Instrument panel lights dim - suggestions

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by Gary McCormick, Aug 15, 2019 at 5:24 PM.

  1. Gary McCormick

    Gary McCormick True Classic

    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    As I continue to prep X for ultimate sale, I think making instrument panel lighting brighter MIGHT be worth undertaking, so am requesting suggestions from the Forum gang.

    1. 1979 X, stock instrument panel EXCEPT optical cable lighting is gone.
    2. All instruments work AS OF 1/2 HOUR AGO, now who knows .
    3. Even with rheostat on max., panel is still pretty dim.

    Any suggestions for brightening the panel?

    Gary McCormick
    ‘79X and ‘98 Z3 2.8L
    Carlisle, PA
     
  2. Pete Whitstone

    Pete Whitstone True Classic

    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    Clean all your ground blooms thoroughly would be step 1. If that doesn't improve things, then switch to LEDs?
     
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  3. Gary McCormick

    Gary McCormick True Classic

    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    Thanks Pete

    Has anyone who changed to LEDs in an X been fully satisfied?

    I read some general posts on line which indicates mixed reviews about LEDS in instrument panel applications.

    Gary
     
  4. toddr124

    toddr124 Hagerstown, MD

    Location:
    Hagerstown, MD
    I love my IREDs in the dash. Very bright and works as long as you put the LEDs in the correct direction.
     
  5. Pete Whitstone

    Pete Whitstone True Classic

    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    I love mine too, the instrument cluster looks bright and crisp. My only complaint is getting the center console lights to match in brightness. But how often do you actually look at that, my eyes are on the cluster or on the road.
     
  6. EricH

    EricH Eric Hamilton Moderator

    Location:
    Durham NC, USA
    try bypassing the rheostat completely.
     
  7. The rheostat for my center console lights was wired as a voltage divider from the factory. If you turn it up all the way, you get full battery voltage on the bulbs. Not sure how the later rheostats were wired but I would expect them to be near zero resistance at the brightest setting unless there is a problem.
     
  8. Gary McCormick

    Gary McCormick True Classic

    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    Thanks
     
  9. Gary McCormick

    Gary McCormick True Classic

    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    What is “the right direction”?
     
  10. Pete Whitstone

    Pete Whitstone True Classic

    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    I think what he means are, LED's are diodes. Electricity only flows through them one way, unlike a light bulb. So they have to have the correct polarity, there is a + side and a - side.
     
  11. Gary McCormick

    Gary McCormick True Classic

    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    Thanks, Pete. So they either light (right direction) or don’t light (wrong direction) - true?
     
  12. Gary McCormick

    Gary McCormick True Classic

    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    If I replace stock bulbs with LEDs, can lights be dimmed with rheostat, or are they ON FULL or OFF?
     
  13. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    There have been some great threads about LED conversions for the dash/instruments. They offer some reviews (with photos) that might help give you an idea how they look. I only have one link handy, not the best but either try a search or maybe someone else has more:
    https://xwebforums.com/forum/index....ht-operation-whats-correct.33293/#post-283465

    As Pete just said, all LED's will only work in one polarity (+/- wires orientation). So if it does not light up then try reversing it.

    LED's are bright and some find them to be too bright for a dash display. But they can be 'dimmed'. However the X1/9 came with two versions of "dimmer" depending on the year. One of them works with LED lights, the other does not. They are interchangeable if yours isn't the right type. This allows you to adjust the LED brightness to your liking. Here is an explanation about the two types:
    https://xwebforums.com/forum/index....ster-light-switch-panel-light-rheostat.34614/
     
  14. Pete Whitstone

    Pete Whitstone True Classic

    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    True.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice