Instrument panel lights not working after installed aftermarket Stereo Radio - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 04-16-2011, 04:00 PM
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Instrument panel lights not working after installed aftermarket Stereo Radio

Just wanted to say thank you to ToyotaNation, Autozone, Ray Brandt Toyota, and others, for helping me solve my problem.
Here's my story. This information may be laughable to anyone with a lot of experience. I am a novice and hope this information might help others like me.
My type vehicle (1997 Toyota T100) is not important because this information could help most anyone that has installed an after market radio Jensen MP1313, Metra AW WHTY2 stereo radio wiring harness
Problem: Dash instrument panel lights wouldn't work after installing an after market stereo radio.
BEFORE WORKING ON ANYTHING ELECTRICAL YOU SHOULD DISCONNECT THE BLACK/NEGATIVE CABLE FROM THE VEHICLE'S BATTERY.
Remove the trim around the old radio: On my truck, first move the cup holder to the out position. The trim is held on to the dash by clips. With a little pull of the trim away from the dash it popped right off.
Removed the old radio from the dash. Removed the truck wiring from the back of the radio (one is the antenna). The new radio slid into the old support so I didn't need to purchase a separate Stereo Installation Trim Kit. Matched up the color wire from the purchased Metra wiring harness to the Jansen supplied stereo radio wiring harness and use black electrical tape to connect.
Plugged the other end of the Metra wiring harness into the truck's harness. Plugged the other end of the stereo wiring harness into the back of the stereo. Plugged the antenna wire into the back of the radio. Reinstalled everything back into the dash.
Tail light fuse blown. This tail light fuse also is for the instrument panel lights. Installed new fuse. Still no lights. Checked all other fuses. OK
Checking the bulbs behind the guage instrument panel: On my truck you have to remove the lower dash board before you can get to the trim around the gauges on the instrument panel. Remove the 5 screws on the trim. Pull the trim until the clips underneath pop loose. Remove the 4 screws holding the guage cluster instrument panel. You have to get your hand on top and behind the panel to release 4 harnesses and one plug. Remove the guage panel and check the bulbs on the back. All my bulbs were not black or burnt out. (It's a good idea to change these 6+ bulbs anyway while you have everything accessible)
Checking the guage instrument panel dash board dimmer switch: While the lower dashboard is still removed, check to see if the dimmer switch is working. I couldn't get anyone who knew how to test it. (most everyone that I talked to said that because all of the lights went out at the same time, they would assume the dimmer switch is the problem) You can override this switch, meaning, that you don't really need it. If you override it you can have your headlights turned on and the instrument panel lights also go on but without the dimmer capabilities.
Override the dimmer switch: My truck had 3 prongs on the dimmer switch. Disconnect the old dimmer from the truck's harness. Throw away the dimmer switch. The truck's dimmer wiring has 2 white wires. Cut these close to the harness. Use what is called a ? scotch lock connector (you can get these at any auto store) and connect one white wire into one end of the lock and the other white wire into the the other end of the lock. Snap the lock shut. I don't know if it's necessary, but I used black electrical tape and taped everything separately, pushed everything back behind the lower dashboard and taped it so it wouldn't move around.
Put everything back together in your dash. You can connect the negative battery cable back. All OK. This 97 Toyota T100 is an excellent truck.
IMPORTANT: (This is where I made my mistake and why my dash instrument dimmer switch got fried) You have two orange wires on your Metra harness. These should NOT be connected. Use electrical tape and tape each end of the orange wire separately.

Last edited by jojo01; 04-17-2011 at 11:35 AM.
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#2 Old 05-22-2011, 06:29 PM
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USA Rheostat switch (instrument panel dimmer switch) quick fix

had the same thing happen to my 1998 t100 a while after i installed an aftermarket radio. here is the way i fixed it:

the factory radio is powered by the factory wiring harness that also powers the instrument panel and air conditioning control's lights. when you install your new radio it has its own wires for power (red, 12V), ground (black), and constant power (yellow, for the radios clock and memory). my new radio draws a lot more power than the factory radio did (85Wx4) and it caused me to send too much power through the rheostat switch (guage dimmer switch) about three times after putting new ones in and popping a circuit in the rheostat. i finally figured out that you have to disconnect (i just cut them and capped them) the power wire that powered the factory radio (i believe it was a blue wire, you can find out exactly which one in your haynes repair manual). in other words, the new radio drew to much power for the rheostat to handle and cause it to short circuit. because your new radio has its own power wire the factory radio power wire is no longer needed.

IN SUMMARY all you have to do is cut the wire that powered the factory radio (the blue one i believe) and make sure your new radio has its own power wire (red) and that should solve your problem, after you buy and install your new rheostat switch of course .

hope this helps anybody who is having trouble cause it was a pain in my rear end to figure out!
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