Accessing speedometer bulb ???

Interior and Electrical

  1. gporeilly

    gporeilly Well-Known Member

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    Need help !!!
    Lights in centre dash cluster of my 1988 5th too dim so in process of changing bulbs to #2825 5W..... have changed the bulb behind the gas gauge and the one for the gear shifter selection no problem. (Amazing difference !!!)
    How the hell do I access the bulb behind the speedometer gauge ???
    Do I really have to disconnect the speedo cable to access ?
    Some members gave changed dash lights to led so hopefully someone can give me some direction.

    Any and all advice much appreciated.
     
  2. Camtron

    Camtron Well-Known Member

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    Yup. Pop the speedo cable off and pull the gauges out. It’s not a bad job at all.
     
  3. gporeilly

    gporeilly Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the post. I have followed the OEM shop manual exactly. Steering wheel cover off but impossible to put enough pressure on the speedometer clip to release. I have small paws so obviously I am missing something. Can’t imagine try to re- connect.
    If I was smart I would leave as is but my OCD demands I finish the job I started ..... all this aggravation to change a couple of bulbs.... just can’t give up.....
    Comments appreciated
     
  4. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not familiar with M-body clusters however,,,,,,what sometimes helps to get at the speedo cable is disconnect it at the trans and then you can pull it through the firewall grommet to get better access to the rear of the cluster.

    Converting to LED dash illumination was the best thing I ever did. Went from being barely visible at night to being able to turn the dimmer down. That includes the rest also like the radio, HVAC controls, shift indicator (console shift), etc......
     
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  5. Camtron

    Camtron Well-Known Member

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    I just stuck with incandescent bulbs, but I did remove the little translucent blue covers from the bulb. Made a night and day difference. LEDs would be cool, but my OCD would want me to convert all the bulbs on the car and add a sequential harness for the rear turn signals. I wouldn’t be able to sleep with a mix of the two bulbs on the car, lol.
    I got my speedo cable off pretty easy. took the mounting screws out, pulled the gauges forward with my left hand, snuck my right hand behind to pop the tab with my finger.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
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  6. gporeilly

    gporeilly Well-Known Member

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    Mounting screws ?? Please explain exactly where and which mounting screws You are referring to. When I had all the screws out I tried wiggling forward a little but no go. Everything was loose except for the speedo.
     
  7. gporeilly

    gporeilly Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your comments. A friend suggested the same to disconnect at transmission. That may very well be my next option. Getting close to putting “Lucky” in-offsite storage for the winter so may have to wait till next summer to try again.
     
  8. Mikes5thAve

    Mikes5thAve Well-Known Member

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    Being a 5th chances are good you have cruise control so you would disconnect it under the hood which is a lot easier instead of at the transmission.
    I've never had to do anything special with the cable. Usually the cluster pulls right out and unclips itself or you can get back there with your fingers or possibly a screw driver to push at it. It's a plastic clip that doesn't need a lot of force.
     
  9. Camtron

    Camtron Well-Known Member

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    The ones that hold your speedo and gas gauge in your dashboard...
     
  10. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    Good point, I never thought of the cruse control.
     
  11. gporeilly

    gporeilly Well-Known Member

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    I installed sequential module “STS Universal” for my taillights from webelectricproducts.com..... very cool effect and sure you will love the result.
     
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  12. gporeilly

    gporeilly Well-Known Member

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    Success at last !!!
    All dash lights changed to #2825 (5W). Originals were #194 (3W) but not bright enough. Don't know if due to age or not. Was going to go with #168 (4W) but said not taking a change on regretting to use the #2825 in light (no pun intended ) of all the work involved and no intention of doing it over.
    Thank you for the helpful advise from fellow members. Just for the record it is was impossible to change the speedometer and the high beam bulbs WITHOUT disconnecting he speedometer cable as instructed in the OEM shop manual. At least on my 1988 5th Ave.

    The difference in illumination is amazing and very pleased with final outcome of this very frustrating project.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
  13. LSM360

    LSM360 Well-Known Member

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    It is a little frustrating because usually the speedometer cable doesn't have a lot of spare length to play with, but being stiff, it does help when pressing the speedometer back in to lock it in place.
     
  14. LSM360

    LSM360 Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't there tend to be a reliability issue with some of these LED's when using in older incandescent sockets?

    Also, years ago I tried them in my Diplomat dash with the stock blue/green covers, and they were so bright they took away the green tint which I kind of like, and just too bright. I can't remember now, but does the dimmer still work with these 2825's?