dash light went out - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 01-17-2005
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dash light went out

You may have saw this picture on another thread, but i didn't get an answer and i didn't wanna hi-jack his thread.. so...

Does anyone know what kind of bulb or LED THIS takes?

I'm sure John's gonna come on here and plug his cardomain, but i'm getting ready to check that out anyway

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Old 01-17-2005
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The dash lights are all very small lamps. The Ranger dash is almost exclusively bulbs, no LEDs. I'm sorry, I have absolutely no idea what size/spec though. Taking the opportunity to convert to LEDs probably isn't a horrible idea though..

My '99 blew out the same bulb, except on the other side of the cluster probably about 165 miles before yours!
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Old 01-17-2005
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LED's don't work well. The dash uses a clear plastic "light pipe" as a molded piece behind the overlays to distribute the light. The LED's don't "feed" it properly and generally you get VERY spotty lighting. You almost NEED to use bulbs without making a lot of "tuning" work for yourself. LED's just don't "spread" the way bulbs do.

The bulbs are 194's in little twist lock holders on the back of the gauge cluster. You will probably have to disassemble it to get at them.
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Old 01-17-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
about 165 miles before yours!
Doh! That should say 165k miles!

Really John? I thought you had converted everything. I thought the secret was scuffing up the LED to disperse better, more like a bulb. That doesn't work though uh? And I figured the light-pipes would actually HELP w/ this.

Good to know though as I was planning to try this in my own HVAC controls..
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Old 01-17-2005
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Yeah, i've seen what the LED's look like. Very spotty.

Geez 194 bulbs are used for everything. I just bought a pair for my tag lights, and replaced a turn signal light in my mothers Monte that was a 194.

I'm also going to paint my cluster while it's out. :D
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Old 01-17-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
Doh! That should say 165k miles!

Really John? I thought you had converted everything. I thought the secret was scuffing up the LED to disperse better, more like a bulb. That doesn't work though uh? And I figured the light-pipes would actually HELP w/ this.

Good to know though as I was planning to try this in my own HVAC controls..
The light pipes aren't like the ones in some newer cars where a single light source is routed to every point (meaning a single failure kills your entire dash, lol). This is a molded plastic piece to distribute the light, but light also passes straight through it to some locations. So they have cleverly used that plus silk-screened grey layers on the back of the overlays to even out the light.

My few experiments with it didn't yield good results. The shaping of the LED to distribute the light works well with small things. With larger spreads it's very difficult to get it consistent.
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Old 01-17-2005
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I've seen the 'light-pipe' plastic I think you're talking about in my HVAC controls. It's been a while since I've had the instrument cluster apart, but I think I remember what you're talking about there too. But I figured LEDs would do the trick too non-the-less.

But if you can't get it working, I probably won't have much luck either! Guess I'll focus my attention on just getting the color perfect instead..
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Old 01-17-2005
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Yeah 194 bulbs are used everywhere! When Valley Autoparts gave me the wrong bulb, we took the dash bulb from my mom's old mercedes, saudered the wires to match up, and it fight in the harness perfectly.

Aaron
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Old 01-17-2005
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If you are going to take it all apart to replace 1 bulb, you might want to consider replacing all 6. Once the first one goes, these usually die one every month or so until you change them all. You can use 194LL bulbs which are advertised as having double the service life of the 194s.
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Old 01-18-2005
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I believe the LL's are slightly "yellower" though -- basically a slightly higher voltage bulb. I'd need to see them next to each other to know for sure -- but I've been shying away from them because of my suspicions. What I'd like is something a bit whiter at the lowered voltage the dimmer rheostat puts out even at max.
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2005
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bulb replacement

Yow........I gonna give You guys alot of credit. I'm affraid to replace my bulbs......I can work with high voltage and explosive things but to take apart my dash is one feet I'm delaying. I just bought the bulbs this past week. I'm Ascared!

I know the PCB board is fragile. Besides the indicator, bottom and airvent panels to remove is it easy after that?
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  #12  
Old 03-14-2005
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superbrightleds.com has a 194 replacement led that has an inverted cone on the tip to distribute light to sides as well as in front. Think that would work?
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