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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Portland, OR
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Replacing dash lights in 85/1 944

I'm in a good DIY mood as of late, and am considering doing a little lighting work in my 85 944. I have the old dash (not the 85.5 or newer) one. The images/manuals I have all reference the 85.5 dash. My questions are for those of you with the older dash...

Which bulbs did you use? Is anyone using LED bulbs? If you're using LEDs, what colors did you use (though if I went that route I'd end up going with white bulbs)?

How hard is it to get to the bulbs? Just a few screws, or would I be spending the entire day in my garage taking the dash on and off?

Other things I should know? I'm learning a lot by reading around here!
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:27 AM
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I have an 84 that has stock bulbs. I replaced them all and it was amazing how well the stock bulbs light things, not like a 2006 dash but it is pretty good. I haven't tried the LED route but I know they are fairly directional in their light. I know someone who took the backs of the gages off for some repair and then painted the inside white to better reflect the light? This car is my 17 year olds daily driver so I wanted to have the best result for him and we are happy with the cleaned-up standard bulbs.

As to removal you have to remove the steering wheel and some other components on the column then 2 screws hold in the center cluster. The speedo cable has to come loose and then you have the cluster in your lap. the first time I did it it took about 45 minutes but now i can have it out in about 10-15 minutes max. (I'v e had speedo/odometer repair problems and tach problems hence the removal several times). check the Haynes manual it is pretty clear.

Good luck.

FYI there was quite a bit of discussion on the 911 board here, you might try a search for LED and gagues or instruments that incluses a search of the 911 board.[img]
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Jay Traner
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:38 AM
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Jay,

Interesting. I'll have to search the 911 forum too! So often I don't because it gives me more results than I need. I'll have to find a copy of the Haynes manual that has the pages I need...
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:52 AM
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when you remove the speedo cable, the writeups I read said that you should pull the cluster out, one side more than the other, then reach around and unscrew it...

I found that it's MUCH easier to reach up under the dash (around the DME) before you even take out the cluster... and unscrew the speedo cable from there.
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Kyle

2008 Mini Cooper // '83 Porsche 944 // '01 Mazda Protege [sold] //
"Never break more than you fix!" - SoCal Driver
Old 12-13-2006, 12:59 PM
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How many bulbs are there/what sizes?
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:15 PM
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12V, 1.2W.... 2721 i believe.. i think 37 is another part number..

just take one out and go to the store and find one of the same size that is 12V and 1.2W

here's the porsche part number.. 900 631 132 90
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Kyle

2008 Mini Cooper // '83 Porsche 944 // '01 Mazda Protege [sold] //
"Never break more than you fix!" - SoCal Driver
Old 12-13-2006, 01:46 PM
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Cool, Kyle. I'm guessing 5 bulbs?
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:48 PM
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ummmm
i think there's 3 in the tach... 2 or 3 in the speedo...

I'm not sure, but i think the gauge on the left (gas gauge, temp, and all the warning lights) are a smaller kind... same kind you put behind your clock and oil pressure gauge..

so pick up 6 or 7 and you should be good to go with a couple spares.
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Kyle

2008 Mini Cooper // '83 Porsche 944 // '01 Mazda Protege [sold] //
"Never break more than you fix!" - SoCal Driver
Old 12-13-2006, 01:59 PM
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Hrm...I guess I'll just have to look this weekend.
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Old 12-13-2006, 02:26 PM
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Damnit, I think I shocked the bulbs and busted the filaments in the oil pressure gauge and clock. Time to get new bulbs. At least it's not the tach or spedometer, right?
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:54 PM
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yea my clock light doesn't work either... it's on my 'list of things to do when i'm bored' ..
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Kyle

2008 Mini Cooper // '83 Porsche 944 // '01 Mazda Protege [sold] //
"Never break more than you fix!" - SoCal Driver
Old 12-13-2006, 09:07 PM
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It jumped to the top of my list because it worked FINE before I went looking. Stupid me. I currently don't have any big issues to deal with, so it's cool.
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:10 PM
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