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Discussion Starter #1
When I turn my lghts on, the dashboard lights come on for a few minutes, then it pops the fuse. If I replace the fuse right away, it pops instantly. After I leave it off awhile, same thing, will work for a few minutes then starts popping fuses.

Seems like something is shorting out once it gets warm. Any ideas where to start looking?

Thanks,
Shawn
 

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Which fuse is blowing, fuse #1 or fuse #4, both supply power to the cluster amongst other components, the cluster is the only thing both have in common.

Once you determine which fuse it is you will need to isolate which component is shorted by a process of elimination.
You are either going to need a short circuit detector to place in the fuse panel in place of the fuse or a supply of the proper amp fuses to keep replacing when they blow until you find the issue.
You could also place a circuit breaker in the panel in place of the fuse while testing however.
1)It needs to be the same amperage as the fuse.
2)You will need to place a test lamp or voltmeter on the circuit breaker output or you will not know when it trips or resets.

Here are the components powered by fuses 1 and 4.
FUSE #1 - 4 AMP ILLUMINATION
1)Defog Switch
2)Radio
3)Instrument Cluster
4)A/C Switch
5)Heater Switch
6)Message Center LT
7)Ashtray LT
8)Cigar Lighter LT

FUSE #4 - 5 AMP ILLUMINATION
1)Cruise Control Switch
2)Chime Module
3)Instrument Cluster
4)Message Center
5)Fog Light Switch
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's fuse #1 (4 amp) that keeps blowing.

But, my defog switch,radio, a/c, heater, message center LT, and cigar lighter all still work. Just the dash cluster lights and the ashtray light don't work.
 

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The cluster of the 89 CSX is easy to get out but its not real common for there to be shorts on the two connectors that plug into the back of the cluster. Possible yes, common no.

My first suspicion would be something behind the radio if it doesn't have the factory radio in it still. The faceplate is held on IIRC with just snap fit clips (maybe two screws at the bottom, one each side) so if you gently pry up on each corner and in the middle on the sides the facia will just snap right off. Don't torque on it too much because the little clips will break off the abck of the face plate. Try to pull the plate straight out and not pry at too big an angle. Look for any cutting or chafing of wires behind the radio. The Lighter bulb wire is often pinched under one of the black metal screws that hold the center console down, I've seen this condition twice.

You can also get to the wires under the steering column pretty easily, that another place to go inspecting for chafed wires or to look for evidence of wires being cut or repaired.
 

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i would check into the headlight switch, its probably shorted inside, they like to melt in there
 

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Well according to my wiring fuse #1 provides power for illumination on more than the cluster and ashtray light, however...
Using an ohmmeter to check the ashtray lamp circuit for continuity to ground will tell you if you have a short to ground.
Also unplugging the cluster and ashtray light and seeing if the fuse still blows when the light turned on will tell you if the issue is with the load device or wiring or headlamp switch as others have suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the responses, I've not had a chance to go back and take a look, but am hoping to tonight. Sounds likely that it's something behind the radio as last month I took the dash / console area apart to figure out some speaker wire issues when I hooked up some rear speakers. May have got something pinched or touching something it's not supposed to when doing that.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It looks like it's the ashtray light. I unplugged that lightbulb and the dash lights stayed on. Checked both sides of the bulb socket and they both have continuity to ground. Haven't traced the wires under the dash to figure out where, but the socket seems good. Need to keep looking and see what I can find. At least if I leave the bulb unplugged it'll stop popping fuses.
 

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Glad to see you have narrowed down the problem, however and not trying to burst your bubble, just throwing out info to help you in your search.
If the wiring from the fuse block to the ashtray lamp socket was shorted to ground the fuse should continue to blow without the bulb being present since the short completes the circuit before the bulb.

All of the illumination lamps that are in the circuit for Fuse #1 have an external ground and some are not switched (Gear Selector Lamp, Cigar Lighter Lamp???) so in order to properly check for a short to ground those components need to be removed from the system.

I would be looking closely at the socket or bulb itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I finally got around to working on this over the weekend. Seems it was the socket, I took the wires out of it, tried to clean things up a little and reassemble and it seems to be OK now. I put everything back together and took it out for a drive last night and the fuse never popped.

So, it seems to be working.

Thanks for the replies and info.
 
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