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Author Topic: Dashboard lights  (Read 6365 times)
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Betabruce
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« on: June 10, 2010, 03:27:17 AM »

The dashboard lights in my Beta Volumex Coupe now do not work. To explain the problem which started a number on months ago, the dashboard lights would NOT turn on every time I set the main lights to come on. They did come on some times but not others. I therefore knew that these lights were working and also that they had not been "dimmed" right down.
 
I therefore thought that the light stalk was faulty. As I have a donor HPE, I took out the light stalk and refitted it in my car. Problem solved and all worked well for a month!!!!
 
Last night, the problem reappeared and I travelled home in the dark with no dashboard lights. On start up all ignition lights come on, handbrake and interior door lights go on, just no dashboard lights when light switch is swiveled to bring on main lights. The main lights (on dip & full) work and so do the indicators, just no dash lights.
 
I have read that it may be faulty earth and that they relate to earthling connectors under the head lights. I can't locate these. It appears that the only earth in the engine compartment is the earth strap from the battery to the engine frame. This appears clean and well secured.
 
Have also read that there are earth connectors under the dash but as the wiring harness for the multi switch stalk just has a plug in arrangement, (2 connectors)I am not sure where to look.
 
Further I "Googled" the dashboard lights fault, it made mention of a Rheostat.
 
Where do I find the dashboard earth connectors to check if it is an earthling fault and where is the location of the Rheostat, and how do I check whether this is at fault?Huh?
 
Do you have any further advice?Huh?
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droptop
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 09:29:22 AM »

With the lights turned OFF, remove the rheostat and disconnect the two wires from it. Keeping the wires seperated, turn the lights ON and touch the wires together. If the rheostst is faulty, the lights will come on full. If you are competent with a multimeter, let me know and I can guide you through some simple tests which will help. The current consumption of the dash lights is very low so a good multimeter will be needed to eliminate a lot of the guesswork. It must be able to read "mA D.C." and "A D.C."
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droptop
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2010, 09:34:42 AM »

I just re-read your post. The rheostat is the dimmer you use to brighten or dim the instrument lights. It is a more accurate term for the device so it is on the other end of the knob you turn to dim the lights. Try twisting the knob back and forth rapodly a few times in the dark and see if the dash lights flicker.
If it is faulty, you can simply join the two wires i described in the first post together and insulate them with tape. this will keep you fully lit while you are sourcing a replacement.
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Spyder79
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2010, 12:00:19 PM »

Let me know what you find please.

My "lights" light has also gone out......dont know if it is bulb or the same problem as yours....not had chance to check yet.

I get main beam light on dash but not the Green lights on indication.

thanks
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thecolonel
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 12:39:06 PM »

Spyder79 - if your side lights are working then it's most probably the bulb.

dash light dimmer can fail to make a connection if turned to full on position,
turn it back slightly.
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lanciamad
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010, 10:08:58 PM »

Quote
The main lights (on dip & full) work and so do the indicators, just no dash lights.
Just to confirm, are the side lights working? and specifically the rears. My dad's HPE had a fault where when side lights were put on, the fronts would work, but occasionally the dash and rear side lights wouldn't. Once they came on they would stay on; different garages checked it out and had no luck, I checked out the stalk assembly and found a wire under strain and the horn wire shorting out, been perfect ever since.
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1982 - Lancia Beta HPE 2000ie - Track - http://www.betaboyz.myzen.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=472.0
1988 - Lancia Delta HF Turbo - Sorn - http://www.lanciasport.com/forum/index.php?topic=2585.0
1989 - Lancia Delta 1300 LX - Sorn
1988 - BMW E30 325i - Track
2005 - Subaru Forester XT STI - Road
Betabruce
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2010, 10:33:58 PM »

