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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Brighter Dash Illumination Lighting (or making gauge cluster dimming independant)

WHAT THIS MOD DOES
It applies full 12V to all dash lighting except the gauge cluster regardless of dimmer control setting. Once done only the gauge cluster lighting will be controlled by the dimmer.

Hey All,
Been a long time since I posted.
I almost sold my truck this year but a major transmission failure made me decide to keep the Frontier over the Mercedes. So I decided to dust off my upgrade plans and get back to work on my truck.

I have been thinking about this mod for quite a while, but to be honest I was a little fearful of frying my dash. After another review of the wiring diags I convinced myself the risk of fire was low. ;-)
Any way here is why I decided to do this. The interior dimmer control adjusts the gauge cluster lights as well as all the other switches etc inside the cab. My issue was in order to adjust the gauge lighting so that it did not reflect off my windows I would have to turn the dimmer way down. Now all my other lights where too dim. Picky I know, But my eyes are getting older and need all the help they can get.

Steps are quite easy and can be done in about 15 minutes

  1. Disconnect battery (or not at your own risk)
  2. Remove Instrument cluster. Actual cluster may be left in, but you may find it easier to identify wires with the cluster unplugged. Use this nice guide by Deltaphi216, How to remove the gauge cluster
  3. Identify wires involved and cut the BRN wire with the silver dashed trace (pin 22 on the Instrument cluster connector). (see wire diag below)
  4. Attach jumper wire between the harness side of the BRN wire and the splice into the BLK ground wire (pin 23 on the Instrument cluster connector). I used bullet connectors just in case I wanted to go back to stock.
Finished install pic below.
For independent adjustment of both sets of lights a rheostat could be added to the jumper wire.

Update: Had a look at my work last night. I did not realize the window switch lights are not controlled by the Illumination Control Switch or for that matter the head light switch. Seems they come on with the ignition. Accordingly they did not get brighter, but probably for the better as I was trying to minimize window reflections at night.
So this mod only affects lights on the dash and center console.
I would have taken pictures, but I think you guys get the idea.
 

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