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Dash light out.... (circuit board repair)

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So the backlight for the "gen" light and lightswitch went out. I pulled off the dash, and the part where the bulb connects came apart (circuit board) Can this be fixed? See pic below...

20190505_213855.jpg

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You will need to replace the circuit board.  After almost 50 years that plastic has become very brittle.  Most people have not had much luck trying to repair them. 

rob

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Yeah that's what I kind of figured thank you for the input. For now I'm going to track down a socket and hardwire it into the dash lights. Eventually I want to put a tach where the clock is so then I'll change out the circuit board. 

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Wayne,

Converting your idiot light instrument cluster to a full gauge cluster is a very worthwhile project and complete kits, including the other circuit panel, all the gauges and extra wires, are readily available on eBay.  What was missing from the otherwise excellent kit I bought several years ago was a good set of instructions.  I wrote up a detailed set of instructions after struggling through my conversion project and had it verified by Darren Bull (LS5) who knows our dashes like he invented them (maybe he did).

When you get ready to convert your dash, you may want to review my project photo journal at this LINK and then shoot me an email with your address so I can send you a Word file with the detailed instructions.  BTW, you may want to consider converting to LEDs when you do this conversion.  Good luck.

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When I can afford it, I'm upgrading to the Dakota digital dash. It has a huge number of features.

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Thanks for all the information. It would be nice to have a full gauge package in the car. It's just a scary thought ripping the dash out when everything works. 🤣😂. I'm sure someday it'll have to be done though...

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Wayne, I thought the same thing when I had to replace a bunch of bulbs and reinstall the original clock. I followed Dennis's write up and it really helped...good luck

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Pulling the dashes from these cars is actually very easy. Installing them takes a little longer than removing them, but there are not that hard at all to do. There is really nothing complicated about them.

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Wayne,

Following are some instructions for removing the dash which I believe were written by one of our members:

 Just take your time and don't try to just force any part of it. The dash pods in our cars are VERY BRITTLE and will break if you just look at it wrong. Here is what I had to do:
1. UNHOOK BATTERY then Remove the dash pad


2. Unbolt two lower and three upper dash bolts (corners of the dash and near defrost vent) at this point the dash will be a bit easier to move but not even close to come out.


3. I cut a 2x4 to use as a small wedge and removed the a/c duct above the climate controls and placed the wedge there to hold the dash out about 1 1/2 inches from normal. That is all I "needed" but would have gone a bit further knowing how tight it all was


4. Remove the headlight switch knob by pulling it out to the on position and pushing the button on the side of the switch mechanism and removing.


5. Remove the switch itself by removing retainer from the knob side. It can be unplugged and put to the side until the job is done.


6. Remove the small ground wire from the drivers side of the rear of the gauge pod


7. Now you can remove the under column cover and then the screw on the lower side of the steering column that retains the gear selector wire and unhook the clip and leave it hang. **REMEMBER THIS IS THERE WHEN YOU REMOVE THE GAUGES OR YOU WILL BE MAKING EVEN MORE REPAIRS** ask how I know


8. While you are down there, remove the two bolts that hold the steering column in and support the column so it does not get bent.


9. Above the column, at the lower side of the gauges there are two 1/4 fasteners that need to be removed. The connect the gauge pod through two metal supports into the lower dash


10. Remove the three fasteners at the top of the dash pod (rear) and I believe two that are down the sides.


11. Remove the wire harness by depressing the clips on the sides and pulling it free, be careful not to rip the printed circuit, then if you have the factory clock remove the adjuster from the dash side with a small screwdriver


12. Pull the dash forward a bit and reach down the back and unhook the speedometer cable by pushing in the retainer and removing the cable

Your dash panel should now be free from anything holding it there, make sure I did not miss anything by looking carefully around the perimeter and you can now carefully guide the dash panel out of the dash. You may need an extra set of hands to keep wires out of the way when you get near the speedometer mount and don't forget you have that clip hanging at the bottom

 

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Nice write up Wayne, thanks.

Just to be clear, this procedure is to remove the instrument gauge cluster from the dashboard and not to remove the entire dashboard from the car?

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I always pull the entire dash as an assembly. Very easy and less chance for any damage. I can have one out in 25 minutes with the wire harness still attached to the dash. What ever works for you.

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