Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

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Fordoholic Nick
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Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Fordoholic Nick » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:00 am

Hi.

Can you help please. The bulb has stopped working for the Oil Pressure/Ammeter gauges so I just wondered if it was possible to change this without having to remove the cluster. I seem to recall reading that its possible to reach the speedo cable by removing just the lower trim and reaching up behind the cluster from below. Is it therefore possible to reach this bulb holder too ?

Just trying to avoid taking the cluster out again :)

Any comments/advice appreciated

All the best

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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Mc Tool » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:58 am

Pull the cluster and replace all the bulbs with LED's ............heaps better :)
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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby pbar » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:10 am

I seem to recall that both Steve and Andrew have changed dash bulbs without removing too much, i.e. reaching up behind to gain access. However, I can't seem to find that thread at the moment but it's around here somewhere!

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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby stevemarl » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:00 am

Yep, I changed the main beam warning bulb which could just be reached by fingertips from the RH side. I`m not sure about the ammeter lighting as you`d have to go in the other side, but it`s certainly worth a try.

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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Fordoholic Nick » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:29 pm

Mc Tool wrote:Pull the cluster and replace all the bulbs with LED's ............heaps better :)


Yep, I hear that LED's are very good but tbh don't find myself driving around at night all that often at all. Usually get it out during the day. I actually noticed the bulb not working sitting in the garage the other night. I may give the "reach up and feel around" a go then yep if the cluster has to come out...again (!) then I will consider the LED's mate. Thanks for the advice.

pbar wrote:I seem to recall that both Steve and Andrew have changed dash bulbs without removing too much, i.e. reaching up behind to gain access


stevemarl wrote:Yep, I changed the main beam warning bulb which could just be reached by fingertips from the RH side. I`m not sure about the ammeter lighting as you`d have to go in the other side, but it`s certainly worth a try.


Thanks chaps. I thought that Steve and Andrew had a thread about this which is where I got the idea from. Thanks for the confirmation Steve. I will give it a try at the weekend. I am lucky to have thin arms so might be in with a shout of reaching the Ammeter side...fingers crossed !

As I have had the cluster out a few times last year the "appeal" of removing and refitting is wearing off a bit now so any way to avoid it is gladly taken :lol: As said above though if I do have to remove it then I may well think about fitting the LED's. Not so urgent though as said I find most of my driving in B112 is done during the day, but its one of those niggly things that will eat away at me if I just leave it :)

All the best

Nick
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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Arya2.0S » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:34 pm

Mc Tool wrote:Pull the cluster and replace all the bulbs with LED's ............heaps better :)


I tried changing the bulbs in mine to LED ones and they were even duller than the standard old fashioned bulbs.

As for as the topic is concerned, i think the cluster has to come out, just dont catch the plastic membrane with the copper wires running through it on the metal ridge of the dash as if you break or damage just one of those that can cause heaps of problems or stop your entire instrument cluster from working entirely, rev gauge included.

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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Fordoholic Nick » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:58 pm

Arya2.0S wrote:i think the cluster has to come out, just dont catch the plastic membrane with the copper wires running through it on the metal ridge of the dash as if you break or damage just one of those that can cause heaps of problems or stop your entire instrument cluster from working entirely, rev gauge included.


Yep, good point fella. I know the bulb holders can need quite a "tug" to get them out so whether or not I have the space to do it safely "blind" without damaging the circuit board as you say is worth considering. I will have a feel around and assess the situation over the weekend, but wont push my luck ! I may find that I do indeed have to remove the cluster anyway, so that will be the end of my idea to save time :)

Thanks for the comments

All the best

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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby SmokeEm » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:43 pm

If it were me Nick, I would attempt to do the reach around now for the quick fix but order some LED's for WHEN the next one goes. Led's aren't just brighter, they last longer. I also found it worthwhile changing the coloured film for a lighter shade when dash is out. You can get lighter tinted red/green sheet from most craft shops or some printing places. Makes a huge difference to gauge visibility (May have been why the LED's fitted by the guy above were no brighter) Also, if you do have to take the cluster out, a little mineral oil/silicone spray on the speedo drive/odometer etc won't hurt. ;)
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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:05 pm

Hi Nick,
I'm know from experience that the ammeter bulb can be reached without the need for hiring a contortionist. I would highly recommend that you disconnect the battery prior to commencing work. You don't want to be blindly fiddling around in an area full of electrics....

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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Fordoholic Nick » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:56 pm

SmokeEm wrote:If it were me Nick, I would attempt to do the reach around now for the quick fix but order some LED's for WHEN the next one goes. Led's aren't just brighter, they last longer. I also found it worthwhile changing the coloured film for a lighter shade when dash is out. You can get lighter tinted red/green sheet from most craft shops or some printing places. Makes a huge difference to gauge visibility (May have been why the LED's fitted by the guy above were no brighter) Also, if you do have to take the cluster out, a little mineral oil/silicone spray on the speedo drive/odometer etc won't hurt. ;)


Thanks very much Dave. Yep for now I will try to 'reach up' and see if I can just change the bulb this way but I will order a set of LED ones for when I need to remove the cluster again. They do sound pretty good. Thats a great tip re the speed drive mate. I will remember this for next time :)

Andrew 2.8i wrote:I'm know from experience that the ammeter bulb can be reached without the need for hiring a contortionist. I would highly recommend that you disconnect the battery prior to commencing work.


