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GRIS LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
Elite Guru
OKLAHOMA
4176 Posts
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OK MATTHEW, HERE IT IS:
MADE A PREDAWN RUN TO WALMART THIS MORNING IN THE '87; TURNED ON THE LIGHTS AND THE WHOLE INSTRUMENT PANEL WENT BLACK. THE ONLY THINGS LIT UP WERE THE HI-BEAM INDICATOR AND THE TURN SIGNAL ARROWS WHEN ACTIVATED. HEADLIGHTS ROLLED OUT AND LIT NORMALLY,DIMMER SWITCH WORKED. WHEN THE LIGHTS WERE TURNED OFF THE DASH LIT UP WEAKLY. LIGHTS BACK ON, DASH BACK OFF.

AT WALMART TURNED OFF HEADLIGHTS AND ENGINE. WHEN I RESTARTED THE DASH LOOKED OK. AS IT WAS DAYLIGHT BY THEN I DROVE ON HOME W/O HEADLIGHTS.

AFTER ANOTHER ROUND TRIP TO TAHLEQUAH FOR SUPPER, I TRIED OUT THE LIGHTS WHEN I PUT THE CAR IN THE GARAGE. EVERYTHING WORKED AS USUAL; HEADLIGHTS CAME UP AND ON AND INSTRUMENT PANEL DIMMED SLIGHTLY AS I THINK IT'S SUPPOSED TO WHEN HEADLIGHTS COME ON.

NOW I GOT THE ASS LIKE A RUSSIAN BEAR. INTERMITTENT PROBLEMS ARE AN IMPERIAL P-I-A---
Posted on: 2017/5/15 0:34
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bogus Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
Grand Imperial Pooh-Bah
San Pedro, CA
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Have you ever taken the dash apart?

The backside of the IP is one of those membrane things with wire tracings.

I would not be surprised if the tracings are bad/broken/thinned out, take your pick.

I cannot think of any logical reason why they would not work, except for a problem in the headlight switch itself. I don't remember if there is a separate relay that fires the backlights. I would need to check my FSM to confirm that.
Posted on: 2017/5/15 3:39
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Matatk Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
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SW Chicago Burbs
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There are several components involved. You've got the switch, the photocell, and then the dash itself. Bad grounds can cause problems like that. It's hard being intermittent. Are you willing to remove the digidash from the car?
Posted on: 2017/5/15 15:57
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1989 Corvette...custom 383 stroker, superrammed and cammed, built trans with PeteK 2800 stall. Mustang dyno results: 336 rwhp / 419 rwtq.
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GRIS Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
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OKLAHOMA
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REMOVE THE DASH? SURELY YOU JEST, I DO WELL TO GET IN AND OUT OF THE CAR. IF I TRIED TO REMOVE THE DASH DARLING WIFE WOULD HAVE TO CALL THE EMT'S TO REMOVE ME FROM THE CAR :-)

MY REPAIR GUY THINKS IT'S MORE LIKELY THE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER THAN THE SWITCH. I'M STILL THINKING SWITCH AS THE CLUSTER WORKS OK EXCEPT ONE DEAD LES SEGMENT IN THE NUMERICAL SPEED READOUT. BUT IT COULD BE EITHER ONE. GUESS I'LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT TILL IT DIES FOR GOOD. HARD TO DETERMINE WHAT'S NOT WORKING RIGHT WHEN IT IS WORKING RIGHT.
Posted on: 2017/5/15 16:32
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bogus Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
Grand Imperial Pooh-Bah
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ooh... forgot about the photocell.

You can test it... in the garage, turn everything on, and see if the dash goes black. Hit the cell with a flashlight and see if it brightens up.

I did forget to mention grounds... my bad.

There is a main ground down in the left kick panel area. If that is corroded...
Posted on: 2017/5/15 23:24
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The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. - George Bernard Shaw

Education is the best tool to overcome irrational fear. - me

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Matatk Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
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There are grounds on the back of the cluster that guys have had to supplement for dimming issues.

Go to this website:

www.batee.com

Best information on the web in one spot regarding digital dashes.
Posted on: 2017/5/16 17:45
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1989 Corvette...custom 383 stroker, superrammed and cammed, built trans with PeteK 2800 stall. Mustang dyno results: 336 rwhp / 419 rwtq.
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Matatk Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
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A dash "rebuild" is in the $350 range. Just food for thought. I prefer the easy/simple/cheap fixes, first.
Posted on: 2017/5/16 17:45
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1989 Corvette...custom 383 stroker, superrammed and cammed, built trans with PeteK 2800 stall. Mustang dyno results: 336 rwhp / 419 rwtq.
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GRIS Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
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Quote:

Matatk wrote:
easy/simple/cheap


YEAH, THAT'S ME TOO. I STILL SUSPECT THE SWITCH, BECAUSE OF THE DASH DIMMING FEATURE WHEN THE HEADLIGHTS ARE TURNED ON, BUT THAT COULD ALSO BE A FAILURE IN THE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER.

I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW THE PHOTO-CELL WOULD BE INVOLVED.

THE BATEE SITE HAS A WORLD OF INFORMATION BUT NOTHING THAT SEEMS DIRECTLY RELATED. IF/WHEN IT HAPPENS AGAIN I'LL SHINE A FLASHLIGHT ON THE DASH TO SEE WHAT CAN BE SEEN, AS SUGGESTED ON THAT SITE.

