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Old 01-20-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

I am new to this forum but I have gathered a lot of information from here. I did not find a clear answer on how to connect the dimmer/illumination wires. This seems to be a very important topic. I've heard of some people hooking up these wires with no problems and some people having serious issues by connecting these wires.

I am installing an Eclipse head unit with the metra wiring kit. I have installed many head units but I am weary of this install because of the possible complications. Any answers or feedback on the issue would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-20-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

There are 2 wires that can be used...The RED/BLK is the wire that has constant 12 volts present whenever the parking or headlights are on. IMO it is the best one to use.

The other wire is the RED wire, its voltage is variable and controlled by the circuit in the cluster.
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Old 01-20-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

illumination wire is safe to hook up provided you hook it up correctly. dimmer wire is not needed. i would not install either one, but its up to you.
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Old 01-20-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

Thank you for the quick replies. So in my case I have a orange/white wire coming out of the Eclipse unit labeled ILLUMINATION (+) and on my metra wiring harness I have a solid orange labeled Illumination and a orange/white labeled Dimmer. Should I connect the orange/white from the head unit to the solid orange on the wiring harness or should I connect the orange/white to the other orange/white?
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Old 01-20-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

you want to connect eclipse orange/white illum wire to the metra solid orange illum wire. do not connect any dimmer wires. the illum wire is only so that the deck backlight display auto dims when you turn the parking lights on. if you do not hook the wire up, deck will stay full brightness all the time, but you can still dim it manually thru the deck controls.
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Old 01-20-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

Thank you everyone. I will give it a try and let you know how it works out.
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Old 01-20-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

look up wire diagram
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Old 01-21-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

Hey 04civic4dr,
Let us know how it goes. I am in the same boat as you. I am hooking up a Kenwood HU and am unclear how to wire the "illumination" wire from the HU harness to the Metra harness. There seem to be quite a few horror stories from people that hook the Orange/White illumination wire to the Orange/White dimmer wire.

Good luck and THANKS!!!

Steve
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Old 01-22-2010   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

You really need to look at which wire your dimmer or illumination wires you will be using are are actually feeding from in the factory harness.

Any that tap into the factory solid RED wire in the factory harness I would avoid using (sorry don't have a Metra harness handy to cross reference)

The factory RED/BLK is simply a switched voltage same as would run marker/tail lamps.
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Old 01-22-2010   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

I should have it hooked up by next Tuesday so I will let you know how it goes.
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Old 01-22-2010   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

I called Crutchfield this morning and spoke with one of their techs.

I had wired the harnesses together by matching the color codes. This was not entirely correct. All of the wires matched up correctly with the exception of the Orange/White "illumini" wire from the head unit. This wire needs to go to the solid orange wire of the metra wiring harness (the solid orange wire is labeled "illumination" in very small print).
The tech said you would never want to wire the HU "illumination" wire to the "dimmer" wire.

I have everything wired up and will plug it in tomorrow. If I don't post anything it means I am out enjoying my new HD stereo. If I blow out my gauge cluster I will let you know.

Steve
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Old 02-03-2010   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

This information is good to know for when I hook up my wife's headunit.
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Old 02-26-2010   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

I just finished upgrading from an older aftermarket stereo to a newer one with iPod and bluetooth. It all went great until I discovered that I made the biggest mistake possible.
I have a 2002 civic coupe lx 5sp

I accidentally connected the solid orange (illumination) wire from the metra harness to the orange/white stripe wire (dimmer) wire to the metra harness.

I know i should have connected solid orange from harness to orange/white stripe from stereo

As a result my dash board did not like this. As soon I smelled hot wire I unplugged the stereo. I need to know how/if it can be fixed.

Gauge cluster lights do not work. Heater/AC lights do not work. Odometer backlight/dimmer for it work. When I turn on my headlights the blinkers both turn on and stay on (they do not flash).

The blinkers and hazards function as they should except for the fact that they turn on with the headlights.

Please help I know what i did was stupid but I need to know how to get my dash back to normal.
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Old 02-26-2010   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

If you have markers/tails/licence lamps working your small lights fuse is not open.

What you smelled may well have been your dimmer circuit in the cluster. Some have reported repairing a damaged pcb trace and get them going again.

Turn signal indicators on with headlights?? I have no clue, (you should see if they come on at the 1st parking lamps position, it may help with diagnosis)
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Old 02-27-2010   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

I checked all of my fuses to be good.

the parking lights come on and function properly, however I am not sure if the parking lights are supposed stay on when you turn your headlights on. I know something is wrong with mine because the green turn signal indicators on the gauge cluster come on with the headlights.

I've also noticed that my heater is not working, the blower motor is working fine. A/C system, Vent control output (defrost, feet, upper vents..) works fine, and the rear window defroster is working. However I can not get hot air out of the vents.

Window switches, sunroof, cruise, and mirrors also seem to be working fine.

I pulled apart my instrument cluster earlier and found where it has been scorched. I can post pictures I'm assuming its beyond repair. I'll have to shop around for a new one.

Will a new cluster fix the heater issue and remainder of dash lights (air control, mirrors, sunroof)? Is that all wired through the cluster or should I expect to find more burnt up electronics?
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Old 02-27-2010   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

The markers/tails stay on with headlights (normal)

Do your turn signal indicators come on when headlight switch is at 1st click position ??

The dimmer circuit dims cluster,and illumination for switches and hvac illumination.

Is the damage seen more than a single pcb trace that is open ??

The cluster should not have affect on heats operation imo. Check the valve in the upper middle of the firewall in engine bay while someone works the temp control back and forth and see if the cable moves (blue sheath on cable I think)
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Old 02-27-2010   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigW View Post
The markers/tails stay on with headlights (normal)

Do your turn signal indicators come on when headlight switch is at 1st click position ??

The dimmer circuit dims cluster,and illumination for switches and hvac illumination.

Is the damage seen more than a single pcb trace that is open ??

The cluster should not have affect on heats operation imo. Check the valve in the upper middle of the firewall in engine bay while someone works the temp control back and forth and see if the cable moves (blue sheath on cable I think)
Yes the turn signal indicators come on when the headlight switch is at the 1st and 2nd click position.

It looks like just one trace was burnt up on the pcb gauge board, however i'm pretty sure it wasn't the dimmer control, because the dimmer still functions the odometer display brightness. The trace that is burned runs through a couple lights and then into a chip
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Old 02-27-2010   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

If you have a soldering iron you can jumper the open trace with a small wire.

It may or may not solve the illumination issue.

The turn signal indicators are another matter, I messed around with my 05 and the dimmer control has no effect on the brightness of the indicator arrows. So not sure how the dimmer circuit would be associated.
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Old 03-03-2010   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Aftermarket Radio Illumination Wire

I got the nerve to solder onto my board (I pretty much has nothing to loose seeing as how it wasn't working) the jumper wire fixed it!

The only remaining issue is that my dimmer is 'stuck' on the lowest setting. The **** has no effect. The only light that functions with the dimmer is the one behind the odometer.

I found a pretty good price on a new cluster from an 05 with a millage close to mine. Hopefully I'll get to install it this weekend.

Thanks for your help
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Old 03-03-2010
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