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Post Info TOPIC: Installing LED's in the '69 rally gauge cluster


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Installing LED's in the '69 rally gauge cluster


I have pulled the dash cluster out of the '69, to convert the ammeter gauge in the rally cluster. In addition, I thought I would put #168 LED's in the cluster. I know someone has done this before and posted on here, I thought it was Mark (Cdnpont), but it wasn't.no My question is how do I determine polarity of the socket? The polarity is marked on most LED bulbs (the long contact leg is positive), but how can I tell if they are being put correctly in the socket? Especially, with the cluster being out of the car, I want to make sure they are functioning properly before reinstalling the cluster. Any advice on this or reviews of the best LED bulbs to use would be much appreciated! Thanks!



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'69 427 2+2 Convertible


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A topic I know something about. ... Did a full dashboard changeover two years ago.

Bulb quality: I paid dearly for Philips Ultinon 168 LED bulbs, some through Canadian Tire, some through Amazon.ca. I didn't ever want to remove and reinstall again, due to cheap bulbs.
Installation: It says on the Philips packaging outright that their bulbs are directional, meaning that if it doesn't light up, you remove it, turn it 180 degrees to reinstall and it should work. That may address your problem you mentioned, through just trial and error. My Can Am has some very limited fibre optic lighting as well. It's just a normal 168 that faces into a FO wire, so I figured what the heck put a LED bulb on that too. It worked.
Overall: You will be very happy with the difference in lighting when switch from regular to LED. It made a huge difference in legibility and clarity at night, primarily because the bulbs are 'daylight' (5000 lumen) versus warm or soft white (I think around 2700 lumen).

Good luck!


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I'm sure it was davepl that put the LED's in the dash of one of his 69 B-body cars.

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Thanks Mark, that picture is a good one. I will try to verify the positive spots.

Thanks Bob, I currently have some Sylvania Zevos bulbs with a lifetime warranty that are probably comparable to the Phillips because they werent cheap either! I know about flipping the bulbs around, but what I was looking for, is a way to put them in knowing they are being put in the socket and installed on the printed circuit the correct way without a power source, as the cluster is out of the car.

Thanks Clint...it was Dave, its all coming back to me!



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'69 427 2+2 Convertible


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Just a question, are these replacement bulbs dimmable? I have been in situations where I needed to dim the dash lights to improve visibility in poor weather.
Thanks,
Paul

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Since it's out of the car... With the cluster lighting, signals and high beam indicator, I'd just ground the cluster body to a spare battery neg. Then take a positive probe off the battery and touch the corresponding connection in the main connector lead in for the lamp(s) you're configuring. In the dark, one at a time, you'll soon find which way way the socket should be oriented to light the LED. Then move to the 4 idiot light sockets, positive common at #1. Then probe with negative 9-12.

Here's a legend for the board and plug,

Standard cluster,

cluste.jpg

ledgened.JPGplug.JPG

 

 Rally,

rally.JPG

 rally2.JPGr2.JPG



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Prefectca wrote:

Just a question, are these replacement bulbs dimmable? I have been in situations where I needed to dim the dash lights to improve visibility in poor weather.
Thanks,
Paul


 The ones I have are not dimmable. Not sure if they make dimmable ones.



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'69 427 2+2 Convertible


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cdnpont wrote:

Since it's out of the car... With the cluster lighting, signals and high beam indicator, I'd just ground the cluster body to a spare battery neg. Then take a positive probe off the battery and touch the corresponding connection in the main connector lead in for the lamp(s) you're configuring. In the dark, one at a time, you'll soon find which way way the socket should be oriented to light the LED. Then move to the 4 idiot light sockets, positive common at #1. Then probe with negative 9-12.

Here's a legend for the board and plug,

 


 Thanks Mark. That was what I was figuring I would have to do. Really appreciate the illustrations...pictures speak volumes! In my case, I will have to refer to the rally cluster chart from your "standard gauge to rally gauge conversion" post!biggrin



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I've added the Rally to the above post..



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gtodrive wrote:
Prefectca wrote:

Just a question, are these replacement bulbs dimmable? I have been in situations where I needed to dim the dash lights to improve visibility in poor weather.
Thanks,
Paul


 The ones I have are not dimmable. Not sure if they make dimmable ones.


 For LED's, you'll need a separate underdash dimmer,

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/atm-9114?seid=srese1&gclid=Cj0KCQiAqdP9BRDVARIsAGSZ8AnxCrqoyFNwQ92Gplwh5lf2xX43RrDOH9j5__CugaL-dCpKwPl8NbcaAo_yEALw_wcB

https://www.autometer.com/pub/media/manual/2650-1112.pdf

 

metr.JPG



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65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


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Just an update and a thanks for the help. I grounded the gauge body and connected power to the associated spot on the printed circuit and was able to check all of the LED's for polarity. I marked an arrow pointing up, on the socket, so I knew which way they went in as I replace the old printed circuit with a repo.

DSC04369.JPG

On another point...I pulled the cluster to also convert the ammeter to a voltmeter. I was going to put numbers for reference on the gauge face, however, I opted out of doing that and just set the needle on the gauge to align with 13 volts at the center mark. As far as converting the '69 ammeter to voltmeter, it couldn't be easier! I bought an NOS '84-'87 Chevy GMC truck voltmeter for $40, removed the needle, disassembled the mechanism can off the back, removed the mechanism can off the back of the ammeter, and swapped them out. THEY ARE THE EXACT SAME CAN! Perfect fit! I wired the positive stud to the water temp. positive stud and connected the ground stud to the cluster body.

front.jpg

back.jpg

ammeter.JPEG

I have another question. I was considering wiring the bulb sockets for the clock (2 sockets) and the heater control (1 socket) to a spot on the circuit board that feeds the other gauge bulbs. Is there a reason this wouldn't work? Sure would be convenient!

5.jpg



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'69 427 2+2 Convertible


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Looking good. I'm aiming on installing a ralley guage cluster in my convertible one of these days, do you have a part # for the NOS '84-'87 Chevy GMC truck voltmeter?

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Re your clock & heater control idea, I don't see why it wouldn't work. They're all fed by the same source.

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seventy2plus2 wrote:

Looking good. I'm aiming on installing a ralley guage cluster in my convertible one of these days, do you have a part # for the NOS '84-'87 Chevy GMC truck voltmeter?


 1984 1985 1986 1987 CHEVROLET GMC TRUCK VOLT METER 6474474 - per the EBay listing.



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