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bigb206

67 Rivieria Electrical Problems

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Hi

I'm fixing up a 67 Rivieria that has been sitting for the past 5-6 years and I'm some electrical problems with the instrument panels, courtesy light switch and the climate lights. I took the dash and instrument cluster off, replaced the headlamp switch and I'm able to see dim lights behind the speedometer. I also replaced the lamps, helped a little but far from decent lighting. There are no bulbs behind the the oil pressure, coolant temp etc, but a small rectangular board wrapped in wire...is this suppose to light up?

The lights behind the heater control won't illuminate, and the courtesy lights work when the door is open but when using the switch near the clock the lights won't turn on

If I remove the wire behind the switch and ground it out the light works...where is the ground suppose to come from, because there is only one terminal behind the switch...

Any help is appreciated!

Thanks,

Brandon

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Chasing and solving electrical 'gremlins ' is fun ???

The courtesy lights are always wired 'hot' (+12VDC) - when you complete the circuit to ground, the lights function - check the switch, or the dash panel for a poor ground connection.

Check for +12VDC to the heater control bulb sockets, and they also need a good chassis ground connection to function.

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Chasing and solving electrical 'gremlins ' is fun ???

The courtesy lights are always wired 'hot' (+12VDC) - when you complete the circuit to ground, the lights function - check the switch, or the dash panel for a poor ground connection.

Check for +12VDC to the heater control bulb sockets, and they also need a good chassis ground connection to function.

I was thinking a ground could be causing some problem...is the negative battery cable suppose to solely go to the block, then from the block a small ground wire from the back of the engine to the chassis? I just got the car and not sure if thats how the ground are suppose to be setup on this car.

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That is the correct setup for the negative cable - to get a good chassis ground !

Double check all the wiring connections for corrosion, or poor contact, particularly on a car that has sat for a long period of time.

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Yes negative wire to block and ground strap(s) from back of engine to firewall. Make sure you are replacing bulbs with the correct number per the manual. The heater control has a bulb in a metal holder that snaps into the top of the unit. This is often left dangling under the dash when the control is pulled.

The switch for the courtesy light under the dash only turns on the light under the dash. Not the two on the rear sail panels.

Not sure what you mean by the rectangular board wrapped in wire. My guess is its the back of one of the gauges.

Make sure none of the bulb holders are missing from the back of dash evidenced by an open hole. These instrument panels never had great lighting to begin with but if everything is dismantled and cleaned and the polycarbonate lens polished, and new correct bulbs installed that makes a nice difference. You may notice the wiper switch lighting is probably the worst with Riviera's first attempt in 67 at using a fiber optic cable but that too can be improved with some TLC.

If you do not have a chassis service manual you should get one. Best money you can spend. Originals have a nice color coded wiring diagram that is invaluable.

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That is the correct setup for the negative cable - to get a good chassis ground !

Double check all the wiring connections for corrosion, or poor contact, particularly on a car that has sat for a long period of time.

Ok, I check it out tonight and will report back..

Thanks!

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Yes negative wire to block and ground strap(s) from back of engine to firewall. Make sure you are replacing bulbs with the correct number per the manual. The heater control has a bulb in a metal holder that snaps into the top of the unit. This is often left dangling under the dash when the control is pulled.

The switch for the courtesy light under the dash only turns on the light under the dash. Not the two on the rear sail panels.

Not sure what you mean by the rectangular board wrapped in wire. My guess is its the back of one of the gauges.

Make sure none of the bulb holders are missing from the back of dash evidenced by an open hole. These instrument panels never had great lighting to begin with but if everything is dismantled and cleaned and the polycarbonate lens polished, and new correct bulbs installed that makes a nice difference. You may notice the wiper switch lighting is probably the worst with Riviera's first attempt in 67 at using a fiber optic cable but that too can be improved with some TLC.

If you do not have a chassis service manual you should get one. Best money you can spend. Originals have a nice color coded wiring diagram that is invaluable.

Yes I can turn on the courtesy light under the dash by grounding out the wire behind the switch, just not sure where the switch gets the ground from because its only a one prong switch...do you know which bulbs are suppose to be in the dash, I used 194 bulbs.

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I got the heater lights to turn on (outside the heater control unit) by grounding out the outside the blub. I attached a picture of the small box with the wire wrapped around them.. if anyone know if this are suppose to emit light?

post-103635-143142767819_thumb.jpg

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Light comes from the bulbs that are in the housings that twist into the holes with the copper contact around them. There's nothing fancy in the way of lighting in cars of this age. Simple wires and bulbs.

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Yes, that is what I figured, I'm just confused on how the gauges besides the speedometer gets light...

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Well, I now I see the bulbs at the top shine down on top of the gauges, not from behind it (and one bulb lights 2 gauges...geez I'm embarrassed on this one...:o

I will disassemble the cluster and clean with the polish JZRIV suggested, reassemble the dash and cluster and see if I can get better lighting. I read some where (on an older model) that adding an addition ground to the console or dash area helps with the brightness of the blubs, do you guys think this would help the 67 increase the brightness?

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Well, I now I see the bulbs at the top shine down on top of the gauges, not from behind it (and one bulb lights 2 gauges...geez I'm embarrassed on this one...:o

I will disassemble the cluster and clean with the polish JZRIV suggested, reassemble the dash and cluster and see if I can get better lighting. I read some where (on an older model) that adding an addition ground to the console or dash area helps with the brightness of the blubs, do you guys think this would help the 67 increase the brightness?

Go slow and gentle with the small spring clips and screws when disassembling, that old plastic cracks easily around the holes. I use plastic polish on the lens. If you try and wipe the black gauge surfaces over the white letters the white will smear and make a mess so it takes some finesse. If the gauges faces do not look dirty don't touch them but if you do only use a damp soft cloth. T

There is no history of grounding problems on these instrument panels. The I use a pencil eraser to clean the copper contact points for the bulbs, bulb holder tabs, and main wiring plug connection contacts. You could also use 600 or higher grit sandpaper wrapped on the end of a small flat screwdriver. 194 is correct bulb.

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)

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