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Old 10-31-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
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Another Light Bulb and Fuse Problem

There probably is not any answer to this, but I thought it might be entertaining to some of you. I want to replace all of the 12 volt bulbs in my newly-purchased 1997 Ford Penthouse SMB with LED's. The two bulbs in the center of the ceiling above the driver and passenger seats (possibly called "courtesy lamps" by Ford or SMB (whoever put them in) will not come out despite the efforts of my wife with her tiny but strong fingers and a thin traction glove. So, I cannot determine what type of bulbs they are for LED replacement, and that would not do me any good anyway since I cannot get the old bulbs out. My Ford Owner's manual says that there is one (not two) 912 "dome lamps", so even though I have two, they may be 912's. The manual also says that there are two "map/reading lamps" with 211-2 bulbs, but mine are definitely not 211-2's. The bulbs appear (my eyes are not very good) to be cylinders with a flat base, and I assume they are supposed to just push in and pull out. I decided to find the correct fuse, pull it out and arm my wife with small needle nose pliers with tape on the tips so she can make another attempt to remove the bulbs. There are 44 numbered slots for fuses in the panel to the left of the steering column, only no.4 (15 amp) and no.24 (5 amp) appear to be likely suspects since the manual uses the words "illuminated entry" or "courtesy lamp" to describe them. However, there is no fuse in no.24, #4 is completely blocked by a bunch of wiring that I do not want to mess with, and I am not ready to begin randomly pulling fuses until the bulbs go out So, I am planning to leave the two "courtesy lamps" alone and replace four 1141's, nine 211-2's and maybe the two fluorescent Philips F8T5/CW's (they are very expensive) with some kind of LED's.

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Old 10-31-2013, 07:13 PM   #2
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Another Light Bulb and Fuse Problem

I haven't found a way to get those bulbs out, either. If anyone knows the secret, please let us know! I didn't want to pull too hard for fear of crushing the glass. But I would like to swap them out for LEDs, as all my other bulbs have been updated.

FYI, the two courtesy lights (on the driver and passenger side) are likely wired to the house batteries and have a fuse back in the SMB-installed fuse block, while the center dome light remains hooked up to the van battery (if I recall correctly) and the door pin switches, with the OEM Ford dome light fuse position.

I don't think any of the three fixtures are OEM Ford, but rather are SMB installed aftermarket ones. Don't assume bulb numbers based on the stock dome light.

I have a 1998 Ford SMB with what sounds like the same setup and I redid my headliner this summer and got to see the wiring spaghetti underneath firsthand.

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Old 10-31-2013, 11:36 PM   #3
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Posts: 27
Re: Another Light Bulb and Fuse Problem

BrianW, Thank you for the information and the pictures. I just have one center dome light/courtesy light or whatever fixture with two bulbs with 1" plastic circular lenses and a circular push button switch for each. They definitely are controlled by the doors opening and closing, but where the fuse is remains a mystery. They are not fused in the SMB fuse box under the sofa. You and my wife think SMB, not Ford, put them in, and you are probably right. I really like the cabinet work behind your driver's seat. I have a very basic SMB with four buckets, one of which I removed behind my driver's seat, so I could do something like you did between the back of my driver's seat and the factory cabinet with the range on top and the small 110-12v (no propane) fridge. I would really like to receive more information on what and how you did this. I have got to figure out how to reduce and send pictures on my LINUX computer system so I can share with others.
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