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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Can Analog Instrument Panel bulbs be replaced? 96-02 Eldo 96-97 Seville 96-99 Deville

Has anyone tried replacing the instrument panel cluster backlight bulbs?
I would like to try to change the color (with color LEDs), here are some thoughts:
1) blacklight-- to make the numbers and needles look like they're floating
2) amber -- possibly too close to what's there now
3) blue -- just to be cool?
4) red -- see #3?
I know it can be done on a Catera, but has anyone tried it in a pre '98 Seville or on a 92-02 Eldo?
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39795&highlight=bulb+instrument See Catera
 

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^^What he said. I've never taken the cluster out on my ETC but it can't be that hard.

The guy who owned my friend's Taurus SHO did blue lights everywhere. It's kind of a cool effect but if the UV ends up working how I'm picturing it that would be awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess my question is whether the IPC has the bulbs somewhere accessible, or whether it's supposed to be shipped back somewhere for repair.

On the service manual I read it is very sensitive to being placed face-down, for more than 15 mins, and i found that odd.

There was no instruction on how to replace bulbs, so i was wondering if anyone had ever replaced any of these bulbs.

Analog gauges, 1996-1997 STS, 1996-02 ETC IPC. If anyone has done this, please chime in. Thanks!
 

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I just replaced a few bulbs on the cluster on my 95 SLS. It's pretty straight forward but still a PITA. The FSM says to drop the steering columm down and disconnect the airbag connector at the bottom of the columm. After having to pull the cluster a few times, I found this step completely unnecessary. You are however supposed to pull the IGN3 and IPC fuses..which I would recommend.
I pulled the dash A/C vents, defroster vent and seven screws securing the dash pad down and the 'A' pillar covers..had the cluster out inside of 10 mins...which was good cuz I had to pull it several times. The sockets are twist locks, be very careful when extracting them from the back of the cluster.
You can get bulbs at Radio Shack Part # 272-1092. They are not quite as large as the original bulbs but will work. That is the part number for the clear bulb. I did notice in the same drawer they had yellow, blue, green and red bulbs. The biggest pain in doing these things is desoldering the old bulbs, especially when your old and can't see and have left your glasses at work. Desoldering is a trick because it's real easy to melt the plastic on the bases. Not to mention that there are 2 extremely small metal tabs that wrap around the edge to make contact between the bulb leads and the p/c film on the cluster. If you drop one, like I did, your not totally screwed as you can form one from a small eyelet connector...it's a bitch..but can be done.
One thing that I found very helpful was having a 12V power supply on the bench so I could test the light before I put it back in the cluster...had a couple that looked good but had bad solder joints. Another mistake I made was pulling the speedo/tach face off of the cluster to check for bulbs behind it. I inevitably messed up the orientation of the needles so when I put it all back together and started the car the tach jumped to 6K and the speedo to 30MPH. I ended up having to pull the cluster, take the plastic face off and then stick the cluster back in and turn the ign to on. Once both needles were set, I buttoned it all back up and took off down the road only to realize that I'd pushed the needles on to far and the speedo was barely moving. I had to turn around and take it all apart again which took start to finish about 15 mins. These instructions are for the buttons around the cluster. I didn't have time to pull the whole cluster apart to check the bulbs behind the speedo face but I am determined to change them to a different color... I would love to have red lights backlighting the speedo. I'll probably pull mine apart again in the near future as I never got all the button bulbs changed last time (very time consuming) and I want to change them all. If you pull yours before I get a chance too please post the results.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Pjs said:
I just replaced a few bulbs on the cluster on my 95 SLS. It's pretty straight forward but still a PITA. The FSM says to drop the steering columm down and disconnect the airbag connector at the bottom of the columm. After having to pull the cluster a few times, I found this step completely unnecessary. You are however supposed to pull the IGN3 and IPC fuses..which I would recommend.
I pulled the dash A/C vents, defroster vent and seven screws securing the dash pad down and the 'A' pillar covers..had the cluster out inside of 10 mins...which was good cuz I had to pull it several times. The sockets are twist locks, be very careful when extracting them from the back of the cluster.
You can get bulbs at Radio Shack Part # 272-1092. They are not quite as large as the original bulbs but will work. That is the part number for the clear bulb. I did notice in the same drawer they had yellow, blue, green and red bulbs. The biggest pain in doing these things is desoldering the old bulbs, especially when your old and can't see and have left your glasses at work. Desoldering is a trick because it's real easy to melt the plastic on the bases. Not to mention that there are 2 extremely small metal tabs that wrap around the edge to make contact between the bulb leads and the p/c film on the cluster. If you drop one, like I did, your not totally screwed as you can form one from a small eyelet connector...it's a bitch..but can be done.
One thing that I found very helpful was having a 12V power supply on the bench so I could test the light before I put it back in the cluster...had a couple that looked good but had bad solder joints. Another mistake I made was pulling the speedo/tach face off of the cluster to check for bulbs behind it. I inevitably messed up the orientation of the needles so when I put it all back together and started the car the tach jumped to 6K and the speedo to 30MPH. I ended up having to pull the cluster, take the plastic face off and then stick the cluster back in and turn the ign to on. Once both needles were set, I buttoned it all back up and took off down the road only to realize that I'd pushed the needles on to far and the speedo was barely moving. I had to turn around and take it all apart again which took start to finish about 15 mins. These instructions are for the buttons around the cluster. I didn't have time to pull the whole cluster apart to check the bulbs behind the speedo face but I am determined to change them to a different color... I would love to have red lights backlighting the speedo. I'll probably pull mine apart again in the near future as I never got all the button bulbs changed last time (very time consuming) and I want to change them all. If you pull yours before I get a chance too please post the results.

