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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Littleton, CO
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Short in instrument panel

My fuse for my instrument lights blew recently. So, I put a new one in and it blew in about .5 seconds. Based on my scanty knowledge of electronics, this would seem to indicate that I now have a short in my instrument panel wiring.

Before I take things apart, any advice from those who've been down this road?

Although the lights were on the dim side, I've never had any short circuit problems with the car. Nor have I been mucking around in the instrument panel - in fact I've never removed it. With this in mind, why would I suddenly start getting a short?

Is the solution potentially as simple as a new headlight switch or dimmer control?

Regards,

DL

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84 944 5spd
Maint. & Fixes made thanks to the help received on this board:
Rear Hatch Pins, Oil Change, Dash Cover Installation, New Rear Seat, New O2 Sensor, New Ignition Switch, New Fuel Pump Relay, Rear Light Assembly Reseal, Instrument Panel Short Circuit, New Speedo Cable, New Timing belts and Starter.
Old 10-19-2003, 05:25 PM
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You have a short in one of the following locations:

Headlight switch (not likely)

Dimmer switch (more likely)

or finally in the wiring that connects to the lights behins the instruments them selved.

AFJuvat
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Old 10-19-2003, 05:29 PM
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Thanks AFJuvat.

If it is likely that the problem can be sourced to either the headlight switch or the dimmer 'dial', can I pop these things out without removing the dash?

Btw, going with the more likely 'dimmer' culprit - any suggestions for a parts source (as I checked both Pelican and Vertex and neither appears to offer the dimmer)?

Regards,

DL
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84 944 5spd
Maint. & Fixes made thanks to the help received on this board:
Rear Hatch Pins, Oil Change, Dash Cover Installation, New Rear Seat, New O2 Sensor, New Ignition Switch, New Fuel Pump Relay, Rear Light Assembly Reseal, Instrument Panel Short Circuit, New Speedo Cable, New Timing belts and Starter.
Old 10-19-2003, 08:34 PM
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might have to go to the dealer. if you can't find one, there's always the possibility of pulling it apart and giving it a good cleaning. however, if there are broken parts you'll most likely need to replace it. I've resurrected many a rheostat by doing this myself
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Old 10-19-2003, 09:49 PM
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HA! there is one more place!!! if you have an aftermarket steering wheel that is... it problem confused the crap out of me after i put on my MOMO steeringwheel. the hub that came with it was mettal. well the little metal tab that they use to turn the blinkers off when you turn is also metal. the porsche one is plastic for a reason now. there is a little metal strip that goes behind that little trough made for the tab. anways all i did was grind off the metal tab on the steering wheel hub. i have to turn off my blinkers by hand but oooh big deal. if i was really motivated i could use an appoxy and appoxy the plastic one from my orinal steering wheel on there.
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Old 10-20-2003, 10:56 AM
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I would go ahead and remove the instruments....It takes very little time.

While back there, maybe change a bulb or two, clean some connections and generally inspect the thing...Repair the odo? if it hasn't in an 84 you are indeed very lucky.

I just did a little r&r on mine, for the second time(put light in wrong way #%$& two months ago) and my odo gear slipped again.
I noticed that this is a great time to tighten up the BACK of the auxilliary fuse box as all terminals are clearly exposed in the guage hole.

good luck
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Old 10-20-2003, 11:15 AM
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Well, after doing a little reading (Haynes Manual and Clark's Garage) I've learned it could also be a short related to my license plate light.

Thus I will search the instrument cluster and the license plate light areas for problems. Why Porsche put the license plate lights on the same fuse as the instrument cluster is beyond my limited ability to reason.

I've been putting off replacing my speedo cable (as anytime it is below 50 degrees outside, it makes a racket). Guess I'll try replacing that while I'm at it.

I'm also planning to take Clark's advice and upgrade my bulbs and reflective material to try to brighten things up a bit.

Will provide an update once I've got the parts.

Thanks to all who posted.

Regards,

DL
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84 944 5spd
Maint. & Fixes made thanks to the help received on this board:
Rear Hatch Pins, Oil Change, Dash Cover Installation, New Rear Seat, New O2 Sensor, New Ignition Switch, New Fuel Pump Relay, Rear Light Assembly Reseal, Instrument Panel Short Circuit, New Speedo Cable, New Timing belts and Starter.
Old 10-20-2003, 07:21 PM
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Short Fixed!

Taking the advice I found here, I located and cleaned various ground locations on the car. When I cleaned the ground located in the rear hatch area, I also discovered the license plate light ground had somehow become disconnected (the one attached to the light fixture).

Anyway, after cleaning the grounds and hooking the one back up, the dash board lights are brighter than ever and looking good.

Many thanks to all.

Regards,

DL

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84 944 5spd
Maint. & Fixes made thanks to the help received on this board:
Rear Hatch Pins, Oil Change, Dash Cover Installation, New Rear Seat, New O2 Sensor, New Ignition Switch, New Fuel Pump Relay, Rear Light Assembly Reseal, Instrument Panel Short Circuit, New Speedo Cable, New Timing belts and Starter.
Old 10-26-2003, 05:03 PM
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