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99 protege taillights/dash light fuse blows even after disconnecting lights

Hey guys I know this is a common problem and I have seen other forums but I haven't seen anything close enough to my specific issue so I figure I'll post here and see if I can get some answers.

I recently noticed after start up that my dash/tail/ac cluster and front orange pre-head light lights (blinkers still working but not the steady lights that come on when head light switch is turned one step) weren't working. I had this problem before and I know it was a blown fuse. This happened about 6 months ago and when It did I simply replaced the fuse with the correct amp rating and it worked until now.

I've tried some trouble-shooting but to no avail.

What I did was disconnect the rear connector for both brake/tail lights.
Disconnected the connector for the dimmer dial under the driver side dash.
Disconnected the connectors for the two front side orange blinker lights which were also not working when I turn the head light switch one step.

Head lights work. High beams still work. and there is even the blue high beam indicator that lights up properly when turning brights on.

As suspected the fuse was blown so I replaced it and as soon as I turned the head light switch one step forward (One step before head lights actrually come on) The fuse would blow and spark right in front of my eyes.

I had a few extra fuses lying around so I swapped it out a few times and it continued to blow. I tried it every time I disconnected another suspected connector and it still blows. Eventually ran out of fuses so I began taking them out of the places for less needed accessories such as radio and ac.

Eventually I used them all up except brake lights, and head lights. (not sure if that might have continued the problem but I don't imagine it would) Going to get more fuses in the morning but still confused and would like some help.

If by removing all variables withing my control (disconnecting all suspected connectors) and still having the problem does this mean that it's likely a fuse box problem or a wire touching metal somewhere? Even then I followed the wires as much as possible and looked for bad insulating but found nothing of issue.

Thanks guys

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