digital gauge bulb

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Travelor
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Re: digital gauge bulb

Postby Travelor » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:18 am

WARNING! WARNING!!!
FYI!
There are TWO different size bulbs for digital clusters, it looks like you have the "small" version (I think bulb 168?) and not the standard 194. Unfortunately they do not make led replacements for this size, and if you wanted to switch bulbs you would need to either replace the bulb board in the cluster or replace the cluster itself. It's also possible, but not for the feint of heart, that one could *carefully* drill out the holes to fit a 194 bulb.

I have not tried that.


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Rettax3
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Re: digital gauge bulb

Postby Rettax3 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:08 am

Ahem...
Rettax3 wrote:I will add into this thread for what it is worth. There were two totally different and incompatible bulbs available, I assume some year difference which is ridiculous since they stopped making the Beretta digi-clusters after '90. One of them is the style pictured, and the other looks like (I think it is, in fact) a 194PC or 194PCB (depending on manufacturer) which is essentially just the standard T-10 based 194 bulb in the special plastic twist-lock socket, which is also the same as the analog clusters. The small four-light circuit-board that holds them to the bottom of the cluster is the only defining difference as to which bulb you need, as the holes in them are of different diameter.

Travelor wrote:WARNING! WARNING!!! FYI! There are TWO different size bulbs for digital clusters, it looks like you have the "small" version (I think bulb 168?) and not the standard 194. Unfortunately they do not make led replacements for this size, and if you wanted to switch bulbs you would need to either replace the bulb board in the cluster or replace the cluster itself. It's also possible, but not for the feint of heart, that one could *carefully* drill out the holes to fit a 194 bulb.
I have not tried that.

:O: As I said. :wink: The small part of the cluster that actually holds the lights themselves (narrow circuit board) is attached electrically to the rest of the cluster by two short wires -these could easily be cut and spliced or even better soldered into the lighting board, and switched that way -I wouldn't even consider trying to Dremel out the holes if I had another reasonable alternative, and forget an actual drill. A 168 bulb is the exact same size as a 194, both are standard T-10 bases, as already covered. (Wow, I am getting almost as cranky as Jon about people not reading what I post, hmmm :sorry: Hopefully I am a bit more diplomatic about it though -it is virtually impossible to convey attitude via typing, but I try not to be snappy...)

I do not know what bulb is equivalent to the smaller ones used, but pulling the bulb out of the plastic twist-in socket and wiring in LED replacements shouldn't be all that difficult (or scary). :beer: Cheers.


1989 Super Charged 3800 Series II (First)Six-Speed Conversion GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 Five-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 Five-Speed Indy GTi (Rebuild Project)
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Re: digital gauge bulb

Postby Rettax3 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:54 am

... And the winner of the worst photo is...
07-25-14_1158.jpg
Uber-blurry shot of two different bulbs. Slight difference in bulb size, but it looks like the circuit-boards have the same size holes.

-and guess what? Neither one is a 194! I am thinking those were in the '90 models, so it is looking like they changed them every year...
07-25-14_1156.jpg
The difference in these bulbs are cosmetic, I would say. The plastic twist-in socket is very different, but do appear to interchange.

I will be pulling the cluster out of my '90 Yellow Indy here shortly to start testing these other clusters, mainly for Lespaul59. I will try to snap a pic of the bulbs in that one, I really could have sworn they were the T10 (194, 168, etc) style bulbs usually used in GM instruments, but now I am wondering, as that would mean that ALL of these clusters I have as spares are '89 and older:
07-25-14_1204.jpg
Um, a cluster-junk? Hopefully not junk clusters...

Either way, just removing the dead bulb and retrofitting the socket with an LED would be relatively easy. Or, just solder them directly to the wires feeding the bulbs' circuit-board, and just use the board to support and locate the LEDs, simple. :pardon:
07-25-14_1159.jpg
Here is worst-photo runner-up, but I think you can see that the bulb pulls out of the socket cleanly, with the wires fused to the metal tangs of the socket...


