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Old 08-15-2007, 02:45 PM
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Gauge light issue

First off, I want to say this site and it's members have been an incredible help to me over the last few months. Every question and issue I've come across so far I've been able to find the answers to already posted somewhere in the forums...

until now!

Anybody with a 71-73 mustang knows the gauge lighting leaves ALOT to be desired. I finally (after MUCH nagging by the wife) took apart the dash and instrument cluster to replace all the bulbs back there. This is on a 73 mustang without the tachometer.

I have 14 light sockets on the back on the cluster into the circuit board. I decided to go with an LED conversion kit, which basically just consisted of 14 LEDS.

So, I started pulling out the sockets, pulling out the bulbs, and replacing each with the corresponding colored LED's (7 blues, 2 whites, 5 red). Got them all replaced, hooked up the cluster, and now I have maybe half of them working, and the other half not.

A few of the non-working ones I pulled out, reinserted the LED a little more loosely, and that worked. A couple of them won't work with the LED's, but when I put the regular bulb back in, it lights right up. An example is my right turn signal. With the original bulb, it blinks on and off like a good little light, but when I insert the white LED into it, nothing happens. The left blinker I replaced with the LED, and it worked on first try.

My question is, does this sound like an issue with my light socket or with the LED's? I noticed the wires coming out of the LED are a bit smaller and only a single wire (the factory bulbs have 2 coming out on each side) running up each side. Am I just not getting enough contact with the LED bulb wire? A few of the contact points of the socket seemed dirty, so I wire-brushed them clean, as well as double checking my fuses (all are good). Don't think it's a fuse problem because I would think NONE of the lights would work, whereas about 1/2 work currently. Any helpful hints or advice would be MOST appreciated.

Thanks in advance! Oh, one other thing: Being fairly noobish with electrical stuff, is there a way I can test each of these little pull out sockets with an external power source, instead of having to have the gauge cluster hooked up and putting them in that way? The cluster doesn't pull out very far, and makes reaching around the back of the cluster and feeling around for the hole a bit difficult, as well as time consuming trying to check all the ones not working. Thanks again!



Last edited by 73pony; 08-15-2007 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:54 PM
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Doc here,

First of all, If I read this right, you simply want to test some LED lamps..that don't work in their designated sockets.

Get out your DVOM, Isolate all your non~Working lamps..With your DVOM set to RX1, Calibrated to "000", and fresh battery's, remove the FIRST lamp, OBSERVE the LED leg wires as you do...Cathode and Anode..MAKE sure it goes back that way when done!

Measure between the Legs until you get a reading..then reverse the probes until you DON'T get a reading..If you have that the LED SHOULD operate..

When re~inserting the LED, look at the next WORKING LED legs..find the direction of the LONGEST sure yours matches that..If backward, It won't light..(It IS still a diode!)...

To build a test supply, the quickest way is get a 12 volt lantern battery and red and Black Aligator Clips about 2 or 3 feet long and use'll find this to work just fine.

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Old 08-15-2007, 07:05 PM
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Thanks Doc!!

I wasn't aware of the pos/neg importance on these LED's as I was putting them in, and had some pos contact points on the negatives. Pulled the whole cluster out and examined each faulty one individually, reinserted them correctly into gauge cluster, and wouldn't you know it? :-)

and Doc said, LET THERE BE LIGHT!!! Geez i'm a noob, but thanks again!
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