Learn to swim
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Louisville, KY
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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.....
"A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. Do you really think that when Jesus comes back he will want to see a fucking cross? It's kind of like walking up to Jackie Onassis wearing a rifle pendant."