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tired of dim dash lights? heres your easy fix,youll love this tip

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bassmannh, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. bassmannh

    bassmannh Registered Member

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    If you are tired of your dash lights being so dim,and not matching the aftermarket guages you have installed, all you have to do is pull fof the instrument bezel and take out the 194 bulbs and put in new #912 bulbs these are a little larger and much brighter than stock,they plug right in the same way as the 194 bulbs, but you cant get them in from the back side because the bulb part is bigger.some might be a little tricky to get out I used a pair of needle nose pliers with the jaws covered with pieces of vacuum hose. I have been using them for over a year with no problems. You will love being able to see your dash at night,you can even get some of those silicone little colored caps to make em green, red or blue.
     
  2. Confedneck

    Confedneck 3/4 ton status

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    SWEET!!!!
     
  3. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I've been a bit leery of doing this because of the extra heat generated. I notice on most clusters I pull, even from the stock bulbs the plastic is sometimes discolored from the heat. I know on the cars, GM did actually use two different light bulbs, one brighter than the other, but only in one or two locations.

    Anyone tried LED 194 replacements? Only downside is that the light is more "focused" and they cost a fair amount. The dash lighting setup is horrid anyways, so the focused light of the LED's may be a non issue if the stock reflection scheme works decently. But less heat, more light, and longer life are big benefits.
     
  4. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Funny, I just replaced all the dash lights last fall with the stock replacements and AFAIC, the dash is plenty bright at night. I guess some folks like REALLY bright dash lights. As long as I can see my gauges in the middle of the night I'm happy.

    Good tech tip on the install of the bigger bulbs, though..... /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. BowtieRed

    BowtieRed 1/2 ton status Author

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    mine don't turn on at all very often, if i rotate the light/dim switch REALLY slow sometimes i can get them to come on. . . otherwise i just hold a flashlight in my left hand, no joke, or turn on the inside lights. . . /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  6. TrcksR4ME

    TrcksR4ME 1/2 ton status

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    what are dash lights...

    If im lucky the voltmeter or gas gauge light will come on, but usually I'm in the dark, and now my top light quit working
    /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

    Good ole Chevy
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I guess I'm spoiled having no gauge bezel or dash pad in place, takes all of 2 minutes to pull the cluster. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Anyways, if you pull the cluster, replace what lights need replacing, scuff both the circuit board and lightbulb socket connectors up with steel wool (fine so as not to damage the PCB) and bend the tabs on the light sockets so that they make better contact with the PCB at all times.

    It is a pretty hokey bulb retention (and lighting) scheme, but when the setup is "tuned", it doesn't work too bad. With my eyes though, having the switch full bright is still about the only way I can read all the gauges easily.
     
  8. UseYourBlinker

    UseYourBlinker 1 ton status

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    What are dash light's? I pulled all of them out,because when I drive drunk at night they hurt my eyes... /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  9. woody9

    woody9 1/2 ton status

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    i thought they only had 2 positions. off, and only candle-bright? /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
     
  10. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    I have to keep my maglite in my lap when driving at night all the time because my gaugge lights do not work AT ALL. MY interior lights dont work either so thats not an option for me. Anyone know of anything I should check for to remedy this? Thx
     
  11. mosesburb

    mosesburb For Rent Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Just FYI: You can install 168 bulbs to acheive a similar effect. They are 1/3 again brighter than 194 bulbs are. If you want a bulb with less output you can go with a 161 (these can be a bitch to find though).
    The breakdown is as follows:
    161=1cp
    194=2cp
    168=3cp
    I like to run the 168 bulbs as illumination and warning lights, 194 bulbs as turn signal indicators, and the 161 bulb as the high beam indicator so it doesn't blind me. I have been using this setup for years and have had very good luck with it.
    BTW all of thes bulbs share the same bayonet mount and look identical.
     
  12. tecton

    tecton 1/2 ton status

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    while we are on the subject of bulbs...anyone here have the clear sidemarker lenses from LMC or somewhere?
     
  13. supersize75

    supersize75 1/2 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  14. tori89k5

    tori89k5 1/2 ton status

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    I hate to spoil your plan...... but i dont recomend this. I did it years ago on my '74 and that nite on the way home, burned up the headlight switch and let alot of smoke out of the dash wiring. The 912 / 922 /906 bulbs pull too many amps. Plus yes, they will create more heat.
    Stick with the 168's . If your dimmer is finicky, replace your headlight switch, they cost about $8
     

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