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Discussion Starter #1
Alright so I have the issue of the background illumination coming on in the dashboard and the clutch area.
I replaced the clutch light just to see if it was a broken bulb and it isn't.
SO I pulled the Dimmer switch and found that the ground/circuit thingy in it was broken, shook before I opened it up and it sounded like a model car that I got under the x-mas tree when I was 5.
Would the dimmer be the issue?
If not how do I get the dashboard off to replace the background illumination?
 

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You have a clutch light??
And you are talking about illumination controller on the dash?
If so, this is a solid state part, so it shouldn't make noise, and can't really be repaired - best is to try to get one from a Trackick in a junkyard - they normally don't go bad. Yes, it most certainly can cause an issue with the dash lights - although you don't exactly describe what the issue is...??? These switches are set in those little squares that just pop out - but you need to b careful, as they are usually fairly brittle. No dash removal needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
sorry the problem is this, the lights in the dash that illuminate the dash so I can see the speedometer, temp, RPM, and the like.
And yeah where I suppose what is called the clutch (automatic) is there is a light showing the D,N,R and such.
 

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OK, certainly if there is something wrong with the illumination switch (on the dash) it could prevent the dash lights from working - its basically a rheostat. It gets its power from the red/yellow wire going to it, which should have 12v to it at all times. The switch provides also the ground to the instrument panel and to the shifter, via the red/green wire that runs to both. You may want to check the wiring before determining that the switch itself is bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the switch has signs of something popping in it and broken.
SO it's more than likely that?
 

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There shouldn't be anything popping in and out...???? And simple enough to pull one in a junk yard and hope that this solves your problem. Just be careful popping out the plastic, as it is brittle and can break easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
nah it isn't plastic it's a metal box with a potentiometer in it.
 

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Yes, but that metal pot sits in a square piece of plastic that you pop out so that you can remove the switch from it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, but that metal pot sits in a square piece of plastic that you pop out so that you can remove the switch from it.
mine didn't have that :/
 

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Discussion Starter #11
is it bad that it doesn't have the plastic box thingy?
 

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Can you upload a photo of it?? And no, not bad. The plastic housing just makes it easy to get the switch out.
 

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My car has the same thing that's in your picture, but, on the dash, surrounding that switch, is a plastic square that pops out, so that the switch comes out easily from the dash, and I don't have to try removing it from under the dash. That's the 'plastic thingy' I was talking about....:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
mine was held in with a nut on the potentiometer, just got the new one in today so here goes nothing! also how do I remove the dashboard?
 

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That's the point of the square plastic 'surround' - so you don't have to take the dash out to install those knobs. Look at the last photo in post #10 here:
http://www.suzuki-forums.com/suzuki-sidekick-escudo-vitara-geo-tracker/77401-broken-dimmer-switch-easy-fix-buy.html
Although it's not a photo of the illumination switch, do you see the square that the defroster button is sitting in? That square pops out (you very carefully pry it out with a thin screwdriver or similar) and that way you don't have to remove the entire dash. In order to get the dash out far enough so that you can work behind it you normally have to disconnect the speedometer at the transmission, so that you can pull the dash out far enough to get your hands behind it. For the illumination switch, its probably easier to work from under the dash, if you can't pop the switch out.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's the point of the square plastic 'surround' - so you don't have to take the dash out to install those knobs. Look at the last photo in post #10 here:
http://www.suzuki-forums.com/suzuki-sidekick-escudo-vitara-geo-tracker/77401-broken-dimmer-switch-easy-fix-buy.html
Although it's not a photo of the illumination switch, do you see the square that the defroster button is sitting in? That square pops out (you very carefully pry it out with a thin screwdriver or similar) and that way you don't have to remove the entire dash. In order to get the dash out far enough so that you can work behind it you normally have to disconnect the speedometer at the transmission, so that you can pull the dash out far enough to get your hands behind it. For the illumination switch, its probably easier to work from under the dash, if you can't pop the switch out.
yeah I see what you're talking about
WELL here is the update:

The background and clutch light work perfect now
I replaced the other lights too BUT I turned it on and well, a puff of smoke came out and now my Temp and RPM gauge and I THINK my fuel gauge doesn't work now :| not sure what happened exactly :| any thoughts?

btw, my speedometer, odometer, and trip gauge work fine though
 

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Shorted wiring, probably. Check your fuses, too. Sadly, the insulation in much of the wiring is starting to show wear - you will probably have to trace the wiring of each of the non-working components, to see where your problem lies.
Temp, tach and fuel gauge work off the ig-coil fuse, the black white wire to the instrument panel. Do your idiot lights (brake light on the dash, etc) work? These also work off the black/white fuse. The 2 circuits above split at a 10 cavity connector under the dash, just to the left of the steering column.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Shorted wiring, probably. Check your fuses, too. Sadly, the insulation in much of the wiring is starting to show wear - you will probably have to trace the wiring of each of the non-working components, to see where your problem lies.
Temp, tach and fuel gauge work off the ig-coil fuse, the black white wire to the instrument panel. Do your idiot lights (brake light on the dash, etc) work? These also work off the black/white fuse. The 2 circuits above split at a 10 cavity connector under the dash, just to the left of the steering column.
idiot lights work perfectly
background illumination works fine

the CEL,oil,seat belt, and other misc dash lights do not work now along with the RPM, fuel, and temp gauge (luckily this isn't my old XJ jeep that overheated A LOT) but the bulbs have been replaced. I'll crawl in there to check the wiring before or after or even during the easter get together the family has going.
 

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??? What lights are you calling the 'idiot lights'?? The brake, seatbelt, 4wd, lights etc., are - at least what I would consider - idiot lights. I assume that your car is still starting - if the ig-coil fuse was blown, it wouldn't. You need to check the black/white wire that services the dash. It runs your instrument panel, among other things.
 
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