qz16

bulb / LED replacement for gauges

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    So, I am replacing the dash on a 1973 240z.  In the process of putting everything back together I tested the bulbs for the gauges.  I believe they are mini bayonet BA9s 1445.  This is a 3.4 W incandescent bulb.  I think that is a lot of power (watts = volts X current) for so little light.  Anyway, I was curious if anyone has a direct LED replacement for the mini 1445.  The version that I have fits some of the enclosures eg. the speedometer and tach, but are too tall for the gauges and the clock.
    Thanks in advance for your assistance.

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    I installed "bulbs" of this type in a customers 240Z years ago. They were WHITE though - that LED brassy white. Super bright - and they happened to work well with his rheostat. Brightened up his instruments double or more. I've not used a colored LED though.

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    Thanks Steve and Chuck.  I will give them a try and confirm.  Unfortunately it will take a while since they will not deliver to me until 4/21.

    regards,

    ron

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    Gundee,

    Thanks for responding. 

    I am sorry to be the bearer of mixed news.  The URL that you sent has a 360 deg view button, one of images is a dimension view.  This is the url for that dimension view.  https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/ba9s-ba7s/ba9s-led-bulb-4-led-ba9s-retrofit-car-classic-car-bulbs/6/.  I have some of these and I believe that they fit in the speedometer and tach (will check if you need me to), but they do not fit in the gauges - oil temp, amp fuel or clock.  As you can see the length is 26 mm for this bulb.

    The length of the bulb listed by SteveJ is 18 mm and I believe it will fit everything. 

    ps 1 (3/23/20)
    I just checked and the 26 mm does fit in the speedometer and the tach.

    ps 2 (3/24/20)
    sorry to do this but I did not want to mislead anyone.  I was working on the harness in my dash, and inadvertently put just the slightest amount of tension on one of the bulbs for the speedometer.  It came out of its socket.  So it turns out that the 26 mm LEDs do in fact hit the green lens inside the speedometer and the tach.  I was fooled because one of the bulbs seemed tight enough, but it would be a mistake, in my opinion, to use the 26 mm bulbs anywhere on the dash.  So to tie a bow around this the original incandescent length is approximately 20 mm.  The alternative that SteveJ has suggested (thanks again) is 18 mm.  There is one more critical dimension.  There are 2 posts that extend out of the barrel of the bulb.  they provide a key/locking scheme to keep the bulb in the socket.  I apologize if I am confusing anyone.  Anyway, on the suggested alternative there is a collar.  That collar is no doubt larger than the socket, so the distance from the post on the barrel to the collar could be, likely is, critical if it is too short then you will not be able to get the bulb in the socket.  This dimension is not available, so I cant be certain that the alternative will work.  I will update this when I get the bulbs that I ordered.  Sorry for the confusion.

    regards,

    ron

    Edited by qz16
    • Like 1

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    So some of the LEDs  (SteveJs suggestion -thanks) that I ordered, came early, the clear version is (as luck would have it) still not scheduled to arrive until 4/21.  I tried the red version (brake Light Failure) and the green version (turn signals) and you have to be patient - there is no abundance of clearance when installing the LED into the socket, but it fits.  I then plugged the sockets into the respective holes.  They install as they should and you will have no trouble with them bottoming out in the gauge causing the socket to become dislodged due to vibration ...etc.

    I was going to wait for the clear to finish this portion of the dash effort, but I am not the most patient person and I noticed all of the socket holes have green filters.  I ordered 10 green and used two.  I need 7 to light the tach, speedometer, and the 3 gauge set.  I decided to populate the remaining 7 with the green LEDs.  Could not stand not knowing what it would look like so I wired the lights to a battery.

    Yes the dash is upside down as I am testing the harness.  And yes the gauge faces have a fair amount of dust on them but you get the idea.

      dsh_green LED_1.jpg

    dsh_green LED_2.jpg

    The wiring on this car separated the 3 gauge set lights from the speedometer and the tach with regard to the dimmer.  When I was redoing the harness I tied all 7 bulbs to the same ear on the dimmer - so they all dim at the same rate.  So these LEDs are a lot brighter than the incandescents.  If they are too bright I can dim them down.  I don't recall anyone ever claiming that the z gauge incandescent lights were overly bright.

    Once again, thanks SteveJ - I appreciate the help.

    regards,

    ron

     

    Edited by qz16
    • Like 2

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    I'd like to see that in person one day. Did you open up your gauges at all? Pepper and I are just going through some gauges - cleaning, re-spraying the white inside and the black if necessary, and polishing up the scratched lenses.

    Edited by cgsheen1
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    I'm glad it worked to your satisfaction, Ron. From the first of my research, I read that the LED color should match the lens color. I might have used some white LEDs in the center gauge pod, though. It's been long enough ago that I can't remember. The bottom line is that you will be able to see at night. I suggest that you replace the 20A fuse in the parking light circuit with a 10A fuse. The wiring wasn't really up to handling 20A, so if you get a short, you could melt wiring (or a connector) with the 20A fuse.

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    Steve,  That is a great point.  I built a new harness and upgraded all of the wiring, thats what I am testing now.  But lowering the fuse values is something that i missed.  I installed relays and so I can do that in a couple of spots.  I also removed the heater/defroster and AC and replaced it with a vintage air unit, so there is some wiring that is no longer active, as well.  My original wiring was kindling.  I agree with your suggestion on the 3 gauge set.  When the white LEDs arrive I will give them a try.

    Regards,

    ron

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