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dim dash lights

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by marcus, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. marcus

    marcus Registered Member

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    Guys,

    A quick question I'm hoping, but is there any way to make the light in my dash a bit brighter, esp the speedo dial light. Even with the lights tunred up to full brughtness, the speedo is still a bit dark....

    Is it easy to replace the dash lights? Do I just unscrew the cover plate and there you go? What watt bulbs can I go up to?

    thanks

    Mark
     
  2. Michael

    Michael 1/2 ton status

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    The bulbs are fairly easy to get to from the back. Each bulb is in a plastic holder that turns about a quarter turn to pop out. A good cleaning usually helps, but new bulbs are as close as your local Pep Boys, autozone etc. They even have some halogen units available. The part numbers have been posted several times...try a search for them or it'll be pretty obvious when you see them on the rack at the store.
     
  3. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    It sounds like you may just have a bulb burned out. I think there are 2 bulbs for the speedo section. If one of them is burned out, then the speedo will look pretty dark. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  4. marcus

    marcus Registered Member

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    Assuming that there is a PepBoys or Autozone on the East coast of the States somewhere, then my closest one will only be a few thousand miles... /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

    Seriously though, I'll pop the bulbs an go down to the UK equivalant of Pep Boys (called Halfords if you're interested...catchy name isn't it!) and hope that US spec bulbs are more or less the same as UK spec...I'm sure they are.

    When you say the bulbs are accesible 'from the back', I suppose I have to take the front of the dash cover off to get to them?

    Thanks

    Mark
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    When you say the bulbs are accesible 'from the back', I suppose I have to take the front of the dash cover off to get to them?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Just to help out, yeah, you've got to pull the instrument cluster, and everything on top of it. Not sure if you can disconnect the speedo cable without pulling the dash pad, (probably can, just loosen the gauge cluster from teh dash steel, and push the speedo cable from teh engine side as far as you can into the cab, just be careful) but I can guarantee its easier to pull with the dash pad out of the way.

    Just make sure it works ok before reassembling everything /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  6. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    It's a tight fit, but it is possible to get your hand up into the back of the dash and change the lamps without removing the dash cluster. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. mattyblazer

    mattyblazer 1/2 ton status

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    Hi,
    I just did mine, you have to take off the dash cluster trim plate, than the plastic transparent lense cover, than the black plastic that "frames" around all the gauges (it is light blue on the underside).

    Next you can pull the gauges, the smaller ones with your fingers, not a big deal they just pull out(except the speedo, work around it), I pulled out the gauges 1 at a time and wiped out the reflective area behind them.

    The bulbs are simple to replace, they just pull strait out, for the ones behind the speedo I gently used a pair of needle nose pliers.

    Be careful not to move the needle's on the gauges, it could affect there accuracy.

    The bulbs are very common, used in many vehicles in marker lights, signals, and dash clusters. The bulb # will be 194 or 168.

    Its a lot easier than it sounds.

    Good luck,
    Matt
     
  8. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Holy cow!!! You did it just about the hardest way possible! /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif You know the little connectors that you pulled the bulbs out of? They remove from the backside of the dash with just a quarter of a turn, then you can remove the bulb from the little plastic holder, install a new one and then put the assembly back into the dash. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif There isn't any reason to take the gauges out of the dash to change the bulbs. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  9. Mike's '84

    Mike's '84 Registered Member

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    I put the brighter bulbs in and found those little colored covers...looks good in red /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  10. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Harry:

    How the heck did you manage to position your body on the floor on order to reach up behind the dash? I have a couple of bulbs out right now and a couple of weeks ago I decided to try replacing them without pulling th beazel off. I couldn't find and even remotely comfortable position that allowed me to see upwards AND get my arm up there. What's your secret, brother????? /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  11. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    bulb number is a 168 at the auto parts store...
    If you have the air vent tube under the steering column (for the heat/ac) pop it out and you can reach up behind the gauge cluster to pull out the holders that the lights clip into. 1/4 turn and pull out. Good luck... Jeremiah
    another thread
     
  12. mattyblazer

    mattyblazer 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah I know about the 1/4 turn thing on the sockets, but I wanted to wipe out the lighted area I'm in a high dust situation, and I didnt want to chance knocking off something with out seeing it.

    Matt
     
  13. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    See? I can't see anything up in there, but I know where I need to stick my hand and then feel around for the bulb holders. Ain't no way I'm taking out the whole dash just to change a 49-cent light bulb! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif It helps to set a trash can or something just outside the door of the truck. Then when you lay down on the floor of the truck you can rest your feet on the trash can instead of turning your spine into an inverted U. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  14. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    That makes sense, but your post made it sound like someone would have to take all that stuff apart just to change a light bulb. Doing a full dash restoration is quite a bit more involved than just changing out a bad lamp. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
     
  15. 4x4dreamer

    4x4dreamer 1/2 ton status

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    How many bulbs are in the dash altogether?? I need to replace some and I figure I might as well do 'em all while I'm at it. And where do I get the colored covers for the bulbs...I'm thinking green or blue.
     
  16. mattyblazer

    mattyblazer 1/2 ton status

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    I think there are 6 or 8 bulbs including the climate controll.
    Matt
     

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