Source LED Instrument Panel lights

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Gadget Tech' started by Crawdaddy, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I finally got around to tearing my dash apart enough to get to my instrument cluster. So, I pulled out the main bulb I was after that illuminates the bottom half of my speedometer. Well, it appeared that the bulb was non-removeable from the base. Everything I can find lists it at one of 3 sylvania bulbs, none of which had the base to go into the instrument cluster. However, I dissected the bulb assembly I pulled out and it appears to be one of these normal bulbs with the legs bent out and soldered to the base. The base says PC168 and to replace entire assembly. I was able to make out 168 on the bulb also, which corresponds to a sylvania bulb. So, in the end, I want replace these bulbs with the brightest LED bulbs I can find. I like bright dashes and I NEVER want to have to tear back into the dash this far.... Thanks in advance.
  2. tlperry68

    tlperry68 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    So are you going to post some pictures when its all done?
  3. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    it sounds like your bulbs are like my newer ones. to change them, you need to remove the bulb from the base -pull really hard- and bend the contacts on your new type 168 led bulb to meet the contacts in the base. press firmly and make sure theyre tight- i have one out because it was lose. when you put them back in, you may also have to turn some a half turn as led bulbs only work one direction. hope this helps!
  4. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    After doing some investigation on the Autozone website, it looks like they sell replacement bases for the instrument panel. I still need to find some suitable LEDs to put in the bases. Tommorow is another day and I'll hopefully find and get all the parts I need locally to replace all these bulbs and get the dash back together... but it's doubtful. I'll probably have to order some bulbs that emit the right light pattern for the instrument panel. I'll get some pics after it's done.
  5. JMoney02

    JMoney02 Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Hey, Crawdaddy, did you do a search on this I remember a post last month and the person who did the work stated where they got the bulbs they used from. They also stated that you did need to pull them hard out from the base and when reinstalling them they used a small amount of some type adhesive to hold them in place since I believe he had to take it a part once after putting it back together because a bulb came loose? I believe it showed a night picture of the dash after he was done.....Will this help????? lights

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  6. dwill3015

    dwill3015 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

  7. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

  8. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Did you have to get any special pattern bulbs or anything? I thought that the instrument panel lights for general illumination ran off of indirect light. LEDs provide fairly directed light, which would leave dark portions of the cluster. I was planning on getting some of the LED bulbs that consist of several LEDs on one socket to provide more 360 degree light. Any thoughts on that?
  9. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    the bulbs i used each have 2 leds in them, and a plastic refractor on both sides to help spread light. You can see in the pictures some spots are slightly darker but it is not as noticable as it is in the pictures. The bulbs are preset in the bases for a standard 194/168 application. You just have to bend the contacts to the side because of the housing contacts. I would def. go for the bulbs with multiple leds and any other features to provide better light direction. Hope this helps.
  10. fuzznuts

    fuzznuts New Member

    where can one buy these blue LED lights to install in your dash what size and how many would you need to do the swap?

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