1991 Dodge Dynasty glove box

Tiny
IVY45
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 DODGE DYNASTY
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
The glove box door won't open though it doesn't seem to be jammed. The latch might be broken. We pried open a corner and the light seems to be staying on. How do I get the darn door off? BTW, you guys are wonderful.
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Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 AT 12:38 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Look underneath the door for a hinge with four screws that can be removed. I'm doing this from memory. If there's no screws, I'll go out in the blowing cold and snow to look at my car.
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Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 AT 1:01 PM
Tiny
IVY45
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Just came in from the cold. Snow stopped for a minute. Removed the screws but door still won't open.
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Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 AT 1:14 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sorry for the delay. Had to run to town for a few hours.

I just looked at mine to refresh my memory, and the hook is not very substantial. I suspect yours may be bent and the latch is caught on the wrong part of the hook. I assume the latch handle is pulling out. If it is not, it is locked. I think you can force the door open by tugging on it. Then you can examine the hook and straighten it. I remember reshaping them to make the curled end of the sheet metal hook the right height and depth to make the door lock smoothly.
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Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 AT 6:29 PM
Tiny
IVY45
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Thank you. Will try again when the sun comes up.
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Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 AT 8:40 PM
Tiny
IVY45
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Today we got FRUSTRATED and ripped the door off! Of course, I no longer have a glove box but we got to the fuses. Victory, right? Not quite. The panel shows position #14 shows a 20amp fuse for the tail lights. There was no fuse in there! It also didn't show anything for the dash lights.
Ugh!

I really appreciate your input. Maybe we can "mental this out?"
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Saturday, February 15th, 2014 AT 12:08 PM
Tiny
IVY45
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Oops! I counted wrong. There is a fuse in #14.
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Saturday, February 15th, 2014 AT 12:41 PM
Tiny
IVY45
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Update:
All the fuses in the glove box and under the hood show good.
This car may have be produced in the middle of the year and perhaps changes were made that weren't identified in the manual. What do you think?
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Saturday, February 15th, 2014 AT 1:57 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
We're on to a new subject. What kind of problem are you having?

Mid-year changes don't usually involve things like the fuse boxes or wiring. Major design changes only occur with the next model year, typically starting around August.

A typical mid-year change is likely to involve things like brake parts. Ford is famous for this. You often have to know the exact day of production to get the right parts. One of their cars could be available with standard or heavy-duty brakes, but mid-year one supplier might be unable to fill the orders so they will switch to installing the heavy-duty system on all of that model. Both systems are already covered in the service manual. You just might be surprised to find something different than what you expected.

The exception might be for a safety-related recall, another thing Ford owners know all about. They have traced a lot of house fires to ignition switches catching fire hours after the vehicle was shut off. That model is likely to be recalled to have a modification installed, and that modification will already be in place on the assembly line. That is where you'll find something on a car that isn't in the service manual that was printed previous to that recall.
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Saturday, February 15th, 2014 AT 4:05 PM
Tiny
IVY45
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Thanks for the info. You keep teaching me things.

We're going to try something else tomorrow. I'll let you know the results.
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Monday, February 17th, 2014 AT 6:18 PM
Tiny
IVY45
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Thwarted again. The wiring diagram in the manual looked like the problem could be in the headlamp switch. So, we bought one. Unfortunately, it doesn't show how to install it. You sure know a lot about Dynastys, Any thoughts?
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 AT 3:18 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What kind of problem are you having?

Do you have the dash trim panels off? I went out to look at my car, but I can't remember which trim panel has to come off first. Even the service manual isn't real clear. I think the top bezel has to come off first. There's screws along the top under the dash pad. Seems to me that one lifts off to expose the screws for the trim panel around the light switch, but I can't remember if the lower "knee blocker" panel has to come off. There are two or three places that are held on with velcro, not screws, but they come apart pretty easily. If you have to fight to get something loose, there's a hidden screw somewhere.

Once the trim panels are off, there's four screws to remove holding the small plastic plate with the head light switch. Under the switch body, just behind the rheostat there's a small metal spring-loaded silver button. Press that in, then pull the knob and shaft out of the switch. Later, when you put it back together, just push the shaft in and it will catch by itself.

Four more screws hold the switch to that plastic plate. With that out of the way, you'll see a thin nut around the hole where the shaft came out. Remove that nut to remove the switch.
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 AT 6:20 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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I forgot to mention, when you unplug the switch, check the connector terminals for two that are black, and check the plastic connector body for signs of melting. If you see that, I have a repair procedure to replace those terminals.
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 AT 6:38 PM
Tiny
IVY45
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Yes, there is melting between the black wires on the headlamp switch connector. It melted onto the switch itself and was very difficult to separate. Is there a possible replacement connector or a fix for it?

(This is from the person actually doing the work! He can't believe how knowledgable you are.)
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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 AT 1:09 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You still haven't told me what the problem is, but I'm guessing you have tail lights but no head lights. If the tail lights also don't work, you probably don't have dash lights either. Those don't draw much current but they tap off the tail light circuit, so if the tail lights quit, the dash lights would too.

