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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I’m trying to get to the board behind the dash on my 1980 el Camino because the right indicator stays on permanently when the lights are on and I don’t believe any of my idiot lights work either. Only problem is I can’t get to the thing. I’ve removed all hardware and this is as far as I can get, nothing else comes off. Anyone thats been in here know what I’m missing??
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Pull the guages out. You'll find more screws underneath them. In fact I can see one in the top pic, to the lower right of the speedo, right next to the light bulb.
 

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Check your lights and turn signal bulbs (1157s). Mine was bad and when I turned the lights on the turn marker light stayed on.
Tom
 

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I would check the bulbs first. Do your flashers work? Next would be flasher unit and turn signal switch. What makes you think that the idiot lights are not working? They don't come on unless there's a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would check the bulbs first. Do your flashers work? Next would be flasher unit and turn signal switch. What makes you think that the idiot lights are not working? They don't come on unless there's a problem.
I would check the bulbs first. Do your flashers work? Next would be flasher unit and turn signal switch. What makes you think that the idiot lights are not working? They don't come on unless there's a problem.
I replaced the turn signal bulbs with no change. flashers work fine until you cut the lights on, with the lights on the passenger side blinks slowly and dimly with no running light on that side and the indicator stays on permanently with the lights on as well. My hunch for the idiot lights is because all the other bulbs are iffy and work intermittently and I didn’t get a light when my alternator went bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Finally got the cluster out, the speedo cable was holding me up. Tons of corrosion on all the bulb housings. Can’t get a good pic of the inside but only one bulb read good on a meter.
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The outside front marker lights blink for turning also on my 79. The parking and turn signal bulb socket has a funny ground wire on it. Mine was corroded. You can take the bulb out and turn on the lights to see if the indicator light comes on. Then check the ground.
Tom
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Like stated above - it won't go back to working properly until you fix the ground. The marker light doesn't have a direct ground. It works grounding through the 1157 bulb. No lights on - marker and turn signal blink together. Lights on they will blink alternate. Long story on how that works.
 

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Not sure if this is too late, it helped me immensely.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Like stated above - it won't go back to working properly until you fix the ground. The marker light doesn't have a direct ground. It works grounding through the 1157 bulb. No lights on - marker and turn signal blink together. Lights on they will blink alternate. Long story on how that works.
So all I need to do is unplug the bulb and clean the contacts? Sounds easy enough to me.
 

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Like stated above - it won't go back to working properly until you fix the ground. The marker light doesn't have a direct ground. It works grounding through the 1157 bulb. No lights on - marker and turn signal blink together. Lights on they will blink alternate. Long story on how that works.
I would actually like to know how the alternating flashing works. If it isn't too difficult to do, I would like to rig up a system for my other project car. My assumption was that a five tab relay could be rigged to operate in an alternating pattern.
 

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You don’t need a relay. Hook your marker light wires to the turn signal hot and the parking light hot. When the turn signal is on the marker gets its ground through the parking light filament and flashes the same as the turn signal. When the lights are on the marker gets its ground through the turn signal filament so when you turn on the turn signal it has 2 hots going to the marker and shuts off. When the turn signal blinks off the ground comes back and the marker lights. Thus the alternating on and off. Hope I explained it ok.
Tom
 

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You did good with the explanation. Parking light (Brown) Turn signal (Blue) 1 to each wire of the marker, doesn't matter which one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You guys were right, the spade was broken on that side ground, for the first time in 3 years I can finally drive at night without being embarrassed. All turn signals running lights and dash lights work now. My advice to anyone who takes their dash apart and gets the speedo out of the car is it put some light oil down the speedo cable, it made the awful bolts in a blender grinding sound disappear and really smooths out the travel of the needle. Thanks for the help!
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