View Full Version : no dash lights or rear brake lights?

09-22-2005, 03:03 PM
So regular braking the lights will light up. when i turn on the lights at night time the dash lights do not come on. The tach and speedo and the gauges all still work but the backlighting does not come on. Now when I do this the regular brake lights at the back that would normally light up when the lights are turned on do not light up as well.

Is there some specific wiring that would cause this type of thing to happen? I was thinking that the wires running up to the dash or something, anybody know for sure?

I checked the fsm and the fuses. fsm mentions timing control unit, i replaced with a working one from my friend's vehicle and no change. Must be some wiring but they dont mention much.

09-22-2005, 04:51 PM

09-22-2005, 08:09 PM
Are you using a JDM cluster harness or anything like that?

If not on the S13 it is the third fuse from the bottom, right side in the drivers kick panel. Should be a 15 amp.

The cluster backlight and tail lights are on the same circuit so you will know when you are driving around like a sitting duck waiting for people to rear end you.

Beats me if the bulbs cause this...mine was a fuse caused by me using a JDM cluster harness.

09-23-2005, 12:00 AM
Did you change anything recently that seemed to cause this?

Check all your harness grounds inside car, (one under driver seat, and a few on the way back to the tail lights, plus 2 or 3 under the dash). Also check all your fuseable links under the hood and check the 2 main power feeds that connect into the interior fusebox. They are blue and black plugs, but are hard to see because they are on the back of the fusebox. Just reach back there and make sure that there are 2 big thick wires plugged in (like #4gauge).

Also recheck all the fuses, it's easy to skip one accidentally. Best to get an audible fuse tester, makes things so much easier, couple bucks at auto store.

This is all S13, for S14 a lot of the same applies, but I'm not sure of all the grounds or power leads.

09-23-2005, 01:27 AM
if you installed an aftermarket radio in the car recently and hooked up the orange wires that will fry a tiny wire inside the timing control unit. dont use any of the orange wires, you dont need them. then crack open the timing control unit and re-solder at the place where it burnt up.

09-23-2005, 06:53 AM
Yeah it kept blowing the 15 amp fuse. Thanks to hugh's nice tech section at zeroyon.com i found out where. What was happening is somehow the sheath around one wire to the radio became bare and was grounding itself out against the chasis under the dash where the radio is. I think it is the illumination wire if i'm not mistaken.

09-23-2005, 11:20 AM
i think thats the orange wire?

09-23-2005, 01:45 PM
i think thats the orange wire?

o, yes it is http://forums.freshalloy.com/images/graemlins/grin.gif

09-23-2005, 02:20 PM
i wish i saw your post in time bcuz i had this same thing happen me. also while this was going on...every time i stepped on the brake my wipers would go. i was laughing my ass off everytime they would go. http://forums.freshalloy.com/images/graemlins/grin.gif

09-23-2005, 02:24 PM
On the plus side i found a nice way to power the lights on my gauges by using the light that goes into the glove box since its only on when the illumination lights are on.

But yes that wire will ground itself and blow the fuse in a not so pretty way.

09-23-2005, 05:20 PM
I have been using the illumination wire for the radio for my guages for some time. It works pretty well.