No dash lights on a 1986 Ford Tempo


Old 11-06-02, 04:55 AM
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Question No dash lights on a 1986 Ford Tempo

I have a 1986 Ford Tempo 2.3 litter fuel injected....I have no dash lights...I have took the dash apart and the bulbs are fine and the fuses are fine also...I even replaced the headlight switch and I still have no dash lights.....Any help????
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Old 11-06-02, 10:04 AM
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Do you have a wiring diagram of the system (check below)?

Start there.
Old 11-20-02, 08:04 AM
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no dashlights

Have you changed / worked on your radio recently? There's a wire in the radio harness that will take out your dashlights if tampered with.
Change all corresponding fuses again.
And as for replacing the headlamp switch, if you purchased from discount auto supply places, well they're just not the same. I would suggest purchasing from dealer. More expensive but I honestly think you get better quality product.
I was without dashlights for over a month ... changed everything 2X .. then changed fuses again and suddenly I had lights !!
Old 11-20-02, 02:34 PM
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yes i took the old radio out and up a Jensen cd player in.....but i dont even remember haveing dah lights befor then...
Old 11-20-02, 06:05 PM
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Probably an open etched path on the printed circuit plastic sheet which is extremly hard to find it the open path is intermittent,otherwise you have a chance to fix it with an continuity meter which may be on your multimeter if you have one.A continuity meter makes a buzz when a short is detected across the multimeter probes which makes troubleshooting opens easy.
Old 11-20-02, 10:35 PM
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Ford wiring

ok ... for those of us without a multimeter probe.

If he's installed a new system in his car he has an idea of the Ford wiring harnesses. At this point a wiring diagram is a MUST. I never try to second guess the makers.
Ford issued new harness ends across the board for their entire line of vehicles beginning in 1986. In fact, most Ford vehicles from 1986-present still use the same connectors since they are so efficient.

Here's the basics for a 86-88 Ford :

Light green/yellow stripe - Constant 12v+
Orange/black stripe - Ignition on 12v+
Red (with eyelet) - Ground
Light blue/red stripe - Illumination 12v+

That light blue/red stripe is your dimmer wire ... careful of this one. It's very sensitive. Just crimping/bending this wire can cause a power feedback to your headlamp switch. This will wreck havoc with your instrument panel. Basically take out the entire dash, as well as floor lights & clock (my clock is seperate from my dash cluster but was still effected as was my cigarette lighter). Be sure to replace all fuses connected with the instrument panel as well as replacing the the headlamp switch. Any of them could take a hit from feedback.
They have some great links on this site (spent most of today connecting the links for info) to help elaborate on the above listed Ford basics.
Good luck
Old 11-22-02, 11:34 AM
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which wire do i need to find and reconnect and what do i need to connect it to?
Old 11-22-02, 04:18 PM
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I can't say that there is a specific wire you need to check. The previous was just a bit of info on Ford wiring. When this happened to me, I removed my radio then re-installed it, changed the headlamp switch, and all fuses associated with the dash. Don't know what exactly took out my dash .... but if it was a surge of feedback coming from hitting the dimmer wire(Illumination hook up - light blue wire with red stripe) it could have shorted out any of the fuses.
It could be something else altogether .... but the dimmer wire is usually the culprit.

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