Dashboard Bulbs

From CEM to VEM, from LED to lightbulb and more. If you have an electrical problem, like a broken info-centre, search for answers in this category. This is also the place to be when you expect the problem to be of an electrical nature...

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Dancing Demon
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Dashboard Bulbs

Post by Dancing Demon » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:49 pm

I need to replace the bulb behind the rev counter on the dashboard.

What bulb do I need to get for this please? and how many ton do the whole dash illumination as I might as well replace all at the same time.

Many thanks

Chris

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Van
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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by Van » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:31 pm

Image

This looks like there are three dashboard illumination bulbs. The smaller ones are the warning lights bulbs, the mid sized on the right is the halogen bulb for the info center display. I don't know the specs for the lights. But when you work on the instrument cluster, be very, very careful not to damage anything.
after over 10 years parted with the 1995 Volvo 480 ES 2.0

gsa60
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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by gsa60 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:54 pm

Hi,
The tree bulbs are 12v5w ones. They're quite common and cheap.
The other one (top right on the pic van posted) is the halogen bulb. I cannot find it's rating. It's more expensive.
Also, another advice: before completely reinstaling the dash try to take the car to a dark place to make sure they are lit up. Many times they suffer from bad contact (at least in mine). More than once I've installed them only to find later that they did not made good contact .

cheers.

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glasgowjim
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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by glasgowjim » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:35 pm

the halogen one for the info centre is about 2 to 3 pounds.

timrosser
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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by timrosser » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:43 pm

Has anyone tried using an led in place of a halogen? Spree maybe? Just for longevity. My info center seems to have died so Im hoping its just that bulb :-)

T

noeljary
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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by noeljary » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:13 pm

Hi,

I have wherever possible replaced the dashboard bulbs for LEDs.

It turns out this isn't quite as easy as you'd hope, as you have to put them in the right way around for the polarity.

I've replaced all the illumination bulbs for the dials with LEDs, this one is relatively easy to do, as the four bulbs are all in parallel on the same circuit. The three standard bulbs, which in my car were 12v 3w, are push fit style and go by any of the following names: T10 W5W 501, these are readily available on eBay as LED replacements, although only as 5w equivalents, so they may be brighter than you expect, however all styles of replacement are not the same and some are brighter than others. Because they are push fit you can just pull out the filament bulb and push in the new LED one, being careful to ensure you get the polarity correct. It helps if you consult the wiring diagrams for the correct age of your car. I replaced these with an LED equivalent which consisted of 4 3mm white LEDs, however have come to regret this as the light is not omnidirectional as it is from a filament bulb, so I get bright and dark patches on the instrument clusters and at some point I plan to replace these with a surface mount equivalent bulb which is closer to omnidirectional.

The halogen bulb is 12v 5w, so I selected a different bulb to what I used for the other three, which was much brighter. It is a bit harder to replace, as it's not a push fit bulb. Also the hole for the bulb is smaller, which means you can't obtain a push fit holder to use. The LED replacement bulbs are all based around the same theory of a small PCB with LEDs mounted in some arrangement, with two legs off of the PCB which fit into a small push fit plastic holder and bend back around the holder to prevent the board from falling out.

What I've had to do is remove the plastic holder, and ream the hole in the board out slightly so the LED board is a tight fit, then put the plastic holder on from behind the board, bending the legs back over. This seems to hold it in place quite well. Unfortunately it means that this bulb currently doesn't have any power. In my case the board was corroded around the halogen bulb as a result of the heat, so I wasn't concerned about this, it may be more of a concern for you.

To get power to the info centre bulb I ended up soldering a couple of wires from one of the other 3 bulbs directly to the legs of the LED board replacing the halogen. The image below shows this, although it only shows the soldering of the old halogen bulb, not with the LED, will add this when next possible. Whilst this does look a bit ugly, I have no concerns about running it like this, but obviously if you aren't comfortable with doing this, then please don't.

-- I've got an image to add here, but can't add it as a new user, could a moderator post it? --

This seems to be working absolutely fine for now, the only issue I've noticed is that if you run the instrument cluster bulbs dimmed then the info centre appears to flicker slightly. I suspect this is to do with the lower voltage operating the LED.

The remaining bulbs are all of type 509T, and I've replaced many of them taking into account the polarity. Unfortunately it's not possible to replace the alternator bulb, as this is intended to light up with a potential difference in either direction. (e.g. If the alternator was pushing 16+ volts due to the regulator failing, but the battery was at a nominal 12-13 volts, then it should illuminate. Similarly it would light if the alternator was not outputting a high enough voltage and the battery voltage remained at 12-13 volts.)

