Dim Instrument Cluster Lights

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dixon5553
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Dim Instrument Cluster Lights

Post by dixon5553 »

Hi - my instrument cluster on my 66" Corsa, is not very bright at night make it hard to read the gauges. Any suggestion on how to improve the lamination and brighten thing up?

joelsplace
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Re: Dim Instrument Cluster Lights

Post by joelsplace »

Check for good grounds. The headlight switch dimmer could have high resistance also. If everything is ok then you could change to LED.
113 Corvairs, 5 Ultravans and counting
Northlake, TX

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terribleted
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Re: Dim Instrument Cluster Lights

Post by terribleted »

I assume they are adjusted up all the way?
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bbodie52
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Re: Dim Instrument Cluster Lights

Post by bbodie52 »

The Corsa and Monza instrument panels can develop problems with the electric instruments and/or illumination lights. The panels are plastic, so a metal conductive grounding strap links the electric gauges together and then ties them to chassis ground at a single point. If the single screw that attaches that grounding strap to the metal dashboard becomes loose or corroded, the electrical ground to the instrument panel components may be poor or lost and this can disrupt the operation of the electric gauges and illumination lights.

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Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

66vairguy
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Re: Dim Instrument Cluster Lights

Post by 66vairguy »

dixon5553 wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:20 pm
Hi - my instrument cluster on my 66" Corsa, is not very bright at night make it hard to read the gauges. Any suggestion on how to improve the lamination and brighten thing up?
A common complaint. I've taken several Corsa instrument clusters apart and one issue I find is incorrect bulbs were installed. They should be #1816 and I often find the slightly dimmer #1895 bulbs installed. Even with the correct #1816 bulb the cluster is was never "bright", but acceptable. Cleaning up the housings and lenses will brighten things up a little, DON'T use an aggressive cleaner on the old light green paint in the housings. I also use the SuperBrite LEDs. You can go with different colors, but the warmwhite (BA9S-WWHP5) give the same color rendition of the old incandescent bulb, but are brighter and will dim via the headlamp knob, but not the same range. Then again FEW want to dim the instrument lights on a Corsa.

Note the new #1816 bulbs are a little taller, but work fine EXCEPT in the tachometer where the plastic bulb housing is not tall enough for the new bulbs. Contrary to "opinions" there is no problem with removing and tossing the clear plastic inner covers for the bulbs. Also a lot of weird theories about the dried out foam on the back side of the tachometer dial plate - the foam just blocks reflections from the bulb at the needle opening on the dial - just install new foam if needed using outside house weather strip foam.

dixon5553
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Re: Dim Instrument Cluster Lights

Post by dixon5553 »

Re the above how many lamp blubs are used on a Corsa IP ?

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terribleted
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Re: Dim Instrument Cluster Lights

Post by terribleted »

There are a number, they were not all the same bulb either. Seems like Clark's catalog has a pretty good breakdown in their catalog.
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.
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bbodie52
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Re: Dim Instrument Cluster Lights

Post by bbodie52 »

Here are the bulb specifications from the 1965 Corvair Chassis Shop Manual Specifications section, page 10...
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According to the 1961 Corvair Shop Manual Specifications section (CHASSIS ELECTRICAL BULB SPECIFICATIONS) that are found on page 12-12, the correct bulb for the instrument lamps is a GE 1816.
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Complete wiring diagrams can be viewed by clicking on the link below (located in Board index >> Technical Section >> DIY - Explanations and Demonstrations)…
CORVAIR COMBINED WIRING SCHEMATIC DIAGRAMS
:link: viewtopic.php?f=225&t=12968

Lamp# 1816 LED Equivalent Miniature Light Bulb
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:link: https://www.soslightbulbs.com/product/l ... ight-bulb/
Specifications
This is a direct LED replacement for Miniature Bayonet Based miniature incandescent lamps. These LEDs are ideal for mission critical applications such as power plant displays, industrial equipment, and elevator controls. Long-life, low power consumption, shock resistance, and extreme thermal tolerance make LEDs ideal for harsh industrial environments.

Dome Version: A molded diffuser lens increases the viewing angle making this LED more suited for use behind larger displays, switches or lens covers.

Features and Benefits:
- Up to 90% Energy Savings Over Incandescent Lamps
- Long Life, 100,000 hours, Almost 10 years
- Reduces Relamping Labor Cost
- Shock and Vibration Proof
- Lower Operating Temperature
- Increased Safety, No glass that can shatter
LED Equivalent Specifications:

Lamp Shape: T3 1/4
Base Style: Miniature Bayonet (BA9S)
Length MOL: 1.10"
Diameter MOD: 0.40"
Electrical Data: 5-28V AC/DC (Bi-Polar), 20ma

===========================================================

Other LED replacement possibilities...

Makergroup 1445 17053 BA9S Miniature Bayonet Single Contact Base LED Light Bulbs for RV Camper Trailer Automotive Light Bulbs Dome lights Map Reading lights 12VDC Warm White 4-Pack

:link: https://www.amazon.com/Makergroup-Minia ... Light+Bulb

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  • BA9S LED Light Bulbs. Warm White Color 3000K. 5pcs SMD LEDs, 5-10 Watts Incandescent equivalent. Replaces Stock Bulb: 12146, 1445, 17053, 1815, 1816, 182, 1889, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1895, 1895A, 216, 293, 363, 3886X, 3893, 53, 53X, 57, 6253, 64111, 64113, 64115, 756
  • Sturdy Quality. Excellent driver solution and heat dissipation, which ensures the long life span of the product.
  • Easy plug-and-play installation—just twist to lock in place.
  • It creates a 360° viewing angle for better, allover light emission with reduced hot spots.
  • Important Note: please make sure your bulb base is a 9-mm miniature bayonet BA9S base. Please refer to the base type showed on the picture.
:chevy:
Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

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