HOW TO: Change dash light bulbs - SR20 Forum
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Old 09-14-2004, 03:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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HOW TO: Change dash light bulbs

This is for 91'-92 b13, and I assume the rest of the lot as well.


This has been gone over several times, but I figure I would write out what it involved for me, as well as minor details that were not listed in the other write-ups I read before I started.

Unhook the speedometer cable from under the hood first. You should be able to trace it down from the firewall, to a ledge on the tranny. Take a carb. cleaner soaked rag, and clean off the area to prevent any dirt/debris from falling into the tranny once the cable is out. Using a 1/4" drive, 10mm ratchet loosen up the bolt (its about an inch from where the cable enters the tranny). In my case, the bolt was finger tight after I broke it loose. The cable should come right out. Once its loose, take another clean papertowel and lay in on the hole. Once you get the dash disassembled (skipping minor details here) the instrument panel should come out far enough that you can turn it to either side to replace the bulbs.

The bulbs: The bulbs are made into a socket that has wings on it for the contact points, hidden behind a plastic tab. There are no wires going to the bulbs because there is a electric "board" that is on the back of the panel in whick the bulb sockets attach. Everything I read simply said that a 194 bulb would work, but thats not the case. It IS a 194 bulb, made into the whole bulb/socket assembley. The socket says to replace the entire unit, but with my dash apart and speedometer cable dangling I had to improvise. I used a small flathead screwdriver to pry the wires from the original bulbs off of the socket and rewired it with the new bulbs. If you decide to solder the new bulbs into the socket, be carefull not to melt it.

My problem: When all was said and done, my speedometer didnt work. I put the cable back into the tranny, and tightened the bolt like I was supposed to, but no speedo. I later took the bolt back out and put a bit more muscle into sliding the cable back into the tranny and it snapped in place. Now, all's well.

I have to say that its really not that bad of a job, about an hour. It is definately not worth the 120$ a daler wanted to swap it out....Josh

P.S. If you do like I did and try the lights before you have the panel put back in, you have to reconnect the dimmer switch, power mirror controls, and cruise control harnesses for them to come on.....
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Old 10-10-2004, 10:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My problem is that none of the lights work for the speedo, tach etc. My clock light works though. would that be a fuse or just the lights went out?
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i'd prolly be just as easy, if not easier to just wire in a couple of white LEDs behind the gauges w/ a switch...

prolly look cooler too...
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Old 10-12-2004, 10:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can't just wire them behind it..the lights go into little holes..so you'd barely get any light. The way I find easier to do it is I lay on the driver seat looking up. You can reach up and unplug the speedo cable from there..no popping the hood. I did it today actually installing a tach lol
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryans
My problem is that none of the lights work for the speedo, tach etc. My clock light works though. would that be a fuse or just the lights went out?
Did they all go out at the same time? I wouldn't say its a fuse, maybe the switch. Does the dimmer switch work properly?
-Josh
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Old 10-21-2004, 11:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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you can wire in lights from behind.all you have to do is go onto the autometer website and order the bulb sockets for the 2 1/6 gauges,they pop right in and than run power to them.they look 100% original too.
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Old 10-21-2004, 11:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Im gonna try to bypass my dimmer switch, cause i have the same problem, where nothing works.....
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Old 10-22-2004, 10:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I would think there's got to be 12V led's out there that you can swap for bulbs. I'd always heard that with LED's, especially in regards to making a cluster of them for tailight bulb replacement, requires resistors and whatnot.
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Old 10-25-2004, 12:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolapcfan
I would think there's got to be 12V led's out there that you can swap for bulbs.
I dont think so. The hole you have to slide the bulb into is just large enough to get the 194 bulb into, and all of the LED clusters I have seen are WAY too big to fit.
-Josh
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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200sx bulb numbers

hope this can help someone, not sure how different the classics/NX/G20s are, but here is the bulb list for the 200sx:


Item Wattage(W) Bulb No.
EXTERIOR, FRONT
Headlights 65/45 9004
Front turn signal 27/81 157
Front fog lamp 35 H3

EXTERIOR, REAR
Rear Turn signal 27 1156
Rear Stop/Tail 27/8 1157
Rear Back-up 13 912
Rear High 13 912
License plate light 5 168

INTERIOR
Trunk interior light 3.5 158
Interior light (dome) 8 DE3175
Instrument panel 194, 158, 70BB, 70
Defrost, HVAC 74



Last edited by webninja; 10-26-2004 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 08-18-2006, 04:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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For anyone who's interested:

If you take out all of the screws in the instrument panel, then hold it with one hand, and feel around with your other on the other side of it, you will find a U clip that goes around the speedometer harness on the back of it, just push that U clip away from the cable (it spins, so you can turn it to wher eyou like it) and pull the speedo cable right off. No removing it from the tranny needed. The speedo cable is roughly equiv to a 6 gauge wire in width, and is all black. If you look up from your floor in the driver's side, you can see it.

Also for the record, I tried Red, green, and blue. Our dash lights come factory blue (even though it shines white), so blue was the only color that came through true. Red looked almost pink, and green...dont even get me started.

Go blue. I went with the WLED 5 LED wedge bulbs from www.superbrightleds.com

Last edited by Canx2k; 08-18-2006 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Canx2k, Did you just plug the LED's in? That's exactly what I'm planning on doing except in white. I'm having a hard time trying to find the clip to unhook the speedo cable though.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I didn't even know of this thread until now. I was wondering what size bulb it was. I need to try and go pry off the bulb from the socket and replace it. Sucks not seeing my gas gauge and rpm's at night!
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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yes, the LED's were plug right in, provided they have the built in resistor, or are made for a 12 volt circut. Again, be careful not to fry the 'tail light' fuse, and when you are working on this stuff, i'd reccommend purchasing some 10A fuses just in case you do. Other than that, Im still reccommending blue, but your choice of course.

The speedo cable isn't hard to find if you have a flashlight . Like i said, it's a thick black cable with a large U clip that attaches it.

Good luck.
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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can someone tell me how to take off the gauge cluster? Like Canx2k has it I guess
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Old 12-16-2006, 06:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
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and how many led bulbs i will need.
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Old 12-17-2006, 10:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
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If my memory serves (R.I.P.) You will need about 4 for the dash lights. If you just need to light the speedo and tach, fourn should be enough..
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Does the b13 guage cluster fit into the b14? I like how the b13 cluster has the digital clock built into it.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:45 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I removed the instrument panel in my NX today, to give it a good clean and check out what LED replacement bulbs I was going to buy. So I thought I would post some pics of the things you can't see when you're shoving your hands into those tight places.

After slicing up my hands and having no idea what I was trying to disconnect from the back of the gauges, I opted to pull the cable from the tranny and feed it back through the firewall. This was pretty easy really, and I gave it a clean at the same time.




Once the cluster was out I could see how simple the speedo cable clip really was. Now that I've seen it I'm sure next time it can be done without pulling the tranny cable. Here's how it all looks and goes together (on the RHD anyway). Speedo cable is A obviously..





Here are some close ups of the bulbs, 2 different sizes I could see..




Hope that helps someone!

Last edited by nxau213; 12-18-2006 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Size is 194 for the cluster. Theres also one bulb for the HVAC. Dont forget that one.
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