Good Luck
For some reason I must have missed your post, you describe it pretty well. Here's the result...

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55231
 

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I just want to ask if after I desoldered the old bulb and I'm planning to change it with a 194 type led bulb,what will I do?Im just going to plug it and thats it???
I just replaced a few bulbs on the cluster on my 95 SLS. It's pretty straight forward but still a PITA. The FSM says to drop the steering columm down and disconnect the airbag connector at the bottom of the columm. After having to pull the cluster a few times, I found this step completely unnecessary. You are however supposed to pull the IGN3 and IPC fuses..which I would recommend.
I pulled the dash A/C vents, defroster vent and seven screws securing the dash pad down and the 'A' pillar covers..had the cluster out inside of 10 mins...which was good cuz I had to pull it several times. The sockets are twist locks, be very careful when extracting them from the back of the cluster.
You can get bulbs at Radio Shack Part # 272-1092. They are not quite as large as the original bulbs but will work. That is the part number for the clear bulb. I did notice in the same drawer they had yellow, blue, green and red bulbs. The biggest pain in doing these things is desoldering the old bulbs, especially when your old and can't see and have left your glasses at work. Desoldering is a trick because it's real easy to melt the plastic on the bases. Not to mention that there are 2 extremely small metal tabs that wrap around the edge to make contact between the bulb leads and the p/c film on the cluster. If you drop one, like I did, your not totally screwed as you can form one from a small eyelet connector...it's a bitch..but can be done.
One thing that I found very helpful was having a 12V power supply on the bench so I could test the light before I put it back in the cluster...had a couple that looked good but had bad solder joints. Another mistake I made was pulling the speedo/tach face off of the cluster to check for bulbs behind it. I inevitably messed up the orientation of the needles so when I put it all back together and started the car the tach jumped to 6K and the speedo to 30MPH. I ended up having to pull the cluster, take the plastic face off and then stick the cluster back in and turn the ign to on. Once both needles were set, I buttoned it all back up and took off down the road only to realize that I'd pushed the needles on to far and the speedo was barely moving. I had to turn around and take it all apart again which took start to finish about 15 mins. These instructions are for the buttons around the cluster. I didn't have time to pull the whole cluster apart to check the bulbs behind the speedo face but I am determined to change them to a different color... I would love to have red lights backlighting the speedo. I'll probably pull mine apart again in the near future as I never got all the button bulbs changed last time (very time consuming) and I want to change them all. If you pull yours before I get a chance too please post the results.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I Would've loved to see what it looked like in the dark. I once replaced the Ipc lights in my 98 ETC with blue bulbs and it was terrible. These were standard incandescents and they were varying shades of blue some even aqua.

My original idea was to use black lights but I tested from the front with a black light and figured it wouldn't be bright enough to give it the "floating effect. "

I don't remember how many bulbs were involved. I see you pictured six here. Is that the magic number?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks. I am wondering how well the dimmer function works? Do they dim and brighten when turning light switch knob?

Or only work at full intensity? I want white light but like it kind of dim.

I recently tried leds as drl but the reduced intensity from resistor makes them not turn on.
 

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The dimmer works just fine.
The LED light output is directly proportional with the current as long as the voltage is above the forward voltage (typically ~2.5V).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Cool. Thanks. I am wondering how bright 5 5050 UV LEDs would look? I'm almost wanting to experiment with that, but it would be a complete shot in the dark. As you can see I started this thread with that as an intentional experiment back 6 years ago!

The other more reasonable choice are white 5x5050LED.
 

