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LED replacement bulbs for gauge clusters #1058361 04/02/13 04:24 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 349
ClayTK Offline OP
Mudrunner
Has anyone replaced the regular 74 (small bulbs) and 158 (big bulbs) in their instrument clusters with the LED equivalents?

I want to but I found they have different ones which have a different number of LEDs on them as well as colors.

I have a 98 which has the blue gauge clusters and I imagine that getting different colored LEDs could drastically change the illuminated color through the gauges so I figure sticking with clear or a blue LED would be best. I figured the clear white would just make it all brighter whereas the blue would enrich the already blue gauge markings.

I found this site which has lots to choose from:
superbrightleds.com


1998 Mitsubishi Montero
2" Body lift
35" Cooper tires
Parrot Asteroid Smart w/ factory AMP
Cobra 29 LX CB Radio w/ Firestik MK-DM18R rooftop mount
Aisin Manual hubs
Grote 36 LED, TractorPlus (Wired to factory fog light switch)
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Re: LED replacement bulbs for gauge clusters [Re: ClayTK] #1058362 04/02/13 07:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 593
DR1665 Offline
Rock Warrior
Are the backs of the gauge faces blue? If not, you should be able to use just about anything, keeping in mind that the colors printed on the faces will act like filters. Blue LEDs might turn your redline purple, ya know? For my GVR4, I just installed a couple strips of LEDs around the gauges themselves. It's crazy bright, red and white, but I still need to do something about the needles, which I can no longer see.


Brian DR1665 | GBXM | Gearheads United.
89 Raider SWB [rock] | 91 Galant VR4 [roller]
Re: LED replacement bulbs for gauge clusters [Re: DR1665] #1058363 04/02/13 08:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 349
ClayTK Offline OP
Mudrunner
I guess I am not sure about the backs, I think from what I can recall its white plastic then the gauge face which the negative space is black and the markings are blue but yea where the RPMs are red I was wondering about that.


1998 Mitsubishi Montero
2" Body lift
35" Cooper tires
Parrot Asteroid Smart w/ factory AMP
Cobra 29 LX CB Radio w/ Firestik MK-DM18R rooftop mount
Aisin Manual hubs
Grote 36 LED, TractorPlus (Wired to factory fog light switch)
Re: LED replacement bulbs for gauge clusters [Re: ClayTK] #1058364 04/02/13 08:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 16,227
off-roader Offline
Web Wheeler
*****
IIRC on my gen II it uses type 74 mini bulbs? I bought a full box of them but don't have them with me so I can't confirm the p/n.

The bulbs sit in a plastic bulb holder which is inserted into the gauge cluster.

Unfortunately I don't recall how the gen I's are set up but I would think it's pretty similar.

Re: LED replacement bulbs for gauge clusters [Re: off-roader] #1058365 04/02/13 08:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 349
ClayTK Offline OP
Mudrunner
The ones I want to replace are in a GenII. I know what the parts are but what concerns me is color and amount of LEDs on one bulb and the location of said LEDs which might cause light to flood into other areas they shouldn't.


1998 Mitsubishi Montero
2" Body lift
35" Cooper tires
Parrot Asteroid Smart w/ factory AMP
Cobra 29 LX CB Radio w/ Firestik MK-DM18R rooftop mount
Aisin Manual hubs
Grote 36 LED, TractorPlus (Wired to factory fog light switch)
Re: LED replacement bulbs for gauge clusters [Re: off-roader] #1058366 04/02/13 09:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 349
ClayTK Offline OP
Mudrunner
Quote
Unfortunately I don't recall how the gen I's are set up but I would think it's pretty similar.


And Yes the GenIs and GenIIs use the same bulb types.


1998 Mitsubishi Montero
2" Body lift
35" Cooper tires
Parrot Asteroid Smart w/ factory AMP
Cobra 29 LX CB Radio w/ Firestik MK-DM18R rooftop mount
Aisin Manual hubs
Grote 36 LED, TractorPlus (Wired to factory fog light switch)
Re: LED replacement bulbs for gauge clusters [Re: ClayTK] #1058367 04/02/13 09:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 16,227
off-roader Offline
Web Wheeler
*****
Yeah, can't answer that one. Try and see is only thing I can advise since mine are still incandescents. I do run LEDs for all my other interior lights with the exception of the center 2 individually switched map lights up front and the visor lights.


Off Roader
98 Montero with the Winter Package
89 Montero minty clean and reserved for overlanding trips or Cars and Coffee events
96SR (3.15:1 xcase, 35's) gone to the rust gods
96SR Build Up Thread
Old web page
Old web page
Re: LED replacement bulbs for gauge clusters [Re: off-roader] #1058368 04/03/13 01:00 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,511
ryany Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Do some research on the candlepower of the bulbs - you'll generally need the brightest LED you can buy in order to get the equivalent brightness of the original incandescent bulb.

If you decide to install colored LEDs, you will lose any color in your gauges other than the color of the LEDs. A blue LED only creates light in the blue spectrum, so if your redline is designed with a red filter to allow it to show as red, you'll no longer see it because the LED doesn't create any light in the red spectrum to show through the filter. The crappy cell phone pic of my Miata's cluster below shows what I'm talking about.

[Linked Image]

The OEM gauge markings have a slight green filter on them (as you can see on the HVAC controls) and the aftermarket gauges have no filter, which makes them far brighter. The redline markings on the tach are virtually invisible now. Since I took this photo I replaced the brighter LEDs in the aftermarket gauges with some slightly lower power LEDs to balance the light levels a little better, and installed LEDs in the HVAC controls also.

These are the two different LED types I ended up using - ordered them on Ebay from a seller in Hong Kong, which took a few weeks to get here but was half the cost of SuperbrightLEDs.com.

[Linked Image]


95 Montero SR
3.8 MIVEC, Advance headers, 2 1/2" exhaust, Magnaflow muffler, OME shocks & rear springs, 2" body lift, 3" tank lift, 4.90s, TRE front locker, factory rear locker, Roger Brown Rock Sliderz, 315/75r16 (35") tires, Sport big brakes
Re: LED replacement bulbs for gauge clusters [Re: ryany] #1058369 04/05/13 07:34 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 13
Sabre Offline
Need a Spot
I got the LED lamps from Superbright. For the five lamps needed for the 2WD/4WD/CDL display, you just need white. Brightness is no concern; mine now work exactly like they're supposed to.

I also got some blue lights for the guages but took them out immediately. The light distribution pattern was much too focused (not diffuse enough, large parts of display were dark) and parts of the guage disappeared with the blue lamps.

I'm very happy with the others, though.


I could tell you more, but suddenly I am run over by a truck.
-Michael O'Donoghue, "How to Write Good"

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
-the Dalai Lama







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