'86 5KTQ instrument cluster lights out

john at westcoastgarage.net john at westcoastgarage.net
Wed Nov 19 17:28:58 PST 2008

Robert Myers wrote:

> It could be something as simple as having the dash lights turned full 
> dim.  Not sure about the 5K's but in my S6 the dash light dimmer 
> "switch" is also the one used to set the dash clock.  At the Daylight 
> to standard time change I inadvertently turned my dash lights to full 
> dim while setting the clock.  Maybe the same has happened to you?
> Bob
>> Not likely.  The dimmer is in the dashboard computer above the 
>> radio/CC area.  I can honestly report that I spent a substantial 
>> number of hours chasing this problem, essentially for free, and 
>> sought the advice of this very list while beating my head against the 
>> wall.  Once I was in it a few hours, and I had subbed in a number of 
>> components from the handy-dandy parts car in my shed, I discovered 
>> the existence of the relay of which we speak.  It was only after 
>> ripping the dash apart in the parts car that I found it, another 
>> couple of hours.  We looked in the kick panels, we peeled back the 
>> sides of the console, went under the dash on the left and checked all 
>> the possibilities there, then followed some innocent looking wires to 
>> the above-glovebox hiding place of the relay.  Mind you, we hadn't a 
>> clue what the thing looked like!  The replacement unit worked for a 
>> while, then the lights went out again ...........  I thoroughly 
>> cleaned all the connectors and reinstalled the original relay, and 
>> things have been fine since.  I probably spent more time on the dash 
>> lights than the three times I had the sunroof out for various 
>> operating/fit/finish/headliner issues.  Never again .... until the 
>> next time, of course!


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