I'M CERTAINLY NOT GOING TO HAVE THE DASH TORN INTO WHEN I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR. BRITTLE PLASTIC COMPONENTS IN THESE OLD CARS MAKE THAT RISKY FOR COLLATERAL DAMAGE.
Posted on: 2017/5/17 13:57
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hcbph Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
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Sounds very close to what I experienced on my 86. Dash went dark but the turn signals and high beam indicator were lit (headlights on or off). Drove it later, everything was fine. Then it did it a couple of more times then it went out for the last time. I found that if you shined a light into the dash, the gauges were working.

I sent it in to Bryan at Batee.com and he fixed it. It was the connector between the 2 circuit boards in the instrument cluster that were damaged from heat from the bulbs. He replaced the connector and changed it over to Xenon bulbs. Has been fine since.

(Removal process) First thing I did was disconnect the battery. Dash removal process (as I remember) was remove the bezel over the center of the dash was removed first, unscrew the steering wheel tilt lever after tilting the steering wheel down to it's lowest point. Remove the knob off the headlight switch. Remove the bezel off the instrument cluster area. Move it slightly to the left, tilt the top out and carefully work it out. Stuff some paper around the cluster in case you drop any screws, take the screws out that hold the cluster in and tilt it out. There are 2 connectors on the cluster and there's a clip on each that has to be spread a little to get the connector off. From what I remember, that's what was involved in removing the instrument cluster in my Vette. The installation was the reverse of the above
Posted on: 2017/5/20 10:28
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GRIS Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
Elite Guru
OKLAHOMA
4176 Posts
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Quote:

hcbph wrote:
Sounds very close to what I experienced on my 86. Dash went dark but the turn signals and high beam indicator were lit (headlights on or off). Drove it later, everything was fine. Then it did it a couple of more times then it went out for the last time. I found that if you shined a light into the dash, the gauges were working.

I sent it in to Bryan at Batee.com and he fixed it.


THAT DOES SOUND AWFULLY FAMILIAR. WISH I HAD KNOWN THE FLASHLIGHT TRICK WHEN IT HAPPENED. I EXPECT I WILL BE FOLLOWING IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS TO BATEE BEFORE LONG.
Posted on: 2017/5/20 13:38
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CorvetteBob Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
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Quote:

bogus wrote:
ooh... forgot about the photocell.

You can test it... in the garage, turn everything on, and see if the dash goes black. Hit the cell with a flashlight and see if it brightens up.

I did forget to mention grounds... my bad.

There is a main ground down in the left kick panel area. If that is corroded...


FWIW, A grounding problem was my 1st thought. While things were still apart (some still are) on the '89 my dash behaved nearly the same way. Once I started hooking things up, the dash suddenly started coming up.
Best of luck w/ the fix.
Posted on: 2017/5/21 0:45
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GRIS Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
Elite Guru
OKLAHOMA
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UPDATE:
RAN THRU THE DRILL IN THE GARAGE WITH DOOR DOWN AND LIGHTS OFF. HEADLIGHTS ON-DASH LIGHTS OFF. HAD A FLASHLIGHT THIS TIME, SHINED LIGHT ON DASH, DASH LIT UP, TURN FLASHLIGHT OFF, DASH LIGHTS FADED AWAY. SO IT WOULD SEEM THE PHOTOCELL IS WORKING AND ALSO EXPLAINS WHY DASH DOES NOT BLACK OUT WHEN HL ARE TURNED ON IN DAYLIGHT.

RECITED THE SYMPTOMS TO BRYAN AT BATEE, AND HE THINKS HL SWITCH MOST LIKELY CULPRIT. ON THE BASIS OF THAT WE WILL REPLACE THE SWITCH AND SEE WHAT WE SHALL SEE (LITERALLY :-)

I'M THINKING HE KNOWS AS MUCH ABOUT C4 DASH PROBLEMS AS ANYONE DOES.
Posted on: 2017/6/23 15:41
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GRIS Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
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EXPLETIVE DELETED. NEW SWITCH SAME PROBLEM. WILL SEND THE DASH CLUSTER OFF TO BATEE.
Posted on: 2017/6/30 14:24
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Matatk Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
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Sorry the switch didn't work. Hopefully the reconditioning will do the trick.
Posted on: 2017/6/30 15:20
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1989 Corvette...custom 383 stroker, superrammed and cammed, built trans with PeteK 2800 stall. Mustang dyno results: 336 rwhp / 419 rwtq.
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GRIS Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
Elite Guru
OKLAHOMA
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GOT THE DASH CLUSTER BACK TEN DAYS AFTER I SENT IT OFF. REINSTALLED TODAY, EVERYTHING WORKS AS IT SHOULD AND HARVEY IS HEALTHY ONCE MORE.

I AM THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED WITH BRIAN AT BATEE. HE IS JUST A GREAT GUY TO DO BUSINESS WITH.
Posted on: 2017/7/19 2:20
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bogus Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
Grand Imperial Pooh-Bah
San Pedro, CA
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Excellent! I have heard good things about him.

Glad it's working again!
Posted on: 2017/7/19 20:21
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The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. - George Bernard Shaw

Education is the best tool to overcome irrational fear. - me

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Matatk Re: LIGHTS ON-LIGHTS OUT
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Great news!
Posted on: 2017/7/21 2:34
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1989 Corvette...custom 383 stroker, superrammed and cammed, built trans with PeteK 2800 stall. Mustang dyno results: 336 rwhp / 419 rwtq.
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