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sylin
CEG'er

Reged: 06/12/00
Posts: 56
Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
The dash lighting went out and I fixed it this way
#1310795 - 09/01/06 04:34 PM

My instrument panel illumination all of a sudden went out and it turned out to be the dimmer control rheostat has gone. Pulled the rheostat and found the ceramic base that the sliding contact sweeps across on had cracked into several pieces, probably from the heat it generates and cycling over time, and some of the piece broke off to nowhere to find. Called the dealler and they wanted CAD$120 plus tax for it . So I decided to go cheap. Instead of simply shorting it out and making the illumination too bright (to me) I spliced in a 12V 35W halogen bulb, that is commonly used on desk lamps and work lamps, in place of the rheostat, after trying with 20W and 50W bulbs for different brightness of illumination. The bulb would glow a little bit and produce some heat during operation but hardly anything to worry about. The rheostat, now a dummy, is put back in only to fill the holes on the panel piece.

Just thought this may help. If you are to try, leave the wire in black alone and splice into the other two wires.

If you'd like to use a resistor instead of a bulb, use a 10W/2.2 ohm or 10W/2.7 ohm for a good result.

--------------------
1997 Contour Sport Duratec MTX
2000 Olds Intrigue GLS Sterling Edition


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Bugzuki
CEG'er

Reged: 05/08/04
Posts: 137
Loc: Monroe, WA
Re: The dash lighting went out and I fixed it this way new
#1310955 (Re: sylin) 09/01/06 09:40 PM

What did you do with the bulb? Doesn't it make light all of the time the headlights are on?

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1998 Contour SVT Black w/ Blue interior
Torsen LSD updated shiftforks
Lightened Flywheel, HD Drivelines
Optimized Thottle Body
2003 3.0L engine upgrade (Soon to be)

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: The dash lighting went out and I fixed it this way new
#1311059 (Re: sylin) 09/02/06 02:09 AM

Thanks for posting. This is good info.

--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


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sylin
CEG'er

Reged: 06/12/00
Posts: 56
Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: The dash lighting went out and I fixed it this way new
#1312683 (Re: Bugzuki) 09/05/06 05:01 PM

Originally posted by Bugzuki:
What did you do with the bulb? Doesn't it make light all of the time the headlights are on?




The bulb functions in place of the broken rheostat as a current limiting device with its filament resistance, except that it's non-adjustable. When the lights are turned on at night the bulb has only a fraction of battery voltage across its filament, so it only glows instead of shines at full power. Since the bulb is installed behind the panel piece, hardly any bit of light from the glow can be seen.

--------------------
1997 Contour Sport Duratec MTX
2000 Olds Intrigue GLS Sterling Edition


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