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Melting fuse and no tail lights or dash lights

OP
Cheetokps

Cheetokps

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I tried again to fix the dashboard lights, they came on briefly this morning but disappeared right away. I’m still hearing a buzzing noise from maybe behind the dash whenever I turn the lights on, maybe it’s a bad relay or something? That electrical stuff is not my strong area
 

Gilaguy23

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Id advise making sure you are using quality fuses like Buss,Mopar or whatever. Just no china/amazon junk. Ive read on several accounts they are can be nowhere their rated spec and may cause damaged to equipment or blow with lesser amps going thru them than rated.
 
OP
Cheetokps

Cheetokps

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Id advise making sure you are using quality fuses like Buss,Mopar or whatever. Just no china/amazon junk. Ive read on several accounts they are can be nowhere their rated spec and may cause damaged to equipment or blow with lesser amps going thru them than rated.
Really? Never knew that. I have some “light fuse” I think fuses that I got at an auto parts store so they might not be the best
 

flyinfish

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image.jpg


I tried again to fix the dashboard lights, they came on briefly this morning but disappeared right away. I’m still hearing a buzzing noise from maybe behind the dash whenever I turn the lights on, maybe it’s a bad relay or something? That electrical stuff is not my strong area
In the image above there's a 12v+ bar connecting fuse 1 and fuse 2. Is the bar where it connects to fuse 1 terminal solid and not broken or compromised. The fuse 1 terminal has lost it's plating and probably badly pitted from the prolonged arcing, having a hard time keeping contact. The surface of a golf ball would be give you an idea.

I'm sure you have the dash illumination selector on the highest setting, but thought I'd mention it so you can double check. Pay close attention when the dash lights go on or off. Does it happen by itself or when you touch something like the turn signal arm, dimmer ring or other.
The buzzing is a tough one to diagnose over the net. There's a relay inside the steering column enclosure. You may opt to remove the enclosure and possibly the instrument cluster to pinpoint the buzzing.

Really? Never knew that. I have some “light fuse” I think fuses that I got at an auto parts store so they might not be the best
If you mean Littlefuse, it's a good fuse and they've been around for nearly one hundred years.
 

sab

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Cheetokps:

Diagnosing your dash light problem is very difficult to do over the Internet. You'll need to do that yourself. If you're up to the task, you'll need to get educated a bit, and you'll likely need to invest in some tools. The diagnostic process is like this:
  1. If you haven't already done so, go to the TJ Resources section of this site and find the Sticky Post in the top section to get the FSM (Factory Service Manual) for your model year.
  2. Go to Section 8W (wiring) and trace both the ground path and the +12V path from the dash lights to the battery (or ground point, in the case of the ground). If you have trouble understanding the wiring diagrams, post a picture of the page that's troubling you here, and we'll see if we can help.
  3. Using a multimeter (you may have to borrow/buy this), check for continuity in the ground path (from battery negative to the negative terminal on the bulb) and for +12V at the various points in the +12V path (from the battery positive post to the positive terminal on the bulb) you noted in Step 2. Eventually, you'll find either a lack of continuity or a lack of +12V, and then you start working backwards to find the problem. You need to check both the ground path and the +12V path because electrons need to flow all the way from the battery negative terminal, through the lightbulbs, and back to the battery positive terminal in order for the bulb(s) to light. Electricity is simply the flow of electrons being repelled from the negative terminal and attracted to the positive terminal.
Checking for continuity means that you're checking for a conductive path for the electrons to flow. You're basically ensuring that there's not a partial or complete disruption in that path, which is a direct short in electrical terms (near-zero electrical resistance, measured in ohms, between two points). You do this by placing one probe from the meter (either positive or negative, it doesn't matter) on one end of the path (wire) and the other probe on the other end of the path (wire). When doing so, the meter should read less than an ohm typically. This is good continuity - a direct short - between the two points. If the meter reads greater than 1 ohm or infinity, it means a partially open path (a reading less than infinity) or a completely open path (infinity).

Checking for +12V is similar. Place the positive probe where you expect to see +12V, and place the negative probe somewhere where you know you have a good ground (continuity to the battery negative terminal).

There are many ways to pinpoint the problem. You basically need to find the point in the flow paths where the ground continuity or the +12V is no longer there by probing at different points in each route.

Good luck, and may the (electromotive) force be with you!
 
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OP
Cheetokps

Cheetokps

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View attachment 337625


In the image above there's a 12v+ bar connecting fuse 1 and fuse 2. Is the bar where it connects to fuse 1 terminal solid and not broken or compromised. The fuse 1 terminal has lost it's plating and probably badly pitted from the prolonged arcing, having a hard time keeping contact. The surface of a golf ball would be give you an idea.

I'm sure you have the dash illumination selector on the highest setting, but thought I'd mention it so you can double check. Pay close attention when the dash lights go on or off. Does it happen by itself or when you touch something like the turn signal arm, dimmer ring or other.
The buzzing is a tough one to diagnose over the net. There's a relay inside the steering column enclosure. You may opt to remove the enclosure and possibly the instrument cluster to pinpoint the buzzing.


If you mean Littlefuse, it's a good fuse and they've been around for nearly one hundred years.
Yes, that bar looks intact to me. And I was testing it with the dash lights all the way up. They haven’t come on at all except once briefly (enough to know the bulbs are working)
 
OP
Cheetokps

Cheetokps

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I’ve determined it’s every light that comes on when the lights are turned on, including the climate control lights, but none of the other dash lights. They tried to come on when I just turned my headlights on but faded after a second and then nothing. That buzzing/crackling noise is also louder when I first turn the headlights on and then fades… weird.

I took my dash apart earlier to see if anything was obvious but didn’t see much at first glance. The ground wire appeared good. I looked at the FSM wiring diagram a little bit didn’t get far cause I had limited time

These lights worked completely fine before, even tho I’ve had the original fuse issue for over a year occasionally. So I wouldn’t think I would have a grounding or wiring issue based on it working fine.

I found the relay near the steering column and when I removed it the buzzing didnt stop (it did when turning off headlights or when disconnecting the dash wiring)
 
Last edited:

sab

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According to that post, the actual problem was actually a burned trace on the circuit board in the instrument cluster, and the OP repaired it to get full functionality back.
 
OP
Cheetokps

Cheetokps

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According to that post, the actual problem was actually a burned trace on the circuit board in the instrument cluster, and the OP repaired it to get full functionality back.

You’re right, I read a bunch and got them mixed. I think someone suggested that fix in it tho

Not sure if I trust myself attempting what he did, but I could at least open it up and see if I notice anything
 

sab

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The black/yellow to orange jumper was confirmed to work, though. The OP tried it and confirmed, but then decided to investigate more, and found a better fix that restored dimming. You could still do the jumper, if full brightness all the time is okay with you.