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Old 08-17-2013, 05:35 PM
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No Dash Lights

As I was leaving work last night, I pulled my headlight switch out. The rod connecting the knob to the inside of the switch came completely out. I put it back in, and pulled the knob out a little more carefully, and I haven't had any dash lights since then. The dome light works if you turn the knob all the way around, but the clearance lights are out, the background lights on my aftermarket gauges are out, and the background illumination on the dash and the A/C controls is out. I replaced the switch this morning, and still have the same problem. The rod seemed to have a little trouble catching in the new switch. I wired the background lights on my gauges (aftermarket gauges on pillar) to the lead for the dash lights, and they have been flickering for some time, but the dash gauges never flickered. I checked the connection today when I had the switch out, and it looked okay. The 4A fuse tested good.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:33 PM
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I was jumping wires trying to identify the new switch as the problem in the wiring circuit...and I fried the radio. So I replaced the radio, and the yellow wire (constant 12V, I think) arced against the body of the radio. I now have no power on what is supposed to be a constant hot wire. For that matter, I don't have any power on any of the wires to the radio harness with the key turned to AUX.

I'm not having any luck with this electrical stuff. Any ideas?
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:47 PM
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Do the parking lights / taillights work?

Have you checked ALL fuses in BOTH fuse boxes?
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:53 AM
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Tails and parking lights are out too. The number 4 fuse was blown, so I put another 15A in it. As soon as I pulled the light switch, it blew. So I put a 20A in it, and it blew immediately. I'm not sure if I have a short in a wire, or an internal short in a bulb somewhere. Where are common places for shorts in these trucks? Could my connector for trailer lights (4 flat taillight plugin from NAPA) have gotten water in it and caused a short?

The radio problem was found to be a blown number 1 engine fuse (probably from when I arced the hot wire to the radio body). I changed it, and the radio is working again.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:53 PM
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Start with decommissioning the trailer light connector. ("Revert to stock" is always a good place to start.) If it still blows the fuse, remove the front park/turn bulbs and the rear tail/stop/turn bulbs, and the license plate light bulbs, and turn the dash light dimmer all the way down, and test again. If it still blows, there's a wiring short. If not, start putting bulbs back in and testing 'til it blows again. Finally, try turning up the dimmer and see if it blows the fuse at some point.

DON'T bother putting in a higher-rating fuse. Generally, unless you know you've added a load to the circuit (another accessory or what-not) that would call for a higher-current fuse, AND you know that the associated wiring can handle the higher current, a higher rated fuse is never the right approach to a blown fuse. It's just an invitation to start damaging wiring before the fuse does what it's supposed to do (that is, blow in order to protect the circuit).
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:32 PM
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Alright, I'll do that tomorrow. I only put a stouter fuse in to double check that I didn't just get a bad fuse (I was out of 15A fuses). I'm also going to pull my pillar and see if I have a short there. I think I may have wired my gauge lights to my exterior lights, and my short could be there. Again...revert to stock.
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:09 PM
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Pulled my trailer wiring harness, my gauge lights, my tails, cab lights, and side and front parking lights. Then turned the dimmer all the way down and pulled the switch...blew the fuse. Not sure what else to check. Could it be an internal short in the switch?
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgg93 View Post
Could it be an internal short in the switch?
Possibly. The switch isn't exactly famous for its high engineering quality. Test would be to disconnect the switch, and jumper the two (presuming it's two) terminals on the connector that are associated with the parking light position on the switch. If I remember tonight, I'll check the FSM for what those terminals are.

Have you checked / decommissioned that pillar wiring?
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:18 PM
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I disconnected the hot wires, then pulled the switch. Blew the fuse. I did that before I did anything else. I suspected my gauge wiring of being faulty due to a flickering backlight for about the past 6 months. It wasn't shorted, just a few bad connections. Got them patched up, though.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:29 PM
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Shoot, I forgot one other set of bulbs to remove - the peanut-size side marker lights in the front light assemblies. VERY slim chance, but if one of those is shorted to ground it'll blow the fuse. So take them out as well.

Okay, with all the bulbs still out (you remembered the license plate lights, right?), disconnect the headlight switch. Set your meter to ohms, lowest possible resistance range, put one probe on the terminal for the brown wire (might be marked R on the connector, pretty-much in the center of the connector), other probe on a good ground. Should read "open", or infinite resistance. If it reads low or zero resistance, there's a short to ground somewhere in the parking light wiring.

If it reads "open", then connect a jumper wire between that terminal and the one for the tan/white wire (may be marked B2, below and to the right of the other one). That simulates closing the contacts for the parking light circuit on the switch. If that doesn't blow the fuse, then remove the jumper, try installing a light bulb or two (start with the side marker peanuts, for example), and put the jumper in again. If it STILL doesn't blow the fuse, and those lights light up, then it's a good sign the wiring is good. You can try putting all the lights back in, and the jumper again, and see if they all work. If they do, that indicates the headlight switch is shorting the tan/white power supply wire to ground.

'Course, one possibility is that you'll reach down and look at the headlight switch connector and find a bunch of burnt connections. That would pretty-much conclude a failed switch, and you may have to splice in a new connector.
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