Dashboard lights REALLY dim, any fixes??
#1
Am I the only one who gets a really dim dash when I hit the lights? Even w/ the dial/switch turned all the way up I can barely see the speedo nevermind the revs or anything. (and just the top of the guages seem to be illuminated)

I was wondering if there is any way to make the dashboard light up better/brighter? Either w/ a better brand/kind of bulbs or replacing the wiring or anything like that

Note: I saw that thread about the fake brighter dash
(not what I'm looking for)

Any help would be appreciated, cause this problem is sorta stopping me from driving my 72 @ evening/night
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#2
Good Read

http://mach1club.com/showthread.php?tid=609
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#3
A friend of mine had the same problem. He replaced the regular bulbs with green led bulbs. Made a huge difference. Has no problems seeing his gauges at night now. With the bulbs he got he could still adjust the brightness. Ill find out today who he got them threw. If i remember right the kit was like $50.00. And u could go with what ever color led bulb u wanted.
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#4
I stumbled accross a fix last weekend. I was going to post a thread about the fix once I took some more pictures, but I do have some before pics.

A couple of weeks ago I installed some LED bulbs I bought off of ebay: Item title: 2 x T10 Super White 6-Led Light Bulb
Seller User ID: ushd

These offered some improvement, but still not happy with the brightness.

The following week I noticed my charging system was not charging (this was a new problem and did not have anything to do with the dimness of the dash lights), so I had the Alternator tested at Autozone, but it was fine. I had a new Motorcraft voltage regulator and starter solonoid (just did the solonoid for looks really) so I begain the installation. In the process I took my Dremel tool with a wirebrush attachment and cleaned the mounting holes and screws for the regulator and solonoid. I cleaned all the ends of the wires that connected to both the regulator and solonoid, as well as the battery terminal connectors at the solonoid and where it grounds to the regulator. I also cleaned each connector at the back of the alternator while I was at it. It took some time and patience, but when all was reassembled I tested the charging system with a voltmeter and I was getting almost 14 volts at idle. That night I started to take the car out for a spin and when I turned on the lights I could not believe how bright the dash lights were, including the radio, clock, lighter, wiper knob light, headlight knob light, and auto shift light. I'm not sure, but the wire that goes from the solonoid accross the shock tower mount into the firewall may be the clue. It's round connector was pretty corroded.

Here are some before pics of the solonoid and regulator and the associated wires. I took thses pics as a reference for reassembly. Try cleaning up all the connectors, holes in the fender, and screws. Remember to disconnect the battery first. Apparently one or all of these wires was the problem.

In this pic I outlined the area in red for the wire I believe goes through the firewall. Not sure what the rectangular thing is the wire connects to on the solonoid, but I spent a lot of time cleaning all the contact points on it.

[Image: DSCF9376-1.jpg]

[Image: DSCF9376.jpg]

[Image: DSCF9377.jpg]

[Image: DSCF9378.jpg]

[Image: DSCF9379.jpg]

Ok, I just took some after pictures:

[Image: DSCF9456.jpg]

[Image: DSCF9454.jpg]

[Image: DSCF9455.jpg]

[Image: DSCF9457.jpg]

[Image: DSCF9458.jpg]
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#5
Order the bulbs from the www.Mustangproject.com

http://www.mustangproject.com/ProductDis...6caa192141

I replaced most of the ones in thee guages and it's a huge improvement.
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#6
What is the best color to go with for a 71 Mach I? Are they green from the factory?
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#7
(11-03-2010, 08:23 AM)Fuelman Wrote: What is the best color to go with for a 71 Mach I? Are they green from the factory?

Yes they are the typical green color.

I drove mine last night and the dash boards were bright initially, they looked great and then as I drove longer the seemed to dim. Any suggestions here?
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#8
Thanks, RP. I'll have to try that.

Ace, I know this is a month old but what do your lenses look like? We went with LEDs and new lenses at the same time. Looks a lot better. Still not "new car" bright. RP may have the answer for that. Good connections make a huge difference in these old guys. With modern stuff it either works or it doesn't. Old stuff can still work when hanging by a thread.

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#9
Great information.

I was just going to start searching for an answer to this problem when I saw this thread.

My lights are so dim that I purchased a small flashlight to keep in the car so I could see the gauges! Low tech I know but it worked!

Sounds like a good idea to clean the connections as well as replace the bulbs. Kind of a double hit!

How hard is it to get to the bulbs? It looks like maybe I can remove a few screws and get access to the speedo and tach. What about the cluster of 3 gauges above the center console?
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#10
Pretty funny I was searching for some info on flickering dash lights  on my 70 on Google and found my own site  Laughing
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