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Old 10-20-2009, 01:16 AM   #1
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1996 30' Land Yacht
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dash light fuse keeps blowing

first of all.....hello. this is my first visit. recently acquired 30' land yacht from father in law with 33k miles on it....1995(or 1996).

i drove it this past weekend and the fuse that controls the dash lights/taillights keeps blowing. it currently has a 20 amp fuse in it. when it doesnt blow it starts to melt!!! and the headlight knob (in dash) starts to smoke.....i took the dash off to look behind it and discovered this as i was problem solving

i can not find diagram that shows which size fuse should be in that location (#5) in fuse box

any help would be immensely appreciated

thx, chad (go bucks)
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:26 AM   #2
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my mechanic would easily find and fix your problem. melting and smoking electrical wiring can burn your unit to the ground and there's nothing you can do to stop it.
If you can't find the fuse to that area of the dashboard, what the buck are you thinking? take it to a professional asap.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:33 AM   #3
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Hi, most vehicles should only have a 5 Amp fuse for the dash lights. With a larger fuse [20 Amp] and a short you can burn out the variable resistor for dimming your dash lights. Most common cause for a dash light short is an improperly wired aftermarket radio. Nothing other than a few aftermarket gauge Lights should be spliced into this circuit. If your vehicle uses the glass type fuses, the ends melt due to a poor/rusty connection at the fuse holder, not a short.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:33 AM   #4
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???

didnt say i cant find the fuse.....i know which fuse it is......just dont know which size fuse should be used......currently has a 20a in it, but that doesnt mean it's the right size

i also know a nice rv shop that would fix it.....but purpose of these forums is to help people like myself try to fix these problems on our own.....at least thats what i thought
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:36 AM   #5
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thx for input robert. nothing aftermarket installed...only original radio and a cd changer tht was installed by the manufuacturer. my dad in law was original owner and never did anything else to it.

when the fuse blows.....the dash lights go out and the tail lights go out.....but brake lights still work and head lights still work
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:38 AM   #6
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hey robert.....do you know where i could find a schematic of the fuse panel to see which size fuse i should have in the slot that keeps blowing???? it is the fuse panel directly under the glove box on passenger side......fuse slot #5
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:22 AM   #7
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Hi, no I don't, but If the dash light fuse blows then only the dash lights go out. If the tailight fuse blows the the tailights and dash lights won't work. Sounds like a running light problem instead of a dash light problem. In that case a 20 Amp fuse for running lights would be correct.
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:25 AM   #8
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that is what's happening. so 20a probably correct....but why in the heck would the variable resistor start to smoke/smell?? had 20a fuse in.....maybe fuse wouldnt blow?? old fuse???
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:33 AM   #9
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In my 95 Mustang, the head light switch failed - pretty much exactly as you describe your failure. The variable resistor overheated, and the entire switch back melted. Our first indication of a problem were no dash lights or running lights. Then I noticed the smell. The fuses themselves did not blow, just the headlight switch failed. I bought a new one from Ford, and installed it in about 3 hours (had to take quite a bit of the dash apart).

Pretty much anything mechanical or electrical can fail. Nothing else was wrong with the wiring in the car.

Hope this helps.

Chris
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:58 PM   #10
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related issue?

thx for that input....i will look into getting a new headlight switch and see if that heals the problem.....another issue i am having that may or may not be related is that the right turn signal does not work once i get over 50mph.....it will blink a couple times then i will hear a squelch coming from the relay...but the left works fine all the time,,,,then the right fine again after i slow down


???!!!!!!what the heck?
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:13 PM   #11
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i did some further diagnosing and here is what i found. bought new headlight switch...that is not problem. problem is with the brown wire on headlight switch. according to diagrams is is the wire that goes to running lights/clearance lights. if it is not plugged into headlight switch....fuse does not blow, but now running lights. any ideas where to go from there???
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:28 PM   #12
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Follow that wire!

You will find that it is going to ground somewhere between the switch and the lights, or there is a direct short to ground in one of the parking, tail or running lights.

It will keep blowing fuses until you find that short or the unit burns to the ground.

20 amp fuse should be fine for the whole circuit, 5 amp for the dash lights.

Sounds like the GM wiring I have used to wire many Street Rods. I had just such a short in my '47 Chevy, using a factory wire loom from a '72 Chevy.

Find that short! Look all along the loom. You may find a place where the covering on the loom is starting to melt. That is where you may find the problem.

Good Luck.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:32 PM   #13
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thx for the input....hopefully i will find it before it burns to the ground!!! but i do have good insurance though!!

could a short be at the taillights if brake lights work properly????
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:46 PM   #14
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Brake lights are on a different circuit. They are wired through the direction signal switch so that they flash when you are pressing on the brake and have the lever to the right or left.

Yes, brake lights can work fine with a short in the running lights. It's most likely the running light wire that is going to ground somewhere.
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