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Discussion Starter #1
83 300D - Messed with instrument cluste, now radio & left turn signal are not working

My dash lights went out a couple of days ago. I read online that it was likely an issue with the rheostat, and that cleaning the contacts might resolve the problem. I'm pretty clueless about cars (got this one from a friend), but the procedure of taking out the instrument panel seemed easy enough for someone like me.

I got the lights to work again, but then the left turn signal light stopped showing up in the instrument panel. I can hear it click, and the exterior lights still work fine, it's just not flashing in the dash.

I took out the instrument cluster to see if I broke the bulb or something, but I couldn't find anything wrong. When I put the cluster back in again, the radio stopped working. I disconnected the battery each time I messed with the panel. I don't know if that's relevant.

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what I could have done to cause these problems. Clearly I don't know enough to be messing around with a car like this, and should have left well enough alone. At the very least, I just want the radio to work again. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks for reading.
 

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77 240D
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if just one signal arrow is not working, i would check that bulb both for being burnt out and for being well-seated in non-rusty contacts. why the radio would be wired with anything to do with the dash cluster, i can't say. that doesn't strike me as normal, but maybe someone else will have an idea.

did you at least get the rheostat working right?
 

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5 Speed "85" Euro TD , 5 speed "85" Euro 240D, "79" 5 spd 240D, 5 spd "94" Dodge/Cummins PU
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The screws that hold the three sections or the cluster together carry the grounding, they must be snug, so you might check those. Disconnecting the battery is a good idea.
 

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1983 300CD
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136 Posts
My blinkers won't work if I have the hazard switch on...the hazard switch doesn't actually do anything, but it won't allow the blinkers to work if on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
It turns out a screw had fallen out of the instrument cluster at some point. Out of the four holes that connect the three section, there were only two screws on the right side. For some reason, the bottom left hole is too big, so I put it in the upper left one, and the radio is working again!

Also, I think I had inadvertently loosened the left turn signal bulb at some point. I readjusted it, and the turn signal is working too. :)

Unfortunately, the left brake light isn't working anymore. Not sure what the problem could be. I just changed the fuse, so I don't think that's the issue. Maybe I need a fourth screw? It seems weird that it would work before. I'll have to look into this again tomorrow.

Thanks for all the responses.

EDIT: It turns out the bulb just happened to burn out, and it's not related to anything I did. Thanks again for the help. I'm so glad everything's back in order.
 
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