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Dim dash lights
#1
I mistakenly posted this problem here on the "interior" 7173 forum. I have dim dash lights, and thanks to the answer I got on the other forum, my lights are better, but still too dim and no illumination for the gas gage. I see where people have gone to leds, and I am leaning that way, but was wondering if it is possible to either replace or clean the light bulb covers. Just a thought.Idea
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#2
I have the same issue, I changed to LED's but its still not as bright as I like.
I have heard the the Circuit in the back the connectors get oxidezed and causes the bulbs to dim ( its acts like a Resistor)
I'm watching the Post to see what others have to say.

[Image: 2zem9nk.jpg]
Iyman
1972 Mustang convertible run_horse  
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#3
If you've gone to LEDs, the corrosion, or extra resistance, won't play as big of a factor, this is due to the fact the LEDs are constant current devices, and not voltage dependent. This is why LEDs are not dimmable in the traditional sense, varying the resistance, doesn't affect the overall current supply through the loop, just the voltage. LEDs require a PWM Supply to be dimmable, and then the LED isn't truly being dimmed, just turned on and off very quickly so that it appears to be putting out less light.

If you don't have LEDs, then yes, every bit of extra resistance is going to drive the overall voltage for the circuit down. And this is everything from the rehostat all the way to the flex circuit. You can dress it quite a bit and get the resistance down to virtually nothing (got my car to about 3ohms) but the lights will still be very dim.

You can remove the lenses that are over the bulbs, they're pretty easy to take out once you open up the back of the instrument cluster. But be warned, the little fingers that hold them in are most likely incredibly brittle, and you'll more than likely break them off in getting them out.

I took one out, to see what kind of a difference it made in brightness, and I wasn't impressed. I put it back in, and super glued the fingers back in place.

The problem stems from the design of the cluster itself, the lights are located behind the gauge faces (which are stamped steel with no windows for the white lettering) and the light has to bounce around the back of the gauge and make it through the quarter inch or so gap between the face of the gauge and the decorative plastic ring on the inside of the cluster.

So at best you get very indirect light, which leads to an overall "dim" feeling and appearance.

I'm currently investigating what the best way is to get the most POP out of my gauge lights. Simply switching to LEDs didn't do it for me, the light is a little brighter, and a little "whiter" because of the 5K leds vs the about 3.7k bulbs.

Hope this answers your questions!

2013 Ford Focus SE Flex Fuel 5spd - Daily Driver
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#4
MechEng;129684 Wrote:If you've gone to LEDs, the corrosion, or extra resistance, won't play as big of a factor, this is due to the fact the LEDs are constant current devices, and not voltage dependent. This is why LEDs are not dimmable in the traditional sense, varying the resistance, doesn't affect the overall current supply through the loop, just the voltage. LEDs require a PWM Supply to be dimmable, and then the LED isn't truly being dimmed, just turned on and off very quickly so that it appears to be putting out less light.

If you don't have LEDs, then yes, every bit of extra resistance is going to drive the overall voltage for the circuit down. And this is everything from the rehostat all the way to the flex circuit. You can dress it quite a bit and get the resistance down to virtually nothing (got my car to about 3ohms) but the lights will still be very dim.

You can remove the lenses that are over the bulbs, they're pretty easy to take out once you open up the back of the instrument cluster. But be warned, the little fingers that hold them in are most likely incredibly brittle, and you'll more than likely break them off in getting them out.

I took one out, to see what kind of a difference it made in brightness, and I wasn't impressed. I put it back in, and super glued the fingers back in place.

The problem stems from the design of the cluster itself, the lights are located behind the gauge faces (which are stamped steel with no windows for the white lettering) and the light has to bounce around the back of the gauge and make it through the quarter inch or so gap between the face of the gauge and the decorative plastic ring on the inside of the cluster.

So at best you get very indirect light, which leads to an overall "dim" feeling and appearance.

I'm currently investigating what the best way is to get the most POP out of my gauge lights. Simply switching to LEDs didn't do it for me, the light is a little brighter, and a little "whiter" because of the 5K leds vs the about 3.7k bulbs.

Hope this answers your questions!
Thank both you and "imusa" for the replies. On another thread someone told me to use a pencil eraser on the socket and strip contact points. I did that and it helped a little. Being that I had the question about buying/cleaning the blue lenses, I took the cluster apart to see what I was dealing with. While waiting for and answer I plugged the gage cluster in without the cluster being screwed
to anything and turned the lights on. I was able to get a close look at what was lit and what wasn't.Through the process of elimination , a test light and some extra sockets and bulbs I now have all the lights lit. I see the blue covers and don't think I will fool with them....you said removing that one as a test wasn't much improvement?
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#5
Danno;129679 Wrote:I mistakenly posted this problem here on the "interior" 7173 forum. I have dim dash lights, and thanks to the answer I got on the other forum, my lights are better, but still too dim and no illumination for the gas gage. I see where people have gone to leds, and I am leaning that way, but was wondering if it is possible to either replace or clean the light bulb covers. Just a thought.Idea

Ya, that is definitely a known issue with those years. I personally noticed a huge difference once I changed the fuse for the interior lights ( which is located undervdash near gas pedal. Depending on year) If you've done that the the next step would be LEDs which can actually use less power. NPD (national parts depot) has them, among other sites online.
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#6
Danno,

If you're going to go LED, check out the below site. I bought a set for my car of the economy kit, factory color. They made a big difference, but not as big as I was hoping for. If I could do it over, I'd go one step up to the extreme series kit. Good luck.

http://www.hipoparts.com/1965-73-ford-mu...rsion-kit/

[Image: 1_24_09_13_4_29_06.png]
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#7
On some of the gauges, you can actually bend the gauge face to allow a bit more light in.

Let me check your shorts!
http://midlifeharness.com

[Image: Flamicon2.jpg]


[Image: oldfart.png]
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#8
midlife;129740 Wrote:On some of the gauges, you can actually bend the gauge face to allow a bit more light in.

I trimmed the edges if mine to get rid of the side "shields."

73StangCoupe;129735 Wrote:Danno,

If you're going to go LED, check out the below site. I bought a set for my car of the economy kit, factory color. They made a big difference, but not as big as I was hoping for. If I could do it over, I'd go one step up to the extreme series kit. Good luck.

http://www.hipoparts.com/1965-73-ford-mu...rsion-kit/

I had the HiPo parts kit.. it was better, but not great. I got SMD replacements from superbrightleds.com... that did the trick.

HiPo parts

[Image: IMG_14531.jpg]

[Image: IMG_14541.jpg]

SMD replacements

[Image: IMG_0104.jpg]

[Image: IMG_16131.jpg]

[Image: IMG_16121.jpg]

1973 Mach 1 Q code 351 4V, 9A paint, standard interior, 3.50 rear, C6 trans.
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#9
Totalled ur lights in ur car look sick I know what im doing next to my car.

Powered by Determination, Fueled by Ambition
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#10
Totalled,

Any chance you have some picture of how much you had to trim down the shields? Did you leave the little blue caps in? I take it you didn't based on the color but it's smarter to ask!

2013 Ford Focus SE Flex Fuel 5spd - Daily Driver
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