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Old 06-09-2019, 08:39 PM   #1
nealt
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Default Radio Dimmer Wiring

I have a 97 SC2, and the LCD dimmer back light is not working when the parking/headlights are on. The buttons are being illuminated however, just not the LCD for the time and station. Very hard to read the time at night.

Does anyone know what color of wires and the corresponding wire number that controls the illumination? On the wiring harness, they are numbered 1-20.

Also, if the illumination wires are separate, can I just splice into the other good working wire to get the LCD backlight to work?
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Radio Dimmer Wiring

And I did try a different radio and it had the same problem, so I'm pretty sure it's not the radio...
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Radio Dimmer Wiring

Attached. Says '89-'90 and newer because it's the same wiring scheme used on every single GM of the 90's (the "missing" slot is for the optional CD changer and mostly unused so it's blank on this one).
The 2 yellow wires are generally different gauge's, the smaller is for the speaker while the larger is for power.
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File Type: jpg 1991 - 1999 S-Series Stereo Wire Guide.jpg (136.3 KB, 5 views)
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Radio Dimmer Wiring

>the LCD dimmer back light is not working when the parking/headlights are on. The buttons are being illuminated however,....

I think problem is burnt-out incandescent bulbs (for LCD backlight)
I think the issue becomes widespread after 20+ years, probably because those bulbs are subject to a hotter environment(under LCD, rather than on-board with ventilation surrounding)...

Richpin has video of replacement radio lights for Gen2; following some relevant threads {this a current issue for my 2000, thus my search skewed to Gen3}:
Saturn SL1 Radio and bulbs 1999 http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=230579
2001 Saturn S Radio has no back light http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=172065
97 SL backlight http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=110493
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Radio Dimmer Wiring

I find it odd that another radio I just got from a JY has the same problem.

From looking at the wires on the radio harness (not on the car), the colors do not match up with the wiring diagram provided.

Perhaps that wiring diagram does not apply to a 97? I'm hopping there is another dimmer wire.


On my radio wires, the harness pin out is as follows:
pin 1 - brown
pin 2 - green
pin 3 - gray
pin 4 - blue
pin 5 - blank
pin 6 - yellow
pin 7 - purple
pin 8 - empty
pin 9 - red/orange
pin 10 - orange/yellow
pin 11 to 16 - empty
pin 17 - brown
pin 18 - green
pin 19 - gray
pin 20 - blue
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Radio Dimmer Wiring

The diagram is correct, someone replaced the harness in your car with an aftermarket one using custom colors.

Even when I put a '94 radio in a '97 everything except the dimmer worked as expected, GM changed the polarity of the dimmer between '95 and '96 so "max" became "min" and when I had the '97's dimmer set to min the gauge's and HVAC went dim but the radio went full bright (tried to blame the radio, put it back in the '94...dimmer worked properly).
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Radio Dimmer Wiring

This is the stock radio that came with the car. I have never changed it. And I bought the car new.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: Radio Dimmer Wiring

Pins for lighting from the FSM:
6 - Brown - lights on
7 - Dark Green - dimmer

I've used that diagram for everything from a '89 Cutless Supreme to a '01 Silverado 2500HD, including 3 '97 SC's (and 10+ other '93-'97 S-Series).
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Radio Dimmer Wiring

Quote:
I think problem is burnt-out incandescent bulbs (for LCD backlight)
Yes, the bulbs ended up being the problem. The bulbs were burnt out in both radios. I resoldered in a new bulb, and now both radios work properly.

The wiring diagram was correct too.

Thanks
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