Instrument cluster refresh

Mopar Interiors

  1. coyote42

    coyote42 Well-Known Member

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    Hi A Bodies, working on my 70 Duster cluster. Taken it all apart to clean and refresh paint. Couple questions, does the Standard dash lighting look better with the blue diffusers out? What LED replacements are you using? Should I do a voltage regulator update on the circuit board and what is the update? I will be repainting the needles, does the black cap on the speedo come off? Any other tips would be appreciated. Thanks.

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  2. volunteer

    volunteer Well-Known Member

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    It's fun to detail clusters - mainly due to a lot cheaper than doing the outside bezel and lenses. I will mention a couple things. There seem to be plenty of LED replacements available and I have used a few on exterior lights - to mixed revues. My latest purchase was a pack of 10 (168/194) replacements, but I have yet to remove them from pouch. I can see that they indeed fit the same as OEM but no idea how bright. Most of the revues on Amazon indicated a better, brighter light. The brand is <www.sealight-led.com>. Pretty sure the brighter of the two popular oem's was the 168, but this can be checked in fsm. One more tip is what to use on the cluster/gauge needles. My choice has been the Krylon orange - as purchased from Michaels - but likely many more sources. It's much less than $10. for a one ounce bottle but has enough in it to last indefinitely. I've had mine almost 10 years and not noticeably thicker but of course can be thinned. The results are gorgeous. Another source could be those smaller model car paint jars by Testor - if they have a suitable color.
    Of course whatever coating you choose, remember to protect the particular gauge face from any drips! Trimmed white paper works well. I use a small, fine artist's brush and take my time. Good luck with rest of your cluster resto. IMG_2585.jpg
     
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    • Dana67Dart

      Dana67Dart Like a fine wine, only getting better with age! FABO Gold Member

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      There is a direct replacement IVR
      IVR4 Limiter Technical Information - rte
      Seems like a good replacement. Don't forget to make a hard board insulator to go between the ivr and the cir board. Very thin like the thickness of a gift box.

      NOS guages popup on ebay reasonably priced from time to time.

      I would not go LED too much hassle, if you get the correct bulbs they will out last you unless you are 20.

      As for the colored filters stick with the oem stuff, you can't go wrong. Nothing would be worse than turning on the turn signals and being blinded at night.
       
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      • 72Dart6pack

        72Dart6pack Harder Better Faster Stronger.

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        Do not go Led. Use 156 bulbs. They are brighter than the stock 194 bulbs. Google 156 bulbs.
         
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        • volunteer

          volunteer Well-Known Member

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          To those of you comparing pros and cons of dash-light intensities, remember that they are dimmable - via the headlite switch rheostat.
          Depending on year and model, most of the glass-based bulbs were no. 158 and some with brass bases were no. 57 (which were not very bright).
           
          Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
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          • str12-340

            str12-340 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            If you go with LED take the time to find ones that do not require specific polarity, These suckers are hard to get to when in place, which is when you will know you have to pull the socket out and put it in 180 degrees different - most have specific polarity...
             
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            • RustyRatRod

              RustyRatRod I didn't do it. FABO Gold Member

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              I put super white Zevo LEDs in mine and left the diffusers in and I love the way they look.
               
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              • 67Dart273

                67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                Some other ramblings. Test the gauges when you are about done and make sure they work and are as accurate as you "think." You do this with a test resistor to simulate the sender

                1....For sure go with a solid state IVR. Solder jumpers across the IVR contacts to the board traces. They lose contact
                2...When installing gauges, loosen/ tighten the stud nuts several times to "scrub" the nut and board clean. They can lose contact there
                3....Check carefully the harness connector pins for loose. Clean and solder around them if any question at all
                4....Clean the board traces around the socket contacts, as well as the socket contacts themselves, and bend them for better spring action.
                5....Install a long grounding pigtail onto one of the board grounding points and bolt the other end to the dash frame or column support. Grounding originally was "luck" through the mounting screws.
                6...Ammeter. If you have done the ammeter bypass, fine. If not, inspect the guts of the ammeter carefully, and consider soldering the studs to the brass cross piece (shunt) in the ammeter. Inspect mounting hardware for heat damage, as well as the wire ends, if factory. And inspect and repair the bulkhead connector if you have not done so.

                Gauge testing: Scare up some resistors or a rheostat or even fuel tank sender so you can adjust the resistance to the 3 set points for the test device. Provide power to the cluster and put the test resistors from the gauge sender connection to ground, one at a time. All two or three (Ralleye) gauges should read the same with each resistor

                c-3826-jpg-jpg.jpg
                 
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                • 67Dart273

                  67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  • RedFish

                    RedFish Well-Known Member

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                    The diffuser also serves as a catch can/bowl, should a bulb fall out of the socket. A bulb or broken glass laying in the bottom of the housing may not do any harm though.
                    This is the needle paint I use... Custom Fluorescent Orange Speedo & Gauge Needle Paint | eBay
                    I strip the needles before repaint so I dont change needle weight too much. Aluminum foil is a good mask for gauge screens.
                     
                    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
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                    • Mike69cuda

                      Mike69cuda 64 is the new 17 FABO Gold Member

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                      Some folks have put led light strips inside the cluster instead of using bulbs. You can change colors with a switch. I would have done it with mine if I had known about it beforehand.
                       
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                      • coyote42

                        coyote42 Well-Known Member

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                        Thanks, I did use my model paint on the needles, wow
                         
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                        • volunteer

                          volunteer Well-Known Member

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                          Glad you are succeeding - and having fun doing it. Pay attention to good advice in reply No.8 as well - particularly no's. 3 and 6. Models with the multiple thin, round pins tend to 'loosen' and the inner ammeter nuts must be absolutely snug - prior to installing the two wires, washers and outer nuts. Nice of Mopar to turn a red wire into a black one, as current continues on to ign. switch. :BangHead:
                           
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                          • coyote42

                            coyote42 Well-Known Member

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                            I plan to use regular bulbs instead of led, I do like the classic look but I plan to paint the inside cluster frame gloss white instead of flat white. Flat colors absorb light even if its white. This is practice for when I redo my 67 Cuda and 73 Challenger clusters
                             
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