1976 Datsun 280Z dash lights not working?

Asked by Apr 12, 2011 at 06:18 PM about the 1976 Datsun 280Z

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I just purchased a 1976 datsun 280z and the dash lights are not working.  I have
read some of the posts but still not sure where to start.  Is one of the fuses in
the fuse block in line with the dash lights?  One of the posts stated that the tail
lights and dash lights were on the same circuit.  The tail lights are working.

Where is the electrical connection for the dash lights?  Can the Panel Light
Rheostat be the issue?  If so is there and easy way to tell if it is good?

Any help would be appreciated....

5 Answers


Another thing you could check is the light switch its self. Also make sure the setting isent turned down all the way

Are any of the bulbs good? Check the dimmer rheostat. With this system the dimmer is on the ground side of the lights. Probe the terminals on the dimmer one should cause full brightness, the other little or no effect. With the dimmer at full bright and probing both cause full brightness you have a bad ground If one causes full brightness and the other no change probably a bad dimmer


There is a set of three plugs on the firewall of the passenger side. Those are all the electrical connections for the dashboard. They're all massive +10 pin plugs. Look at a wiring diagram and see if you can get your lights to work by passing 1.5-3v across the lighting circuits with the switches on. You could probably use a couple of AA batteries to do this.


check grounds. mine did the same and it was a ground wire feeding the headlights....i tapped into the ground wire and created a new ground.

Thanks! Head kights were never a problem, dash lights were. It turned out to be a bad connection at one of the multi connectors above the fuse block. And several burned out bulbs.

Your Answer:


Looking for a Used 280Z in your area?

CarGurus has 5 nationwide 280Z listings and the tools to find you a great deal.


Datsun 280Z Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
    Andrew Olsen
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Datsun 280ZX
22 listings
Used Ford Mustang
311 Great Deals out of 40,206 listings starting at $1,000
Used Chevrolet Camaro
263 Great Deals out of 27,253 listings starting at $2,900
Used Porsche 911
60 Great Deals out of 4,524 listings starting at $11,785

Used Cars For Sale

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.