Instrument Panel Lights

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Instrument Panel Lights

emunder
My instrument panel lights are a really dim green. Is this a pretty easy fix? Thinking just pull the panel & replace w/ better lights or are their other causes for this? The small lights under the pull switches for the headlights & dimmer are bright but these are really hard to see even at night time, in the day you can't even tell they are on.
1986 Ford F150 XLT 4X4. 300 I6 w/ 4 speed manual.
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Dorsai
emunder wrote
My instrument panel lights are a really dim green. Is this a pretty easy fix? Thinking just pull the panel & replace w/ better lights or are their other causes for this? The small lights under the pull switches for the headlights & dimmer are bright but these are really hard to see even at night time, in the day you can't even tell they are on.
The usual cause for this is the colored lenses over the bulbs darkening with time.  If you like the green color you can just remove the lenses and replace the white bulbs with colored LEDs, or you can do like I did and remove the lenses and leave the bulbs white - and now I have very easy-to-read instruments at night.
Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

emunder
Ok good to know. I'll have to pull the panel and see what's going on back there. Thanks!
1986 Ford F150 XLT 4X4. 300 I6 w/ 4 speed manual.
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

1986F150Six
There are 5 bulbs [194] behind blue filters. Over time, the blue plastic filters become opaque. I have gone the LED route, but later decided to remove the blue filters and replace the clear bulbs with 194B [blue tint] and the result is what I imagine the dash looked like when new.

1986 F150 4.9L manual O.D. 3.08 Duraspark MSD ignition w/ no EGR
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Gary Lewis
Administrator
In reply to this post by Dorsai
Or, I'm told you can polish the blue filters/lenses and remove the oxidation that is causing them to be dark.  I've not tried it, but I wonder how long it lasts.

On Big Blue I'm running blue LED's w/o those filters and don't particularly care for it.  Too much blue.  David/1986F150Six is running blue-tinted incandescent bulbs w/o the filters, if I remember correctly, and really likes the setup.

EDIT: David beat me.  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

1986F150Six
We were typing at the same time, Gary.
1986 F150 4.9L manual O.D. 3.08 Duraspark MSD ignition w/ no EGR
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

emunder
Cool! Where are you guys getting the LED bulbs?
1986 Ford F150 XLT 4X4. 300 I6 w/ 4 speed manual.
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

FuzzFace2
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
1986F150Six wrote
There are 5 bulbs [194] behind blue filters. Over time, the blue plastic filters become opaque. I have gone the LED route, but later decided to remove the blue filters and replace the clear bulbs with 194B [blue tint] and the result is what I imagine the dash looked like when new.
I went with green LED's with out the filters on the gauge panel.
The head light / wiper light I left stock as I could not find a LED to fit in that space, same for the HVAC control panel factory stock.


Gary Lewis wrote
Or, I'm told you can polish the blue filters/lenses and remove the oxidation that is causing them to be dark.  I've not tried it, but I wonder how long it lasts.

On Big Blue I'm running blue LED's w/o those filters and don't particularly care for it.  Too much blue.  David/1986F150Six is running blue-tinted incandescent bulbs w/o the filters, if I remember correctly, and really likes the setup.

EDIT: David beat me.
That work be fine to try if they did not turn to dust in your hand when pulled
I had 1 set that's what happened an dif not then the little ears broke off turning it  to junk.
Dave ----
81 F100 flare side 300 six/T18 project
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1980-Ford-F100?page=1
81 F100 style side 300 six/SROD parts truck
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1981-Ford-F100
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

emunder
Nice! That looks great!
1986 Ford F150 XLT 4X4. 300 I6 w/ 4 speed manual.
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

emunder
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by emunder
Found a bunch of sets on ebay. I kind of like the ice blue...ordered! Can't wait to swap them out.

1986 Ford F150 XLT 4X4. 300 I6 w/ 4 speed manual.
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Gary Lewis
Administrator
That's probably pretty close to original.  Mine is much more BLUE than that.  I think I'd like Ice Blue.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Rembrant
In reply to this post by emunder
emunder wrote
Found a bunch of sets on ebay. I kind of like the ice blue...ordered! Can't wait to swap them out.
Can you post a link to the Ice Blue ones you purchased?

Where did you get the picture of the dash with these lights installed?
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

emunder
Here you go! Pic was in the listing. Gary they had a set that was much more blue but I thought these just looked more factory so went with them. Below was another blue set they had but they seemed pretty bright. Never noticed they had the warm white...those may have matched the headlight switch lights better.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/80-86-Ford-F100-F150-F250-F350-Truck-Gauge-Cluster-LED-Dash-Kit-Ice-Blue/273534768705 




1986 Ford F150 XLT 4X4. 300 I6 w/ 4 speed manual.
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Rembrant
In reply to this post by emunder
I ordered and installed a set of these Ice Blue instrument panel lights and I LOVE THEM! Best $10 I've ever spent on the old truck. I don't drive it at night very often, but anytime I did it was annoying because I could barely read the gauges (Not only were they dim, only 4/5 of the bulbs were working). In any case, sometimes just a little thing will make a vehicle much nicer to drive and operate.

iPhone pics at night are a bit grainy, my apologies, but you can kinda get the idea of how they look. (PS: I don't think the dimmer switch changes the brightness much, but I believe I had them on full brightness here). Thanks Emunder for the heads up on these. I'm going to order another set as spares.



1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Rembrant
PS: The last two picture I posted are not a good representation of the illumination imho. They look too bright in those pics, but I think it was just because of the iPhone in the dark.

The first picture seems pretty accurate.

I don't find them overpowering at all. They seem just right.
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
Just remember to leave the charge warning light alone (if you have one)

Or solder a 500ohm resistor across the LED bulb holder.
An LED won't pass enough current to excite the alternator.
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Gary Lewis
Administrator
In reply to this post by Rembrant
Cory - Its is really difficult to get accurate pics like that with an iPhone.  Or any other automagic camera.  The camera adjusts for the brightness, so differing levels of brightness look the same.

Anyway, those gauges look great!  And in my limited experience it is rare you want to turn the brightness down.  We went to great lengths to add adjustability to David's truck when he changed to LED and he didn't need it.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

844rd
In reply to this post by emunder
I got the Blue but I really like the Ice Blue. If I had to do it again I would go with the Ice Blue. Just be sure to check them before you screw it all back in. With LED's the is a 50 50 shot you put them in the right way, so if one is not burning just turn it 180 deg. and it should work.
Kevin 84 F-150 300 i6 Manual 3 speed overdrive 2.47 rear end
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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Gary Lewis
Administrator
844rd wrote
I got the Blue but I really like the Ice Blue. If I had to do it again I would go with the Ice Blue. Just be sure to check them before you screw it all back in. With LED's the is a 50 50 shot you put them in the right way, so if one is not burning just turn it 180 deg. and it should work.
Yes!  That's exactly what my blue LED's look like, and I MUCH prefer the Ice Blue.

And you are 100% right on testing before re-installing the cluster and bezel.  Almost for sure you'll have some not working.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: Instrument Panel Lights

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
I'm surprised they don't indicate polarity.
Every other diode I know does, even if it's only long leg, short leg.
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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