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The tail lights work off the headlight switch, and there is a fuse for the tail lights. Make sure the fuse is good, first, a 15 amp (blue) fuse in the instrument panel fuse block. Then, you might have a bad headlight switch. So you DO have dash lights, they just don't dim from the dimmer switch? In the wiring diagram, there is a green wire from a "tail light relay" (in the "Junction Block-Right Instrument Panel") that carries power to all the exterior lamps, as well as having a splice to the Instrument Panel Cluster (illum. bulbs), and to the lamp dimmer, and to the radio bulb. To do any further testing, you would need a voltmeter or a test light, so you could chase down this power loss. Good luck.
First is to adjust the dash lights which is on your light control. Should be a thumb toggle that you use to turn on your dome lights. All the way up will brighten your dash and clock lights. There should also be a setting in your menu on the clock/radio itself.
The lights on the radio are dimmed with the instrument panel dimmer control so usually they are fed with a separate 12 volt signal that is separate from the main radio power. It may have a separate fuse but may not. If it's not a fuse it could be a loose connector going to the radio, assuming the rest of the instrument panel lights are working correctly. I suppose it is also possible that the dimmer control has two sections, one for the radio and one for the panel lights, and the section for the radio is bad. Run the dimmer control back and forth stop to stop a few times, push on it etc. to see if that effects it. I suspect it is somewhere in the dimmer circuit.
The clock receives power constantly, otherwise you would have to reset the time every time you started your vehicle. The dim lighting allows the time to be read even with the key removed from the ignition switch.
the dash dimmer turned down? i guess you mean parking lights and dash dimmer, is dead in clock. but is it dead in the whole dash? if the dash is dimming and the clock dim lamp is dead (park) then its bad. (check fuses in all cases first)
First I would pull the radio and turn the dash lights on then, and trace the wires back to the power module. If the radio is the cause then pulling it out only seems necessary. After pulling the radio, if the dash lights are still out, pull the gauge cluster and trace it back to see where the cluster pig tail meets the radio pig tail and look for knicks in the wires and burn spots. From there the only place to go is the pigtail junction at the fuse panel where everything is fed from.
You have a loose wire. Will require removing the radio to get to the wire that keeps constant power to the radio ,,,this allows the clock to keep time. An interuption in this power source equal reseting the clock. Good luck
Your old radio had at least 2 power wires, some had 3. One of them stays hot all the time for the clock and radio presets, the second is hot when the key is turned on. And the third is hot when your dash lights are on. If you get these mixed up when replacing the radio, you will have this problem. Most of the dash lights on a GM are under the taillight fuse. I would check them all with a test light. Make sure you are not powering your radio from this circuit. You don't want to dim your radio.
Try replacing the headlight switch. Most of your probs should be resolved. The switch being bad will cause a short in the dash and cause alot of weird things. But that switch does control all of which you are describing including the radio, when you turn your headlights on it dims your radio !