Dash lights on an '80 F100 dead

Anybody know of any obvious places to look? It'll blow the fuse, if I put one in, but everything else, including all the other lights seem to work. I took it apart once after being assured by the goof behind
the counter at an auto parts place that nobody in the world has difficulty getting the knob off the wiper switch and there is no tool made anywhere to do the job.
Unfortunately, I didn't find any problems when I got the dash apart, but I was worn down after fighting with the knob (made a hook out of a coat hanger) and put it back together. Should have left the wiper knob off. I've been staying home at night, since I can't see the speedometer.
The only non-original item I've found is the radio (I'm at least the third owner), so I'll look at that next time I get it apart.
Thanks!
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Typically the dash lights are tied in with the brake lights. If you loose brake lights (blown fuse) you loose the dash lights also. A built in safety. SO where I would start is to disconnect the brake light switch and try the fuse (or ampmeter) and see if it blows. If it does, then you have to start tracing wires. Perhaps disconnect turn signal switch and try again. If you do not blow the fuse, the problem may be as simple as a bulb or wire leading to the brake lights. Another place that used to be a problem is the rheostat that controls the brightness of the dash lights, but it normally doesn't blow fuses, just quits. The dome light is in that circuit also, but it uses a switched ground, which may not be the culprit for blowing fuses. Think about what may have caused it? When did it start happening? Was the truck off road or hauling something that may have messed up the wires? did you install any accessories? was the truck unrepentantly wet? Anything else affected? Good luck in your hunt. Danno

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