You'll need to once again consult with the wiring diagrams and a multimeter to determine the correct orientation of the bulbs, some are common +12v, some are common earth, and the seatbelt warning light (not quite sure why) appears to have neither, although this doesn't appear exactly correct. I need to take mine apart again as I wasn't able to replace them all at the time. At present I've replaced everything but the alternator light, seatbelt warning light and the ABS light with LEDs. I believe it will be possible to fit LEDs for everything but the alternator, but won't be able to verify this for a couple of weeks. You can see what it looks like in the image below.

-- I've got an image to add here, but can't add it as a new user, could a moderator post it? --

My father has got a 480 back on the road recently, so I suspect he might get around to checking this before I do, so we'll post what we find at the time.

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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by Robou » Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:42 pm

The original 3 larger bulbs are 3W, not 5W.

LEDs do not flicker due to too low a voltage. The rheostat is an electronic device, not a variable resistor, the diagram shows it with a transistor symbol. It sends a pulse train to the bulbs with a variable width. The bulbs with a filament will not show these pulses because the glowing filament has a lag other than a LED.
The solution will be to speed up the frequency of the pulses to something like at least 100Hz. Keep an eye on the temperature of the rheostat, as most of the dissipation is caused during switch time.
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timrosser
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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by timrosser » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:31 pm

Thanks so much for the tips guys, but if I need to do anything more than plug & prey then I'm 100% out ;-) Any tips on where to get a new halogen bulb? My local auto shop insisited that it was an external spec bulb and wouldnt sell me one :-( That said it must get pretty hot back there!

T

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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by balto8 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 12:41 am

Looking to replace all dash bulbs for LEDs while i will renew my dashboard black frame.

T5s and T10s were and easy and cheap find but when it comes to this strange socket on the infocenter things get crappy (part 3342604). I've been told by the guy who sold me the other bulbs that this was a B8.4d socket. I've found the suitable LEDs but they all are front light LEDs and I will get shadows all arround the infocenter. I'm going to sitck to halogen for the infocenter.

Image
Image
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2012 Seat Exeo ST
2013 VW Polo TSI DSG

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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by balto8 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:05 pm

The supershiny LED dash. You might think LEDs won't be dimmable but they somehow dim. Though darker now is what used to be brighter then.

Image
Image
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brinkie
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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by brinkie » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:34 am

balto8 wrote:T5s and T10s were and easy and cheap find but when it comes to this strange socket on the infocenter things get crappy (part 3342604). I've been told by the guy who sold me the other bulbs that this was a B8.4d socket. I've found the suitable LEDs but they all are front light LEDs and I will get shadows all arround the infocenter. I'm going to sitck to halogen for the infocenter.
The infocenter halogen bulb is a B10d. The bulb comes in 3W (brown socket) and 5W (black socket) flavours.

Where did you buy your LEDs? eBay? And what colour did you use?
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by balto8 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:17 am

I bought the leds from this guy I found on the internet close to my place. That way I could choose exactly what I needed.

For the T5s I used two types of bulbs. Front beam for the dashboard ones and lateral beam for the lights switch/fog lights switch socket and the heated seats and the other buttons in the lower central console. I did a little brico a while ago and took an antenna sign from a Volvo 740, drilled a little hole and stuck the sign on top. Now I've got an antenna interruptor to be able to use the stereo without pulling out the antenna in the highway. Though this side would be better lit with a dedicated bulb for each sign, I will try this further on. Ashtray and cigarrette lighter also share a T5 socket where lateral beam LEDs fit perfectly. For the T10s the ones shown in m pictures above.

Image
Image

I have not been able to find any B10d LED other than those with frontal beam. Though they're said to have a 120º ilumination angle I'd rather get an omnidirectional LED bulb type if I ever find one.

I have used white light for them all. The dash green filter is green enough to me. :wink:

On the other side, do noy buy this kind of led. The light is poor, they're no better than standard filament T5s

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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by brinkie » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:23 pm

Cheers! I will check local suppliers but I guess it's cheaper to get them from eBay.
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by balto8 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:31 pm

While I had to replace my ever-faulty VEM I replaced VEMs T5 bulbs for lateral beam Leds. The difference shines through. Also a front beam one for the key hole.

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Image

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Re: Dashboard Bulbs

Post by Alan 480 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:35 pm

did there ever get to a resolotion if a bright LED to replace the halogen unit for info centre is available?

I now have a spare two litre dash (thanks to Fraser, swap for an early version) and thinking about LED to save 'cooking' the PCB

I'll take this spare to work and get it all checked over for continuity etc
Alan

480 ES 2litre x 2, C30 1.8ES, SS1

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