Jump to content

New LED Dash Light!


Recommended Posts

I just finished putting LED 194 bulbs in the dash of the Riv.  It really makes a world of difference.  Looks very crisp.

 

It wasn't easy, it wasn't hard. There are two removable panels under the dash on either side of the steering column.  This gives access to the backside of the two round gauge clusters.  There are small removable sockets that the bulbs plug in to, and the socket twist into the back of the dash.    Being a contorsionist helps.  

 

Also, the LED bulbs are polarity sensitive, so it may be necessary to install and then re-install.

110_0051.JPG

Edited by TampaRiv
grammer (see edit history)
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

It would help if you mentioned what they were that you installed. Were they super whites??? Brand???  Part numbers???  I installed a set in a customers '63 some years ago & they had a blue tint to them. Thought the blue looked really cool.  Yours seem to appear to be very white/bright.  ALSO looks good.

 

Tom T.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just searched Amazon for 194 LED bulbs.  A number of options came up, and some had the LEDs oriented left and right. Those don't work as well in the dash.  SO, I then repeated that search, and bought some that have what I would describe as a white "nose" on them.  Those were much brighter.  A 12 pack cost $9.99.  I chose WHITE, but they offer different colors.

 

ALSO, I dropped two of the sockets as I was removing them to do the replacement.  SO, I had to order a set of sockets from a donor Riv that I found on ebay.  I even dropped one of those, so luckily I was covered.  Now there are three of those things just sitting under the dash somewhere....

Edited by TampaRiv (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Tom, I did take the bezels off, and even removed the speedometer.  And the illumination bulbs are easy to see, so they are easy to remove from the front with some needle-nosed pliers.  BUT, when you try to insert the new bulb in the socket, the required pressure can break the socket and it falls down in behind the dash somewhere. After doing that twice, I started to apply a little bit of Vaseline to the bulb, which worked well.

 

However, replacing any of the "idiot" lights (RH bezel) from the front is not possible.  If you remove the RH bezel you will see what I mean.   So, with respect to the "idiot" lights, the answer is to reach up through the access panels and twist out the socket, replace the bulbs, and reach the socket back in and twist them back into their respective holes.  Easier said than done if, like me, you are well-endowed in the hand department if you know what I mean.  But, as usual, I got 'er done!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, they are dimmable.  Oddly, for me, having some ambient light helps me see at night.  This is the same reason I don't like to watch TV in the dark.  

But, I have yet to take the car out and drive it at night.   I'll post the results when I do.   Thanks Ed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is much easier to replace the bulbs, and do other work behind the instrument panel, if you remove the dash pad and work from above.

 

The access holes below are small and you have to lay on your back and work up over your head. When you remove the dash pad, everything is open, lots of light.

 

Too late for you but I hope it helps others.

 

Please post Amazon link to exact bulbs you used to help us find them.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, RivNut said:

I don't have nearly the problems seeing at night when driving the 2020 Encore GX with its improved lighting.  Until I replace the old T3 headlights, I need all the help I can get.

I put in Superbrights Cool white in my interior. Some of the new LEDs were difficult to get in laying on my back. I am a proponent of not removing anything I do not have to take out. Not because of I’m lazy but with rust and difficult to reach fasteners seems never to go back 100% the way it was I leave it alone. An exception when I recovered my dash pad I did much better removing the Pilar chrome covers so I could remove and replace. Could very well be me, but zi found it worth my time and effort to remove the A Pilar covers. You may remember giving me tips on painting plastic vinyl covering.,zThe painted finish has held up famously with no fading or scratches, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, TampaRiv said:

Hey Jim what's the procedure for removing the dash pad?  frankly, the thought of doing it scares me.

 

It is very easy. There are a handful of Phillips-head screws under the leading edge that you remove.  Probably 6, but IDK for sure. Make sure you get them all! The are some photos in the Shop Manual that show the dash pad retainer details.

 

Sitting in the passenger seat, with the passenger door open, slide the dash pad toward you (toward the rear of the car) about 2 inches.  If you have never had it out, it is probably stuck in place. There is nothing to really pull on. I put my finger tips in the defrost vent cutout and pull gently. You can also bump the leading edge of the dash pad with the heel of your hand to break it free.

 

Once you have slid it out 2", lift up the leading edge and slide the pad toward (over the top of the steering wheel). Pass it out the passenger door to your assistant.

 

Reverse to install (much easier).

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

....to add to Jim`s response, BE CAREFUL WITH THE LEADING EDGE OF THE DASH PAD! This is especially true when re-installing the dash pad.

  There are spring loaded stirrups on the forward edge of the dash pad which pivot down and forward to secure the forward edge. When initially contacting the stirrups, it can take some extra pressure to encourage them to pivot from a horizontal position downward. The first instinct is to push, or worse yet, strike, the forward edge of the dash pad. If the original dash pad has become more brittle, and they all have, pressure on the forward edge of the pad will crack it.

