74 dart brake lights

Electrical and Ignition

  1. ccff88

    ccff88 Well-Known Member

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    Hello, I have a 74 dart that the brake lights and gas indicator needle won't come on. I checked all fuses and bulbs. Headlights and front/rear blinkers work. Dash lights work .Any clues would be greatly appreciated. Also, anyway to make dash lights brighter?? Thanks
     
  2. cudamark

    cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Check to see if you have power at the brake light switch (down under the dash by the pedal) If yes, bypass the switch with a jumper wire and see if you now have brake lights. If you do, the switch is either bad, corroded, or out of adjustment. If you still don't have brake lights and you know your bulbs are good, it's somewhere in the wiring from front to back. Check for damage to the harness in the trunk (a common problem with cargo shifting around) Other good test points are at the connector under the drivers' side kick panel and the turn signal harness connector. Remember, the brake lights go through the turn signal switch because they use the same filaments in the rear bulbs.
    If you don't have power to the brake light switch, It's somewhere between the fuse box and switch.....which would be most likely in the fuse box area. It's very rare something would happen in the middle of a harness. The fuel gauge problem is almost always in the sender.....either a sunk float or a bad electrical connection. You can test it pretty easily by removing the fuel sender wire at the tank and attaching a jumper wire from the sender wire to a GOOD ground. Then turn the ignition switch to the ON position and see if the fuel gauge now works. If so, it will come up pretty quick so turn the ignition switch back off before the gauge pegs or you may burn out the gauge. This would indicate the problem is in the sender. If the gauge still doesn't work, it's most likely a bad connection on the circuit board on the back of the instrument cluster. You'll have to pull it to do any extensive testing but you might be able to reach under the dash and tighten the guage speed nuts if they are loose on the circuit board. Other areas it could be are the pin connections in the cannon plug or the gauge itself. To get the dash lights brighter, first try adding a ground wire from cluster housing to a good ground on the dash frame. If that doen't do enough, they make some brighter bulbs but you have to be a bit carefull there so you don't overload the system or melt the plastic in the cluster. I think there are several other threads on here dealing with dim dash bulbs so you may want to do a search to find out the type of bulb that works best.
     
  3. ccff88

    ccff88 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely cut and save what u wrote. It was a bad switch. I bypassed it with a wire and when I pressed the pedal the brake lights would come up !! Thanks for the in depth walk thru. I really appreciate it!!
     
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