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Discussion Starter #1
I did a few searches of the forum, but couldn't find any content showing how to make it so.

I don't like how my console/radio/etc backlights dim when my headlights are on. I turn my headlights on a lot when it's not necessarily dark (rainy day, cloudy day, fog, etc), and it makes my radio display pretty difficult to see sometimes. Is there any way to disable that? Or at least my radio display?
 

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That is the way it's designed, and I haven't heard of anybody trying to change that behavior. You could do the DRL mod (see thread by BH241), which would obviate the need to turn on the headlights some of the time. But in New York State at least, the headlights must to be on whenever the wipers are operating.
 

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the red wire pin 19 in the main radio harness gets a ground thru resistance depending on how bright or dim your cluster is set to be, so technically if you clipped that (i would do i a few inches from the back of the radio so you can reattach it later if needed) and grounded the side that goes into the back of the radio it would always be full brightness when the lights were turned on. cap off the wire that goes back into the harness in the truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah it's mainly the radio controls and display I would like to stay "headlights off" brightness at all times. Due to the daytime brightness issue and also just because I like how it looks. If I'd have to go in and perform major surgery to my still-under-warranty E, then it's not that big of a deal I suppose.
 

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Yeah it's mainly the radio controls and display I would like to stay "headlights off" brightness at all times. Due to the daytime brightness issue and also just because I like how it looks. If I'd have to go in and perform major surgery to my still-under-warranty E, then it's not that big of a deal I suppose.
not really a big deal if you want it that way, clip the wire, attach it to the ground right next to it in the harness and cap the other side of the cut wire.
 

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In my 04, if you turn the brightness of the instrument panel all the way, it will not dim when you turn on the headlights. I don't know if your 07 will be the same.
 

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i couldnt tell you if that is the case as i have an aftermarket radio, but OP might be able to. in anycase dans idea with the switch is a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Wait, does my 07 EX have a dash dimmer control? My old Focus had a slider that made the dash lights dimmer or brighter, but I don't see anything like that on my E. I'm purely stock right now, btw. *goes off to look at his owner's manual... again...*

edit: So apparently the trip meter rod thing does it. ROFL Wow I feel dumb... sorry...

In my defense, it is a really weird place to put such a control.
 

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^ Worth a try, eh? That feature's an easter egg, Snuff—not documented in the 2003–06 OMs. 2007s have the new gauge cluster, on which the panel brightness control is twisted, rather than pressed.
LOL Yeah, I just stumbled upon it. I was messing around with the brightness trying to find a good balance for all the lit up things on my dash since I have my GPS, iPhone and iPod up there which are dimmed and I didn't want things to be too bright. :)

I do like that switch idea though. I would prefer to dim the instrument panel but really like my radio bright.

Oh, yeah, I did forget to mention that I have an OEM radio. oops :oops:

KingGhost, let us know if it works. I am curious about the newer instrument cluster.
 

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Wish I would've seen this sooner...

I run with lights on almost all the time on my 08. And yes, I just turn the dimmer switch full on to brighten the instrument lighting to 100% during the day.
 

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Apparently there was a change in 2009.

2007–08 owners manuals:
"You can change the instrument panel brightness only when the light switch is on."

2009–2010:
"Separate adjustments can be made when the headlights are on and off ... To reduce glare at night, the instrument panel illumination dims when you turn the light switch to [parking lights] or [headlights]. Turning the select/reset knob to the right until you hear a beep will cancel the reduced brightness."
 

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Apparently there was a change in 2009.

2007–08 owners manuals:
"You can change the instrument panel brightness only when the light switch is on."

2009–2010:
"Separate adjustments can be made when the headlights are on and off ... To reduce glare at night, the instrument panel illumination dims when you turn the light switch to [parking lights] or [headlights]. Turning the select/reset knob to the right until you hear a beep will cancel the reduced brightness."
I confirmed driving home tonight: First statement for 07-08's is incorrect per my model. It operates just as listed for 09-10. In fact, I believe the same gauges are in use from 07 up through 2010 model.
 
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