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Dash Pod lights Frustration


Guest C.F.Massie

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Guest C.F.Massie

Ok, for some time now I have tried to fix my dash panel light problem and everything I have tried does not isolate the problem. The much talked about Headlight and Wiper pod lights. The slider does dim the rest of the dash lights so its not the slider, and I have used five different dash light pods. I have replaced the photocell twice, no result. I have replaced the dash inverter three times, no results. I have traced the entire wiring system and no breaks, shorts or loose connections. This is driving me nuts now for the past three years. What am I missing in trouple shooting this issue???? At this point I'll take any suggestions including the ridiculous.

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Guest C.F.Massie

Its the notorious lighting problem on a 89 Reatta when you turn on the headlights and all the dash lights up except the headlight pod on the left and the wiper pod on the right. I'll give Harry's suggestion a try on combining the two wires at the headlight pod and see if it does solve the problem. This has been the only nagging problem I have ever had with my Reatta (285,000 miles and still counting, no engine or transmission work other than replacing a water pump. Knock on wood.....

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Guest Drake

Hey C.F., had similar issues with mine also. Mine would come on every so often, but could not find the problem. Changed many items as you did. Read the wiring schematic till I was blue in the face. Well, they started working again two weeks ago, after other light problems were corrected.

I was having a problem with my center console lights going dim all by themselves. I took the center console apart, and found the previous owner not only spilled Coke into the radio(already replaced that), the Coke got into the console wiring harness plug.

I cleaned all the connections with circuit board cleaner and reseated the connections several times. While I was there, I replaced the console lights inverter that I got from Jim Finn. Not only has that cured my console light problem, but my headlight pod and wiper pod lights started working at the same time.

I have not had a chance to look at the wiring schematic to see if there is a connection between the dash lights and the center console lights (like a common gound).

I had already put the console back together after I corrected those lights, and noticed the pod lights were working after going to work the next evening.

I am not sure if the harness connection or the console inverter, or a combination of both cured the dash pod lights.

All I know for sure, is all my lights are working correctly (at least for now).

Hope this helps, it's worth a try.

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Guest kennyw

Drake just might have the answer. They just might use the same ground system........

SO FAR: changing the photocell [twice] has done its job as the dash and crt dim with the slider control. They would stay daytime bright if the photocell was not working.....

The best way to check the 110-volt inverters is with the light show when entering the car. If your light show still is working all the [now] -out- lights should cycle on and off. If your show is not working, the ON switch is on the driver's door handle. Hope this helps some. I also spent years getting mine to work. Let the car sit and they are back to not working again. Reatta is a word for love and hate............ken

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Guest C.F.Massie

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions, I'll try anything at this point. My light show works fine and so do the console lighting so I will retrace the wiring again and look for any common grounds.

Ha,ha Chuck I can't just drive during daylight what's the fun in having the Reatta if you can't take it out anytime. My health, yeah I'm doing great now though I never did know I had a heart attack when it happened. Now after by-pass surgery my wife is forcing me to eat rabbit food but I'm cheating whenever I can get away with it. Thanks for your concern buddy.

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Guest kennyw

c.f.:> so what I get from your last post [is] the lights on the pods do light up in the show? Actually they are not lights but an electrical luminescent strip in each pod that lights up the clear plastic. --------are you saying that the console lighting lights up in the show [or] as it should at night? My guess, and only a guess [is] the wire from the slider to the in-dash 110-inverter is not connected. So many wires to the switches I don't know what one it is. Ken

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Guest C.F.Massie

No Harry, the switch pod luminescent lights do not light up during the light show, only the instrument cluster lights work during that show. The console lights and shifter luminescent panel work fine. Thanks for your update to the wiring mod i guess I won't be trying to tie those two wires together after all since mine is a 89 Reatta.

I have tried five diferent sets of headlight and wiper switch pods and none light up at anytime. They did on the original pods but the light panel flickered sometimes, and would go off and come back on until they just finally quit one day. This is really stupid because the pods are a simple electro-mechanical system and the Reatta wiring isn't that sophisticated either, except for the internals of the computer modules. I've had two friends, electical engineers from the aircraft companies here, look at my problem and they agree its an unsophisticated system and they couldn't find the problem either. If I can't get it fixed I think I'll just go ahead and install good old military aircraft panel surface lights (clear or red) to light up the pods switch areas, at least I know I can definitely make those work.

Again thanks folks for your responses.

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Guest Mc_Reatta

Have you tried disconnecting the wiper pod switch? You don't say you have replaced that one. If it has a short, it would take the inverter output to ground and prevent the panels from luminescing. The other easy test is to back probe the voltage from the inverter to the switch and see if your getting 100 volts when your supposed to. It's either the inverter, switch, or one or both panels.

Are we having fun yet?

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Can also use the override - go into service mode->bcm->override->bs03 (says "Incandecent Dimming") value of 61 or above should be visible,99 is max. This bypasses the photocell and turns the pod lights on directly.

To check the photocell, go to BCM data BD44 0-20= daylight, 80-99= darkness

(Thought I just posted that)

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Guest kennyw

What I posted was, USE the light show to see if the 110-inverters are working......If they are the tell-tale pod lights should light just like the consul-THAT IS WORKING....They do not:> points to the in dash 110 inverter.......Although you state that you have changed it. It is high in the dash above the light pod......A real bear to get to......Either the inverter or wiring to it......ken

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Just looked in th FSM (8A-88) and the pod lighting seems particularly convoluted with a number of jumpers in connectors. Lose any one and it won't work.

Beyond that, power is sourced from the BCM, 110vac is a maximum and is dependant to the variable but 12v max fed into the circuit. Since the power for the console (shifter, mirror, and window switch) lights are sourced from the same BCM circuit and they light, the BCM is probably good.

If the pods won't light at any time (including the BS03 override) and the colsole lights do work then I would start with a DVM on the inverter input and see if it is getting power at all. If not check for a shorted or open power lead. Also I'd try applying about 9v dc directly to the inverter (12v should not hurt) and see if the pods light. S

If they do then the suspect is the 118 cavity C201 which appears to have at least three internal jumpers required for the pod lights to work.

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