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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
so i was driving one night and all a sudden i seen my dash flickering and then just went completely out i found the problem the dimmer switch module i brought a new one from autozone a mallory brand i plug it up the dash light didnt last a sec it went completely out so i went to the junkyard brought a remy delco for like 30 dollars less it lasted about 15mins and it went out also so i grab my test light im getting power to the module but only on one side so when i jump wire one side to the other the dash lights and etc work but i cant dimm them leave the wire in it will pop the fuse im kinda lost went it come to this electrical stuff someone chime in help a fellow out!!!! suggestions imcwm3
 

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Too many possibilities.

I can only guess from here.

When you bypass the dimmer how long does it take to blow the fuse?

Common causes of dash light problems are bad installations of:

LED light replacements
Wrong bulb replacements(bright means more current)
Car alarms
Car remote starters
Aftermarket radios
Aftermarket gauges
Extra lights connected to dash circuit.
Replacement dash clusters

List what you have.

If you have not had other problems with the electrical I would say something broke loose and has crossed wires with the dimmer circuit.

I would bet that this has something to do with a aftermarket part.

You are going to have to go through the dash wires and look for electrical tape or 3M (plastic clam shell) wire splices or any other wear points.

This is some of the thinnest wire in the car so careful with how many times you replace the fuse. The wire cover can melt even with the correct fuse.
 

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The dimmer is not a resistor per se. It is a potentiometer. As such there is a ground, power, and adjustable lead. If the power and ground are shorted, you will blow the fuse. I do not know if eliminating the adjustable lead will cause the fuse to blow. The lights are on the ground side of the switch, so there could be a short to ground in the lighting wiring, and that would exceed the power draw allowed by the fuse.
 

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Panel Lamps Dimming Module

The Panel Lamps Dimming Module is a part with aluminum heat fins.(located on the left metal support by the column?)

It gets a signal (ground to 12 V) from the dimming potentiometer by the headlight switch.

GM shows it is a transistor. It is a shame the transistor blows before the fuse but as many systems in these cars the fuse barely protects the wires.

It could be bypassed by unplugging the module then connecting the yellow wire to the gray wire. The lights should work without dimming. If the lights work for a time and then the fuse blows it may be an overload. If the fuse blows when the lights are turned on it may be a short.

Add the ashtray light to the weak point list.

GoldSSWagon diagram: Instrument Illumination may help.

http://www.goldsswagon.com/diagrams/wiringindex.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the replies and I did the two wire bypass for the dimmer it work with no fuses blown just cant dim the lights but i can live without it and also goes for aftermarket install just a head unit that all no leds or extra lights i did recently install subwoofer but took them out something about it was strange is this common in 94-96 b bodies??
cwm2
 

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3 Panel Lamps Dimming Modules Fried

If your question is do these modules fail? All I can say is my two cars seem to have the original ones.

May be some one else has a different experience but I have never had a electronic one fail. The old resistor in the dash type have given everyone trouble if they were not designed right.

3 Panel Lamps Dimming Modules failing in a row suggests there is a problem with this circuit. Not a normal "old age issue".
 
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