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'92 Ls400 Dash Lighting Dying

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Hi,

Recently my '92 has shown this weird problem (for a '92LS) where after about 5 minutes of driving the dashlight illuminating the gauges begins flashing off and on while the needles remain illuminated. Then, after a few minutes of doing this, only the needles remain illuminated. After a few more minutes the needles begin flashing from bright to dim and after a few more minutes, they die out and the cluster is blacked out completely except for any turn signals, CEL, or brake, etc.

Has anyone experienced this before, and if so, what should I be troubleshooting for? I had just recently had the car at a Toyota dealership do my valve cover gasket, radiator hoses, timing belt, drive belt, rotors and caps, and ball joints, and can't think of any of those things can be connected to this problem.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

TIA

Mike

:o

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Looks like you had a short that blew the fuses.

Try to locate the fuses and replace them if it happens again after you replace them then you may really have an electrical issue.

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Thanks for the idea. I don't think any fuses are blown, since the lighting still works, though! On start up and driving, the lighting works for a while. Only after driving for about 5 to 10 minutes, sometimes longer, the flickering begins and then if I continue driving, the lighting just gradually dies out.

Thought it may be a power supply problem, but it now looks like the same problem that the '93 and '94 model year LS 400 had - bad/cheap capcitors!

Toyota ought to do a recall on this problem, even though the cars are over 10 years old. My '86 Prelude 2.0 SI with over 280K miles still has everything functioning, and runs like a bat outta hell to boot. No one expects a car to live forever, but by gosh, the dash lighting is so critical to safety that it should be virtually indestructible!!! Don't get me wrong, it is a great car to drive, when things are working well, but for the price, it should not simply be rated highly in the first few years of ownership, it should be at least on a par with lesser vehicles in terms of durability!

Any thoughts on this position? :o

Mike

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Definately nothing to do with the suspension. Most likely a bad solder from power or loose connection. If anything it may be the infamous capacitor issue, but I have yet to find any member with info on a 90-92 fix it (93/94 clusters are

not the same)

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Looks like you had a short that blew the fuses.

Try to locate the fuses and replace them if it happens again after you replace them then you may really have an electrical issue.

A fuse would have nothing to do with the problem he's having. A blown fuse incompletes a circuit, period. It doesn't work when it feels like it.

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Hi,

Recently my '92 has shown this weird problem (for a '92LS) where after about 5 minutes of driving the dashlight illuminating the gauges begins flashing off and on while the needles remain illuminated. Then, after a few minutes of doing this, only the needles remain illuminated. After a few more minutes the needles begin flashing from bright to dim and after a few more minutes, they die out and the cluster is blacked out completely except for any turn signals, CEL, or brake, etc.

Has anyone experienced this before, and if so, what should I be troubleshooting for? I had just recently had the car at a Toyota dealership do my valve cover gasket, radiator hoses, timing belt, drive belt, rotors and caps, and ball joints, and can't think of any of those things can be connected to this problem.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

TIA

Mike

:o

This is a common problem for the early LS clusters. There are some electrical components in the cluster that cause this, but not sure how to fix it exactly. And you're exactly right, the lighting components in the cluster are miniature florescent bulbs, called CCFL's (cold cathode florescent lamps). They're wired in series, so when the backlighting one burns out, all the energy is sent to the needles, which cause them to burn out, which puts all the energy on whatever's left and blows them out temporarily as well... it's a cycle, and one day they'll never come back on.

If you google a bit you'll find people that repair them, but your best bet is to buy a used working cluster off of ebay etc.

The issue is in your cluster, so replacing the cluster will fix the problem <_<

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For the money repairing it is a better option, do you really want to buy a used one and have it go out in a few months? Repaired units are warrantied at least, there's no guarantee with a used one that it will even last through the shipping process.

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Hi,

Recently my '92 has shown this weird problem (for a '92LS) where after about 5 minutes of driving the dashlight illuminating the gauges begins flashing off and on while the needles remain illuminated. Then, after a few minutes of doing this, only the needles remain illuminated. After a few more minutes the needles begin flashing from bright to dim and after a few more minutes, they die out and the cluster is blacked out completely except for any turn signals, CEL, or brake, etc.

Has anyone experienced this before, and if so, what should I be troubleshooting for? I had just recently had the car at a Toyota dealership do my valve cover gasket, radiator hoses, timing belt, drive belt, rotors and caps, and ball joints, and can't think of any of those things can be connected to this problem.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

TIA

Mike

:o

Mike:

Google "LS 400 dash illumination" and you'll get the answers you are looking for.

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Just repaired mine on my 94 LS. not sure if it is the same for 92's. Some have said on here that its the wire harness connection in the trunk. Not in my case though. I had to take out the dash, not too hard, just some screws and wire connectors. You then need to have the capacitors replaced (C212-10 microfads, 16 volts, C142-4.7 microfads, 16 volts, C147-10 microfads, 50 volts). Bought them from an electonics supplier. I took it to the local electronics (tv, stereo) repair shop. Took the guy about an hour to replace the three. Cost me $50 and about $5 for the capacitors. Just be careful when you put the plastic cover back on the back of the circut board. The replacement capacitors were bigger (higher) than the originals and bumped into the plastic cover. I had to cut out a small piece of the plastic backing to make room. Common problem from what I researched on this site.

