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Heater console illumination...


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Took my heater console out to fix the clock(looking for one that works) and found there are 3 empty holes in the back of the console for light bulbs. I don't see any in the area. I do see several unused male/female plugs however.

Can anyone shed light on what I need or what I am missing? Were the originals cut out from the wiring harness, or are there lights that plug into the unused plugs? Thanks.

Portland, OR

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So what is the deal with illuminating this area for a 77 280

When I read that there were 3 holes and some unused plugs for (lamps/luminaires/lightbulbs), I thought that two may have been added for extra illimination for the panel. But Perry says he has a 240, which I'm not that familiar with. Otherwise, my 280Z has one on the left end (where OFF is) and it lights up the panel fairly well.

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has illumination in the heater console. That I already know. Need to know details about the lights/plugs/fixtures themselves as mine appear to missing I don't know if I can pick them up from someone else or if I should try and make my own.

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has illumination in the heater console. That I already know. Need to know details about the lights/plugs/fixtures themselves as mine appear to missing I don't know if I can pick them up from someone else or if I should try and make my own.

You haven't mentioned what year car you have, so trying to tell you where to find the connection etc within the car's dash harness is going to take a bit.

FYI, the 3 bulbs that illuminate the HCP, are simply tied into the same circuit as the rest of the instrumentation lighting. Look for a Blue / Red wire, that is a Blue wire with a Red stripe.

The HCP's lighting harness was separate and had a connector to tie into the dash's harness, but without knowing if your car IS a 73 or HAS a 73 dash and harness, I can only recommend how to hook it up.

The bulb sockets are the same kind as the ones in the rest of the instruments, that is a single element bayonet 3W bulb. I don't recall if each of the sockets also had a ground wire attached to it, or if it grounded through the metal plate that the bulbs fit into, and the plate was then grounded via a wire on the harness to the car's ground.

In either case, all 3 bulbs were connected via a pair of common wires to the harness, which in turn connected to the car's instrumentation lighting (so the dimmer rheostat controlled them as well). Find a donor Z dash and get the bulb sockets from it, wire together and then connect to your dash.

As far as your clock, you can fix it, and if you're careful it will last a long while. I fixed a pair of these a couple of years ago and they're still working great. I even went the extra step to calibrate it and now it only gains 1-2 minutes a day. Not a chronometer but definitely much better than not working.

Open the clock housing by removing the two screws holding the face bezel in place. Next gently lift off the clock hands, and carefully remove the face. Below it you should find a black washer and a spring tripod washer. Make sure you don't loose these. Once these are off you can address the main problem with the clock.

From the back of the case, remove the 3 nuts that hold the clock mechanism inside the case. Once this is done, carefully force the wire and the rubber boot that powers it, INTO the case, and then do the same thing for the connector. If your connector boot (not the one at the case, but the one where the clock connects to the harness) is pliable enough, gently straighten it out and fold in the heat crimped plastic wings so that it will fit through the hole in the case.

At this point you should be able to remove the clock mechanism from the metal case.

Take a minute to clean out any dust or gunk inside the case, and if you want it to be brighter, paint it with a WHITE paint, the green lens on the bulb housing will still illuminate the inside as green, but it will be MUCH brighter when you have the lights on. Be careful not to smear the bulb housing. Set this aside to dry.

Now, looking at the clock mechanism. You'll note a little motor on the back side of the mechanism. Get a bottle of sewing machine oil and a long enough needle and apply a small drop (by small, I mean minuscule) to the motor housing and the associated pivot points. You can power it up right away, although personally I let this soak for a bit. Usually the length of time to let the paint dry in the case is sufficient, or overnight.

Next, to ensure that it's working, you can either re-assemble and plug in, or you can provide power to the clock via a 12v power supply. It doesn't require a large current as the motor just winds the spring enough to keep the clock going. If everything is working correctly, you should hear and see the motor wind and you'll notice the pendulum gear begin to oscillate back and forth. I then re-assemble the clock and to ensure it doesn't conk out, I leave it plugged into the power supply for a while.

If you want at this point you could calibrate the clock, except for one thing. Most power supplies supply 12.0v DC, while in the car you will be working with 12.8v to 13.5v depending on the condition of your battery and connections. To get it "perfect" you would need to match the voltage in your car. This takes a l o n g time, so leaving it in the car would be a problem, unless you don't mind having it dangling off on the side for days-weeks. So, if you don't mind it running a bit fast (as mine does), just hook it up to your power supply continuously for a few days.

The procedure is simple.

Once the clock is functioning properly, set the time to match a KNOWN good clock. Whether it's your wrist watch, a house clock, digital or analog it doesn't matter. You're just going to be using it to compare what the car clock is doing in relation to that one.

After 24 hours or thereabouts as it doesn't matter whether you check every 2 hours or 200 hours, compare the time on both pieces. If the car clock shows 12:30 and your reference is 12:00, the car clock is fast, the opposite would be a slow mechanism.

On the back of the clock housing, you'll notice a hole, usually with a milky white plug inserted into it, with markings around it ( + | | | - ).

Remove the plug, and inserting a small straight screwdriver into this hole, you'll find a screw in there. Give it a gentle twist in the direction you need to adjust the clock. If fast, tweak the screw by a DEGREE or two (360° in a complete revolution) in the - direction. If slow, in the +. Be careful not to over-adjust, a small adjustment of a degree can be as much / little as 10 minutes per 12 hours or less, so by doing small adjustments you won't swing erratically all over the place.

Reset the car clock to coincide with the reference clock. Recheck the two clocks again in another day or so, and repeat the adjustment until they coincide with each other, or you are satisfied with the amount of disparity.

Hope this helps.


By the way, I'm up here in Vancouver WA, so if you need help give a PM and we can see if we can get together.

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  • 4 months later...

I don't have an answer but he did state that his car is a 73 (post #4). Looks like Enrique is all over it however. But I don't really get the question about a 78 (post #5) as to whether you want to fix them or just know how to turn them on.

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