LED dash lights...opinions?

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72HCODE

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couple things.

there are a few different blue or green led kits, i honestly do not remember which company i used,

but i did have some issues.

first,, if you have not done this is years, Change out the voltage regulator on the dash circuit board that is the little device that connects with the 9Volt battery connectors. that is a source of lighting issues, better today is replace the old Bi-metal version with a solid state regulator.
I'm sorry, but that statement is incorrect. Dash lamps are powered through the headlight switch and not the voltage regulator.
You are correct I was thinking of something else when I wrote that out. Thanks for correcting me.

 
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That voltage regulator on the back of the dash is used for the Fuel Sender isnt it? Is there anything else that if affects? I know it's not used for the Ammeter, but what about the Oil Pressure and Water Temp?

 

midlife

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That voltage regulator on the back of the dash is used for the Fuel Sender isnt it? Is there anything else that if affects? I know it's not used for the Ammeter, but what about the Oil Pressure and Water Temp?
Only if the oil and water temperature are gauges, not idiot lights.

 

Pyro

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Thanks for the posts and ideas. I was looking at the hipo parts kits, I would like to match my stock lights as best as I can but from the images it looks like that isn't going to work. I found a few sellers for cheap t10 194 lights and I think I may give them a try. My headlight switch is original as far as I know, cars been in the family since the early 80's and not been changed. Dash lights are unreadable and I have a burned out bulb or two. I was planning on grabbing a few different colors and trying them out before I commit to anything does anyone have a bulb part number or even a picture of what they used? superbrightleds has so many different options that fit, I will probably go down the path if the cheapo LEDs off of amazon don't work out well.

also someone mentioned a solid state voltage reg what specs do I need on something like that? I haven't looked into them much but I do need a few things from digi-key.

 
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I love the dash lights I bought from superbrite LEDs. I also bought some for my side markers from Amazon that were the dimmest LED bulbs in existence... 
I'm sure they work ok, but can I ask why you bought from other sources when we have access to Hi-Po Parts located in Michigan. Bill is great to work with, very knowledgeable, always available for help and suggestions and above all, he sells top line quality products, many he has developed himself. He also sells many other products for our cars.

I have just ordered all the relays and connectors I need for my LED headlight conversion from Bill. However, I must confess I did not buy the Hella headlights or the Sealight H4 LED's from him as he does not stock them. 

Once again, here is the link to Hi-Po Parts Garage.

https://www.hipoparts.com

At the end of the day, it's your car, your way. All I'm saying is many don't know we have this access to top quality parts and service. 

 
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I've given my opinion of LEDs on Amazon several times. It took me 4 tries before I got some that were satisfactory for lighting the interior of our motorhome. Most have a high color temperature that puts them into a color range that appears bright when you look directly at the bulb, but do not illuminate well, because they have too much blue in them. They are advertised at 5000K, but are actually over 6000K. Even at 5000K there is not enough light in the yellow and red spectrum in them to properly illuminate taillights, marker lights, and brake lights. 3000K bulbs are necessary to provide light in the yellow and red spectrums, as well as for general illumination.

 
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I ordered my shop lights from them and they started flashing off and on after just two years. I ordered some more for my paint room vapor sealed. It is impossible to wire them they use one tiny wire and I have 12 gauge and one strand is three times the size of wire on light. I will probably trash them. The first ones were totally different last ones trash.

 

nbracken

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i have the LED bulbs in my main guages (and they are great) but not the auxiliary three gauges in teh venter stack cluster. are they easy to access and fit?
 

Retired2014

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I'm sorry, but that statement is incorrect. Dash lamps are powered through the headlight switch and not the voltage regulator.
+1 on the voltage regulator clarification. For some reason, many folks believe that regulator (IVR) feeds the dash lights. When the IVR goes bad you suddenly have a pegged temp gauge and more gas in your tank according to your gas gauge… ask me how I know.
 
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Something to keep in mind re: instrument panel/cluster illumination lights is that they are polarity sensitive. If any of them do not work you likely just need to remove the offending LED light(s), and reinstall them 180 turned in their twist-in socket. Also, I have read they are able to be dimmed via the headlight switches rheostat. That said, I have read elsewhere that a dimming option is available, and in some kits color changes can be made as well. If anyone knows any or all of what I just wrote to be incorrect please pipe up. I have no need to replace any of our panel illumination bulbs, as we have already installed some nice Dakota VHX instrument clusters in both of our 73 Mustangs, which look pretty nice already.

The reason for the Dakota instrument panel sets was because both Mustangs came with a base panel with all idiot lights other then the speedo and fuel gauge. That is not what we wanted for our cars, especially the Mach 1. The Dakota panel were a bit pricey, but they work nicely and look great. I order them both with the red light option and Carbon Fiber surface option. Dakota also has an all digital display option available.

 

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i have the LED bulbs in my main guages (and they are great) but not the auxiliary three gauges in teh venter stack cluster. are they easy to access and fit?
They come up for sale on eBay occasionally and West Coast Classic Cougars has them sometimes. You can also check with Don at Ohio Mustang Supply and Mike at Motor City Mustangs (forum advertisers) as they have parts cars.
You will also need the correct wiring harness for them.

Just the bezel is available aftermarket. Several forum members converted the gauge center section to aftermarket gauges.

I went a different route with mine, converting the non-gauge center section to gauges, using aftermarket gauges.
 

Michael O’Harran

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In my resto I hated I couldn’t find a replacement set of gauges that were OEM. I didn’t want digital and the other options merged the center clusters into the desk guages and left me what to do with the clock and center guages and that took away from “the look” too much for me. So I found a company, Orlando Mustang, that did a full restoration on all the original gauges and clock. Looks brand new.
 

