Instrument panel illumination

John Hayman

Well-Known Member
My 2003 bird has poor instrument illumination. The dimmer control is set to high but the panel looks dim, not unreadable, just dim. Is there a problem or is this a characteristic of the T-Bird dash display? Is there a way to increase the intensity level? Different bulbs? Advice appreciated.
Mine is the same. Help!
 

pblach

Active Member
My 2002 Bird's dash board is completely dark. The Ford dealer told me it would have to be sent in to Ford HQ to have it reconditioned, since there are no new ones available. I am considering what to do and living with a dark dash for now (as long as the gauges keep working and are just dark for the speedometer, tach and gas).
 

pblach

Active Member
I did take my 2002 Bird to the Ford dealer near me. They said the cluster would have to be sent off to Ford to be reconditioned, which meant really that you would get back someone else's dash board that they had fixed last! It would cost over $1,000 and take weeks, so I decided to not do anything right now. Hoping for the best and that the electronics don't get worse.
 
I have the same problem and Ford told me the part is out of commission. I will have to keep using a small flashlight to see my speedometer at night. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will stay at just that. Everything else is working great. I rarely take it out at night and am not sure how long it has been like this.
 

pblach

Active Member
My 2002 Bird is still driving well, with the dashboard lights having been out for over a year. I bought some round LED lights on Amazon, and I stick one of them on the steering column so that I can turn it on at night. This is functioning OK for me now, and I hope the gauges just keep working also!
 
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couture

Well-Known Member
I put two of the tap lights ( home depot ) on the dash, painted them t-bird blue including 1/3 of the clear lens so it doesn't hit me in the eyes. Works great for a temp fix, also put a little under counter tap light shining up on the center console buttons. Painted it also. Looks like it came with the car. 001.JPG 002.JPG 003.JPG 002.JPG 002.JPG 003.JPG
 

JW in Dixie

Well-Known Member
My 2002 Bird's dash board is completely dark. The Ford dealer told me it would have to be sent in to Ford HQ to have it reconditioned, since there are no new ones available. I am considering what to do and living with a dark dash for now (as long as the gauges keep working and are just dark for the speedometer, tach and gas).

I wonder what Ford charges for that R&R? Grab your wallet!!
 

CherokeeMarty

Well-Known Member
My 2002 developed the problem with the dash instruments and shifter indicator light problem. I had my FEM pulled by the local dealer (Reynols Ford of Norman, OK) and shipped to ecmtogo.com. Once they got the module, they ran a diagnostic test and determined that the #1 pin was the problem. They also told me that they could not fix it. The part number for my original FEM is 1W6T 13B525 AH. The dealer told me that they could get another, but that it did not have the same part number, as that part was no longer available. I authorized the installation of the new module, and it worked perfectly. The new part is numbered 1W6Z 14B205 AA. The dealer had to flash the module with the original FEM program (S154), but it worked. The cost was $900 total, and I was glad to pay it as my car is fixed. ECM To Go was a complete bust.

Happy days!
 
My 2002 developed the problem with the dash instruments and shifter indicator light problem. I had my FEM pulled by the local dealer (Reynols Ford of Norman, OK) and shipped to ecmtogo.com. Once they got the module, they ran a diagnostic test and determined that the #1 pin was the problem. They also told me that they could not fix it. The part number for my original FEM is 1W6T 13B525 AH. The dealer told me that they could get another, but that it did not have the same part number, as that part was no longer available. I authorized the installation of the new module, and it worked perfectly. The new part is numbered 1W6Z 14B205 AA. The dealer had to flash the module with the original FEM program (S154), but it worked. The cost was $900 total, and I was glad to pay it as my car is fixed. ECM To Go was a complete bust.

Happy days!
I'm having an issue finding that same module. Where was your purchased ?
 
The dash lights are controlled by the FEM (Front Engine Module). This module is located on the driver's side behind the kick panel by your left foot. It is not difficult to remove but not exactly a piece of cake either.
The FEM has 13 transistors in it. One, Q36 controls the dash lights by switching the ground on & off.
The repair/rebuild company many 02-05 owners have found with great success to get the FEM repaired is at MidwestTeck.com They are in Dearborn, Mich
phone is 734 228-8679.
MidwestTeck repairs your FEM they do not send you one that was in another car. This means you DO NOT have to have the FEM reprogrammed or reflashed.
I strongly suggest you call them.
 
For those without illumination a night, you can download a GPS speedometer app to your cell phone. You can then use your phone to see your speed. My 73 vette speedo did not work and I used this app to view my speed.
 
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