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Discussion Starter #1
Finally decided to get round to do something that's affected every C900 I've ever had, even the new ones. I'm sure you've all experienced it. That is instrument illumination getting dimmer and dimmer. The standard bulb is a 3 watt 501 wedge bulb. That's what my book says anyway. I normally upgrade to a 5 watt immediately and clean the bulb or replace it every year. They do degrade and get dirty. This gives a slight improvement, but I still find myself squinting to see what the gauges read sometimes.

Now finally, after much searching, I've found 10 watt replacements. Also found I could clean the green filter using a cotton bud shoved in the hole. Amazing how much dirt came off. The difference now is fantastic, really bright and the dimmer still works fine. Had them in for a fortnight now and nothing's melted, so seems OK heat wise. Also applied a little vaseline around the seating of the bulb holder and you can remove it easily by hand now, even in the vert with the steeper rake screen.

I know the difficulty of getting in there puts a lot of people off, but the effort is really worth it.
 

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Mine just stop working at random times and I have to get my hand in there and jiggle them arund a little bit to get them working again. It happens so often that I have the fastener removed at all times. that way when they stop working in can do it at a stop light.
 

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Mine just stop working at random times and I have to get my hand in there and jiggle them arund a little bit to get them working again. It happens so often that I have the fastener removed at all times. that way when they stop working in can do it at a stop light.
Hey! I thought I was the only one doing that!!!! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Mine just stop working at random times and I have to get my hand in there and jiggle them arund a little bit to get them working again. It happens so often that I have the fastener removed at all times. that way when they stop working in can do it at a stop light.
I lifted the two little contacts each side very slightly to get a firmer contact. It stopped that problem.
 

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Watch out, the 10W may destroy the printed circuit and even distort the plastic housing
 

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Was thinking of using these but have been disappointed with them in some applications. Some versions don't throw much light radially. Might consider if I encounter problems. Do they dim OK?
They give off plenty of light, that is for sure. They do say that their bulbs can be safely dimmed. I do have mine dimmed a bit and have had no problems. I'll try to remember to snap some pictures for comparison verses the original type.. I'm thinking I saw a pack of the original type bulbs laying around somewhere..
 

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Redfaced but standing tall...

Ok my first day on Saabnet and I'm coming clean. I have had my SPG primary transportation since '98 and the past few years I have been living with no instrument lights. I bypassed the rheostadt, replaced bulbs, cleaned everything and literally last week I finally got out the manual to do some serious circuit tracing looking to bypass something.

When looking at the wiring diagram I learned to my complete humiliation that there are two rheostadts, one for the knobs etc and a second one secretted away inside the instrument cluster. I probably knew this 10 years ago but...

I turned it and could not believe my eyes. I race Mustangs, have had over 50 vintage cars, motorcycles and boats which I restored / built. Just in case someone out there didn't know...

Redfaced...

M
 

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Ok. I forgot about snapping pictures the other night, so just went and did that now.. and in the process managed to drop one of the LED bulbs down the defroster vent. ;oops:
I used the standard 3 watt bulb for comparison.



LED on the left. I really should try again for a slightly better picture.. but these should get the idea across..


LED on the right.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks, the poor lighting of the gauges is one of my few complaints with this car. I finally fixed the lights by cleaning the contacts and using dielectric grease, but they are not bright enough. I just ordered a set of these, I am anxious to see how well the LED lights work.
Lets hear what you think when they're in.
 

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...........alright, I'll have a sniff at this again,

(the first units I tried some time ago ran pretty hot and had a poor, uneven light spray.)

Regnisfon20, Did you install white or green coloured units?
And do they dim down much via the rheostat?
Just looking at your pics........they look to go too far in brightness, - does the black of the cluster start to shine as it appears to in the photo?
 

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I am very aware of this possibility and am watching it closely. Two weeks now and no adverse effects so far.
This is not long enough. The housing will melt over time.

If you want brighter lighting, you should consider LEDs which do not generate heat.

However, night driving and bright instrument lights don't go well together. Ask any airline pilot. ;)
 
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