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Old 07-22-2013, 01:39 AM   #1
brainsoft
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Default 1980 Interior lights and gauge cluster illumination

Are the 5 gauges supposed to be illuminated? I know mine are currently impossible to read in the dark making it difficult to see when I need gas at night.

Also is there a way to manually turn on the dome light? I expected to turn the headlight **** until it clicked but the dome does not come on. It comes on when the doors are opened though, so the lamp is intact.

Thanks
~Dave
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:55 AM   #2
2box
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brainsoft View Post
Are the 5 gauges supposed to be illuminated? I know mine are currently impossible to read in the dark making it difficult to see when I need gas at night.

Also is there a way to manually turn on the dome light? I expected to turn the headlight **** until it clicked but the dome does not come on. It comes on when the doors are opened though, so the lamp is intact.

Thanks
~Dave
Yes they are. If they are not You need to replace the bulbs, If You do You might want to go with Led's. Good luck
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:02 AM   #3
blackcorvette1980
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Yes, the dome light should turn on when you turn the headlight **** all the way to the left. Turning the **** to the right will dim all the gauge lights.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:53 AM   #4
brainsoft
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Each gauge has its own light I assume? What size are those allen key screws?

I guess that means my headlight switch is not fully functional. It dims the main dash only.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:59 AM   #5
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the allen screws are decoration only.

You don't need LEDs, with all brand new bulbs you should be able to see fine. you do need a special bulb for the opera light that illuminates the HVAC controls though
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwank View Post
the allen screws are decoration only.

You don't need LEDs, with all brand new bulbs you should be able to see fine. you do need a special bulb for the opera light that illuminates the HVAC controls though
Replaced all the bulbs in our dash with stock replacements. It's very easy to read them at night now.

Adam
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:41 AM   #7
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The problem with LEDs is you will get "hot spots". so it will be brighter in some areas than others.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:48 AM   #8
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regular bulbs are cheap. If I remember, I got an entire bumper to bumper set for $30 a few years back. well worth the investment, makes a huge difference.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:59 AM   #9
brainsoft
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I thought it was too good to be true to have a gauge so easy to remove! Does the cluster come out as one unit from the back or are there hidden screws on the front. Oh, the screws under the lip above the vents will peel off the whole front console maybe?
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:03 PM   #10
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It has been awhile since I pulled mine, but you take out the side panels along the console there are 4-6 screws that hold those two carpet pieces in place. Then you can get to screws on the plastic piece that holds the gauge cluster in place, it is one piece (I think), the gauge assembly along with the plate that covers the shifter assembly.. It appears to be two pieces but I think it is actually it is one. Remove the shift grip also by unscrewing the push button at the very top then the part that looks like a cue ball. again, my memory might be a bit fuzzy on the details w/o looking at it.

Last edited by idtpes; 07-22-2013 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:08 PM   #11
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p.s. no screws are on the front of the plate, decoration only.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
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There are six screws in the gauge console; two at the top going up into the dash and one on each side just below the midpoint and two at the very bottom corners that connect the shift console to the gauge console.

Be very easy with the electrical connector on the back of the gauge cluster. The flex circuit contacts are not very durable.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:30 PM   #13
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Pulled the cluster apart to check the lamps. They appear to be in working order except for the small down light. That lamp burned out and melted the housing so the lamp holder will not re-seat in the housing. The other lamps appear to be intact but will meter them tonight.

Looking at the circuit board it looks like all the general lamps are on the same pin. i guess the fuse could be blown... i will have to try to find the fuse block tonight.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:56 PM   #14
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The fuse block is located under the drivers side dash. On the firewall, above where your left foot would be when sitting in the car.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:58 PM   #15
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Thanks Adam, I will be digging in there shortly
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:42 AM   #16
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Okay here is what I have learned tonight

All of the lamps are good in the cluster, only the climate control opera light is fried.
None of the fuses I checked were blown. I don't know which fuse they are on but they all seems operational.
There is no 12V signal present on the pin 12 circuit that picks up all the cluster lamps.

Somewhere between the fuse block and the cluster there is a bad connection. I have a couple of pages of wiring diagrams from Mitchell on Demand and it appears the lighting circuit runs through the wiper switch. I know the dome light has some intermittent problem, and the headlight and wiper switch are right there beside each other. Perhaps I will get lucky and kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

I don't know how to remove the wiper switch however! I have the bezel off and the switch assembly only comes part way out
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:10 AM   #17
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Bad news- removing the wiper switch likely requires pulling the speedo cluster out to get behind and remove the screw that is located at the bottom of the wiper switch assembly. Also check your wiring in the dash/under the steering column. I had burned/melted wiring that caused me problems with the courtesy light and other areas. It took me forever to run that one down...

http://willcoxcorvette.com/instructi...oval_78-82.pdf

Note- These instructions say you have to pull the steering wheel. I drop the steering column down a bit and carefully remove the speedo/tach over the steering wheel. It's tricky, but can be done.
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:10 AM
 
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