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Discussion Starter #1
is there a way to have dashboard lights always on? I have installed daytime riding lights, but in fact the reading of the instruments is in the dark, and I would like to have it illuminated all time: but I cannot find in the electric scheme a good place to connect power to; it looks rather complicated.
Is there anyone with experience in this field? appreciated!
Herman
 

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Buy a 2007+. They have the dash lights on all the time. Unfortunately owners occasionally neglect to turn on their headlights at night because they see the lighted dash and assume they're on.
 

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If you just want to light the gauge pod, it's a fairly simple circuit to build. Takes 2 automotive relays, some wire, and splices.

If you want to light the pod as well as the other dash lights, heater control, radio, etc. It gets more complicated. These lights are tied to the outside running lights so you would need to add a blocking circuit to isolate the dash lights.
 

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2008 Element EX AWD TRP
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Buy a 2007+. They have the dash lights on all the time. Unfortunately owners occasionally neglect to turn on their headlights at night because they see the lighted dash and assume they're on.
Hence the addition of idiot headlamp on lights on the dash for idiots.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you just want to light the gauge pod, it's a fairly simple circuit to build. Takes 2 automotive relays, some wire, and splices.

If you want to light the pod as well as the other dash lights, heater control, radio, etc. It gets more complicated. These lights are tied to the outside running lights so you would need to add a blocking circuit to isolate the dash lights.
it is just the gauge pod, being in the deep dark, so can you give me a clue as where to start and what to build? appreciated! Herman
 

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There is no easy way to turn on the dash illumination. The circuit involves the tail light relay, the multiplexer and the voltage stabilizer and dimmer in the instrument cluster, if I remember correctly. It is a electrician's nightmare.

If you want daytime running lights and dash illumination the easiest thing to do is simply turn on the headlights when you drive.
 

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MM 2005 EX, AT southwest WI
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I had the same wish, but shy away from complexity and don't want to replace dash bulbs any more often. What I have considered but not done is mounting a single led, probably about the size of the dome light leds, possibly red, under the 'brow' of the instrument pod to illuminate the gauges when the ignition is on. Wouldn't be too hard to try out temporarily. The key as I see it would be minimizing reflections. As it gets colder my urge-to-mod wanes though, no garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had the same wish, but shy away from complexity and don't want to replace dash bulbs any more often. What I have considered but not done is mounting a single led, probably about the size of the dome light leds, possibly red, under the 'brow' of the instrument pod to illuminate the gauges when the ignition is on. Wouldn't be too hard to try out temporarily. The key as I see it would be minimizing reflections. As it gets colder my urge-to-mod wanes though, no garage.
good suggestion, I'll think about it; and of course it is easier to put on the headlights and everything is solved, but who said I should go for the easy way:lol:?
 

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it's not that hard. I did it using 2 basic automotive relays and about 6 ft of wire.

it's a simple isolation circuit. It isolates the instrument pod lighting and powers them through an ignition switched source. When the light switch is on the relays energize and return the circuit to the original circuit paths.

now I just want to miniaturize it on a small circuit board using less bulky parts.

On the other hand the current relays are cheap and easy to come by.

That said, I would need to look at how the auto trans shift indicator ties in, since I have a 5 speed I didn't worry about it. It may or may not require a different solution.
 
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