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Everything Electrical & Electronic Have an electrical problem? Lighting, Alternators, gauges, DIC, HUD, etc? Post it here. Please post Audio problems in the Audio forum, and Engine control problems in the appropriate Mechanical forum for your year.

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Old 12-05-2007, 12:37 AM   #11
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I'm sorry to say that it'* been so cold that I've just been driving another car and haven't gotten there yet. I will go work more tomorrow. Because of the sudden seat control problem, regardless of how it'* supposed to ground out, I think I may spend a bit longer just fixing that.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:58 PM   #12
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is your other car a bonneville?
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:14 AM   #13
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There is that Green SSEi and an SLE park in front of that house.... iirc there are a couple of Fords too..

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Old 12-06-2007, 02:21 AM   #14
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Look, I tried to reason with them. However, my mom did not want to drive the 97 Sable to work. Instead, she takes the 99 SLE. That'* the strangest thing because it'* actually her car insured under her. The 99 SLE is mine insured under my name. Shucks.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:07 PM   #15
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I thought we were taking about your dash light problem...?
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:01 PM   #16
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Got a picture of the Climate control unit and do you have an aftermarket CD player in the car? how is that wired up if so?
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:24 AM   #17
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First, JimmyFloyd: I don't have a picture of the climate control, but I think it'* just backlights. I'll get to it soon if it does cause issues. The aftermarket stereo is something I did so that I just have 12V from the battery, accessory power, ground, and remote turn-on. The remote wire I'll actually disconnect shortly because I have other things to do with it. Anyway, the speakers get their signals from pretty awesome RCA cables going to amps, which are disconnected completely but for speaker wires as of now.

Ok, I have a huge update. I have found the problem. I took out that little trim piece of my dashboard that holds the cigarette lighter and goes to the giant switch for the dome light, headlights, and so on. I have pics, too.

Here'* the progress:
The tail lights on the trunk lid do not work at all. Not a bit. No voltage with my multimeter.
The outer tail lights work only when I pull out the headlight switch, but they don't turn on automatically. Also, they work at about half voltage, or 6.23-6.31V, according to my multimeter.
When I hit the brake pedal, the working rear lights turn on even brighter, and it hurts my eyes to look at them. So that'* probably good. I haven't checked that voltage.
It used to be that the front-left headlight would work at half power, but not since I replaced all my battery wires. It'* working a lot better now.

Here are pictures of my switch, which I took out of my dasboard a few hours ago. Click on the pictures to get to the bigger ones.
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The camera I used for this is really, really bad. Those are some of the best pictures I've seen from it, and I'm trying desparately to find my other camera. Well, anyway. The switch looks complicated, but it turns out it'* a rheostat for the dimming part, and there'* some circuitry in the back to control the lights. I saw one big, fat red wire coming in, a small ground wire on the side (you can see the connector in the pics), and a few other-color wires as well. Those are for the lights, I assume. They could go to relays, though. I'm going to check the wiring schematics for it all.

I had 1337ssei come by and help me out a bit, and we traced almost all the issues back to the switch. When we messed with it, we found we could get the dash lights, headlights, and some of the tail lights to work! Not only do I assume that the switch is bad, but the corrosion on it is so horrible that I don't want to bother with cleaning it. It'* very worn out. If anyone here has this switch, I'd be happy to buy it.

Another option I have would be to find out what the differently colored wires are and then custom-make my own switch for that area. This I'd prefer to do in a perfect scenario, but I may be running out of time. If I have to move my car, I'll use some wiring schematic to short out the wires to get working headlights and tail lights, and I'll drive it elsewhere. So, what do you think from reading [i]all]/i] of this?
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:54 AM   #18
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Get a replacement. You'll never be able to clean it up and have it remain reliable. I know the Ford vehicles we have at work STILL (or atleast until the 2006 MY) use this rather poor, failure prone technology. Make sure the connector that plugs into the switch is in good condition. Replace it with a pigtail if necessary. There is a lot of current that passes throught these components. Lots of current + poor connections = too much heat. The dimmer portion of these produces enough without the addition of bad connections on top of it. Heat is ultimately why these fail. Hot connections can also lead to electrical fires.
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddalder
Get a replacement. You'll never be able to clean it up and have it remain reliable. I know the Ford vehicles we have at work STILL (or atleast until the 2006 MY) use this rather poor, failure prone technology. Make sure the connector that plugs into the switch is in good condition. Replace it with a pigtail if necessary. There is a lot of current that passes throught these components. Lots of current + poor connections = too much heat. The dimmer portion of these produces enough without the addition of bad connections on top of it. Heat is ultimately why these fail. Hot connections can also lead to electrical fires.
Very good point about that electrical fire. I'll check the $tealership and see if I can get a wiring diagram with all the wire colors. Does anyone know where the tail lights ground out?
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:22 PM   #20
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Do the 96-99 cars have a rheostat as well? I was looking at the SLE'* control, and its dim control is backwards. Does that have anything to do with a change to reduce heat/increase longevity? If so, can I do a conversion over to it?
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