Thanks for the posts to date on my problem.
To date I have rechecked the bulbs in the parklights, indicators and rear number plate lights. They all appear fine & I gave them a squirt of Contact cleaner to add to a good contact.With the dash lights not working, the rear lights ALSO dont work, except when I activate the indicators or brake. I am therefore confident all bulbs go.
I will try the experiment of fiddling around with the dimmer (rheostat) and wind it back from its full position a tad or to and also try the rapid adjust check.
Further, I will also take the steering wheel back off and check wiring and connectors to see that they are not twisted or under strain.
It just seeems totally strange that the first multistalk had issues, then on replacement the dashboard lights worked fine for a month, then just gave up the ghost!!!!!.
As it is dark in NZ when I get home from work I will have to wait for the weekend to tackle these tests. Thanks again
Cheers Bruce
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thecolonel
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2010, 10:50:15 AM »

I would suggest,
if you're losing rear side lights then a dodgy fuse is the most likely.
faulty switch should lose front and rear side lights not just the rears.
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Betabruce
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2010, 04:50:32 AM »

Hi fellow advises and i report still no dashboard lights!!!!
I have now done the following checks:
Checked bulbs in parklights and rear number plates, squirted with contact cleaner. Did not check indicators as I know these go.
Did not check rear lights as although they do not work when lights are on in foward motion, they all work on reverse. Also rear indicators work.
Checked the fuses. They all appear in order but have a "heat" appearance and not all nice and straight with fuse wire. However they ALL appear to be connected within each individual fuse.
Took of steering wheel plastic housing and checked for wiring under strain and loose connectors, everything appears okay.
Partially checked the dimmer by the rapid on off test, no go.
Next test will be the pull down to check the dimmer by seperating the wires then touching together with the lights on. Will have to wait till the weekend and some day light hours.
Is my interpretation correct in that if you have a fauly dimmer (rheostat) then this soaks up the very low current to the dashboard lights and consequently they don't work. That way by joining the two dimmer wire together you bypass the current going thru the dimmer, and hey presto lights!!!. Hopefully I have got it and now need the time to test.
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MattNoVAT
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2010, 11:36:34 AM »

Bruce,

Have you popped the clock cluster out yet?

Worth checking that the printed circuit on the back of the housing is OK, I have had to repair a couple of these as they are flimsy plastic with the wiring inset, they fatigue with heat/age and crack... leading to odd issues as some bits of the clock set work and some don't.

Will post pictures tonight or tomorrow - I have evidence of what I'm talking about!

I have two spare instument clusters - one of which is for cannibalising - so if you need a rheostat.....
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 11:40:22 AM by MattNoVAT » Logged

1981 2000 Coupe S2/FL
1976 1600 Coupe S1

Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car. Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you send the wall across the field once youve hit it.
echobravo
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2010, 07:03:16 AM »

I have the same problem on '84 HPE. I have checked the hooter wiring and instrument light dimmer rheostat with no results...
All fuses OK.

I have also noticed that the digital clock, cigarette lighter and automatic aerial are not working. Mike
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ECHOBRAVO
Beta Coupé 2000 1976 x 3 | HPE 2.0. i.e. 1984 | Flavia 2000 Coupé 1969 x 3 | Fulvia Coupé 1.3s Rallye 1969 | Fulvia coupé 1.3s 1973
MattNoVAT
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2010, 12:47:12 PM »

So, no dashboard lights.....  

Power for the clock/cluster lights is fed from the left hand side electrical connector as your sat in the car (assuming RHD)  This connector is black on my car, not sure if your is too.

Check that there is a live feed, you'll need the multi-meter and just switch the column stalk to identify if the power is reaching the clock cluster - if it's not then you'll need to get the wiring diagram and trace back to the main fuse box where the power should be coming from and then trace/check the wiring to see where the circuit is broken.

If power is getting to the clock cluster but its not lighting up then check the circuits on the back of the cluster, see picture for a fatigued circuit issue that I was suffering for a while.

With regard to the other things that are not working.

I would first check to see if they have a live power feed - again time for the multi-meter to earn its money!
Power ariel need to be wired into the stereo (blue control wire IIRC switches power to it)
Cigarette lighter - first test that there is power - if there isn't then you need to trace the circuit and work out where its broken.

