Possible to replace panel bulbs without removing dash

Electrical & Ignition

  1. ideologist

    ideologist Member

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    Hello, the lighting in the dash of my 65 is really bad. Hard to see if there is any sort of exterior lighting (headlights, streetlights, the moon lol)

    Can I replace these bulbs with LEDs without removing the dash, or does the dash need to come out to get to the backs of the instrument panels? I have seen some beautiful member jobs using EL wire and would consider that also, just want to make sure I'm disassembling the right way

    Thank you!
    Patrick
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  2. rexus31

    rexus31 Senior Member

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    Before you start replacing bulbs, I'd replace the Voltage Regulator with a modern, solid state unit and see if that improves your dash light brightness.

    Mopar Voltage Regulator - Electronic Solid State with Correct Restoration Look | eBay
     
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  3. ideologist

    ideologist Member

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    I did, it helped very minimally. I'd like to make it noticeably brighter at the high end. The dimmer switch works but I'll probably need to clean it out, or replace with a new switch.
     
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  4. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    The bulbs are in removable sockets, so the dash does not need to come out. If you drop the trim panel under the steering column, you can get a hand to the circuit board on the back of the instrument cluster to remove the burned out bulbs, the sockets are a simple bayonet mount that take about 1/4 turn to remove. If your dash lights are just dim with do dead spots, the bulbs probably are still good. These cars suffered from dim dash lights from defective/corroded light switches or a poor ground to the cluster.

    Dave
     
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  5. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I just replaced my dash lights while a had the dash apart. The old lights barely lit the dials at night. Never were as bright as todays cars. This shows the leds at the brightest dimmer setting in daylight.
    6232B80F-0904-4572-9F32-EA3C84140359.jpeg
    My two gauge pods come out from the front for access to lights.
    The factory service manual will describe replacement procedure and list bulb sizes.
    EB689F20-ED09-4FD6-A79F-6B5E93BBFD8F.jpeg
    Buy quality leds and be sure to get full coverage leds. Note the diodes all four sides and top. These are dimmable and work with the dash switch. Superbrightleds has a great website with full range of colors available, various plug types and cross reference info.
     
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  6. rexus31

    rexus31 Senior Member

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    Were these plug and play? Which bulbs did you get?
     
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  7. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Yes.
    My car uses both the push-in and the two pin bayonet type sockets.
    The only change I had to make was to the console light wiring. Apparently leds are polarity sensitive. Had to reverse wiring at that connector.