Usually the connector is only melted around two terminals corresponding to the one pair of contacts that overheated inside the switch. By that time you'll see the terminals on the switch have charcoal around them. The main thing to remember when you run into this in headlight, ignition, and heater fan switches, is it doesn't matter if the high resistance and heat build-up started on the switch contacts or between a terminal in the connector and its mate on the switch, you must replace the switch and both terminals in the connector, otherwise the degraded part will just continue the overheating and within a couple of months you'll have the same problem. If you get a used switch from a salvage yard, examine the terminals for any hint of discoloration. Most of them will be a shiny brass color. When two of them start to overheat, they'll have a dull pinkish color. That's the first sign that overheating of the contacts has been taking place. Try to find a different switch and / or connector.

If the connector body is melted really badly, snip one off a similar car in a salvage yard. Chrysler has always been famous for good parts interchangeability between years and car models but in this case don't use parts from a New Yorker or Imperial. They have motorized hidden head lights so I'm pretty sure the switch will be different. You might find the same connector in a Shadow, Sundance, Spirit, or Acclaim.

The terminals will have a little finger that springs out and locks them into the body. Popping them out is real easy, ... Once you get the hang of it. You have to push the wire in, then go in from the switch side with a special flat tool to bend that finger, then pull the wire and terminal out. Those terminals are big enough that you may be able to use a small pick or a stretched-out paper clip. Don't tug real hard on the wire unless it's one of the two that were overheated. They're going to be replaced anyway.

Obviously, remember where each color wire goes. I draw a picture with the colors. By the way, if you do snip off a connector in the salvage yard, take a good 6" of wire with it so you have something to hang onto when you pull the terminals out. If you can't figure out how to get them out, and your old connector has to be replaced, you can cut the plastic away on that old one until the terminal falls out, then you can see where that little tab is that holds them in.

Transfer each wire on the car to its spot in the new connector body, except for the two that were black. For those, and any others that were black, leave those wires in the replacement connector body. You'll need 4" of wire. That's why I suggested leaving 6" of wire if you cut the plug off at a salvage yard. The repair for those two, (or more) wires is the same as the next paragraph.

If the connector body is only melted around two terminals, the whole thing does not have to be replaced. Cut the plastic enough to allow those terminals to be removed, and cut any additional parts away that might interfere with sliding new terminals onto the switch. You will feel those two wires are real hard and inflexible for the first 4". The copper has become hard from being hot. Solder will not adhere to it well, and the copper needs to be soft for replacement crimp-on terminals to grab tightly. To solve both problems, cut off that four inches of wire and discard it, along with the terminal. If you got a used connector from the salvage yard, use two of those wires with their terminals. If they also look like they may have been getting hot, you can use any other wires from that connector as long as they're the same gauge or fatter. So what if the colors are different.

If you don't have a replacement connector, you can use new solderless terminals and a piece of new wire. I always have old wire harnesses laying around that I can cut something off of, otherwise hardware stores and auto parts stores have them in little boxes. You'll probably get ten of 'em for a couple of bucks. Take an old terminal along to match up the size and the wire gauge it fits. Crimp one onto that 4" piece of new wire, but then solder it too. You've seen how much damage that heat can do. Crimp-on terminals are designed to not need to be soldered, but after seeing too many high-resistance connections in high-current circuits, and the resulting problems, I always solder the terminals whether I crimp them or not.

Slide a piece of heat-shrink tubing onto the wire, then splice that new 4" section to the car's original wire. Don't twist them together like we do with house wiring that gets a wire nut. Push the strands straight into each other. You only need to strip off 1/4" of insulation from each wire to do this. Be sure no sharp ends of the strands are sticking up because they could poke through the heat-shrink tubing later. Solder that joint, then seal it with the heat-shrink tubing. Don't use electrical tape because that will unravel into a gooey mess on a hot day.

Plug the connector back onto the switch, then plug the new terminal in on its spot on the switch separately. It should need pretty good force to get it to slide on to insure a solid contact that won't build up heat again. If it slides on really easily, remove it and use a small pair of pliers to squeeze it closed so it fits tighter. Do the same repair for the second wire and any others that may need to be replaced.
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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 AT 5:32 PM
Tiny
IVY45
  • MEMBER
Thank you for all of the input. You guys are both inspiring and motivating
especially with your attention to detail. She really likes her car and I spent the time to correct the problem. I was fortunate to find the 9-pin connector at the parts store and had previously bought the headlight switch so with parts in hand I spliced the new wires to the old by crimping, soldering and heat shrinking all while the wind kept blowing the door shut on my legs. I assembled the connector to the switch and hung them on the tilt steering lever before going to the car because it was a very tight connection to the switch. I probably would have put the job off longer if it weren't for your professional suggestions. You have no idea how much you contributed. Now on to find some body parts. (Glove box door--rear wheel well chrome and oh! To find a speedometer/odometer that both work within the same unit.

Thanks again

This is the car owner who watched him labor in the cold and wind. How can I show my appreciation for all your help?
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Friday, February 28th, 2014 AT 10:20 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sorry to leave you hanging. I had a major house fire Feb. 28. I'm trying to figure out how to thank the people on the two fire departments that spent many hours there. You can show you're appreciation by telling your friends about this web site. The owners of it have been good to me too. Please come back when you have more Dynasty questions.
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Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 AT 12:14 PM
Tiny
IVY45
  • MEMBER
We were so very sorry to hear about the fire. The loss of personal, sentimental items had to be devastating. It sounds as if no one was hurt, which is a blessing.
Thank you again for all your help and we will definitely tell others about this wonderful site.
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Thursday, March 20th, 2014 AT 7:04 AM

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