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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I pulled the instrument cluster out to remove the light behind the fuel guage.

I plugged everything back in and the 3 168 bulbs that illuminate the speedometer and tachometer will not light up. Guages themselves work when vehicle is started, just no backlight.

All other lights still work; warning lights, turn signal indicator, air bag, door open, selected gear, outside temp, clock, air control, radio lights and cruise light.

Dimmer switch works and will dim all lights that are on.

All three culprit bulbs have been checked and lit up when I put the leads to the key fob battery.

Fuses have been pulled and checked to no avail because they kill the lights that are still on as it should when removed.

Currently have negative cable unhooked and have depressed brake pedal. I'm giving that a bit of time to before I see if it works.

Was hoping to get some plan B,C or D's lined up from other members in the meantime.
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Sorry still haven't figured out how to keep paragraphs when posting from phone..馃槓
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, climate control, hazard switch and radio all light up, they will all dim and illuminate as well.

Literally every light works except the ones mentioned.

Kinda frustrating because I was doing something simple and then it created a confusing problem.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry, forgot to mention that; they were previously lighting.

I checked them visually and put the wire leads to the key fob battery and got a faint light out of what juice it could supply the bulb.
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry, just saw the part about the LED.

I didn't actually install any new bulbs was just getting the smaller dead ones out for when I get replacements and ended up knocking out the big ones somehow in the process.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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My first thought, assuming the bulbs are good & are plugged in properly, then perhaps one of the instrument cluster connectors is not seated fully or a pin was bent & not making contact?

Looking over the illumination wiring diagram, looks like all the combination meter back lighting is on the same circuit. you might double check the bulbs to verify they are correctly installed... seated & making good contact with the circuit board. :confused:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 
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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah I've taken them out and put them back in a few times.

Also disconnected the three harnesses a few times as well.

It's just strange that I only removed the smaller twist sockets and it knocked out something I wasn't even messing with. Although I do have bad luck with simple things that usually turn into a huge fiasco.

Okay so my new idea is, what if I take the instrument cluster out of my 04 XT and plug the 05's into the 04? See if everything lights up you know?

Seems like I could isolate the issue a little further that way and rule some things out?
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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857 Posts
The little metal electrical contact tabs for these bulbs (and the printed circuit board) they contact are fragile, be gentle removing/installing them. Ensure that the tabs are not bent away or otherwise mangled, I've had instances where if they weren't reinstalled perfectly square to the hole, the little tabs would try to go on the wrong side of the instrument cluster board and/or get bent to heck.
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #11
Alright, they do seem pretty fragile so I will keep that in mind when fiddling with them.

Just strange because I didn't even touch the ones that went out so it must be something less obvious or that I'm not seeing.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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857 Posts
Remove and reinstall the bulbs in the holders that aren't working, sometimes it's a loose/bad contact.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Okay so my new idea is, what if I take the instrument cluster out of my 04 XT and plug the 05's into the 04? See if everything lights up you know?
Sounds like a good idea, BUT you could end up with problems in both clusters & that would add to the troubleshooting unpleasantness! :icon_eek:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
True very true, I think I will leave the 04 cluster out of the equation and just plug the 05 in. I'll be doing that tomorrow since I have the day off.

I'll check and make sure all bulbs are in correctly as well.

Will post back with results sometime tomorrow.

馃
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Okay looks like this may be the problem.

Switched clusters between the 04 and 05, 04 lights up in both cars so not a wiring issue; 05 doesn't light up in either.

Popped the back off the 05 cluster and saw the soldering separated as you can hopefully tell from the picture.

That is the side with the Tach which I believe powers lights as I couldn't get any back lighting off the 04 till I plugged that one in.

Can this be re-soldered?
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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I can't see the separated solder connection, perhaps you could mark it? It's not going to hurt anything to try to resolder, freshen... reflow the connection.

If the tracing... foil is broken, you can bridge the area with wire, soldering the wire on either end to bridge the break.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 
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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #19
I will check out those circuit frame indexes, looks pretty interesting. Thanks for a possible solution Lou!
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #20
Okay, I soldered it with a soldering gun from probably the 70's. Its ugly, messy and embarrassing but the lights work again! Problem solved, thank you all that committed in with solutions!
 
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