Since you have power in both states its obvious that you have a ground wire problem this is very common on vettes due to fiberglass body your gonna have to take dash pad out and trace down both grounds on these 2 areas till you find the loose or broken wires theres a huge amount of ground wires from those locations on a block between the battery and firewall under the hood use a volt meter make sure you have it grounded and search the circuits 1 at a time ..i also have an 86 vette and have had similar problems if your not a good electrician youl just be pulling your hair out,, another way is,, if you cant beat em join em ,, try pulling a new wire to the effected circuits from a ground point on the fire wall make sure battery is grounded properly reattach any broken or loose ground straps you find around engine compartment these are braided bare wires going from engine to frame and from battery to fire wall etc hope this helps you im lucky i have some electrical knowledge because it can be frustrating
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check the switch for the headlights that you turn on to put the lights on. make sure the dimmer switch part is not in the off position as this will turn the interior dash/radio/heater control lights off. just turn the dimmer switch to see if the lights re-appear.
You probably already checked this but the simplest solution is the control used to turn on the interior lights and to dim your dash lights. It is a dimmer switch to the right of your headlight switch. If it is turned all the way down then you would have no dash lights and no headlight chime. Turned all the way up it turns on your interior lights. If this isn't your issue and if no fuses are blown then try to turn the dimmer switch all the way up with your headlights on. If the dash lights come on with the interior lights then your switch is fried and you may have a short in the interior light circuit.
It is your vats system it is locking you out. It is not reading the ignition key chip. You can by-pass the system with $5:00 worth of parts from your local radio shack. You must read the resistance across your key chip first then go to radio shack and pick up the resistors needed to match your key chip(they will assist you mine read 1850 i have a 86 vette), twist/tie them together then solder & tape them up with electrical tape. Bend them into a u-shape, locate the the 2 wires that run to your vats logic module that is tied into your ecm, should be in the middle area of your dash next to your radio(yellow and brown in color. Cut those 2 wires and add your (radio shack) resistor series between them and happy motoring no more vats problems for ever. Good Luck
Check your fuses. The dash lights are on a different fuse. Also check dimmer switch. If its not one, then it is the other. Try working dimmer switch quickly back and forth( with the lights on when it's dark so you can see if they come on).
Is it the lights or the LEDs? If it's the lights, check the fuse first. If the fuse is good, check the dimmer switch. Do the other lights inside dim? If no replace dimmer. If yes, then you can remove the dash cluster from the dash and replace the lights. They are installed in the back of the cluster and are very cheap.