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Instrument cluster Bulb replacement


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Jonathan

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 12:49 PM

Can anyone help me with the removal of the black panel that needs to be taken off to get to the instrument cluster? I can't seem to get it over the steering wheel. I did a search and read through my haynes manual but it didn't help much.

I know there is a bolt that need to be loosened to drop the steering wheel but I can't find it.. where is it?

Once I get to the cluster is it just a matter of unscrewing it and pulling it out or is there a speedo cable in addition to the wiring harnesses?

The bulbs that are burnt out are the ones that light up the numbers.. I believe its a 158 bulb.. I want to change them with LED bulbs or a blue tinted blue to make it whiter.. will a 194/168 bulb work? according to ebay they are interchangable but then again who trusts ebay. :)

The car is a 1994 Legacy Wagon (AUTO)

Sorry for the long post... thanks for reading.

#2 gbhrps

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 06:21 PM

I've never had to remove the instrument panel on any of my Subaru's but several other cars in the past, and came up against the same problem. Each time all I had to do was to remove the plastic covers on the steering column. Usually they split along the sides and are held to the steering column by screws located in the bottom. Once the screws are out just pull the bottom cover off and the top one should be able to be lifted off as well. That should give you clearance to remove the instrument panel without having to drop the steering column. Good luck!

#3 Jonathan

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 07:48 PM

Originally posted by gbhrps
I've never had to remove the instrument panel on any of my Subaru's but several other cars in the past, and came up against the same problem. Each time all I had to do was to remove the plastic covers on the steering column. Usually they split along the sides and are held to the steering column by screws located in the bottom. Once the screws are out just pull the bottom cover off and the top one should be able to be lifted off as well. That should give you clearance to remove the instrument panel without having to drop the steering column. Good luck!



Whoa good call on that one!.. what a dummy I am lol.. any answers on any other of my questions?

#4 gbianchi

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 09:33 PM

almost positive there is a speedo cable in the mix, thats usualy the toughest part, at least in all the dash adventures I've taken

#5 Setright

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 03:06 AM

Jonathan!

I have experimented a lot in recent months with the colour and bulb type. LED's are not going to work, since the lighting setup relies on fibre optics. LED's don't spread the light enough and you well get noticable dark spots on the dials.

A light blue tint on the bulbs will make the light whiter, but not very pleasant to my liking, too sharp. Having been through a number of other colours, I have finally stayed with orange. Yes, orange. The needles in my car are orange and the light complements this very nicely. At night the needles seem to glow rather than shine, very cool. The numbers don't go totally orange, they just glow in off-white.

I suggest buying a replacement bulb set from a Sube dealer since these are certain to be the right brightness and have the correct fitting system. Trust me, I have tried to save by purchasing other bulbs. No dice. Not bright enough - especially after painting them!

There are two or three wire harnesses to disconnect from the instrument cluster and one speedo cable. Pulling on the whole instrument unit should free the cable up, but CAREFUL, once it lets go the cluster comes forward pretty fast!
Getting it back on is more tricky, but it should be possible to get a hand up from underneath and grab hold of the cable. Make sure it clicks back into position.

If there is anything i have left out....you know where to find me :D

#6 Jonathan

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 05:53 AM

Thanks so much guys! I think I'll tackle this project this weekend. At this point my biggest concern is the speedo cable, I'm not really sure how it's attached or if I can disconnect or reattach it wrong. Guess I'll find out soon enough. Any other tips or tricks are welcome.

Jonathan

#7 Setright

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 06:41 AM

A wire inside a black plastic shroud. The end is square in cross section, to match the hole it goes into. Not too hard to get it in there. The problem is the larger circular ring that must snap into place, pressing it hard enough is difficult when you're upside down on the driver's seat and cant actually see your hand anymore!!




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