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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Finished my cluster bulb led conversion. Curious though because the main reason I wanted to do this was the needles on my lower left (fuel and temp) gauges don’t light. I’ve gotten all 5 bulbs replaced and I could kind of tell what they “covered” as the color light was different between the old and new bulbs. Those two still don’t have lighted needles. Are they all like this or is there something I missed? A 6th bulb??
B2E2FDA9-EC2E-40B5-8EAA-936FC15824FE.jpeg
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, 5.8L, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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Hey bud, first thing I notice is that your front plastic gauge faces look like they’ve slid down. See how the top gauges don’t touch the curved line but the bottom ones cross the curved line? Also I notice that you have light breaking through around the needle pivot in the center of the top two gauges. You might need to slide those faces upward a bit and glue them down.

Also look at these pics of mine. And how the LED bulbs have the little squares that make the light - they point in directions and don’t really give off 360° of light. The gauges get light to the needles with those clear plexiglass looking things in the pic (circled) that direct the light kind of like fiber optics. If the light isn’t pointing at them, it will be slightly dimmer. Make sure your bulbs are connecting to the back film well also. In the before/after pic here, my far left bulb wasn’t making good contact and I had to clean the contact points and then it was good.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ahhhh... I have noticed at startup those faces move when the volt meter swings online sometimes. That would make sense...

It wasn't lit with the incandescent either so I don't think it's the diode placement, though I could see how that might be an issue in some cases.

How much of a pain is it going in through that plastic face? To this point I haven't taken that part of the cluster apart. Do those individual "modules" for lack of a better way to put it come out pretty easily?
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, 5.8L, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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Yeah, with the face slid down, it might be blocking some light getting to the needle - it might cause your gauges to not operate smoothly also, with the plastic face touching the pin. Take the whole cluster back out and remove the clear lens and the black bezel. The modules literally pull right out - they are plugged into the contacts in the cluster backing (white). Just wiggle them out with your fingers. Once you get the modules on the left out (they come out far left first, then the second pair of gauges second), you will see how the face will line up with the edges - it’s pretty obvious. I had one loose one, I just dabbed a couple drops of superglue under the top edge and let it dry for a few minutes and it was good. Then place the gauges back in, fuel/volt first, then oil/temp last, black bezel, then clear lens. Then you’re good. I bet that’s your light issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah sounds like it. Thanks a lot!

probably tackle that tomorrow when the sun is out again!
 

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Eric
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For the record, I think this is a really cool and practical mod using new technology for our old rigs. Does the dash-dimmer-switch still work with the LED's or are there issues with that? Has anyone done a tech writeup on this yet, by any chance?
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, 5.8L, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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For the record, I think this is a really cool and practical mod using new technology for our old rigs. Does the dash-dimmer-switch still work with the LED's or are there issues with that? Has anyone done a tech writeup on this yet, by any chance?
The LEDs I bought do, in fact, dim - I’ve heard that some don’t though. The ones I got were from Amazon.


I haven’t looked to see if there are any write-ups. I could probably do one if not. I should have enough pictures of when I did mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I bought the same LEDas ms88bronc. They do dim. I noticed the "minium" which previously was somewhere around barely visible is maybe at half of the max that the incandescents would put out. Overall real happy with the change. The AC especially looks good. The red and blue of the blend door control come out great with the whiter light.
 

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I have to add for the dimming with my LED swap, and after swapping the climate control bulbs, mine do not dim much. They will top out just above the brightness of the standard incandescents at full bright, but I am more than happy with that. But of course I went with blue LEDs in the pictured style.

154110
 

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Eric
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The LEDs I bought do, in fact, dim - I’ve heard that some don’t though. The ones I got were from Amazon.


I haven’t looked to see if there are any write-ups. I could probably do one if not. I should have enough pictures of when I did mine.
Will those bulbs also work for the "indicator" lights that run along the bottom of the instrument panel for the CEL, 4wd, etc.?
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, 5.8L, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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Will those bulbs also work for the "indicator" lights that run along the bottom of the instrument panel for the CEL, 4wd, etc.?
Yes, all of the bulbs are the same. I left standard bulbs in all the idiot light spots and put LEDs in the turn signal spots. I figured I didn't need excessive brightness in all of those! Also, I wasn't sure if the reduced electrical resistance would screw anything up if I replaced ALL the bulbs.
 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, 5.8L, E4OD, BW1356, 4.56 gears
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i thought the LED bulbs caused some problems with the way other lights worked (i don't remember the details)
I think that is for the tail-lights. There’s not enough resistance in the bulb so it burns like the brakes are on when they aren’t. You have to install an in-line resistor to make it work right.
 

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I think that is for the tail-lights. There’s not enough resistance in the bulb so it burns like the brakes are on when they aren’t. You have to install an in-line resistor to make it work right.

that sounds right
 
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