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dash/speedometer lighting

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 28 Nov 2005, 09:33 am
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: .
Posts: 13
Default dash/speedometer lighting

Hi all, i have an '01. I cannot read the speedometer in the dark anymore (nor the temp gauge etiher, actually). It looks like one or more of the lights intended to illuminate the instrument cluster are out. Are these bulbs or LEDs, and how do you access them? thanks for any help you can give - hopefully I don't have to take half the dashboard apart...
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 28 Nov 2005, 09:46 am
Young Cruiser
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: North Carolina.
Posts: 81

Are you sure that the instrumentation illumination reostat on the stalk isn't turned down or off. Check your owners manual before you tear out the dash!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 28 Nov 2005, 10:11 am
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: .
Posts: 13

thanks for the reply - yes I am sure. the fuel gauge and tach light up, as these are at the outside edges of the cluster. The center, mostly just the speedo, is out
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 28 Nov 2005, 10:29 pm
Fanatic Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Livingston, TX, USA.
Posts: 764

Doesn't look good based on the Service Manual:

8J-2 Instrument Cluster
The instrument cluster (Fig. 1) is referred to as a
Electro-Mechanical Instrument Cluster (EMIC).
Some of the features it controls are the gauges
(except fuel), courtesy lamps, chime control, Daytime
Running Lamps (DRL) and cluster self diagnostics.
The cluster sends and receives messages via the Programmable
Communication Interface (PCI) data bus
circuit (J1850). All instrument cluster indicators (Airbag,
Seatbelt, etc.) are LED’s and are not replaceable,
with the exception of the high beam indicator
which is a bulb. The gauges are not serviced individually,
thereby requiring complete replacement of the
cluster if one indicator or gauge becomes defective.
The instrument cluster controls the courtesy
lamps. It receives and sends messages to other modules
via the PCI (J1850) bus circuit. It controls all
the instrument illumination and the chime is also an
integral part of the cluster.
All gauges are the analog type. When the ignition
switch is moved to the OFF position, the cluster
drives each gauge to its lowest position. The individual
gauges are not serviceable and require complete
replacement of the cluster if one or more gauges are

The drawings don't show bulbs accessible from the rear of the instrument cluster and there are also the following warnings:

CAUTION: DO NOT turn cluster upside down for
longer than 30 minutes (preferably NEVER). This
can result in dampening fluid within the gauge
pointer assembly to leak causing permanent damage
to the instrument cluster gauges.
DO NOT expose the instrument cluster to direct
sunlight for extended periods of time. Any overexposure
to direct sunlight permanently warps the
internal mask of the instrument cluster, causing the
pointers to stick. It is acceptable to store the instrument
cluster on the floor of the vehicle, gauges facing
up, out of direct sunlight.
DO NOT do an electrical “HOT SWAP” when replacing
or testing clusters. Ensure that the ignition is
OFF with the M1 fuse removed, or the battery negative
cable is disconnected. Partial mating of the
cluster connector circuits can damage and/or
destroy the cluster microprocessor if power is
DO NOT swap clusters between vehicles. The
instrument cluster has learned information stored in
its microprocessor for Airbags, Anti-Lock Brakes,
Traction Control, Cruise, and Smart Key Immobilizer.
Swapping clusters between cars, may result in
the improper illumination of cluster indicators associated
with the above features.


2003 Almond GT AutoStick, body colored rear splash guards and hood struts, chrome gear shift, AC & vent knobs, billet steering wheel spokes and pedals, AMX1397 Turbo-Intake Pipe.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 29 Nov 2005, 03:58 pm
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Dallas, Tx., USA.
Posts: 227

I read a bulliten about the lights on the instrument cluster going out for models 01-02. There was a factory recal. Can't remember where I read it, but you can call your local dealership and inqire about the recal.

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 07 Dec 2005, 06:45 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: .
Posts: 13

i fixed this, and I DID have to take apart half the car... out came: power window switch, HVAC knobs, center cover (around radio, etc), dash top cover, A-piller covers, steering column covers, left dash end, knee bolster, instrument panel bezel, finally the guage cluster. I replaced all 7 tiny type 74 bulbs lighting the instruments, since i was in there anyway and NEVER want to do that again...

everything works, and no rattles...

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 08 Dec 2005, 07:38 pm
Fanatic Cruiser
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Secane, PA, USA.
Posts: 530

Just curious, how many of the 7 bulbs were burned out?
John & Terry
"His" - 2002 Inferno Red Touring Edition
"Hers" - 2003 Electric Blue Limited Edition
Del Val PT Cruisers
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 09 Dec 2005, 11:44 am
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: .
Posts: 13

two were out. one lit up the speedo needle, the other the temp gauge
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