Most of the time its due to bad earths, poor connections in the loom or people "modifying the wiring".





* photo.JPG (87.92 KB, 640x480 - viewed 811 times.)
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1981 2000 Coupe S2/FL
1976 1600 Coupe S1

Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car. Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you send the wall across the field once youve hit it.
echobravo
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2010, 03:00:14 PM »

Great thanks for your help, I will try that and see what happens... Mike
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ECHOBRAVO
Beta Coupé 2000 1976 x 3 | HPE 2.0. i.e. 1984 | Flavia 2000 Coupé 1969 x 3 | Fulvia Coupé 1.3s Rallye 1969 | Fulvia coupé 1.3s 1973
Betabruce
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2010, 06:42:34 AM »

Hi thanks for the recent posts re the digtal clock being a poetntial issue for "No dashboard lights".

In my case the digital clock works well and I am loath to investigate it further, especially with the experiment to pop out the clock and the next recommended experiment to take out the dash and check the printed circuitry. How on earth do I attempt that?Huh??
As said in an above post I will stay with the rheostat test (dimmer) at this stage as this seems a feasible option in that ALL the lights used to work intermittently, then when I replaced the light multistalk, they all worked well for a month.
Then one day just gave up the ghost. It seems more feasible that if the rheostat is sucking out the remaining little bit of power the dashboard lights need to work, then this is a good option.
Especially when digital clock, handbrake light, start up lights, hazard lights, rear window heater light and indicator lights ALL come on in the dash, just no dashboard lights to drive by in the dark. Further there are no parklights and rear lights on when going forward. Got to be something simple. My approach while cautious is whats not broken doesn't need fixing and to start taking out the clock and especially the dash is asking for trouble!!!!. Especially based on an Italian wiring job that is well documented for its fraility.
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echobravo
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2010, 06:54:11 AM »

Its surprisingly easy to remove the instrument binnacle as it comes out from the front without having to remove the dash. The dash is also fairly easy to remove, now that I have done this once I know how better to do it next time, which will be very soon... as I am replacing the entire interior.
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ECHOBRAVO
Beta Coupé 2000 1976 x 3 | HPE 2.0. i.e. 1984 | Flavia 2000 Coupé 1969 x 3 | Fulvia Coupé 1.3s Rallye 1969 | Fulvia coupé 1.3s 1973
MattNoVAT
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« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2010, 11:52:58 AM »

To Remove the clock binnacle follow these steps:  (it takes about 5 minutes max)

1. Lower the steering wheel to its lowest rake possible.

2. Unscrew the four retaining screws (one in each corner of the binnacle - (short screws at the bottom, long screws at the top)

3. Wiggle the binnacle forward until there is enough gap to get your hand behind it on right (assuming RHD)

4. Remove the internal oil level vacuum pipe from rear bottom right hand corner of binnacle.

5. Remove the two electrical connectors on the rear right hand side of the binnacle.

6. You should be able to see the speedo drive cable  - put your hand in behind binnacle and slide the speedo drive plastic collar back (toward to front of car) Speedo cable should then pop out.

7. The binnacle should now move far enough forward for you to get your hand in from the left or above to unclip the electrical connector on the left.

8. Bingo - the binnacle is free to slide out sideways. (Will require a little twisting and wiggling)

Fitting is the reverse but with one extra task:

Once everything is back in place you'll probably need to open the bonnet and pull the speedo cable slack through into the engine bay, just gentle pull on the cable and then your done.  When you pull the binnacle forward it drags slack from through to the space between the bulkhead and the back of the binnacle and when you refit the binnacle there is too much slack behind it which will force the speedo cable to bend too sharply. You'll hear a rubbing noise when driving especially as you slow down.  Just pull the slack back into the engine bay and that straightens out the cable behind the binnacle and stops the rubbing noise.
Simples!!   