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Sheriff41

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In my resto I hated I couldn’t find a replacement set of gauges that were OEM. I didn’t want digital and the other options merged the center clusters into the desk guages and left me what to do with the clock and center guages and that took away from “the look” too much for me. So I found a company, Orlando Mustang, that did a full restoration on all the original gauges and clock. Looks brand new.
Obviously a two Guiness task. Gotta like that!
 

machphil

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I'm sure they work ok, but can I ask why you bought from other sources when we have access to Hi-Po Parts located in Michigan. Bill is great to work with, very knowledgeable, always available for help and suggestions and above all, he sells top line quality products, many he has developed himself. He also sells many other products for our cars.

I have just ordered all the relays and connectors I need for my LED headlight conversion from Bill. However, I must confess I did not buy the Hella headlights or the Sealight H4 LED's from him as he does not stock them.

Once again, here is the link to Hi-Po Parts Garage.

https://www.hipoparts.com

At the end of the day, it's your car, your way. All I'm saying is many don't know we have this access to top quality parts and service.
I'm still using the quartz halogen headlight bulbs. I did find that after being on a while the lights would cut out or flicker. Pretty scary at night. I bought one of those dual gang relays for the headlights to take the load off of the light switch and problem was solved.
 

nbracken

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They come up for sale on eBay occasionally and West Coast Classic Cougars has them sometimes. You can also check with Don at Ohio Mustang Supply and Mike at Motor City Mustangs (forum advertisers) as they have parts cars.
You will also need the correct wiring harness for them.

Just the bezel is available aftermarket. Several forum members converted the gauge center section to aftermarket gauges.

I went a different route with mine, converting the non-gauge center section to gauges, using aftermarket gauges.
Hi Don and thank you - sorry my question was not clear. I already have the auxiliary gauges in the center stack that were fitted when the car was new, but have not changed the bulbs in them yet. Is it easy to get at the back of the gauges to change the bulbs? Thanks
 
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There are a number of lights behind the center console as follows:
2 for the center tri cluster gauge (twist and pull bulb holders)
1 for the heater/Air conditioning controls (I think this one should be replaced while heater bezel is in the car... without removing the center bezel this is a push in pull out bulb holder)
I think the radio bulb(s) (stock is built into the radio...but I have an aftermarket sterio)

if my relocation is correct the heater bulb is a diff bulb than the tri cluster gauge bulbs)

i would try to replace without removing the center bezel first
Assuming you can’t replace the bulbs without removing the center consul (which may be possible but I had my center consul out of the car this past summer and didn’t try , with it in the car).
nb: you would only be able to pull the center bezel forward to give you more room...given wiring for gauges/bulbs

I guess it depends how small you are as there is not a lot of room behind the dash. I also had the seats out so I could lay on the floor of the car to get back there.

its a pain to remove the center console but doable (non air conditioned car...so I am not sure about an air car...

Center bezel is held in place (at the top by the dash pad, in the middle by the radio /heater bezel, and at the bottom by the heater cables ...but loosely)
- loosen dash pad and lift up so the center bezel will come forward (6-8 screws on bottom lip of dash pad)
- take off radio/heater bezel (4 screws accessed from the front but you have to get down low to see them)
- remove the heater control (4 screws from the front...accessable when radio/heater bezel is removed)
- you might be able to then tilt the top of the center bezel back to give you enough room to access the tricluster bulbs
if not then disconnect heater controls ( I disconnected the cables on the heater box... as it was too tight space wise to remove from the back of the heater control)
- with these removed you should be able to pull the center bezel forward to access the bulbs (you are limited by the length of the wires for your tri cluster gauge )

replace bulbs, test and reverse order to install

hope this helps..it makes a huge improvement in seeing the gauges at night

good luck
 

nbracken

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There are a number of lights behind the center console as follows:
2 for the center tri cluster gauge (twist and pull bulb holders)
1 for the heater/Air conditioning controls (I think this one should be replaced while heater bezel is in the car... without removing the center bezel this is a push in pull out bulb holder)
I think the radio bulb(s) (stock is built into the radio...but I have an aftermarket sterio)

if my relocation is correct the heater bulb is a diff bulb than the tri cluster gauge bulbs)

i would try to replace without removing the center bezel first
Assuming you can’t replace the bulbs without removing the center consul (which may be possible but I had my center consul out of the car this past summer and didn’t try , with it in the car).
nb: you would only be able to pull the center bezel forward to give you more room...given wiring for gauges/bulbs

I guess it depends how small you are as there is not a lot of room behind the dash. I also had the seats out so I could lay on the floor of the car to get back there.

its a pain to remove the center console but doable (non air conditioned car...so I am not sure about an air car...

Center bezel is held in place (at the top by the dash pad, in the middle by the radio /heater bezel, and at the bottom by the heater cables ...but loosely)
- loosen dash pad and lift up so the center bezel will come forward (6-8 screws on bottom lip of dash pad)
- take off radio/heater bezel (4 screws accessed from the front but you have to get down low to see them)
- remove the heater control (4 screws from the front...accessable when radio/heater bezel is removed)
- you might be able to then tilt the top of the center bezel back to give you enough room to access the tricluster bulbs
if not then disconnect heater controls ( I disconnected the cables on the heater box... as it was too tight space wise to remove from the back of the heater control)
- with these removed you should be able to pull the center bezel forward to access the bulbs (you are limited by the length of the wires for your tri cluster gauge )

replace bulbs, test and reverse order to install

hope this helps..it makes a huge improvement in seeing the gauges at night

good luck
Thank you very much - super helpful
 
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