Dashboard Lights

Malcolm C

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I have just attempted to update my dashboard lights on a 2003 xk8 convertible. Had trouble removing the binnacle due to metal insert spinning in the plastic bracket requiring bracket to be broken to extract the bolt. All fine in terms of installing new LED lights (just the 4 T10's). Reinstalled, connected the battery and now car won't start and no dashboard lights at all. Concerned the connectors to the binnacle (black and yellow) might be the problem. The black connector seems loose and the plastic spring for the camlock is missing. Any advice appreciated
 

TheFixer2

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When you are about to push the black and yellow connectors in, make sure you do the following:

a) If you have removed the connector from the shell, make sure you put it back the right way round (you shouldn't have needed to remove it, so probably not an issue) - you do remove this if rewiring, or fitting the JagWrangler kits so I thought I'd mention it. It will go in the wrong way...

b) Make sure the small plastic rectangular piece is still in position - this is on the end of the shell where the cable enters - it holds the connector in the correct spot within the shell. I have seen them drop off, and then the shell won't be lined up with the internal connector, and probably won't fit.

c) Very important: Before trying to insert the connector, swivel the 'bale' (lever) all the way to the end AWAY from the cable entry (there's actually a couple of tiny 'bumps' that will keep it there while you maneuver the connector back in.

d) Gently push the connector slightly into the hole on the binnacle, making sure it is going in. But do NOT try to push it in more than a couple of mm before the next step - or you will break it!

e) Free the 'bale' (lever) from the two bumps, and rotate over the connector shell, while pushing very slightly on the shell. There's a small gear attached to the bale which will 'pull' the connector in to the binnacle receptacle. Once you're in position, the bale should 'lock' (this time with a small 'wedge' shaped bump on the shell. At this point you are done.

If you break the bale (they can snap off the side), then you need to remove the plastic rectangle that holds the connector in the shell, and then slide the connector out of the shell, making sure you notice which way round it was fitted to the binnacle. You can then push it into position (but make sure it's oriented the correct way, and do NOT force it, or you can damage the pins. It won't be locked in by the bale, but it will go in and work, and is usually pretty firmly located. Note that you CANNOT simply push the connector in with the shell and bale still on it without damaging something!

Good Luck!

-Steve
 

Malcolm C

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When you are about to push the black and yellow connectors in, make sure you do the following:

a) If you have removed the connector from the shell, make sure you put it back the right way round (you shouldn't have needed to remove it, so probably not an issue) - you do remove this if rewiring, or fitting the JagWrangler kits so I thought I'd mention it. It will go in the wrong way...

b) Make sure the small plastic rectangular piece is still in position - this is on the end of the shell where the cable enters - it holds the connector in the correct spot within the shell. I have seen them drop off, and then the shell won't be lined up with the internal connector, and probably won't fit.

c) Very important: Before trying to insert the connector, swivel the 'bale' (lever) all the way to the end AWAY from the cable entry (there's actually a couple of tiny 'bumps' that will keep it there while you maneuver the connector back in.

d) Gently push the connector slightly into the hole on the binnacle, making sure it is going in. But do NOT try to push it in more than a couple of mm before the next step - or you will break it!

e) Free the 'bale' (lever) from the two bumps, and rotate over the connector shell, while pushing very slightly on the shell. There's a small gear attached to the bale which will 'pull' the connector in to the binnacle receptacle. Once you're in position, the bale should 'lock' (this time with a small 'wedge' shaped bump on the shell. At this point you are done.

If you break the bale (they can snap off the side), then you need to remove the plastic rectangle that holds the connector in the shell, and then slide the connector out of the shell, making sure you notice which way round it was fitted to the binnacle. You can then push it into position (but make sure it's oriented the correct way, and do NOT force it, or you can damage the pins. It won't be locked in by the bale, but it will go in and work, and is usually pretty firmly located. Note that you CANNOT simply push the connector in with the shell and bale still on it without damaging something!

Good Luck!

-Steve
Thanks Steve - re-attached the black connector as described and car burst into life. Initial problem with low oil and low coolant warnings so turned everything off and checked both black and yellow connectors. Re started the car and warnings gone, oil pressure gauge indicating as expected but now the engine warning light is on and stays on. I'm assuming I will need to clear a fault code?
 

Malcolm C

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Just a question, is it OK to use LED's given the canbus system and the rheostat ?
Jerry.
There are utube videos of swapping the standard T10's for LED's on XK8's so thought I would give it a go as I seem to go through dashboard bulbs quite regularly. You can buy canbus error free LED's. The difficult bit is finding a bulb of the right size to fit.
 

TheFixer2

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Thanks Steve - re-attached the black connector as described and car burst into life. Initial problem with low oil and low coolant warnings so turned everything off and checked both black and yellow connectors. Re started the car and warnings gone, oil pressure gauge indicating as expected but now the engine warning light is on and stays on. I'm assuming I will need to clear a fault code?
Yes - if the Check Engine Light is lit, there's definitely a fault code. I would read it before starting the engine again, given you had the 'low oil pressure warning' (just out of an abundance of caution). Note that you will need to turn the ignition to 'run' (so all the lights come on), but not start to read the code (s).

BTW, if you had broken the bail (so used my instructions to insert without it), I would recommend getting a replacement shell. You can get them from a junk yard.

Also, I think this part is the same (they make it in various colors, but not black with a black bail) https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/te-connectivity-amp-connectors/185879-1/5437128

-Steve
 
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