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ekwan

Dim instrumentation lights

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My dash lights are extremely dim in spite renewing all bulbs. Just wondering if there's a dimmer knob that I don't know about. Car is a 1984 S3 N.A.  

.........or if someone here has other solutions. 

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Here's what I did with my '85 turbo; 

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/brighter-bulbs-g-car-smiths-speedo-tach-356705/

Getting bright enough bulbs is easy, dimming them is a bit more work, but inexpensive as in the last link in the post.

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My (very early) S3 has a switch on the dashboard for the dash lights with two settings, dim and less dim... on the left side. Worth checking that is working on both settings? Mine needed the electrical contacts in the switch cleaning up.

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My left dimmer would not go all the way down to zero ohms resistance, compounding the dimness of the OEM bulbs. But, as above, dim fading to less dim.

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Right back when I first got My S3, The instruments came out and all the instrument chambers were lined with reflective tape.

I'm sure this was on advice from either LEF or LEW back then!!

Anyone else done this? 

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Realise you're all S3 chaps but rather than starting another thread; does anyone happen to have a photo or video of an S2 instrument cluster illuminated? I've never seen one and I'm trying to plan ahead. Saw a partial of an LED modified S3 dash [below] lit up following @snowrx's link [thanks mate], and I'm wondering if the S2 is green too, and how it compares in brightness to the modified one in the photo.

 

Dash.png

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You can check the translucent plastic inserts in your instruments bulp recesses and you’ll know what colour you have George. I swopped my old bulps for LEDs a year+ ago and never looked back. My instruments are now visible at night, something I could not say with the old setup. It was Super dim. I assume you have rheostats in your S2. LEDs render the rheostats useless but that’s a worthy trade off to me. You can save a bit of weight taking the Rheo’s out and drop them into your fishbowl, they are relatively heavy 🙂 84TE

cant wait to see your next episode. Brilliant stuff mate.

5810356C-B609-4E02-BBDE-3C26619BF559.jpeg

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Thanks a mill all round Gis. I never appreciated how nice the layout of the S3's instrumentation is. There's a single rheostat for dimming the S2's instruments, or switches, or both. I can't tell you exactly which items it effects because I haven't ever seen it working. Mine was actually missing but the legend that is @peteyg came up with one for me :) Not sure what I'll do with the lighting of the dash or the rheostat but I've some ideas for potential fishbowl fodder in that area ;)

I really appreciate the kind words mate, I'm taking a little time off just now but will be back with new episodes in the new year!

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Green illumination was by little green filters in the bulb hole. If you don't have them you'll have white instrument lighting. :) 

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My dash has never worked, even got an auto electrician to sort it and it still never lit up.

@GTK - Just caught on to your series, as an S2 owner who may do a chassis resto at some point I can't tell you how interesting and informative I have found your videos.  Watching the car undo itself is awesome! And you are right about @peteyg - he is an S2 lege.

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15 minutes ago, TAR said:

Green illumination was by little green filters in the bulb hole. If you don't have them you'll have white instrument lighting. :) 

Crumbs chief! Just been to check my instruments, the two main dials don't have green filters unless they stayed with the loom, but the switch gear is illuminated green. Why do I get the sinking feeling I need to add another item to the list of rocking horse poo?

14 minutes ago, Nelly said:

 ...as an S2 owner who may do a chassis resto at some point...

It's worth it I reckon, I say that before the fact, but it's definitely extremely satisfying! Your dash illumination sounds like a fun puzzle to work out. glad you've caught the series and thanks :)

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The most painless result I've had in terms of Esprit parts :lol: Thanks mate!

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My rheostat has never worked so I don't know if these bulbs are at full power or not but they work fine.

44587415480_6a08f6907e_k.jpg

Pete

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George, my very early S3 has white lit instruments all round and then green for the switches (where they still work - another thing on my list). I am pretty sure this is standard for S2 / early S3 (non turbo).

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Just checked my ancillary dials and they're all without filters. Interestingly the slight tint of green/turquoise visible in Pete's photo is the [cadmium?] tarnish on the walls of the insides of the gauge bodies. So if the switch gear is all illuminated green....

The collar doesn't match the cuffs :whistle:

 

 

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Mine are all white George. Just a poor low light photo. Not a hint of green in real life.

Pete

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There's a pale green/blue finish inside mine that gives a subtle tint to the light. Having said that I'm using a phone torch and if it were a tungsten bulb the warmth of the light would cancel it out. So don't mind me, I'm just bored and daydreaming of a dusky evenings journey home after a day's driving fun.

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IMG_6038.JPG

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Line the insides with silver........just sayin'.......again......

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aye aye capt'n! I've plans for instrument weight loss that'll mean it'll also be easy to make the inside of the bodies bright/reflective.

I love how creative you have to get to get weight out of even a 40 year old Lotus.

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My S2.2 had standard white bulbs ( no green filter ) and was to dark.

I first installed blue leds in the instruments. I still found it to dark

I recently opened up all my instruments and the inside is now clothed in kitchen aluminiumpaper ( using sprayglue) . The difference is massive and instruments are now nicely blue. For the purist you can of course use the same technique and use white or amber leds

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