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Dimmer switch problems.

Marinerman

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May 20, 2008
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City, State
Gardena, Calif
Year, Model & Trim Level
'95 Explorer XLT
My first dimmer switch couldn't illuminate the instrument panel but could (on the last upper click) turn on the front dome light. I thought it was a bad dimmer switch, so I bought a second one, it did the same and so did the third. Frustrated I left the third one in my car. At night my instrument panel was dark. All of the sudden one night, the instrument panel lit up. I enjoyed this for about a week and then it went dark again..and then it lit up again and now it's dark. I
figure it can't be a fuse because even if the instrument panel is dark, when I roll the dimmer wheel to the top, the dome light comes on. Also, I've recently noticed my radio lights are half on. The stations panel light is on (i.e. FM 95.5), but the station buttons and remaining buttons don't illuminate. Has anyone had a similar problem or have ideas?
Thank you very much. MM
 



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budwich

Explorer Addict
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May 4, 2005
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City, State
Ottawa, Ont
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 XL
well... you might try a meter instead of just replacing the switch. You should be seeing something out of the R/BK wire at the dimmer and then follow this over near your instrument panel... there is a splice near there for all the "things" that you say aren't lit. Somewhere along there may be a break. OF course, if you don't see anything of the R/BK out, then check the T/O in at the switch as this is the feed for the dimmer. As for your "test" about the "roll the wheel"... the dome light and the "rest of the stuff" are on two different feeds so it doesn't mean anything... other than the dome light works... :)
 






Marinerman

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City, State
Gardena, Calif
Year, Model & Trim Level
'95 Explorer XLT
Thank you Bud. I do appreciate your help. I just did a forum search and someone had a similar problem. They replaced the headlight switch and it took care of the dimmer problem...figure that??!!
 






Walnut777

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City, State
South Carolina
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 XLT
I have an even weirder one for you.
My dad has a 94 f-150 and he had no running lights at all. The only way for him to get his running lights on was to roll the dimmer switch all the way up until the dome light came on, then the park lamps would work.
I replaced the headlight switch for him and that didn't help.
Well there is one thing ford trucks and full size vans from 1980 is to mid 90's have in common and that is the wiring harness that plugs into the headlight switch get burnt, melted or deformed. Well my dads looked just fine.

I seen what I believed to be the problem and my dad and my brother disagreed and told me to leave it alone and just wire up the new harness. I wired up the new harness and nothing. Then my dad tried 3 or 4 more healight switches.

After wrasslin with this all day, I asked could I do this my way. My dad and brother laughed, so did the Ford dealership when I told them the problem.
Well, I got the go ahead from my dad.

I pulled out his aftermarket cd player and as I assumed something was amiss.
The cd player that he had installed had no use for an illumination wire nor did it has any use for a positive or a negative dimmer wire. I disconnected these three wires and problem solved!

So now I'm riding on my high horse singing, "I told you so!" til the wheels fall off.
 






Marinerman

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City, State
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Year, Model & Trim Level
'95 Explorer XLT
What is the T/O? thanks
 






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