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Door panel control unit lighting


Guest tonypowell

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Guest tonypowell

Hi Guys, Guess you can tell form my recent posts that I am starting to drive this car more. Today's question is about lighting on the window, seat, mirror control panels on BOTH doors. They do not light up with the headlight switch. the courtesy lights work as they should when i touch the door handle, the IP works just fine and the console shifter lights work as they should when lights are turned on. What may be the problem?

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Hi Tony. Welcome to the forum. Could you please add the model of your Reatta, (and any other relative information), to your signature line. It will make it easier to answer your questions without asking you about the specific model you own repeatedly.

Click "Settings" in the menu at the top of this page and scroll down to "Edit Signature"

Thanks!

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Guest Mc_Reatta
Door switches aren't lit on any years of Reattas.

The 90/91 cars do have what they called "theatre lighting" which emits from just above the inside door latch handle.

That sounds like they're lit to me.

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Guest Richard D

On my 90 coupe the factory lights were very dim and a slight yellow color. Did not light up seat or window, outside mirror switches. What I did was get some 2.5 mm. blue leds and mounted them in the door handle with a 600 ohm resistor (i think). One for each side. Looks great, looks like factory not add on. This was my first attempt. I sanded the lens of the LED and mounted it higher in the door panel to spread and soften the light.

post-61268-143141732132_thumb.jpg

Edited by Richard D (see edit history)
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Richard,

Very nice. I found the stock "theater lighting" on the 91 wholly inadequate (basically useless). I had a different solution though. When I visited Dave up in Wisconsin last year we went junking, and I got door switch panels out of a couple of Olds Toronados (90-92 models) as they were identical to those in the Reatta but - get this - have back lit legends on them. I put these in my 91, did a little wiring (reused the theater lighting lead to power the back lighting in the switch pods) and now I have back lit switches, which IMO should have been in there from the start. It is a small thing, but I consider it a major improvement.

I also plan on on doing this in the 88, but will need to run a new 12v line into the doors form the dash tapped off the appropriate circuit so that they will light up when the parking lights or headlamps are on.

KDirk

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Richard,

Very nice. I found the stock "theater lighting" on the 91 wholly inadequate (basically useless). I had a different solution though. When I visited Dave up in Wisconsin last year we went junking, and I got door switch panels out of a couple of Olds Toronados (90-92 models) as they were identical to those in the Reatta but - get this - have back lit legends on them. I put these in my 91, did a little wiring (reused the theater lighting lead to power the back lighting in the switch pods) and now I have back lit switches, which IMO should have been in there from the start. It is a small thing, but I consider it a major improvement.

I also plan on on doing this in the 88, but will need to run a new 12v line into the doors form the dash tapped off the appropriate circuit so that they will light up when the parking lights or headlamps are on.

KDirk

Any pictures, Kevin?

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Marck,

I need to snap some at night to show them lit up. Also some day shots, so it can be seen that they look stock otherwise. With the weather here being lousy (mostly just cold) and having other distractions presently, I haven't taken the time do do so. I'll try to get some soon and post them on here, along with a brief tutorial on how to hook them up. I didn't have to cut off the stock theater lighting harness, as I took some harness with the switches from the Toronado door panels. They used the same connector as the theater lamp, but I had to wire "splitter" harnesses so to speak, as there are four light bulbs on the drivers side (1 for window switch, 2 for seat control, and 1 for mirror) and 3 on the passenger side.

Also, I took the actual switches from the Reatta and swapped them into the Toronado shells as the Oldsmobile switches had matte black switch levers, while the Reatta has chromed switch levers. Other than the fact the legends light up at night in the correct shade of pale blue, they identical to the original Reatta parts.

KDirk

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I don't think the Cadillacs did have back lighted switch assemblies. I had a 1991 deville and it had theater lighting much like the Reatta. Suspect the Eldo was identical as it was much like a 2 door Deville.

I've not found another another model besides the Toronado that had these switch assemblies.

KDirk

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Hey thanks Kevin another project for a car I haven't even driven yet. So far I have yet to do; new speakers, visor clips, MP3 lead, and now this. BTW did you leave me any of those switches at Gibson's or do I have to wait for another one to come in?

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Dave,

Sorry to be making work for you (just kidding)! I think there were a couple of these switches left when I bagged mine, however by my recollection, the ones left were kind of ratty from sun and moisture exposure. One of the sets I had was not so great, as the clear plastic cover on the face of the switch banks was all cloudy because that car was not sealed up well. I managed to salvage this by block sanding the face of the lens with 400 grit dry, then 800 grit wet for a while. When I had it nice and smooth, I used a matte finish clear coat on it to restore the optical clarity. This worked pretty well and hid 95+ percent of the cloudiness and surface defects.

