85 528e Computer Display Problem

the display information from computer that provides date, time, temp, etc., located in the dash to the right of the instrument cluster can barely be
seen. Until today it has always been bright and easy to read, but now it is very very dim and vitually impossible to read, although the information itself seems to be correct. Is there a bulb somewhere that may have burned out? a fuse? Any ideas on this problem and how to fix it?
thanks!
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L Howell wrote:

Yep, there's a bulb in back. As I recall, I think you have to pull the radio to get at the bolt holding it on the back side (but it's been a while).
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I think your car has the same unit as the one I have in my 320i, 1987 model. All the digits are buit up from red LEDs. Mine is also weak, but gets better if I press on the face of the unit - obviously a bad connection. The unit comes out easily if you pry it with a small screwdriver. I should go have a look at mine too...
MW

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Yes, that sounds like mine with the red LEDs. I can see the information displayed (barely) but they are not putting out any light. I tried pressing on the front of the computer but they don't get any brighter. Guess I can pop it out and take a look.
Another piece of perhaps (probably?) related information - the red, yellow, green service indicator lights in the dash from the SI board are not coming on either. I've know the SI board or its batteries have been on the blink for quite a while as they would blink and flutter and other similar behavior, but they suddenly quit coming on at all at about the same time the computer LEDs quit working. Any further suggestions?
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This has happened on my 88 528e a couple of times. On my car, it was a loose connection of the display unit. Take a pen and try tapping the unit in its corners (I can't remember which corner..I think lower right.) If that doesn't work, try pushing with the pen in the corners also.
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JimV wrote:

Two bulbs, actually, mounted on a plastic insert. Costs about $25 through Bavarian Autosport at www.bavauto.com.

NOOOOO! Don't mess with the radio! Drop the main instrument panel (a couple of screws, but disconnecting the cables isn't necessary) and remove the OBC from the left. Took me about 1/2 hour for the whole job using my pocket knife screwdriver blade while waiting at my kid's soccer practice one day. -- C.R. Krieger (Been there; done that)
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The OBC removes very easily without even taking out one screw on my 1987 320i. It seems as if the one lightbulb is for the LED display and the other is to light up the buttons below it. How do I actually replace the two lightbulbs. They are receded into the housing of the OBC and I think I'll break something if I try to take them out. It does not seem as if the OBC can be taken apart.
Am I missing something obvious.
MW

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Check out this link on replacing the display backlights for the OBC. They use a e30 as an example, but the procedure is similar. In the e28, the instrument cluster is removed to get at the OBC mounting screws. I seem to recall just removing the instrument cluster screws and pulling it out only part way and I had enough room to reach the scres for the OBC which are on the side of the OBC unit just inside the right side of the instrument cluster opening.
Howard
http://www.unofficialbmw.com/repair_faqs/obc.html#fixlight
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