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  #1  
Old 12-26-2015
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Dash lighting problems

I have a 2000 Ranger Xlt 3.0.. Most of my instrument cluster lights are out. Only 2 light up out of the 6. I went and replaced the bulbs with green LEDs.. I put the dash back together and tested to see if it fixed the problem but still only the 2 original lights work.. Then I thought maybe it was a fuse or something but I'm not sure what to do at this point.. I don't know what fuse to check or if I'm missing one.. Or if I just need to purchase a new instrument cluster.. If you guys have any idea what I can check or should do It would help me out a lot..
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Old 12-26-2015
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It shows them as 2 groups of 3 each

Diagram here, don't see a separate fuse
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Old 12-27-2015
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Sorry 2 groups of 3 what, fuses?
Posting pics tomorrow to better show what the problem is..
I'm no machanic either, never done anything with electrical other than change a tail light or install speakers ha
Thanks for the reply!
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Old 12-27-2015
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two groups of three lamps. Given that the bulbs are replaced and the problem is still there, we can infer that there is a problem with either the wiring or the cluster itself.

As always with electrical, start as always by checking fuses. There's a fuse panel on the driver's side on the dash. However, given that only 2/3s of a group is working, rather than one group lit and another not, I'm leaning towards the cluster itself.

Did the lights go out all at once or gradually over a period of time?
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Old 12-27-2015
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Old 12-27-2015
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Ok yeah I checked the fuses inside that panel and under the hood.. I also tried to figure out what fuse or fuses are responsible for lighting the cluster.. I don't know if this is correct but a diagram I found online said fuse 7, so I checked that and it wasn't blown.. Again I now next to nothing about this stuff but it looked like I was missing fuses.. I will post pic tomorrow of fuse box when I have light.

It started with my gas gage light, then got worse overtime.. Thats why I thought it was the bulbs that went out.. Also I don't know if this matters but I got LED t10 wedge lights.. Not sure if you have to put those in the socket a particular way.
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Old 12-27-2015
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The dash lights power comes from the "dimmer control", it can be on the Main head light switch or a separate dimmer wheel.
When you turn on the Parking lights or head lights the dimmer gets power and dash lights then get power.

The diagram shows 3 bulbs are powered from one instrument cluster connector and the other 3 are powered from another connector, and they are grounded with left and right turn signal indicators, so if the turn indicators work then Ground is OK.

If a connector or wire from dimmer was bad then 3 bulbs wouldn't work.

Yes LED bulbs do have a + and - side unlike regular light bulbs.
You will need to check your replacement LED bulb specs to see if that orientation is needed
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Old 12-27-2015
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LEDs are polarized, yes. However, if you bought the right type (like mine) then they have special circuitry inside them so you can't put them in backwards.

I don't believe his LEDs are backwards, though. Let's assume that the two functioning LEDs at the moment are the same sockets which were still live before. What are the chances of him screwing up the rest of them while leaving the working two oriented properly? Slim to none.
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Old 12-27-2015
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Yeah thought it was weird that the same lights that worked before are still the only ones working.. I don't think these ones are directional but I'm researching anyways to make sure.. Anyways I tested both turn signals and they both work.. Not sure if it's my wiring or the cluster itself.. I just want to make sure so I can replace the problem and not buy another cluster when I don't need to have the new one not work too ha.. Kind of at a stand still with this.. I think I'm gunna just purchase a new cluster ha, just didn't want to Have to spend that much to fix the problem..
Thanks for all the info guys
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Old 12-27-2015
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Not none, but slim.

Same odds that 2 of the LEDs were "bad out of the box" and just happened to be placed in the same sockets as the previous no light areas.
slim but not none
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2015
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Yeah, well I'll know I guess if the new cluster doesn't work ha
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Old 12-27-2015
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Here's a pic of what I'm working on
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  #13  
Old 12-28-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterPrice92 View Post
Yeah, well I'll know I guess if the new cluster doesn't work ha
What is this new cluster out of?
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  #14  
Old 12-28-2015
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Why not try new stock bulbs to see if that works?
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Old 12-28-2015
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I havnt found a new cluster yet just shopping around.. And that's what my buddy told me to do, I bought some regular new bulbs just havnt had time to put them in yet.. Plan on doing it tomorrow.. I'll let you guys know if those work..
Thanks for the help!
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  #16  
Old 12-29-2015
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I can tell you right now that if new LEDs didn't work, new incandecent bulbs will only show the same problem but in a different color.

