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'85MY TE - Dash Lighting + other replacement bulbs ......

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  • Gold FFM

Hi, I've been reading many threads regarding 

1) Dashboard Instrument Lighting (woeful etc....)

2) General electrical issues e.g poor earth, rotted/corroded terminals etc., 

and after fixing my first fault (wiper motor failure which turned out to be a loose connection on the stalk) I thought I'd tackle replacing the dash bulbs to provide some illumination. I am not sure what the current thinking is with regards to electricals, so would like to ask for advice ...

Next question is if I replace the dash bulbs with newer T10 LEDs, what sort do I get? - there are millions to choose from, different colours, wattage, varying beam angles etc. If I manage to reaplce these bulbs, can I/should I replace bulbs all round (turn lamps/rear cluster etc. and are there any considerations for choosing replacement bulbs  e.g. power consumption?

Attached is a pic of the current "Right Hand Side" rheostat that only seems to alter the aircon / heater control, so I don't need to consider this at the moment.


Thanks in advance ....







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This is what I did for my '85, there may be more bulb options now than then:

Forum won't let me post the link for the dimmer re-work, just search for 

PWM dimmer for G-car dash LED's

The tube on the back of the small gauges are pretty deep, so you want a skinny bulb with the chips well up on the board, maybe firing up. Either the tach or the speedo , I don't remember which, has a pretty shallow green dome over the bulb. The boost gauge doesn't need as bright a bulb as the others.

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Mine is a Federal car so your's may be different, but I seem to recall some weirdness in the rear dual filament bulbs given the way some LED's handle bright/dim internally. I think voltage was wandering into another bulb giving a dim glow when it should of been off. Just something to watch for.

Your flasher relay might not like like to run LED's, and is an odd one to replace with a LED friendly one, but doable.

No worries about current as the LED's generally use much less (enough less that if you use them in the rear of the doors your light delay unit may no longer work, use big bright ones to provide enough current to operate the delay there)

No need on the older car for "CAN bus" style bulbs, they just add a resistor to the bulb, which kind of defeats one of the advantages of the LED.

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  • Gold FFM

Many thanks @snowrx, am now compiling a list of replacement bulbs for all items, and trying to ensure compatibility. When they're fitted/tested I'll share the items in case anyone else finds them useful. BTW, my very poorly lit dash is in white- not a hint of green in sight so does this mean I have a non standard dash lighting array? or was there a factory option at the time?


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On 21/08/2020 at 16:57, thebartman said:

my very poorly lit dash is in white- not a hint of green in sight so does this mean I have a non standard dash lighting array? or was there a factory option at the time?

The dash can be green or white, one was an option but I don't know which one it was. 🙂

It's getting there......

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Gold FFM

Progress slower than expected, mainly due to things breaking when moved 😉. I’ve modified my plan slightly, so as to avoid installing the PWM (not sure I have all the skills yet). Also, indicator flasher failed as expected as too little current (Hazzards worked with full LEDs ) so re-fitted front indicator original bulbs, and left the rears as LED and indicators work all round.  New door switch fitted and so now have all door lamps (LED Festoon) and interior courtesy light WITH 15 second delay, now all working. 😀 just got to finish the remaining dash lights, waiting on next set of bulbs to arrive as I miscalculated the number required 😞

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