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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any ideas here? I followed the directions on Installdr.com to a "T". The radio works great, but the dash lights don't work anymore.

There were a couple of wires on the harness going into the stereo that I didn't use. I'm assuming one of these needs to be ground our hooked up to power...?

Any suggestion? Does anyone here have a wiring diagram? I don't want to buy a Chilton's just to figure out what those 3 or 4 wires do.
 

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I assume you mean just the dashlights for the cluster guage, etc, and not just a/c or button lights alone?

what model/year b13 you got?
I also assume you checked the fuses? (dimmer switch? check that : / you never know).
You're sure your wiring to the new deck is correct, aside from those few you didnt hook up?

i think that if i dont hook up my deck at all, and leave all harnesses/wires unconnected to anything that the dash lights in my car still light up (can be easy for me to check). you can try disconnecting your deck completely (as much as a pain it usually is) and see if the dashlights work again. ya know, make sure its the deck-hookup causing it.

i got a haynes for 91-94 sentras, its not as detailed as the chiltons, but it's wiring diags should still be enough. wouldn't hurt me to scan a few pages if you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a 1991 Senta.

For whatever reason the dash lights behind the instrument panel don't work now. When I "short" the yellow wire on my stereo wiring harness to the ground they come on, but they're on all the time....? When the entire stereo is disconnected I don't have dash light. There are no blown fuses.

I'm assuming the dimmer in the dashlights ran through the stereo somehow, and not re-connecting them somehow is my problem.
 

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the first thing i did when i got my 88 was take the sony tape dec out that was running off the dimmer switch.. and went to the junk yard and go the origional sentra radio wire harness and hooked all the wires back up to the plugs except for 2 wires that didnt go anywhere and just had a fuse between them but after i did that i got the quick connects for a nissan to alpine hook up from circuit city and put it all in place but my dash lights didnt work anymore so i take it that even though some just go in loops through the sterio they have to be connected to work, its just how they get there power
 

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hmm

did you check if the dimmer wire on the new radio or remote was touching any kinda of metal, or power antenna. Also can you give the colors you didnt use.
 

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hey

not sure about seeing a red with yellow stripe on a b13 but in some cases theyre is a red with white stripe wire which would be they dimmer wire, from my experience some wires turn other colors from heat so maybe the red and white being the dimmer and from having voltage go through it made it red and yellow, then i again i could be wriong but good luck the only thing to do would be volt test it.
 

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ok, so its only the lights behind the instrument panel ? does the clock light up at least?

when the panel lights aren't working, are the backlights for the hazards,cig.lighter,etc. working?

when your radio is disconnected you said it didnt change anything...when you "shorted" that one wire to ground, the dashlights came on but u said they stayed on... 1) do u mean even when you messed with the headlight switch? 2) did u mean they stayed on even with the key out?

also, when u say red-yellow striped wire, is that the actual stock wire color?
or are u using some sort of aftermarket/universal harness with its own wire colors?

there is a red-yellow striped wire for the illumination system... so thats why i want to make sure. i've gotta take off, be back in a few hrs, then i'll scan and upload the diag im looking at...

EDIT: when you shorted that wire to grnd, and the dash lit up, did the other lights stay lit up too? (cig. lighter, etc..)?
 

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Diagram/Schematic for Instrument lights.

Here's the diag for the dash lights. Scanned from a Haynes manual.
For a printable version Click Here (1.3 MB) . Its large, but when printed will fill the whole page. Zipped with WinZip.



It's hard to tell what is wrong without alot of info....Hope this helps.

NOTE:
Colors are base_color/striped_color. (R/Y is Red with Yellow striped).
ColorKey:
B - Black
W - White
R - Red
G - Green
L - Blue
Y - Yellow
LG - Light Green
BR - Brown
OR - Orange
P - Pink
PU - Purple
GY - Grey
SB - Sky Blue
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
When I disconnected the stock radio I lost my dash illumination. The rest of the electronics work, the bell works, etc. The wire in question is definitely red with a yellow stripe. It ran into one of the two connectors that went into the stock car stereo. The instructions on installdr.com say not to do anything with the wire.

Having run into a similar situation on another vehicle, I remembered that if the radio works on the dash dimmer I had to do something with the dimmer wire. (This was years ago.) In the old car I just had to connect the extra wire to the ground and everything was fine. Doing that in this case doesn't fix the problem.