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The 90-92 has only two connectors in back I believe. The 93-94 have three. Also the 93-94 have an electronic odometer not like the analog ones ion the 90-92, that just have electric trip meters. I believe the capacitors that need to be replaced are the same though.

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There is a company that is called Mikado.

You ship them your unit, they repair then ship it back. Easy peasy.

Should be info for them on here.

It's very common, pretty much expected on 1st gen. They can also repair your screen under the center vents, cause I'm guessing it's blacked out too, if not...you're d@mn lucky! :lol:

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There is a company that is called Mikado.

You ship them your unit, they repair then ship it back. Easy peasy.

Should be info for them on here.

It's very common, pretty much expected on 1st gen. They can also repair your screen under the center vents, cause I'm guessing it's blacked out too, if not...you're d@mn lucky! :lol:

jcrome (and all the rest of you that responded): Thank you for your thougts, suggestions, and comments. I have read through almost every thread relating to cluster lighting on this forum, and several more on the web, in general, but no mention of this issue on the '92. Anyway, I am going to try the repair route, since it is most likely that a used cluster will be subject to the same service life limitations as my original cluster.

When I do repair, I will post my findings/work-arounds, or whatever I decide to do to fix it so it may possibly help other '92 owners.

I must say that it gets very exciting when the lighting fails and all I can see are four glowing needles pointing aimlessly!!! Too bad the Toyota fracas cannot help us too!

:D

Mike

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I believe when I called Mikado they quoted me around $400. I have seen places on ebay where they can repair them for less than half that cost with a warrentee. My total repair cost was around $50 because I did most of the work my self. Look around for the best prices and deals. BTW 90-94 all have this same problem. The capacitors should all be very similar. If you can, try to ask who ever repairs your cluster which ones they replace. That would be a big help.

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I had Jim Walker in California do my dash circuit board a couple of years ago. My mechanic removed it, sent it off, and replaced it while I was on vacation.

Totoal cost installed was around $300. No problems since then. Mr. Walker's service is highly recommend.

Mick

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That still seems like an unreasonably high price. Ship it to me and I'll repair it for $150. I'll warranty it for two years and I'll even send you instructions on how to remove the cluster. In fact here you go http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/electrical/...entcluster.html

Thank you again for the helpful comments and suggestions,

I agree with killerFatty - $300.00 for a couple of capacitors and the soldering seems way too much for this job. It would be helpful to know exactly which capacitors would be needed for the job, though, since I would be able to order them in advance before starting. There is a bunch of info for fixing the '93 and '94 model years circuit boards, but none for the '90-'92!

:)

mike

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Looks like you had a short that blew the fuses.

Try to locate the fuses and replace them if it happens again after you replace them then you may really have an electrical issue.

Worst advice I've seen all month.

Does Jim Walker still do this repair ?

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Hi,

Recently my '92 has shown this weird problem (for a '92LS) where after about 5 minutes of driving the dashlight illuminating the gauges begins flashing off and on while the needles remain illuminated. Then, after a few minutes of doing this, only the needles remain illuminated. After a few more minutes the needles begin flashing from bright to dim and after a few more minutes, they die out and the cluster is blacked out completely except for any turn signals, CEL, or brake, etc.

Has anyone experienced this before, and if so, what should I be troubleshooting for? I had just recently had the car at a Toyota dealership do my valve cover gasket, radiator hoses, timing belt, drive belt, rotors and caps, and ball joints, and can't think of any of those things can be connected to this problem.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

TIA

Mike

:o

Mike:

My 94 LS 400 has been experiencing the same problem since the weather in Florida has been colder. I've been keeping track of the dash issues and also logging in the temperature. When we had the drop down to 29 degrees in January 2010 (is this Florida?) the dash lights flickered off and in about 10 minutes of the heater working, the dash re-illuminated. The temperature averaging below 55 degrees will cause the dash to not light up. Since the temperature is getting warmer (South Florida) I've had no issues at all. Maybe its just my car. There are lot of electrical engineers out there reading this post that can give a reason why this is happening. I Googled "LS 400 dash board illumination"and got the technical answer. I suppose one day it will fail and I'll have to pull the dash and repair the board.

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I had a 90-92 dash from a Toyota Celsior import with the lighting problem you describe and managed to repair it by replacing capacitors C6 and C7 on the top PCB ( the one which has the heat sinks on) the capacitors are both 220uF 25v rating but get the 105 degree rated ones.

I am hoping this is the same PCB used in the Lexus models the part number on my PCB was Denso 457952-0502

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I had a 90-92 dash from a Toyota Celsior import with the lighting problem you describe and managed to repair it by replacing capacitors C6 and C7 on the top PCB ( the one which has the heat sinks on) the capacitors are both 220uF 25v rating but get the 105 degree rated ones.

I am hoping this is the same PCB used in the Lexus models the part number on my PCB was Denso 457952-0502

steve2006,

Thank for for that info. Did you recall the exact capacitors (type etc.)? All advice and information points out to a serious size and space limitation on the board, so it would be very helpful to have this information before I begin.

TIA

Mike

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