see if it's blown.

    I did notice that I have two orange wires coming from my wiring harness (bought at Best Buy) - one is orange (illumination) and one is orange-white (dimmer), but there is only one orange wire on my Alpine unit (illumination). I connected the two illumination wires together and didn't use the dimmer wire. If the taillight fuse is fine, I will disconnect the illumination wires to see if I get my dash lights.
     
  9. Jul 14, 2010 at 9:34 AM
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    Yamasaki

    Yamasaki Yamaha + Kawasaki!

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    My Kenwood deck did not have an illumination wire at all. While searching for a reolution to my problem, I came across several posts where users said to disregard the illumination wire alltogether as wiring it caused problems.

    Just search using keywords 'dash lights out' 'rheostat'' orange wire' and I'm sure you will come across the same threads I did. Your best bet may just be to disconnect that illumination wire.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Jul 21, 2010 at 6:07 AM
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    mlittle

    mlittle [OP] T O Y O T A

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    My leds arrived, so I will pulling the radio and dash apart. I will pull the illumination wire off before I pull everything apart to see if it fixes the issue. Once I figure of it that resolved the issue, I will move to pulling the dash, so I can install the leds.
     
  11. Jul 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM
    #11
    JLee

    JLee The Man! Vendor

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    I lost track thousands of dollars ago.

    I replaced my bulbs with white LED's and i love the look there is 4 main bulbs on the gauges and three for the AC controls.

    About the orange coating on the ac controls i tried rubbing alcohol and it didn't work I want it off to let me know if it scrapes off for you I want to be able to see my white LED's.
     
  12. Jul 21, 2010 at 10:59 AM
    #12
    mlittle

    mlittle [OP] T O Y O T A

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    Do the lights for the gauges have an orange cap on them? I am hoping that this is the case, so it would make the swap a lot easier. How long did the swap take you to complete? I have never taken the entire dash apart, so I would need to figure out which screws to take out.
     
  13. Jul 21, 2010 at 11:40 AM
    #13
    JLee

    JLee The Man! Vendor

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    I lost track thousands of dollars ago.

    Yeah the bulbs have orange rubber caps on them. So you just have to swap the bulbs out.

    It took me about 25min to install there is a lot of screws just a tip if the panel don't come off easy there is most likely another screw hidden somewhere. you will have to take off the plastic around your stereo this is where all the hidden screws are so be careful i almost broke one the first time I took it off.

    What color LED's did you get? I got 5000k white and they look awesome.


    Another thing check the gauge before to put it back in i had to turn a bulb because my Tach was only half lit. And i got 5 way bubs
     
  14. Jul 21, 2010 at 11:52 AM
    #14
    mlittle

    mlittle [OP] T O Y O T A

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    I bought white leds, but I may end up switching to blue ones later.
     
  15. Jul 21, 2010 at 12:03 PM
    #15
    JLee

    JLee The Man! Vendor

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    I lost track thousands of dollars ago.
    I think you'll like the white one's mine have a blue tint to them.
     
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