6volt dash LED's

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55Greg&Amy
Posts: 1101
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:43 am

6volt dash LED's

Post by 55Greg&Amy »

I have been searching for new lighting for the dimly lit dash of my 55. The hard part was finding bulbs that were not only 6Volt but they had to also work in a Positive ground application During this search I only found one vendor in the U.S.A. that sells the proper BA9S LED bulb that is not polarity sensitive. These bulbs came from a pinball part supplier for about $2 each. After installing these bulbs I found that the LED has a direct beam and wouldn't light up the whole area needed, although they were considerably brighter.

The search continued.

I then found a supplier in Great Britain that could supply a bulb with LED's on 5 sides and were 6V positive ground. I ordered 2 bulbs to see how they would perform. The bulbs worked great but the only drawback was the price, nearly $7 each and $6 shipping for any amount up to 20 bulbs. To replace all 20 dash bulbs would cost around $150.

I then found a supplier (from China) that could supply the same style bulbs for $0.69 each with free shipping but they were negative ground. I ordered 20 bulbs and had a plan. What the heck, if it doesn't work, I'm only out $14.00.

The first step was to heat the bulb base slightly with my soldering iron to loosen the hot glue that holds the metal base to the plastic inner and melt the solder button on the center.
LED step 1 .jpeg
After removing the bulb base you can see where the ground wire bends over the plastic and the other wire would protrude through the base.
Led step 2 .jpeg
I the switched the position of the leads and soldered an extension to the center one.
LED step 3 .jpeg
I then hot glued the base to the plastic again.
LED step 4 .jpeg
After that I simply clipped the protruding wire and put a spot of solder on the end.
LED step 5 .jpeg
The first one took about 20 minutes to complete, but by the 10th bulb I was performing the whole operation in about 6 minutes. After spending less than 2 hours on this project you can see the results.

In this picture I had 1 LED installed in the wiper switch location to the right of the steering wheel.
LED Dash before  IMG_2855.jpg
In this picture 1 have only installed the new bulbs in 2 spots in the dash pod, and wow what a difference. The only drawback is the dash bulbs won't dim but I've spent the last several years trying to see the dash and would rather live with them being too bright than not being able to see at all.
LED Dash after IMG_2857.jpg
Last edited by 55Greg&Amy on Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Greg Minnich
Fort Wayne, In
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paulr
Posts: 1782
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:03 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: 6volt dash LED's

Post by paulr »

That's pretty resourceful, congratulations. All LEDs are uni-directional, so the newer units with LEDs mounted in varying directions produces a multi-directional light, if not an omni-directional one. So, that's been an advancement in the industry. I'd be interested to know how they perform long term, say, after 50 or so hours of use. Hopefully, the industry will implement dimming technology someday as has been done in household applications.

My main concern about dashboard LEDs is heat collection, as heat is a primary cause of failure. Hope you'll let us know how things fare for you. My second main concern is difficulty of installation in my '64...hopefully the '55 is not as bad as that.

Looks great!
Paul
VTCI 12014
Registry 45122
'64 Landau HT
"Beer, now there's a temporary solution!" ~Homer Simpson
allanmcnab
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: 6volt dash LED's

Post by allanmcnab »

could you tell me what the british company was? I am in the need of some lamp replacement soonish and don't have the skills.
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55Greg&Amy
Posts: 1101
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:43 am

Re: 6volt dash LED's

Post by 55Greg&Amy »

The company is on E-bay and their seller name is led_bulbs_for_classic_cars http://stores.ebay.com/ledbulbsforclassiccars/
Greg Minnich
Fort Wayne, In
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