If you need a rheostat I have a spare one that works
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1981 2000 Coupe S2/FL
1976 1600 Coupe S1

Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car. Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you send the wall across the field once youve hit it.
lanciamad
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Marcus Robinson


« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2010, 09:00:31 PM »

Quote
The main lights (on dip & full) work and so do the indicators, just no dash lights.
Just to confirm, are the side lights working? and specifically the rears. My dad's HPE had a fault where when side lights were put on, the fronts would work, but occasionally the dash and rear side lights wouldn't. Once they came on they would stay on; different garages checked it out and had no luck, I checked out the stalk assembly and found a wire under strain and the horn wire shorting out, been perfect ever since.
It's a shame I cant fully remember how I fixed it, but I remember the exact faults which are identical to what you have described. From what I can remember, it isn't connected to any fault with the fusebox nor bulbs / bulb holders. As well as the wire under strain, I think there were earthing points which were cleaned, re-cleaned and cleaned again; if you've got a spare stalk assembly connect that up and see what happens, if it's the same then you know there's nothing wrong with the unit itself, or your very unlucky!
I think your best bet is to check the haynes manual, trace the wiring where it gets it's 12v feed with a multimeter, if there isn't one run a wire from the battery to it and see if there's life, trace it from the 12v feed to where you want to go and you normally find the fault relatively easily. (he says) The rear sidelights, possibly the fronts cant remember, number plate lights, dashboard lighting and bulb for lighting the heating controls are all connected to each other, i believe.
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1982 - Lancia Beta HPE 2000ie - Track - http://www.betaboyz.myzen.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=472.0
1988 - Lancia Delta HF Turbo - Sorn - http://www.lanciasport.com/forum/index.php?topic=2585.0
1989 - Lancia Delta 1300 LX - Sorn
1988 - BMW E30 325i - Track
2005 - Subaru Forester XT STI - Road
Betabruce
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2010, 05:45:16 AM »

Hi it's me again, the originater of this problem.
Well to update everybody,over the weekend I removed and replaced the multi stalk. Dashboard lights worked fine & dandy. Great!!!!
Then last night driving home, they all went out again, bugger!!!!!
So it now appears to be an earthing problem and sounds like most probably behind the dash. See picture page 1.
Thanks to Mattnovatt for the dash removal procedure. One question though. Is this to remove the dash as it is titled "to remove the clock binnacle"Huh??. Is this meant to be the procedure to remove the plastic dash covering that is housed behind the four retaining screws in front of the steering wheel???.I think it is but are confused with reference to the "clock binnacle"
Another question, where is the rheostat(dimmer) located???. When under the dash unclipping the multistalk light switches, all I could see was a heater, piping arrangement up under the dash immediately behind where the dimmer switch would be.
Look forward to the ongoing advice.
Cheers Bruce
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MattNoVAT
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2010, 01:13:50 PM »

Bruce,

The instructions I sent are to remove the whole clock binnacle/cluster not the entire dash board and not just the clear cover over the front of the binnacle/clock cluster.  I'll post a picture up of what will actually come out later today.

The Rheostat is mounted on the back of the binnacle/clock cluster, again I'll post pictures later.  A small flat blade screwdriver is all that is required to remove this and the half dozen or so wires that feed voltage to various points of the binnacle/clock cluster.

Honestly, its very simple and straight forward to replace the rheotstat.

In addition to this - when you remove the binnacle/clock cluster - there is an earthing point on the bulkhead that should become visible!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 01:21:15 PM by MattNoVAT » Logged

1981 2000 Coupe S2/FL
1976 1600 Coupe S1

Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car. Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you send the wall across the field once youve hit it.
MattNoVAT
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2010, 08:37:04 PM »

Pictures of the binnacle / clock cluster that will come out if you follow the earlier instructions.

The rheostat is the small bronze coloured disc with the red & black wires sprouting from it. (bottom right rear of clocks)

A rheostat that has been removed from the main binnacle. (You only need a small flat blade screwdriver to undo the small screws holding the rheostat & wires in place)

Hope this helps

  



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« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 08:42:04 PM by MattNoVAT » Logged

1981 2000 Coupe S2/FL
1976 1600 Coupe S1

Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car. Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you send the wall across the field once youve hit it.
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