Radio Dial Illumination - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 01, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Question...I just purchased a 69 that has the original AM radio. Radio works great, but at night, with the dash lights on, there's no illumination on the radio dial. After inspecting the wiring, I've noticed there has been some minor splicing on the factory wiring to the radio, but the original yellow and black wires are all I see going to the plastic connector/radio (except the green speaker wires). Should there be a wire going to the radio for dial illumination?...if so, what color is it?...or, was this not done on 69 AM radios?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 01, 01:10 PM
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most of the dash lights and console lights use a grey wire on my 68. Do you see any open connections on the back of the radio?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 01, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Well, on the black plastic main connector, there's room for another (3rd) wire but I can't tell if it was ever in use. The connector I'm speaking of is the main one for the power (yellow wire) and ground (black) that slides into the back of the radio...(then the speaker wire connector slides into this main connector).

It seems that the radio dial should light up when the dash lights are on, and there should be a third wire for that purpose (excluding speaker wires) attached to the main connector for this purpose. Or, maybe not.

Anyone with a 69 and stock AM radio?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 01, 03:34 PM
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The bulb for the dial illumination gets its power internally.

Have you pulled the bulb to check it?

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 01, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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Ahhh...so the radio light is supposed to be on constantly? I'll pull the radio, and replace the bulb. Where should I look for this bulb, and do you possibly know the replacement part number?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 01, 08:06 AM
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If memory serves, the bulb and socket are on the top of the radio, the light should go on only when you turn the radio on.

I have a loose AM, I'll have to take a look at the bulb. Kevin

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 01, 08:07 AM
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It's on the top center of the radio chassis about 2/3 of the way towards the front of the chassis. It's not something you can get to without pulling the radio unless you have tiny hands. Maybe if you can unscreww the 4 bolts holding the heater control to the face of the dash you could push the heater control back into the dash you can get at it from that opening.

Believe it is an 1816 model.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 01, 05:09 PM
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No bulb in my AM

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 01, 08:13 PM
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Hello guys...

I'm from team Chevelle. I built "RADIO TECH" www.chevelles.com/radiotech

Here's the scoop.

The 1969 model year was the LAST year radio dials LIT-UP EVERY TIME YOU TURNED ON THE RADIO. Beginning in the 1970 model year, there was a separate feed wire that ran directly to the dial illumination bulb. In 1970 and later vehicles, the dials lit-up when the dash lights were on, REGARDLESS if the radio was on or not. The dial light got it's power via the grey illumination wire in the harness tying into the dash light circuitry.

Bulb # 293 (a globe shaped bayonet style lamp) was originally used in your radio. Since 293's are hard to come by these days, go to a local auto parts store and look for #57 bulbs. This is a good substitute and readily avalible.

To remove the bulb, carefully pry up on the bulb socket retainer (top middle of the radio case, the round thing with the white wire going into it.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 01, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys...you've been a big help. I pulled out the radio (er, shoebox) and just as you've said, the bulb was easily accessed from the top. There's actually an external white wire connected to the socket. Crazy. Anyway, the bulb is a GE 293...the globe is dark grey...can't tell if it's supposed to be or not. Anyone know? I'll get to the parts store later today. Again thanks to all respondents!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 01, 07:23 AM
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Dark grey? = blown bulb

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 01, 01:06 PM
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Owner's Manual says the radio bulb is #1893 (don't know if they're made any more).

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 01, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Fixed!...as Coppertop said, I had to use the #57 bulb in place of the impossible-to-find 293...which upon inspection is identical to the original. Thanks to all!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 01, 07:06 PM
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Timing is everything! My dial light quit yesterday, pulled the radio, found shot #293 bulb, replaced with #57, works great now

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