[DML] Dash Light Rheostat
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[DML] Dash Light Rheostat

While working under the shifter panel that holds the dash light 
rheostat, I decided it would be easier to move the panel around if the 
wires connected to the rheostat were disconnected.  

Unfortunately, trying to do this gently resulted in some of the guts 
of the rheostat ending up in my hand with the wires still attached to 
what I will call the rheostat "fingers". (sigh)  

Inside the "case" is a post connected to the control knob.  A little 
metal disc is mounted on the post. When I first saw the disk, it was 
tilted a bit... now it flops around pretty loosely.

The piece with the wires attached has about five metal fingers that 
presumably make contact with something inside the case. These are 
either fixed contacts that interact with the case body, wipers that 
touch the disk or both. I'm not sure! 

I was able to reinsert the "back plate" and it snapped in and held, 
but operation of the rheostat is pretty erratic.  It's mostly off 
unless I hold it in one position.

This unit seems repairable, but I don't really know the theory of 
rheostat operation and have some questions about the insides of the 

1) The disk: 

It's not clear to me where the disk is supposed to ride.  Is the disk 
supposed to be loose or mounted to the top, bottom or middle of the 
post? In a horizontal or an angled position?

2) The copper fingers:

One of the fingers is bent a little and I'd like to bend it back to 
make contact with the proper spot, if I knew where that was!  What are 
these fingers supposed to be touching?  Does the disk ride between the 
top set and the bottom set, etc., etc.?

A final question:  I found an old DML post that suggests the rheostat 
can be by-passed by connecting all three of the wires attached to it 
together.  Before I actually attempt this, can someone confirm this is 
a viable approach to dash lighting while I work on the rheostat or buy 
a replacement?

Thanks for any help you can provide.


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