Accessing Instrument Cluster lights - 70 Camaro

Discussion in 'Camaro Questions' started by 70 Proof, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. 70 Proof

    70 Proof Veteran Member

    198
    3
    Sep 28, 2014
    Southern Utah
    I'm considering replacing the #194 bulbs in my 70 Camaro's instrument cluster with led lights.
    Can most of the lights be accessed without completely removing the cluster? I believe the cluster can be partially loosened and carefully slid up the steering column a couple of inches which would give partial accessed to the back side of the cluster???
    Or could the lights be reached from beneath the dash after removing the left side of the lower dash?
    I'd like to be able to change out the inst lights without completely removing the fragile cluster IF that's possible.
    If you've already installed LED's in the cluster how did it work out for you?
    The Camaro is an automatic on the consul with AC.

    Thanks in advance for your advice
     
  2. Green hornet

    Green hornet Veteran Member

    374
    28
    Oct 11, 2015
    North Bay, CA
    I installed LED lights in my 70 a month ago. I was able to change them all without removing the cluster. The only thing I had to remove was the heater control panel to change one of the bulbs. My car does not have A/C. I used red lights, we're not as bright as I thought they be. I have seen photos here of white ones and they look good.
     
  3. 70 Proof

    70 Proof Veteran Member

    198
    3
    Sep 28, 2014
    Southern Utah
    Thanks for the info. Did You install the LED's from beneath? .
    Yesterday. I changed out my AC/heater panel light #1895 for the equivalent white LED. I Liked the result and now want to do the same to the cluster lights.
     
  4. Green hornet

    Green hornet Veteran Member

    374
    28
    Oct 11, 2015
    North Bay, CA
    Yes. I did every thing from under the dash. Some I used a pair of long needle nose pliers to maneuver in place others I was able to just do by hand.
     
  5. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    24,501
    98
    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    If the LED won't light up... Flip it around. (They are a polar, one-way, circuit)
    I prefer to remove the bezel and the four scews holding the cluster to give more room to work behind the cluster.
    Especially if you have to install any of them more than once.
     
    70 Proof likes this.
  6. 70 Proof

    70 Proof Veteran Member

    198
    3
    Sep 28, 2014
    Southern Utah
    I remembered your "flip it around" advice from one of your previous posts and used it when changing the side marker lights to LED. If I understand your reply correctly you were able to change the lights in your cluster without completely removing it. You only had to remove the bezel and 4 cluster screws to access the bulbs?
     
  7. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    24,501
    98
    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    I actually took my cluster completely out of the car because I wanted to test the installation of the LEDs prior to re-installing the cluster.
    Cleaned it up and polished the lens too.

    I have changed out some of them by only going as far as removing the bezel and removing the 4 cluster mounting screws.
    I never needed to attempt to access all of the bulbs that way.

    Has your bezel ever been off?
    I'm not sure about a 70 but my 78 had two screws at the bottom of it that are tough to remove.
    Most times... Those screws get left out upon reassembly.
     
  8. 70 Proof

    70 Proof Veteran Member

    198
    3
    Sep 28, 2014
    Southern Utah
    Twisted-
    I've owned the Camaro for years and don't recall ever removing the cluster completely. However I remember doing an R&R on the clock by removing the cluster screws and moving the cluster out enough to work on the clock. The bezel is held on by 4 screws that are easy to deal with.
    This morning I came across your post of May 25, 2009 where you stated that turn signal and warning lights on the cluster should retain the standard bulb because LED's would be too bright and annoying.
    Great advice, Thanks, saved me from possibly making that error.
    I'm still open to suggestions. I'll probably check FBody warehouse 'How Too' videos for tips also.
     
  9. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    24,501
    98
    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    The Hi Beam indictor, especially.... Leave the factory bulb there.

    It might be worth trying a couple of different turn signal indicators.
    On the 79-81 dash... Forward firing LEDs for the turn signal indicator were a big improvement. (Different location on that style dash.)
    I've never converted an earlier dash to LEDs.
     
  10. 70 Proof

    70 Proof Veteran Member

    198
    3
    Sep 28, 2014
    Southern Utah
    Tks again for your advice. If you happen to think of anything else pertaining to my op pls send it my way.
    I struck out at Fbody videos.
     

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