If/when you order a new cluster, confirm it came from a Ranger, and NOT an explorer. The clusters are pretty much the same in every respect and are both entirely compatible, however there is one thing that will likely give you a headache.

On ranger gauge clusters you have the fuel reset near the fuel gauge and door ajar is up near the top in it's own portion. However, the expo's cluster is swapped. This means that the door ajar light and the fuel reset light switch places. This isn't a problem, except they're not wired differently. Without modification to either the cluster or the harness, every time you open your door, your cluster will be telling you reset your fuel pump and when your fuel pump does need to be reset, it'll be telling you your door is ajar.

While this doesn't compromise any safety or functionality of the vehicle or components there of, it's generally a good idea to have your lights mean what they say. If you do end up with an expo cluster, it's as easy as swapping two wires between plugs. Which wires those are, I have no idea.

Do bear in mind that if you do get a new cluster, you'll either have to swap odometers from your old cluster or roll the odometer back on the new cluster so it corresponds to your actual mileage. Either way you have to remove your speedometer needle, which for some reason is NOT keyed, meaning you'll need to 'calibrate' it. There are tricks to do this, thankfully.

$.02
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  #17  
Old 12-30-2015
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Ok guys so I guess my LEDs were directional and had to be put in the socket the correct way.. But with me doing this it still didn't fix the problem.. So what I did was use the LED and socket that was lit and put that on in place of one that wasn't.. Then that one would light.. Then I put the one that wasn't lit in the place of the last and it lit????? I have no clue why? So I did this with all of them till I got I think of them lit.. Didn't put dash all back together in case I didn't. Hard to see during the day..

Now something new my check engine light goes on when I start the truck then shuts off.. Don't know if that's normal. That light, my abs and airbag.. My theft light also blinks ha
Just makin sure this is all normal..
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Old 12-30-2015
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Yes, CEL should come on with the key(computer starts and runs self test) and then go off after engine starts(everything OK)
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Old 12-30-2015
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Hmm. From that you must really have gotten all but those two backwards. Good thing I'm not a betting man, otherwise I'd be out at least 50 bucks.....

As far as the check engine, airbag and ABS lights, when you initally start the truck they all go through a light test to confirm the bulbs do indeed work and aren't just burned out. If everything checks out O.K. then they shut back off. In contrast, if there's a code, for example low flow, p0401 in the EGR, the check engine light will remain illuminated until either A, the key turns off or B, the issue is resolved and the code clears.

THEFT just likes to blink for whatever reason. Oddly enough, my theft light blinks even though I have no security system of any kind on my 1999. Must be a PATS thing.

Sounds like you're good to go, though. I would have bet money on it being the gauge cluster itself being faulty.
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Old 12-31-2015
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I thought it was my cluster too.. The abs, check engine, and airbag lights are staying on all the time but I think it's because I disconnected the battery before working on my truck.. Some guy at my work was saying I need to disconnect the battery for 10 minutes or so to reset the computer and that should fix it.. Don't know if this is true or not but I'm gunna give it a try.. I'll tell you on thing I'm sick and tired of pulling apart my dash ha..
Will send pics when done tomorrow.. Have more interior work coming up too, will keep you guys updated if your interested.. Plan on putting a double din head unit.. Just waiting on new dash bezel.. Also have a new heater I'm gunna install, which is gunna suck!
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Old 01-01-2016
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Old 01-01-2016
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  #23  
Old 01-01-2016
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well it is Green, and looks like all are working again, good work
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Old 01-20-2016
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How are the lights holding up? I'm going through the same on my 03 and replaced the standard bulbs for some LED's. I had 2 lights burnt out but now I only have 3 working when I switched to LED's. I think my led's are directional so I'm going to tear into it this weekend and flip them. To be safe I'm taking your advice and switching socket positions as well lol.
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  #25  
Old 01-20-2016
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Most PNP LEDs are directional, especially the cheap ebay/amazon ones.

LEDs by nature only illuminate when current passes over one way and one way only. Some PnP LEDs (194, 921, 3157, 3156, 1156, 1157 and so forth) have some circuitry inside them to eliminate this issue. Exactly how it works idk but I would assume it just flips the current around somehow.
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