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Just 5 5050 SMD led replacing the filament light bulb will not work, it will look like a very small patch of dim light. You need to have a composite light bulb bright enough to match the existing filament bulb. Don’t compare the bulb and LED based on how shiny are, look at the amount of light both cast around.
I used 12 17Kmcd white 4.8mm LEDs per bulb.
One 5050 SMD LED is:
-11Kmcd for white
-9Kmcd for warm white
-7Kmcd for green, amber
-6Kmcd for red
-5Kmcd for blue

The viewing angle between 5050 and 4.8 mm is the same (120*) so the lumens are the same (for the same candle rating).

When talking about light (to illuminate something) we are talking lumens not candles. A laser has plenty candles but a very narrow beam so it has very few lumens. Well the main characteristic of a laser is chromatic coherence but we ignore that part here.
When you are looking at LEDs and both have say 10Kmcd (i.e. 10 cd) look at the viewing angle, if one is 45* (narrow) and the other is 90*(still kind of narrow) then the 90* LED produces over 4 times more light (lumens) than 45* one.
Have you seen my latest LED project?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes those look really cool. My DRL 30 SMD 9005s don't illuminate at half voltage, is the reason that I was asking about the dimmer.

Regarding the luminous output, I see the GE 194 filament bulb has a light output of 25 lumens @ 4 watts.

The 5x5050 units are set up in a square, then one on top (3 sided cube), or 360 degrees. 15000 millicandelas and an online calculator http://led.linear1.org/lumen.wiz states the output at 188.5 lumens.

Is there something wrong with that calculation? I do know my LEDs that I used for the interior map lights and foot wells are very bright (and they're not 5050 SMDs)
 

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It is not 360* because you are missing the 6-th side of the cube. A quick approximation will be 2/3 of the surface.
Then the LEDs are 120* viewing angle meaning dead straight in ideal conditions you have the 15Kmcd and the lumens gradually decrease to half this at the viewing angle. The decrease is not linear, is asymptotic meaning that you can not quite approximate it to half max on this 120* area, it is actually less.
Then you have 15Kmcd the absolute maximum rating, in reality you are running to half or less.
Basically that value you calculated is highly incorrect. Also I haven’t seen yet a 5050 SMD LED brighter than 11K, I don’t even believe that value especially without a heat sink. The LED will self-destruct thermally, 4.8mm LEDs are pushing it to 17Kmcd and the difference in volume (and surface) is more than 50% (in volume is a lot more actually).
 

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That is exactly what I bought ~5 years ago for the rear license plate and they burned out in 2 months. The resistor was WAY to small for the LEDs, so they were bright, just as bright as the 194 filament bulb but too bright for the LEDs capability. I never go 50% (worst case scenario) over the maximum rating.

If you are planing to use the LEDs for the instrument cluster that 5-th LED on top is not a good idea because will show up a bright spot on your IPC.
 

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Thanks for explaining this, I've been staring at my dash cover and IPC wonder how to disassemble it so I could switch my IPC lights to white LEDs and fix the upward bulging near the defroster vent on my dash cover

As far as desoldering/ soldering the lights into the sockets... would 194 (T10 wedge) twist locks sockets do the trick?
Mini-Bulb-Socket-5RKP1_AS01.JPG

I don't know which or what kind of stores would definitely have these, but they are cheap online, just google "194 twist locks"
 

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You may be a bit disappointed with the dash pad cover repair (I did it twice and it works for a year until it shrinks some more). Is true I did not glued the grille or used screws...is kind of ugly to do so.

The light bulbs are indeed standard 194 mounted on a green "custom" twist lock base. I am holding in my hand right now one of these green bases and I can see the same mounting pattern to the PCB, the only difference is the metal inserts. As long as the dimensions are correct (and should as is for a 194 bulb) I guess it will work.
I am slightly concerned about keeping the metal inserts in the plastic base. The 194 bulb when inserted pushes the metal tabs closer to the inner walls and the top side is now locked by the top socket lip (look carefully and you will understand what I am trying to explain), so you will have to some how stuff something non conductive in there. The OEM design is slightly different (light bulbs leads are welded on the metal tabs).
I guess you can try, I am sure one socket is very inexpensive, is not like you risk much money.
Not sure if you can find OEM replacement bulbs, that’s another direction to take. Or … do what I do, every time I visit a wreck yard I grab these odd small things (clips, various washers, nuts, small springs) and most of the time I am not even charged for as they could not care less about the clips (I do purchase other bigger items though). I have collected over the time enough items to fill up a jar, I am call it “my jar of many things”. And guess what, when my turning signal return spring broke I had a full jar of “many things” but not this particular spring. Dealers have no clue what is that (tried to sell me the entire switch assembly) so I had to drive across town to a wreck yard to extract this tiny spring. It was a $5 spring since it was the only thing I purchased.
 
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