8 cylinder front engine iconic vehicle
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By Addlight
#69397
Like I think most of us, my gauge cluster has dimmed with age, owing to the degradation of the reflective material in the channels that diffuse the bulbs at the bottom. I have a spare I have toyed with to see if I could improve this. I removed the channels from the cluster, cleaned off the old reflective materials, polished them and then tried a few things.

I tried reflective chrome paint, which turned out shiny on the outside but dull against the channel plastic. I tried some adhesive reflective silver Mylar, but that made little difference and also was prone to tearing very easily when reinstalling. I thought about maybe somehow affixing the shiny side of aluminum foil to the channels, but it seems unwieldy.

Has anyone developed a way to restore or improve the reflectivity of these channels? I would guess there are some higher lumen LEDs, but I would also like to try to restore the reflectivity so I can use incandescent bulbs and the rheostat for adjusting the brightness.

Thanks,
Matt
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By captainOCD
#70231
I wanted to keep the warmer light color of the incandescent, but actually be able to see the gauges. I just got some generic warm white led "bulbs". Even though the reflectors are kind of hashed on mine too, these light up much better than the incandescents. Dimmer even works So if you want a stock looking light, just brighter these seem to work ok.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y1 ... UTF8&psc=1

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By Landseer
#70273
I need to brighten up my 86 dash lights. Are you guys saying that the new led style lights are plug and play now?

I bought some sort of special kit to install LEDs a while back from one of the rennlist nasa worthy guys. But since misplaced it before install.

Is it now plug and play?
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By captainOCD
#70332
It was for me at least. Just remember leds are diodes so the polarity matters. Also might not be a bad idea to get leds less chinese than the ones I got so you are replacing them in a couple months.
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By Addlight
#70820
captainOCD wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:58 pm I wanted to keep the warmer light color of the incandescent, but actually be able to see the gauges. I just got some generic warm white led "bulbs". Even though the reflectors are kind of hashed on mine too, these light up much better than the incandescents. Dimmer even works So if you want a stock looking light, just brighter these seem to work ok.
Thanks. do you remember how you installed them (orientation), or how you tested them before installation so the polarity is correct. Is the positive side on the same side for all of them? I guess I can trace the positive and negative on the circuit, but if you remember that would be great.

Matt
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By captainOCD
#70829
So on my 86.5, when looking at the back of the cluster, the left and center bulbs were oriented one way, and the right bulb was the opposite. I want to say the negatives were up, but I can't remember for sure. I remember looking at the traces on the left and middle bulb and following them to a nut on the back of one of the dials. I thought that was the negative, but it turned out not to be.

I hooked up the cluster to the car before putting the pod back together to check the light and had to flip all of them around.
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By Addlight
#70859
Thanks again. I have been able to test the bulbs with a 9-volt battery and some wire. So, I will do that once I have the bulbs in but before I reinstall the pod.

Sadly, I have had my pod out so many times I can do it in about ten minutes.

Matt
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By captainOCD
#70951
When I needed to test my bulbs for polarity I just walked over to my Durango, popped the hood, and used its battery with some wires with alligator clips. Couldn't find a 9v handy.

I'm also in the same boat as you at this point. I've had the pod out enough that I remember what size sockets and hex keys I need for all of it.
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