Just make sure you get the wiring harnesses that go to the lamp connections. Like I said, four connections on the drivers side and 3 on the passenger. If you come up with an extra male 2 pin harness for each side you can use these to plug right into the 2 pin female socket where the theater lighting bulb had been connected. Then you can avoid chopping/splicing which is never a good approach.

KDirk

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And that fast we get the "How To" on the wiring needed to complete the upgrade. There are a number of two pin plugs that I will look around for. I found one [i think the light under the hood]and used it when I did the '88/89 Console back lite upgrade [see Ronnie's site for that "How to"]. I did for ease of removal of the panel should I ever have to go into the console.

There are about 4-5 Trofero's out there, hopefully one has what I need.

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Dave,

Yeah, that 2 pin plug has LOTS of applications on 80's-90's GM cars, almost always on courtesy lighting circuits. The same ones are used for the safety lights on the lower door panels, probably on foot well lighting and any number of other places. The connector type is rectangular with the corners on one (long) side rounded slightly, and there is a raised spline on one of the other corners. The plastic connector shell is almost always black. In fact, it is very similar to the rear-view mirror connector except it is 2 pins, not 3, if that helps you visualize the one I am talking about,

I did take some night shots with it lit the other night, will get some daylight shots soon and put together a post on this.

KDirk

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I didn't get to Gibson's yet [too much snow and then bitter cold] so I shopped car-part. Picked up both sides w/pigtails for cheap. Now I just need that last pigtail to plug into the courtesy lamp and I should be all set. [well not entirely, I need to snag more of those silver switch covers... must be a million of them out there]

Kevin if you could post a pic of the back with the lead from the existing lamp that would be great!

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Dave,

Will try to get some pics taken in the next few days, probably over the weekend as I have a lot on my plate presently. I did get a night shot of it all lit up, and will add that to the post when I get the rest of the pics ready.

KDirk

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Guest Cheagey
Hi Guys, Guess you can tell form my recent posts that I am starting to drive this car more. Today's question is about lighting on the window, seat, mirror control panels on BOTH doors. They do not light up with the headlight switch. the courtesy lights work as they should when i touch the door handle, the IP leds works just fine and the console shifter lights work as they should when lights are turned on. What may be the problem?

hello is your problem solved? I am facing similar one. Please help me

Edited by Cheagey (see edit history)
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Guest Mc_Reatta

The door "flood lights"are part of the dimming light system.

1st question is does the dimming light system work? Do the switch pods, gear shift indicator, radio, climate control lights etc., illuminate after dark when the parking or headlights are turned on and controlled by the dimming slider in the headlight switch? If not go to Ronnie's site and troubleshoot and repair.

If only the "flood lights" are out is it both doors or just one? Could be due to bulbs or bad splice. Pull a bulb out and inspect. If bulb is good, then turn dimmer slider all the way up and activate the dimming circuit. Check for 12v at the connector to the bulb. If not present, it's probably a bad splice. The power is supplied via one splice (under passenger's seat), but each door bulb is grounded via separate splices. So check for 12v both across the two contacts in the bulb socket, but also from each contact to a metal body part to confirm whether its in the hot or ground side.

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I didn't get to Gibson's yet [too much snow and then bitter cold] so I shopped car-part. Picked up both sides w/pigtails for cheap. Now I just need that last pigtail to plug into the courtesy lamp and I should be all set. [well not entirely, I need to snag more of those silver switch covers... must be a million of them out there]

Kevin if you could post a pic of the back with the lead from the existing lamp that would be great!

Just got back from Gibson's. There was one 90-92 Trofero out there and the switch assembly was gone. I remember more Rivs, and Trofero's out there. I think they have started crushing them. Also got the lead wire you were talking about as well as some other things.

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Dave,

When I was up there, seems like there were maybe 3 or 4 90-92 Trofeo's. The rest were 86-89 models, and these did not have the lighted switch assemblies. Of the 90-92's there were, most were either badly picked over already, or had trashed interiors due to the doors being open/gone or windows being down/broken. I know the one I got parts out of had a pond in the floor pan. I imagine these were all crushed as the interiors were all lousy and the mechanical bits were probably not so great either.

KDirk

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Just got in the Trofero switches I ordered from the yard down in Iowa. They are perfect. Price was $20.00 plus freight for the pair, cheaper then my price at Gibson's. Now just have to install them when I go in the door to do the speakers.

They are so nice I don't know if I want to swap out the switch covers for chrome like you did Kevin...

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Guest tonypowell
hello is your problem solved? I am facing similar one. Please help me

Actually, Until the forum members informed me,I didn't know that there were NO lights in those control panels. Basic GM forgetfulness I believe! I like all of the many ideas for getting light to that area, especially the blue leds. Think I'll just "braile" it until i get more motivated to do a mod.

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  • 1 month later...

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