View Full Version : Solution for brighter dash lights?

01-27-2012, 09:54 PM
I don't know if it is because I am getting older, but I could really use some brighter lights for the dash in my TR6. Does anyone have a simple solution? Thanks for your help.

01-27-2012, 10:15 PM
Have you electrically bypassed the dimmer? You'll get full voltage..not that it'll make a world of difference.

01-27-2012, 11:14 PM
Has been discussed, note TR2-6 use the same instrument bulbs, a Lucas 2.2w with an E10 screw base, see the link here for some options.

https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcforum/u...ulbs#Post798780 (https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcforum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/798780/Searchpage/4/Main/81277/Words/instrument+lights+e10/Search/true/Re_TR3_Dash_Bulbs#Post798780)

Also you can get slightly higher watt bulbs pretty cheap on ebay from the pacific rim: here is a 3 Watt, so should have a little more oomph than 2.2W, I have these on my smaller guages, they do seem to put out a little more light.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pc-E10-Base-T1...=item20b2f1acc6 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pc-E10-Base-T10-Bulb-Lamp-Flashlight-12V-3W-8020B-/140441136326?pt=Lamps_US&hash=item20b2f1acc6)

01-28-2012, 12:31 AM
Even at the brightest setting, I have difficult seeing. Even if I bypassed the rheostat, Poolboy, it wouldn't get any brighter would it? I will check out the links, Glemon. Thanks.

01-28-2012, 01:28 AM
what about lining the inside of the guage with chrome foil from the hobby shop?

01-28-2012, 01:49 AM
Brosky has a really nice gauge refinishing section on his website that I think addresses that problem.

01-28-2012, 09:20 AM
Even at the brightest setting, I have difficult seeing. Even if I bypassed the rheostat, Poolboy, it wouldn't get any brighter would it? I will check out the links, Glemon. Thanks.
Mine did and I attribute it to carbon build up on the contacts in the rheostat (dimmer) contacts.
If you can feel the metal housing of the rheostat, turn the lights on full for a few minutes and if you feel warmth, then you are loosing voltage to the lamps due to some resistance.
You asked for 'simple', right? ...that's the simplist thing you can do. Anything else will involve taking the rheostat apart for cleaning, removing each and every gauge and/or replacing each and every bulb.
Just interconnect (in any order) all the wires you find plugged into the rheostat. If it doesn't satisfy you, keep on going..bulbs, gauges, paint, etc.

01-28-2012, 09:28 AM
I had the same issue until I went to the eye doctor and found out I had Cataracts. Once that was fixed everything is brighter. So if you once had no trouble seeing the dash gauges and now you do it might not be the bulbs. In my case I had no idea that my eyes were as bad as they were until after the surgery (which is very simple these days). Just another solution to a problem that may not have been considered.

01-28-2012, 11:23 AM
FWIW, it might be worth trying a new standard bulb. All incandescent bulbs get dimmer over their lifetime; and those Lucas bulbs seem to be particularly bad about losing output without actually burning out. I have several of them where the bulb is totally black!

Also, I agree entirely with poolboy. It may not help, but it might help and it's easy (and cheap) to try.

Don't know if it's a problem on the TR6, but the TR3 small gauges use plastic windows that can overheat, melt and/or blacken if they get too hot. Using higher wattage bulbs might not be a good idea, especially if you ever drive long distances at night. Higher wattage bulbs will also likely have a negative effect on the dimmer (which is none too strong in the first place).

01-28-2012, 12:42 PM
LEDs produce less heat and use less juice, also last longer, caveats, are the bulb shapes are usually different, you have to make sre you get one that fits, also they can be (depending on design) highly directional, for your isntrument lights you generally want a design that spreads the light evenly, you can get LEDs that do this, but many of them don't, so you need to check the specs.

As usual, I agree with Randall and others, try the easy and cheap stuff first and escalate from there.

01-28-2012, 02:48 PM
If the plastic is dirty or blackened, no bulb will help. If the paint is all tan and flaked, the new bulbs still won't shine brightly.

It's some work, but if you do it my way, they will be bright. https://www.74tr6.com/gauges.htm

01-28-2012, 08:51 PM
<span style="font-size: 12pt"><span style="color: #003300">The TR6 gauge lights have a blue tint to them. This is achieved by the riveted insertion of a blue plastic blister inside the gauge itself.If you're not satisfied with the quick &amp; easy fixes, remove the gauges, take them apart (it's not that hard)&amp; remove the blue blisters. Replace the bulbs with new ones. (Randall is right, they get dimmer with age) I did this for a friend &amp; he was AMAZED!!!
Frank </span></span>

01-29-2012, 09:59 AM
you can go one step further and sand blast the inside of the gauge housing and paint them gloss white, I did all mine and got rid of the plastic tint things and I can now see the gauges very well. I also soda blasted the rheostat wires and cleant the contacts and it works very well now too


01-29-2012, 09:14 PM
I did take my gauges apart on my Bugeye and did the works like Paul and others of you did. I was able to find new plastic (it is all flat in a Bugeye) that would work since the old stuff was pretty much opaque after 50+ years. I read Paul's article quickly, but I didn't see if he put the old blisters back, put in new ones, or simply removed them. Are the blue blisters available anywhere?

01-29-2012, 10:43 PM
<span style="color: #3366FF"> </span> <span style="font-size: 11pt"> </span> :)Hi Kevin;..All of the above would most likely work ok.Before i tear anything apart i've used this product; Is called "BLUE WORKS" From the makers of 'WD40'This is what it says on the 12oz spray can;'Elecrical contact cleaner'industrial grade'
1.Quick drying formula
2.Plastic &amp; metal safe
3.nsf(reg)k2 (reg)
On the back it says;
CLEANS SENSITIVE ELECTRONICS &amp; ELECT EQUIP,DIELECTRIC STRENGTH 25,000 VOLTS,Top grade product by wd40 co.Spray directly onto or into the the circuit contacts to eliminate any contaminants that may cause LOSS OF ELEC CONTACT,THE SPRAY WILL DISOLVE QUICKLY,THE CONTACTS WILL BE CLEANED.Its a non-toxic spray.
I use it on ALL my cars &amp; IT WORKS,My Brit cars all had the treatment.Best part especially the lighting does appear brighter.I bought mine at an industrial supply store,NAPA should carry it.