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Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

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Yuros
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Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by Yuros » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:25 pm

Apologies if this is already covered but I could not find any tech articles or posts on replacing the bulbs in the center of the dash (where heating controls are).
On my car only the 3 direction sliders light up, the rest of this panel is dark. I assume all knobs and buttons should be illuminated? Do I need to remove the entire console, or can I do it by pulling off the knobs and buttons individually?

Cheers.

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abandonede24
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Re: Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by abandonede24 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:51 pm

Yuros wrote:Apologies if this is already covered but I could not find any tech articles or posts on replacing the bulbs in the center of the dash (where heating controls are).
On my car only the 3 direction sliders light up, the rest of this panel is dark. I assume all knobs and buttons should be illuminated? Do I need to remove the entire console, or can I do it by pulling off the knobs and buttons individually?

Cheers.
Hi Yuros,

I done this job a month or two ago. Although I had my speedo cluster out for another purpose, I done it through that hole. I managed to change the bulbs from the glove box side with a bit of fiddling and the drivers side should be possible with a little more tinkering and patience. Feel for two thin wires and then for an edge of a plastic plug behind the hvac controls and you should be able to pull them out to change. I managed on my 85 635csi without to much hassle.

Hope you manage.

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dwcains
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Re: Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by dwcains » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:40 am

Might also be done with the shift console removed. Mine is in that state now, and I can reach up and feel the bulb holders, although I'm not sure I can get to all of them. I need to check in the dark. Replace with LEDs, if possible - that's my plan.
Dean
Lutz, FL

'85 635 CSi Euro #9402254
'87 Spider Veloce
'92 Spider Veloce
'08 350Z

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Yuros
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Location: Toronto

Re: Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by Yuros » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:26 pm

Great, thanks for the tips. I will be replacing the stereo head unit in mine in a few days and will attempt to reach the bulbs through that aperture. Otherwise will try the glovebox route.

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dwcains
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Re: Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by dwcains » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:46 pm

Thru the DIN opening will be tough, unless you've got very skinny double-jointed hands/fingers.
Dean
Lutz, FL

'85 635 CSi Euro #9402254
'87 Spider Veloce
'92 Spider Veloce
'08 350Z

Image

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dwcains
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Re: Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by dwcains » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:42 am

Well, finally got around to this task, as I had the center console out for a headunit replacement. For the bulb on the right, remove both of the switches (A/C fan and Hazard). With your right hand feed the bulb holder up into the dash, and with your left index finger in the top switch hole, pin the bulb against something, just to hold it in place for a moment. Now take the index finger of your right hand, put it in the bottom switch hole, and use both index fingers to maneuver the bulb into position. Mine was loose, and when I replaced the hazard switch, it fell back out. Wrapped it with electical tape (once around), and it was too tight, but half turn of tape was just right.

Use a similar method for the bulb on the left, but since there's only one switch opening, left finger goes in that, and your right finger must come up from below.

The fog light and headlight switch illumination bulbs are an easy, direct shot from below, one-handed.

A bit of warning about LEDs. I ordered a bunch of different ones on eBay, and the first batch came today. Not impressed with how they look. They're super-bright and white but too directional for the HVAC panel, as virtually all of the light comes from the end of the LED. Fine for the headlight and fog light switch illumination, though.

Image

I have some different LED's coming, which aim light to the sides, and I'll try those in the HVAC panel.

Image
Dean
Lutz, FL

'85 635 CSi Euro #9402254
'87 Spider Veloce
'92 Spider Veloce
'08 350Z

Image

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hornhospital
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Re: Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by hornhospital » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:14 am

I used some like the second ones in the IC of my E30. They required a modification to fit. They were too long to fit in the holder and lock in place. They were hitting the inside of the orange light diffuser. I cut about half of the "tail" off (the end that fits in the bulb holder) and they fit well then. Massive difference in the instrument illumination. I can actually read the speedometer and ODOMETER at night. The odometer was impossible to read before that change. I will use the same LEDs in the ICs of my E24s. Here's the IC taken with my lousy phone camera.
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Ken Kanne
'84 633CSi "Sylvia"; '85 635CSi "Katja";'87 325is "Odette"; '93 325is "Elvira"

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dwcains
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Re: Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by dwcains » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:13 pm

I ordered everal diferent types, as mentioned, because they're cheap, and I'm not sure what works well and what doesn't. For the instruments and OBC, I ordered these (in white):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/T5-Car-B8-5D-LE ... 2749.l2649

Image

But, in the two bulb holders at the top of the cluster, I was going to try something brighter/larger. I have a few extra's from when I changed my wife's Acura over to all LEDs:

Image
Dean
Lutz, FL

'85 635 CSi Euro #9402254
'87 Spider Veloce
'92 Spider Veloce
'08 350Z

Image

Pod
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Re: Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by Pod » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:47 pm

dwcains wrote:I ordered everal diferent types, as mentioned, because they're cheap, and I'm not sure what works well and what doesn't. For the instruments and OBC, I ordered these (in white):
Thanks for the ebay listing. I've ordered 20 x white bulbs :D

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dwcains
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Re: Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by dwcains » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:26 pm

Mine just arrived, and it looks perfect for the backlight on the OBC buttons. The end of the bulb has to fit through a hole in a metal plate, and nothing else I tried would work. Not sure on the brightness, but I'll find out tonight.

Image
Dean
Lutz, FL

'85 635 CSi Euro #9402254
'87 Spider Veloce
'92 Spider Veloce
'08 350Z

Image

Pod
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Posts: 3639
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:32 pm
Location: usually in the barn, Kent, England.

Re: Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by Pod » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:43 am

Pod wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:47 pm
dwcains wrote:I ordered everal diferent types, as mentioned, because they're cheap, and I'm not sure what works well and what doesn't. For the instruments and OBC, I ordered these (in white):
Thanks for the ebay listing. I've ordered 20 x white bulbs :D
They arrived the other day. What a great price. I haven't installed any yet, but they do appear to be pretty bright........I hope not too bright :-k

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dwcains
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Re: Replacing center console (HVAC) bulbs

Post by dwcains » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:32 pm

They won't be too bright. I ended up using the original bulbs (2) in my car's HVAC panel. I just couldn't find any LEDs which dispersed their light in a wide enough pattern t do the job as well as a filament bulb. I did use an LED in every other spot, with good results, though.
Dean
Lutz, FL

'85 635 CSi Euro #9402254
'87 Spider Veloce
'92 Spider Veloce
'08 350Z

Image

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