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Dash lights are dim


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Made this a separate topic,Paul, to help people searching for this in the future.

It could be the rheostat. Does it have any affect on the brightness or do they stay just as dim wherever you set it?

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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Paul,

Dash lights are crap in the G-cars!

Some have converted to LEDs - so did I.

Downside of the LEDs is that they will not work with the rheostat, but actually, a rheostat is obsolete as you have it at the full setting anyway.

I have added some ultrabrite white (or green) LEDs to the tach and speedo, in addition to the existing bulbs.

Not really bright, but much better than before.

speedowithultrabriteledja2.jpg

By jimmybondi at 2007-01-31

img5600a2jx5.jpg

img5593nk6.jpg

Ciao,

JB

'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black

wwwlotusexceldebannernew300eu5.jpg

http://excelregister.lotusexcel.de

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You don't have to remove the pod, but the instrument cluster has to come out - at least some inches so you can reach the back side of the instruments - don't forget to undo the speedo cable first...

Ciao,

JB

'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black

wwwlotusexceldebannernew300eu5.jpg

http://excelregister.lotusexcel.de

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Jimmy, at what current are you driving the LED's?

I'm also planning to build in some LED's (somewhere in the next year), and the idea is to place at least two 350mA LED's in the speedo and tach. I'm also planning to build an electronic dimmer, as I'm optimistic that I might need it!

I was wonder if I should switch to red backlight or stick with green. Red for the advantage of night vision (if red really helps for nightvision!), or green for an original look. (hmm, maybe i can do both and make it switchable!)

Regards

Brandt

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I'm confused by this. I've never messed with mine myself so dont know what's there. But when I asked about making it brigher in its early life, I was told the light was distributed by fibre optics. So just one bulb and fibres carrying the light to various places. If the dash comes off then its a bugger to get the fibres back in the right place and hence some areas are darker. Of course I could have dreamed all that ... sorry if its all tosh.

Good luck with it

Mike

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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The Fibre optics is only for the illumination of the switches, not for the gauges.

Can't remember the current, just get yourself the brightest that you can get. Main problem is the design of the SMITHS. the dials are not translucent as newer instruments. Hence, in order to really improve the lighting, you have to drill holes into the case in front of the dials close to the glass in order to bring the light to the front. I think AJay has done it before, maybe he can comment on this.

Ciao,

JB

'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black

wwwlotusexceldebannernew300eu5.jpg

http://excelregister.lotusexcel.de

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I dismantled the instruments and coated the inside with aluminium tape to reflect the light, then drilled 4 holes in the base of the cases and in serted the LED's from bottom (similar to the origional bulb). this works really well on the tacho and the speedo. on the boost gauge i removed the bulb which is on the side and replaced it with an LED. (Pictures in my garage, sorry don,t have them to hand on this PC).

I haven't done the other minor gauges yet as just replacing the bulb with and LED dosen't work on those.

I am very happy with the result and the gauges are as bright as you would expect from a modern car.

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The dash lights, unfortunately, are notoriously dim on these cars...it's one of those "they all do that sir" comments. I just replaced the fuel guage bulb yesterday with a green LED light that I won off ebay. Simple swap, and my rheostat still works with this. Can't comment on the brightness of it, though, as I haven't driven it in the dark yet! On the fuel gauge panel, it was a simple matter of removing one screw and pulling the panel out far enough to reach the bulb.

BTW, I also took a picture of my car coming back from a car show yesterday. Here she is, a 1984 Turbo Esprit (US) with the ORIGINAL paint and interior!

Matt Slayton

post-1448-1222036441.jpg

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something you might try is line the inside of the gauge can with self adhesive reflected tape found in hardware store. the foil acts like a light amplifier. ive have done this on my old alfa gtv and it nearly 200% brighter using the standard bulbs. only thing is the light is warm tone because the cans where painted baby blue for a more neutral color light. I reckon if you do this combine with the harsh LED bulbs it will be annoyingly bright for an old vintage G-body almost light running a car with a bad regulator.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-196...y-solution.html

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-196...y-solution.html

my car has the smiths...what color is the illumination on the veglia S1 gauges at night? can anyone please post a nice high res pic of a S1 cluster when they get a chance?

cheers

pp

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Mark

Did you get an answer to your question about what model of LED is required for the speedo, tacho and turbo boost gauges?

Jimmy, can you shed any light (excuse the pun) on this?

I have just replaced the bulbs with LEDs in the four secondary gauges and they look brilliant now.

Robert

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Oh, I did not realize that the question was directed to me...

I am using 3mm and 5mm high-power LEDs with clear lens similar to this one:

5mm_Led_For_Traffic_Signal_Light.jpg

My intention was to improve the brightness without opening the gauge casing. So I attached the LEDs (2 pcs. of 3mm for the speedo) as close as possible to the front dial - all done through the original opening with pliers, which was quite fiddly. :ice:

I have tried the same LEDs on the smaller gauges - which was worse than the OEM bulbs!

Edited by jimmybondi

Ciao,

JB

'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black

wwwlotusexceldebannernew300eu5.jpg

http://excelregister.lotusexcel.de

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Jimmy

Thanks for this.

I had misunderstood your post. I thought you had directly replaced the OEM bulbs with LEDs of the same size and fitting. I was hoping somebody had done this and could supply a code number to save me taking the OEM bulbs out and trying to identify the LED replacements myself.

If anybody has done this and can save me the effort, that would be great

Robert

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Robert,

worth checking pyropolymer's link on the previous page. It's all there :ice:

Ciao,

JB

'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black

wwwlotusexceldebannernew300eu5.jpg

http://excelregister.lotusexcel.de

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Having just taken the gauge panel out, I can confirm that the bulbs for the petrol, water temp, voltage and oil pressure are 194s. However, the bulbs in the speedo, tacho and turbo boost gauges are small (2cm length) screw fitting bulbs - one in each. The LEDs I have purchased to replace them are U987W from UltraLEDs. These are white and have 6 LEDs in each bulb. Will fit them tomorrow and then provide observations on improvement in illumination.

Robert

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Mark

The U987Ws are a definite improvement over the standard bulb. The illumination of the tach0 and turbo boost gauges are just right now for my tastes. The speedo is still a little dark. May just need cleaning. I am taking the whole pod out in a couple of weeks to renovate all the leather so will have a go at further improving this then. When I get a chance, I will try and post a nightime photo.

Good luck with yours. Let me know how you get on.

Robert

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Robert, I would be interested if you have also done the secondary gauges like volt, fuel, temp...

I still need to improve these and wonder if the new direct replacements (194) are any good...

Ciao,

JB

'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black

wwwlotusexceldebannernew300eu5.jpg

http://excelregister.lotusexcel.de

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Jimmy

The white 194s I got from UltraLEDs illuminate the sceondary gauges really well. Mine were almost unreadable in the dark with the standard bulbs. With the 194s they are very easily readable but not too bright to be out of keeping with a G Esprit. I would guess close to what they were like when new. Would recommend.

Robert

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