1989 Super Charged 3800 Series II (First)Six-Speed Conversion GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 Five-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 Five-Speed Indy GTi (Rebuild Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
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Re: digital gauge bulb

Postby Travelor » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:57 am

Firstly, I was using tapitalk and for some reason your posts did not show up, sorry about that. Having information confirmation isn't a bad thing! ;)

Secondly, 168 and 194 really are NOT the same size. 168 is physically slightly smaller (as you have noticed) than a 194. They are listed on superabrightleds as interchangable, but they also list 74's and 39's as the same (but again, nope)

Not all bulbs will just slide out of the older housings as I've run into a lot of bulbs that are soldered to the connector and are meant to be replaced as one piece. I've sourced some replacement housings for the 194'sand updated LED bulbs to use. Here is the info I've put together for Digital Dashs:

Main illumination:
Image
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/instrument-cluster-gauge/194-led-bulb-4-led-wedge-base/198/

Gauge Illumination:
Image
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/instrument-cluster-gauge/74-led-bulb-1-led-wedge-base/226/

Cool White selected
90 degree selected

Digital Dash requires:
3x red 74 (warning lights)
2x green 74 (blinkers)
1x blue 74 (brights)
1x orange (Would be 3, but service engine soon and shift light do the same thing as analog; the low amount of current that goes through the bulb powers the LED constantly, so a standard bulb is required.)

replacement housings for 194 bulbs :
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/led-vehicle-replacement-bulbs/168194t3-14-twist-lock-wedge-base-socket/704/962/

They do sell more powerful bulbs, but I started with these and it was worlds better than the stock bulbs so I didn't bother trying them. I did try blacklight bulbs though to see if adding a couple would make the needles pop out better, but the bulbs were not strong enough.
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Re: digital gauge bulb

Postby Rettax3 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:44 am

Travelor wrote:Having information confirmation isn't a bad thing! ;)
:good: Straight-up truth. No issues here. :beer:
Travelor wrote:Secondly, 168 and 194 really are NOT the same size. 168 is physically slightly smaller (as you have noticed) than a 194. They are listed on superabrightleds as interchangable, but they also list 74's and 39's as the same (but again, nope)
Umm, the 168 and 194 bulbs both use the T10 base, along with several other bulbs of various wattages and even physical size, and that is the most important aspect here, IMO. But if the two bulbs are physically different, I haven't noticed as they are close enough to be identical, and I am pretty sure they are. I could be wrong though, one might be a few millimeters shorter than the other. :unknown:
Travelor wrote:Not all bulbs will just slide out of the older housings as I've run into a lot of bulbs that are soldered to the connector and are meant to be replaced as one piece.
Yes, this is absolutely true, and the older, smaller bulbs used in the digi-clusters have wires run from them that are then fused to the metal tangs of the socket (as mentioned before), making it tricky to reuse the old socket with a new bulb. But it can be done without a huge amount of trouble.
Travelor wrote:service engine soon and shift light do the same thing as analog; the low amount of current that goes through the bulb powers the LED constantly, so a standard bulb is required.)
I did not know this -thanks for the info. Hmmm. :good:
Travelor wrote:I did try blacklight bulbs though to see if adding a couple would make the needles pop out better, but the bulbs were not strong enough.
I also thought about using blacklights, but was afraid of having the same issue you mentioned. Two of my digi clusters have had the orange lenses removed though, and the bulbs just radiate inside a white housing and I put a white fibrous material in place of the stock orange lenses, so I might be able to use blacklight at night and use a white (or other color) LED for daytime use. Not sure I'll bother trying it, but maybe I'll put one in my spare cluster just for posterity's sake.. :wink:

Edit: I did check on the '90 Indy's backlight bulb today, and it is the T10 (194 or 168, specifically) type bulb, making three different bulbs used, with two completely incompatible socket sizes. I snapped a pic (bad quality though) that I'll try to upload and edit into this posting at a later date.


1989 Super Charged 3800 Series II (First)Six-Speed Conversion GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 Five-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 Five-Speed Indy GTi (Rebuild Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 3400 Top-End Auto OD Z-26

1993gtu
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Re: digital gauge bulb

Postby 1993gtu » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:46 am

I have a new one in the GM box.
Ken in Michigan @ 586-306-1322



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Re: digital gauge bulb

Postby 1993gtu » Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:36 pm

I've got one new one in the GM box!
Ken @ 586-306-1322 Michigan




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