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Thread: Speedometer needle glows less than before

  1. #1
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    Speedometer needle glows less than before

    I have replaced the bulbs which illuminate the instrument cluster within the last few years. On a recent road trip I noticed that the speedometer needle was only glowing red about halfway up to the numbers. Is this something which I can fix by replacing the bulbs again? I notice that that the black center of the speedometer needle does not have the red glow behind it that I see on the tach, temp, and fuel gauges. Maybe this means it is a bulb? Otherwise what could it be?

    I should add that none of the other places in the instrument cluster are "dead" as they have been in the past when I changed the bulbs out.

    There have been several instances recently where certain parts of the cluster (mostly the fuel gauge) has not illuminated and stays off sometimes a day sometimes two days but thus far has always illuminated eventually. My research on this points to the alternator -- I do have a rebuilt alt on the car (not sure of the brand, bought at a small rebuild shop in Queens) -- but the FLAPS test of the alternator has given me a clean bill of health. Some fluctuation on the voltmeter, which has improved since I added an extra ground wire.

    I'm chasing electrical gremlins!

  2. #2
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    I would think bulbs and or the contact of the bulb socket to the printed circuit. Would recommend going led, you can get new sockets and led bulbs together and change them all. you can pick some off ebay or here get in touch with FBM FAST BLACK MERC He will have the right ones for everything.
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  3. #3
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    Following up here: LEDs from Fastblackmerc work great!
    The cluster has a nice brightness that is cool and crisp. But the speedo needle is still not illuminating behind the black circle at the base of the dial, as they do for the tach, fuel, and temp gauges. Any thoughts?

  4. #4
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    Is there something on the backside of the needle, dirt, tape, paint?

  5. #5
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    I used this style LED and they work awesome! LED don't broadcast light very well so you need a lot of forward facing led's. The bulbs with led's on the sides don't work.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by blazen71; 11-07-2023 at 03:00 PM.
    You "feel" the difference because you want to "feel" the difference. Since you just spent money on the upgrade you "have" to feel the difference

    I'm looking to eliminate the double pump process I have to follow right now to get the pedal hard

    2004 300A Procharger #0010 D1X
    2003 300A Procharger #0017 D1SC (SOLD. Last I heard, it was in Washington State)

  6. #6
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    I added pics to the above post to show how well those LED's work on the cluster. Prior to installing the led's I had a really hard time seeing the needles at night.
    You "feel" the difference because you want to "feel" the difference. Since you just spent money on the upgrade you "have" to feel the difference

    I'm looking to eliminate the double pump process I have to follow right now to get the pedal hard

    2004 300A Procharger #0010 D1X
    2003 300A Procharger #0017 D1SC (SOLD. Last I heard, it was in Washington State)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazen71 View Post
    I used this style LED and they work awesome! LED don't broadcast light very well so you need a lot of forward facing led's. The bulbs with led's on the sides don't work.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
    Just clicked on the link and it says

    Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skapusci View Post
    I have replaced the bulbs which illuminate the instrument cluster within the last few years. On a recent road trip I noticed that the speedometer needle was only glowing red about halfway up to the numbers. Is this something which I can fix by replacing the bulbs again? I notice that that the black center of the speedometer needle does not have the red glow behind it that I see on the tach, temp, and fuel gauges. Maybe this means it is a bulb? Otherwise what could it be?

    I should add that none of the other places in the instrument cluster are "dead" as they have been in the past when I changed the bulbs out.

    There have been several instances recently where certain parts of the cluster (mostly the fuel gauge) has not illuminated and stays off sometimes a day sometimes two days but thus far has always illuminated eventually. My research on this points to the alternator -- I do have a rebuilt alt on the car (not sure of the brand, bought at a small rebuild shop in Queens) -- but the FLAPS test of the alternator has given me a clean bill of health. Some fluctuation on the voltmeter, which has improved since I added an extra ground wire.

    I'm chasing electrical gremlins!
    I can supply LEDs. PM me.
    “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
    Ronald Regan

    "The only way to deal with the Islamic State - these blood thirsty, blood-drunken, terrorists -
    is to kill them, keep on killing them, until you kill the last one, then you kill his pet goat."

    Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters

    “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
    "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes, if you **** with me, I'll kill you all"
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverPhoenix View Post
    Just clicked on the link and it says

    Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C2Q1XKH9...ding=UTF8&th=1
    You "feel" the difference because you want to "feel" the difference. Since you just spent money on the upgrade you "have" to feel the difference

    I'm looking to eliminate the double pump process I have to follow right now to get the pedal hard

    2004 300A Procharger #0010 D1X
    2003 300A Procharger #0017 D1SC (SOLD. Last I heard, it was in Washington State)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazen71 View Post
    I used this style LED and they work awesome! LED don't broadcast light very well so you need a lot of forward facing led's. The bulbs with led's on the sides don't work.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
    It's been my experience that you need LEDs that put out light at 180 degrees.

    See post #3.
    “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
    Ronald Regan

    "The only way to deal with the Islamic State - these blood thirsty, blood-drunken, terrorists -
    is to kill them, keep on killing them, until you kill the last one, then you kill his pet goat."

    Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters

    “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
    "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes, if you **** with me, I'll kill you all"
    General James Mattis




  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    New York City
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Man View Post
    Is there something on the backside of the needle, dirt, tape, paint?

    When I removed the cluster to switch the bulbs I did not notice anything different on the back of the speedometer. I can't say for certain what, if anything, is on the back of the needle because I did not remove the conductive "sheet" and identify the needles specifically. The only noticeable difference on the front side is the speedo needle does not have the red glow coming from behind the center of the dial. This red glow is visible (following LED installation) behind the tachometer, the fuel gauge, and the temp gauge. Is there some kind of conductive material on the needle itself that allows it to glow red, which might crack?

    I will follow up with pics. Thanks for your help.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skapusci View Post
    When I removed the cluster to switch the bulbs I did not notice anything different on the back of the speedometer. I can't say for certain what, if anything, is on the back of the needle because I did not remove the conductive "sheet" and identify the needles specifically. The only noticeable difference on the front side is the speedo needle does not have the red glow coming from behind the center of the dial. This red glow is visible (following LED installation) behind the tachometer, the fuel gauge, and the temp gauge. Is there some kind of conductive material on the needle itself that allows it to glow red, which might crack?

    I will follow up with pics. Thanks for your help.
    Flip the bulb around it's propably not lit up for that area.


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