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  #16  
Old 10-31-2004, 05:22 AM
jcd jcd is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern New Jersey
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Here's what I did and it helped

1. Cleaned the housing with Windex.
2. Painted the reflectors with gloss white paint
3. Replaced the rheostat
4. Bought the a xenon bulb "upgrade".

The combination helped, but if you are expecting a bright dash panel, hold a flashlight in your mouth.

JCD

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  #17  
Old 10-31-2004, 02:10 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 12
Thanks for all the wonderfull suggestions, but I liked JCD's suggestion to hold a torch at noght :p

It just occured to me. If the reflective surface is painted, wont the the paint chip-off within few months. What if small pieces of kitchen aluminum foil be glued instead. Have any one tried that?
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  #18  
Old 10-31-2004, 02:46 PM
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Location: Miami, FL
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Dashboard lights & aluminum

I used sticky aluminum tape. Cleaning the prisms and the rest of the panel helped a litle, but it is still far too dim.

I don't think that the paint would chip off. It's not out in the weather. The numbers on te speedometer are painted on and they seem to stay stuck pretty well.

I think the key is to use a number of LEDs. The difficulty is that the one I have seen are of far lower voltage. I know that they can be linked in series, or is it parallel to get them to run on 12v. 2+2+2+2+2+2=12, but I am unsure about how to do this, since I am no expert on electricity.

I was thinking about using fiber-optic strands as well. If someone will whomp up a design, I bet I can find the materials.
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  #19  
Old 10-31-2004, 03:13 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Moscow, ID
Posts: 2
Jumpered Rheostat still no light

I had my cluster out yesterday. The two 3W bulbs were burnt so I replaced them and jumpered the rheostat but I still have no dash lights. I checked the fueses and they look good. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm lost on this one.
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  #20  
Old 11-01-2004, 04:18 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 12
Richard Eldrich, I was thinking more in the terms of the heat generated by the bulb might burn the paint in due course of time (few months) and the paint might just chip off... unlike the odo digit paint which is not exposed to the heat from the bulb, at least not directly.
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  #21  
Old 11-01-2004, 04:20 PM
boneheaddoctor's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hells half acre (Great Falls, Virginia)
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Hell, My 116 cluster is bright..........all I did was clean it when I replaced the Tach my flakey regulator smoked before I found out I had a flakey regulator.
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  #22  
Old 07-25-2005, 02:05 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2
You will need to put a current limiting resistor in series with the LED(s), or they'll FRY! Had a look at putting some Blue LED's in, but they just weren't bright enough. I think that if you get some ultra-bright LED's, and use 2 or 3 of them per side, they might work. Gotta watch out for the polarity, though, LED's only work one way i.e they have a +ve and -ve terminal.

You won't be able to use the standard rheostat with LED's though. The rheostat has only a few ohms of resistance, and the LED's won't draw anywhere near enough current to cause a significant voltage drop.

Oh, yeah! how big should the current limiting resistor be? For a single LED, use about 330 Ohms, 1/4W should be fine. For 2 LED's in series, about 260 Ohms should be good. For 3 LED's in series, about 160 Ohms should do it. This assumes 3V per LED and an operating current of 30mA. For 2 or 3 LED's in PARRALEL, use 330 Ohms. You normally wouldn't put LED's in parallel, though, because some will be brighter than others. You CAN put two series strings in parallel with each other though, as long as each string has its own resistor

Series: +12v |-------/\/\/\/\-----|>|-----|>|-----|>|-----|Gnd


Parralel: +12v |-------/\/\/\/\-----+-----|>|----+----|Gnd
| |
+-----|>|----+
| |
+-----|>|----+


Tony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Eldridge
I used sticky aluminum tape. Cleaning the prisms and the rest of the panel helped a litle, but it is still far too dim.

I don't think that the paint would chip off. It's not out in the weather. The numbers on te speedometer are painted on and they seem to stay stuck pretty well.

I think the key is to use a number of LEDs. The difficulty is that the one I have seen are of far lower voltage. I know that they can be linked in series, or is it parallel to get them to run on 12v. 2+2+2+2+2+2=12, but I am unsure about how to do this, since I am no expert on electricity.

I was thinking about using fiber-optic strands as well. If someone will whomp up a design, I bet I can find the materials.
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  #23  
Old 07-25-2005, 04:05 AM
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OK,

i successfully brightened up my dash lights in my 124 by using... drum roll please... fine sandpaper!!!

the 124 dash uses this clear plastic piece which directs the light from the bulb to shine to the dash. the slightly curved part at the end of the piece is where the light eventually ends up, thus illuminating the dash.

what i did was i sanded this part to dull the surface, effectively "frosting" the area where the light "exits"... this more effectively illuminates the dash because most of the light gets "trapped" in the frosted area... (diffusion?)

i don't know if i used the correct terms but trust me, it worked for me.

you can try this on a small part of the plastic thingy, you'll notice that the dulled part will show more light
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  #24  
Old 07-26-2005, 05:24 AM
redbaronph123's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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not everyone would agree to this.. but it is an alternative...

Just sharing: My Dash Lighting Project
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  #25  
Old 08-20-2005, 01:47 AM
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All I did was clean the prisms with alcohol, clean the white reflector with alcohol too, then paint it flat white with some model paint, installed some new bulbs of the same wattage, and tonight, I was able to see the odometer and trip lights without straining for the very first time.
-Joe
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  #26  
Old 08-20-2005, 08:52 AM
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I know I will get some flack from this but......
In my old 84 500 SEL, I cleaned the white reflectors and painted them "bright silver", cleaned all the rest of the parts and installed (here it comes) some Eiko 194 bulbs. The Eiko bulbs are rated at 14V .27A which comes out to 3.8 W. Be carefull not all 194 bulbs are created equal.
I did this about 3 years ago and have had no problems and can see the guages with the brightness turned down quite a bit. You can try this at your own risk.
By the way, I have all the parts I would need to replace anything that melts.

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