Nice one Andrew. Great to know its possible to reach the Ammeter gauge side of the cluster from underneath. I presume its easy to get to the temp gauge side too then ? Yep very good tip re disconnecting battery :)

I will let you chaps know how I get on. Having 'slender' arms can be quite useful sometimes :lol:

Thanks again chaps

All the best

Nick
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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Mc Tool » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:17 pm

When I had my cluster out I removed all the gauges and lined the inside of the housing with ally tape and I removed all the coloured bulb covers , brighter now but not over done , also if fitting led's you need to either bypass the dash dimmer or make sure its on or near full or the leds wont work ..... they are also polarity sensitive . The membrane ( or parts there of ) can be jump wired or soldered to effect repairs ..... or even completely replaced .... so a duff membrane aint the end of the world :)
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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Arya2.0S » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:13 pm

Mc Tool wrote:When I had my cluster out I removed all the gauges and lined the inside of the housing with ally tape and I removed all the coloured bulb covers , brighter now but not over done , also if fitting led's you need to either bypass the dash dimmer or make sure its on or near full or the leds wont work ..... they are also polarity sensitive . The membrane ( or parts there of ) can be jump wired or soldered to effect repairs ..... or even completely replaced .... so a duff membrane aint the end of the world :)


When i did my cars' recent repairs/mini resto my instrument clusters' membrane got so damaged (because i was too heavy handed trying to remove it to paint the dash) that literally nothing on it worked.
No lights, no rev counter, no fuel gauge, no ignition or handbrake light, zippo!
I thought i was gonna have to fork out for an expensive replacement 6-pod cluster but thankfully my mate was able to solder it all back into a working state, has been good as gold ever since as if nothing ever happened.

I hugged a man on that day....



...and i liked it ;) :xd:

I'm still dubious about the LED thing. If the voltage to them isn't increased simply swapping out the bulbs to brighter ones isn't going to make any difference surely? The old bulbs are that dull for a reason afterall, no?
When i tried doing that to mine i got LED bulbs that sat inside the same little red plastic cradle the original bulbs did to avoid any sort of compatibility or fitment issues and they made zero difference whatsoever, and that was with the dimmer switch turned all the way up!
I doubt the film in the cluster is that thick that it would block so much light from a fully lit up LED that they would appear even duller than the old bulbs did!
*shrug*

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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Mc Tool » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:17 am

The problem with the old bulbs is heat ..... they get hot and after time the coloured covers go opaque and even crumble , can damage the bulb holder , and the plastic housing adjacent to the bulbs can burn/melt/ deform . An LED doesn't get hot and , for the same amount of light use much less power . The ally lining is an easy mod and cheap . I cant tell in daylight if the dash LED's are on or off but at night they are way better , pretty sure you can get different colours too ... mine are blue
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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby pbar » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:17 am

I drive my Capri frequently at night, went out a couple of nights ago as it was quiet, calm and dark, great driving conditions. I've never understood all this bulb modifying business, I've found all Capri lights to be perfectly adequate. My dash is all standard, as are my headlights. I just start him up, drive off and enjoy. Love it.

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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Mc Tool » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:37 am

pbar wrote:I drive my Capri frequently at night, went out a couple of nights ago as it was quiet, calm and dark, great driving conditions. I've never understood all this bulb modifying business, I've found all Capri lights to be perfectly adequate. My dash is all standard, as are my headlights. I just start him up, drive off and enjoy. Love it.


:xd: start HIM up ? oh ,suppose I shouldn't be surprized you think all his cute little bulbs are just perfect :gay: :xd: . Its one of them things where you think everything is just right ........till you fix it ;)
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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:06 am

Arya2.0S wrote:When i tried doing that to mine i got LED bulbs that sat inside the same little red plastic cradle the original bulbs did to avoid any sort of compatibility or fitment issues and they made zero difference whatsoever, and that was with the dimmer switch turned all the way up!

Hi,
The dimmer switch won't work if the bulbs have been replaced with LED. It's better to bypass it in that situation.

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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby pbar » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:21 am

Mc Tool wrote:
:xd: start HIM up ? oh ,suppose I shouldn't be surprized you think all his cute little bulbs are just perfect :gay:


You can't really have a go at anyone, you include 'guns' in your list of interests and call yourself a tool :D

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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Fordoholic Nick » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:14 pm

Mc Tool wrote:I shouldn't be surprized you think all his cute little bulbs are just perfect :gay: :xd: .


pbar wrote:You can't really have a go at anyone, you include 'guns' in your list of interests and call yourself a tool :D



:shock: :shock: :shock:

I only asked how easy it was to reach my "cluster" ! :)
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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Arya2.0S » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:42 pm

pbar wrote:
Mc Tool wrote:
:xd: start HIM up ? oh ,suppose I shouldn't be surprized you think all his cute little bulbs are just perfect :gay:


You can't really have a go at anyone, you include 'guns' in your list of interests and call yourself a tool :D


He has a gun rack in the back of his Capri and a "vote Republican" sticker in the window lol.

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Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:42 pm

Fordoholic Nick wrote:I only asked how easy it was to reach my "cluster" ! :)


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:)

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