Being a bit of a problem solver I started trying other combinations (and blowing a few fuses along the way). I have found that if I touch the yellow wire (yellow is the new color on the stereo harness) to ground the dash lights and bell come on regardless of where the key is in position.

Any suggestions? I just want my dash lights back. Looking at that wiring diagram the stereo shouldn't disconnect the dash lights if that's indeed the right R/Y wire. According to the diagram the wire runs in parallel through the stereo. I'll look tonight to see if there's another R/Y wire running out. Maybe Nissan got cheap and ran the entire loop in one big series and I need to reconnect it somewhere.
 

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this is confusing. all i can really say is check the ground on the dimmer switch... make sure the dimmer works, do a couple of continuity tests from there to make sure there aren't any breaks in the wires(dont forget to d/c the battery if you do continuity tests). umm, make sure the plugs to the buttons and cig lighter are in good shape, maybe the a/c too if you had to unplug that.

are u absolutely sure you connected the correct wires to the new stereo? you should have 2 wires ( R/L and R/Y ) left over unused (unless the new deck needed them for illumination). there should be NO R/L or R/Y connecting to the stereo, they should be left unused and capped or taped so they dont touch each other or anything else they're not supposed to. there are 3 more that you dont use, but are on a smaller harness that went to the old deck. you didnt cut any harnesses, right? if you did, you should have 2 R/L and 2 R/Y that should not hook up to anything or each other. i'd say 2 R/L and 1 R/Y, but this diag shows an xtra R/Y than the diag for the radio.

maybe u pulled the wire harness in a wrong way that d/c'd something inside. u said you grounded that wire and the dash came on, but did the other lights come on as well??? this is sounding like just a wiring problem with the dash...yet i dont really see how you could've messed it up installing a new deck.

try posting this problem in the audio section as well... since this is electrical you'll get alot more responses in there.
 

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Stereo Replacement and Dash Lights

DASH ILLUMINATION PROBLEM SOLVED

I just replaced the stereo in my 1993 D21, and thought I should post what I learned.

Looking at the factory CABLE: (view with a monospaced font if you need to!)

|FGHIJ| |NOP|
|ABCDE| |KLM|
__[_]__ _[_]_

A = Front Left Speaker +
B = Front Right Speaker +
C = 12V
D = Lighting Switch
E = IGN, Accessory
F = Front Left Speaker -
G = Front Right Speaker -
H = Antenna (if present)
I = Illumination control *to dash*
J = GND (if present)
K = Rear Amplifier on-off signal
L = Rear Left Speaker +
M = Rear Right Speaker +
N = GND (if present)
O = Rear Left Speaker -
P = Rear Right Speaker -

When connecting a new stereo:

1. Connect everything that matches. (Speakers, 12V, IGN) If your
GND connections are not present on the cable, just use a nearby
screw on the chassis.

2. The factory unit takes D (which comes from the headlight
switch) and outputs on I, which goes to the dash lights through
the dimmer dial.

Connect D and I together with a piece of wire so that the dash
lights still work. Since the stereo never dims, I prefer instead
to connect E and I together (leaving D alone) and the dash will be
lit with the stereo too, whenever the ignition is on.

3. One more hint. Just tightly twist up each wire from your new
stereo, and jam each into the right hole on the factory plug on
the cable on the truck. Then, tape it up with electrical tape and
put some zip ties around. No need to cut anything factory, and
the process is easily reversible.

4. Newer stereos have an antenna which is coaxial (one connector
on the outside, and one in the centre). The Nissan CABLE looks like:
/---\
|0 O|]
\---/

O = Main antenna
0 = Sub antenna
--- = outer shell

I just tore an old two-conductor antenna cable out of an old car,
and stripped it. I think I soldered the outer shell to the 0 and
the inner connector to the O. May or may not be strictly correct,
but my stereo works beautifully.
 

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2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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It would be a lot easier to simply get a harness adapter from Crutchfield or a place that sells automotive audio systems. It'll give you a color diagram so you can match up the wires to your aftermarket radio's subharness. Solder and heat shrink wrap connections, or, at least use insulated crimp connectors. The harness adapter allows you to plug directly into the vehicle's factory main harness connectors that would be used for the factory radio. Also, all Nissan radios ground to chassis, so the factory harness connectors won't have a ground wire. Here's one such adapter:

Scosche NN02RB Reverse Wire Harness to Connect an Aftermarket
 

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I'm basically colourblind, so I do better with pin-outs. Great suggestion, though.

By the way, I connected *D and E* in my installation; modify my comments above as necessary!
 
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