Gauge Cluster Lights

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by 71smalbloc, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. 71smalbloc

    71smalbloc Member

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    Does anyone with an early 2nd gen have a picture of their dash with the background cluster lights on? I recently replaced all of the bulbs and the circuit board on my '71 and there is a dark region at the left side of the tachometer. I swapped bulbs around with known good ones and still nothing. I'm wondering if it's like that from the factory.

    Thanks
     
  2. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Did you clean the contacts on the sockets? (internal and external contacts)
    It only takes a little corrosion to prevent the wire contacts on the bulb from functioning.
    (There are 6 bulbs for background lighting in these clusters.)
     
  3. grzewnicki

    grzewnicki Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    May be a bad bulb holder also, contacts on them can have a bit of corrosion, swap with a known good bulb and holder to see if that fixes it.
     
  4. 71smalbloc

    71smalbloc Member

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    All of the contacts look good but that doesn't mean they are. I'll swap holders and see what happens. Thanks.
     
  5. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    You've already eliminated most of the possible causes.
    The background lighting is all on one parallel circuit and you're getting power to the rest of the lights.
    That only leaves the bulb, socket contacts or a bad spot on the circuit panel where the socket makes contact.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. lozipone

    lozipone New Member

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    If they are led bulbs they are one directional. Turn them 180 degrees and try it. I installed them on my 72 and found that out.
     
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  7. 71smalbloc

    71smalbloc Member

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    Turned out to be a bad socket. Thanks for the help!
     
  8. 71smalbloc

    71smalbloc Member

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    How do you like the LED's? Are they significantly brighter than the traditional bulbs?
     
  9. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I installed LEDs several years ago (when they were $5 each).

    They work very well for the background lighting and turn signal indicators but they are overkill for the Hi-Beam indicator.
    (Unless you like a blue laser beam in your face while driving at night.)

    Background lights... I used these.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-10X-T10-...hash=item467ebec88c:m:md8l0aWCQktbauobhBc3J5Q
    (10 for under $4.)

    There are literally hundreds of designs to choose from but you want bulbs which send light in all directions for background lighting.
    Use a bulb which is "forward firing" for turn signal indicators.
    (Big difference in the 79-81 clusters as the turn signal indicator relies on a plastic piece to redirect the light.)
     
    71smalbloc likes this.

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