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  1. #1
    Kyle Hudson
    My Brain Is Turbocharged TheSaabNinja's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    1989 Saab 900 16 Valve Automatic
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    '89 900 16 Valve : Speedo-Cluster Lights Too Dim?

    Hey all.

    Well, as the title says, my 89 900 16 valve's speedo-cluster lights is the topic of today's discussion.

    My question(s) to you all is this ; Around 10 pm last night, I was driving home from work. It is a bit hard to see the speedo-cluster. The lights ARE on, but its so dim to the point where they are useless. the dashboard lights are on max brightness.

    Am I in the market for new speedo-lights? and if so, which ones do I buy?

    If not, are they supposed to be this dim?

    (Pics soon to come)

    Thanks for the info!
    Kyle

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    [FONT=Arial Black]Kyle Hudson[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial Black]My Saabs :[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial Black]1989 Saab 900 16 Valve[/FONT]

  2. #2
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    - 86' 9KT - 95' 9K Custom CS - 06' 9-3 Combi - 07' 9-7X Arc - 08' 9-3 Convertible - 08' 9-3 TurboX -
    Thumbs Up:   3
    As much as I hate to say it - go on saablink and do a search for this topic. SPGproject (ethan) had an 86SPG which he fitted (direct replacement) some Volvo bulbs which I think were LED or just 10x's brighter. Looked much cleaner and modern and made the gauges BRIGHT to read.

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    European Motor Services, LLC - Point Pleasant, PA 18950 - www.europeanmotorsvc.com

  3. #3
    Kyle Hudson
    My Brain Is Turbocharged TheSaabNinja's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    1989 Saab 900 16 Valve Automatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnsside42 View Post
    As much as I hate to say it - go on saablink and do a search for this topic. SPGproject (ethan) had an 86SPG which he fitted (direct replacement) some Volvo bulbs which I think were LED or just 10x's brighter. Looked much cleaner and modern and made the gauges BRIGHT to read.
    I shall definitely take a look into that.
    Thanks!

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    [FONT=Arial Black]Kyle Hudson[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial Black]My Saabs :[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial Black]1989 Saab 900 16 Valve[/FONT]

  4. #4
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    14 Aug 2010
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    Saab(s)
    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    There is a rheostat that controls the brightness. I think it's the knob on the gauge panel (sticking through the clear plastic) to the right of the odometer reset button. Try twiddling with it first, then get LEDs if you're still not satisfied. DO NOT use a higher wattage. I have seen bulbs of improper wattage get too hot, melt the plastic housing, and ruin the copper tracks on the PCB on the back of the gauge cluster. It's just not something to monkey around with. LEDs run nice and cool.

    My friend Ian (goes here by the username Drwatson32) put in some green LEDs which match the color of the rest of the dash illumination fairly well. The gauge cluster does have a green light filter, but it gets overpowered by very powerful white LEDs, hence the use of green ones.

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    Last edited by euromobile900; 15 March 2012 at 04:30.
    Ask me a question about your c900! I promise I either can answer it or know someone who can

  5. #5
    Saab Fan
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    07 Mar 2012
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    I was on the moon. With Steve!
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    Saab(s)
    '89 c900 T16
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    I have been using LEDs in the instrument cluster for about four years now and they are great. Its one of the those small mods that once you have seen the light...you will never go back.

    Interesting about using green LEDs... I have been using white LEDs and haven't had a problem with them overpowering the green light filter.

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    Last edited by dmgb5; 15 March 2012 at 04:07. Reason: photo

  6. #6
    Paul A
    Saab Nut
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    Saab(s)
    T16 '93 Ruby - T16 '94 Vert Ruby
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmgb5;40974
    Interesting about using green LEDs... I have been using white LEDs and haven't had a problem with them overpowering the green light filter.
    [img
    http://saabworld.net/images/imported/2012/03/64.jpg[/img]
    Hmm, white lights overpowering green filter. What a load of tosh. Assuming the same brightness, white light will always be brighter through a filter. I'm using superbright white LEDs, and they're perfect. Some people say that LEDs don't dim. That's tosh too. Ohms Law applies in all cases.

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  7. #7
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    I'm sorry, that was just my impression, from hearsay from a friend. I guess I don't know enough about the subject, because I've always been happy with the stock bulbs. But I do know you can't use higher wattage or you'll melt stuff!

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    Last edited by euromobile900; 15 March 2012 at 20:09.
    Ask me a question about your c900! I promise I either can answer it or know someone who can

  8. #8
    Paul A
    Saab Nut
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    Saab(s)
    T16 '93 Ruby - T16 '94 Vert Ruby
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    Quote Originally Posted by euromobile900 View Post
    I'm sorry, that was just my impression. I guess I don't know enough about the subject, because I've always been happy with the stock bulbs. But I do know you can't use higher wattage or you'll melt stuff!
    You are right there. They do melt stuff. Another benefit of LEDs is because they use a much lower wattage the contact to the dash circuit is more reliable. Many guys complain of this and I've have a bit myself. With LEDs - no problem.

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  9. #9
    Kyle Hudson
    My Brain Is Turbocharged TheSaabNinja's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    1989 Saab 900 16 Valve Automatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmgb5 View Post
    I have been using LEDs in the instrument cluster for about four years now and they are great. Its one of the those small mods that once you have seen the light...you will never go back.

    Interesting about using green LEDs... I have been using white LEDs and haven't had a problem with them overpowering the green light filter.
    Looks sharp! I definitely like that, looks a lot better than what I am seeing at the moment xD

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    [FONT=Arial Black]Kyle Hudson[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial Black]My Saabs :[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial Black]1989 Saab 900 16 Valve[/FONT]

  10. #10
    Saab Enthusiast 900Aero's Avatar
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    27 Jan 2012
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    Colorado
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    Saab(s)
    900 Turbo, 9-3 SE, 9-5 Aero
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    Me too, about 6 years for me. I did not like the green bulbs, too much. My circuit board crapped out, so I wired the lights to the headlight switch bulb. Much brighter and more consistent than incandescents.

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