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I've got a 64 1/2 convertable that doesn't have any dash lights. I've replaced the fuse and that didn't bring the dash lights back on so now I need a better idea. How many bulbs are in the 64 1/2 dash? Is it possible that they could have all burned out? Or maybe is this a wiring problem somewhere behind the dash? Anyone else else ever experience this before? And if the bulb is the next item to check what is the recommended procedure to remove the dash? I'm sure there is an easy way and a hard way so I'd love to hear from someone whose done it the easy way before.
Thanks in Advance,
Dave
 

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While its unlikely that all bulbs are burned out at the same time it is remotely possible in a car that old.

The dash light power passes through the headlight switch first. If you see a headlight switch you'll see that it has a roud white porcelain insulator with a coil of wire embedded in it. This is the rheostat for the dash lights. The things like to develop bad connections and breaks in the coil which cause the dash lights to fail.

This is where pulling the instrument cluster out a bit can come in handy. The biggest problem is the speedo cable. You can either go from underneath and unscrew the nut (9/16 IIRC) or pull the screws holding the cluster (five IIRC-three on the top front, two on the bottom front, might be six I doubt mine ever had all of them :) ) and pull it out far enough to get a wrench in there. This was how I usually did it but the speedo never worked on mine so I don't know if this would damage the cable housing.

Anyway what you're after is access to one of the dash light sockets. The wires are light blue w/red-stripe (this is common to fords of the period BTW). Grab your trusty test light ground it and probe the wire. Switch the parking lights on and check for power. If you have power then then probe the cluster housing itself with the test light if it lights then there is a ground problem with the cluster housing. IIRC the cluster housing grounds through the screws that hold it into the dash carrier but paint/corrosion can interfere.

If no power on the lt. blue/red-stripe wires with the lights on then the next most likely culprit is the light switch itself. It's kinda PITA to get out and I won't describe that until we know it's needed. HTH
 
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