  Ask me how I know  😵  😱 😭

Tom

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, TampaRiv said:

Well, Tom, I did take the bezels off, and even removed the speedometer.  And the illumination bulbs are easy to see, so they are easy to remove from the front with some needle-nosed pliers.  BUT, when you try to insert the new bulb in the socket, the required pressure can break the socket and it falls down in behind the dash somewhere. After doing that twice, I started to apply a little bit of Vaseline to the bulb, which worked well.

 

However, replacing any of the "idiot" lights (RH bezel) from the front is not possible.  If you remove the RH bezel you will see what I mean.   So, with respect to the "idiot" lights, the answer is to reach up through the access panels and twist out the socket, replace the bulbs, and reach the socket back in and twist them back into their respective holes.  Easier said than done if, like me, you are well-endowed in the hand department if you know what I mean.  But, as usual, I got 'er done!

Hey Rich,

 

Looks great.  I'm actually working on this very project and just waiting for my replacement bulbs to arrive.  I'm taking your exact approach, removing the front bezels and accessing the ones I can from the front and the others from the access doors under the dash.  I'm having a hard time with the LH bulbs behind the speedometer (1 closets to the steering column at the bottom of the gauge cluster).  How do you remove the needles/hands on the speedometer to remove the faceplace?  Also my highbeam light has never worked and found that it was replaced with a different type of bulb with a ground wire coming out of it.  Not sure if this was because the prior owner lost the twist style socket and this was their idea to replace it, but I've ordered some new sockets from Napa and will try replacing it with the original style.

 

Any other lessons learned that you can share would be greatly appreciated.  Liked the idea of adding some vaseline when pushing them back into the sockets.

 

Thanks

Robert    

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Robert,   The needles DO NOT come off the speedo.  Once the chrome bezel is removed (One allen screw at the bottom), you will see six 1/4" hex screws.   ONLY 3 of these hold the speedo in place.   BUT...It really isn't completely necessary to remove the speedo in order to replace the 3 bulbs behind it.  Once the bezel is off you will see the 3 bulbs;  one at 12 o'clock, one at 5 o'clock, and one at 7 o'clock.   The one at 7 is easy to do, reach in and twist out the socket and swap the bulb, re-insert.  The one at 12 isn't too bad either, reach over the top to get it.  The one at 5 is a bitch. If you can get in there with needle-nosed pliers and pluck out the bulb, then install the new one the same way, try that. 

 

If the speedo has to come out, you will un-screw the speedo cable and then the 3 hex screws, and take loose the trip odometer cable. The speedo will pull straight out, but there is a wire attached to the back of it, so detatch that too. You'll need to reach in and guide the trip cable as you pull the speedo out.  Be careful not to bend those needles!

 

As an edit to this post, I should add that removing the speedometer will not appreciably facilitate the swap of the 5-o'clock bulb from the back. 

Edited by TampaRiv
grammer (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I can add something to dash pad removal. For those with an aftermarket speaker in the dash u will have to pull the speaker out first. It won’t clear the bracing under dash pad.


Can’t speak for the stock speaker other than not to forget to unplug it 😬

 

my 65 only has 4 screws holding it in on the front. I too cracked my original brittle dash pad 😩

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/9/2020 at 10:11 AM, 1965rivgs said:

Ask me how I know  😵  😱 😭

Tom, I recovered my dash pad. I made mistakes and banged up the from edges. As usual I had another do -over. Tom T suggested I take out the chrome A pillars for me to remove and replace the dash. Yes, it is probably more labor to take out the A pillar covers but when working by yourself you have to make adjustments. The dash goes in and out real easy. I had no room for scuffs on my dash pad. Got lucky and used DashTop and refitted the DashTop cover. Then primed and painted the dash. It’s been 24-30 months and no fading, cracks, chip or peel on the pad. I had the paint matched and mixed at a place that does paint for cars. Lucky.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/8/2020 at 3:43 PM, TampaRiv said:

I just finished putting LED 194 bulbs in the dash of the Riv.  It really makes a world of difference.  Looks very crisp.

 

It wasn't easy, it wasn't hard. There are two removable panels under the dash on either side of the steering column.  This gives access to the backside of the two round gauge clusters.  There are small removable sockets that the bulbs plug in to, and the socket twist into the back of the dash.    Being a contorsionist helps.  

 

Also, the LED bulbs are polarity sensitive, so it may be necessary to install and then re-install.

110_0051.JPG

 

Thanks for this post and the photo. 

 

How many bulbs were needed to do both gauges and the console on a 64? 

 

There are many choices on Amazon for LED 194 Super Bright bulbs. They might all be the same but maybe not. If you could post the Amazon link to the actual ones you purchased that would be helpful. I like the look of yours and want to achieve the same results. Thanks! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Paul.  I am quite happy with the result.  I believe it took a total of 11 new bulbs, I think 7 of which were 194 bulbs, and the rest were 57 bulbs (not 1157).   But don't quote me on the count.  The bulbs are cheap enough, so if you buy a 10-pack of 194s, you'll have enough, and likewise with a 6-pack of 57 led bulbs.

 

Here's a link to the 194s I bought.   Cheers from Tampa,   Rich.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08C5997M7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...