Dash Board Bulbs on a 93 Ford Taurus

First time Poster..

My 1993 Ford Taurus, which has had a few issues.. is now showing its age, and the bulbs for the Backlighting on the Dash (Instrument panel) have started to burn out.

I want to change them myself, but I can't find any information on how to do it. Has anyone done this before, and can help me out? What

wattage bulbs do I need? Where can i get instructions for it? can I modify the backlighting to use LEDs?

Thanks

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On Thu, 10 Jan 2008 20:51:15 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Not sure if that is the same as my 99, but if so you have to remove the instrument cluster and the bulbs are in little sockets on the back that remove with 1/4 turn or so. Not a huge pain, but allow a couple hours, more if you're not so handy. A Haynes or Chiltons manual will help, or get a subscription to Alldata. If it's a column shift, you may need to chock the wheels and put the lever in low gear for clearance.

Likely those are original...I'd just replace with brand name bulbs and be done with it. Dash lamps are run at reduced illumination and usually have really long lives. They've lasted THIS long, are you keeping the car another 14 years? :)

--Don .

Don Byrer KJ5KB Radar Tech & Smilin' Commercial Pilot Guy Glider & CFI wannabe kj5kb-at-hotmail.com

"I have slipped the surly bonds of earth; now if I can just land without bending the gear..." "Watch out for those doves...<smack-smack-smack-smack...>"

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I have the same issue and have been avoiding it. It will probably take you 1/2 a day of cussing to get it all done. The IP has a connection to the gear shift lever. This linkage has to be disconnected to get the IP out.

What i would do is if you have a local u pull it yard, go there and practice on a junk car before you do it on yours. It will be worth the price of admission.

Bob

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On Thu, 10 Jan 2008 20:51:15 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Can't say I've ever done a Taurus, but the general drill is you have to remove the cluster. They are designed to come out with a minimum of fuss, four or six screws - look up from underneath with a mirror and they are obvious.

General instructions: Disconnect the battery just in case. When the screws are removed the cluster should be loose in the dashboard and tilt forward and pull out a few inches. Get your hand back there and release the nut or Quick Disconnect latch on the speedometer cable to the back of the speedometer head, and it will come a bit farther out. Then you unplug the electrical harnesses, and the cluster should pull right out.

Might have to maneuver it around the steering wheel, or tilt the wheel all the way down to clear.

Then all the indicator lights are on the back of the cluster, usually in quarter-turn bayonet holders for newer cars. Some lamps are glass wedge-based and snap into the adapter, you replace just the lamp. Others are molded into the plastic twist base and you replace the whole thing.

Note that the high-beam & turn signal indicator lamps and the "idiot lights" will be the same style holders as the illumination lamps, but they will be color coded or marked somehow - they take a different wattage.

The all glass T3 wedge-based lamps (#161, #197 et al) have the number printed on the side, though it might rub off - and each wattage has a different colored glass bead inside on the filament support, as a secondary marking that can't rub off. (Hidden Clue.)

If unsure, pull out and test one lamp at a time and replace with the same part number before going to the next lamp - a 9V transistor battery should light the lamp enough to show if it is good or not.

To put it all back together, reverse the above steps. And having any parts left over is, as always, an immediate FAIL.

--<< Bruce >>--

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I never thought changing a light bulb can be such a complicated procedure.

wrote:

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wrote:

It's not that bad... sounds far worse than it is.

Doesn't involve crawling under the car or getting too greasy - but there might be a bit of white grease on the end of the speedometer cable, and you could get into a bit of battery acid when disconnecting the battery cable, so don't wear your Sunday Best to do this.

(Take 5 minutes and do the baking soda & water paste cleaning on top and around the battery while you are there disconnecting. Save your good jeans from acid stains/holes where you wiped your hands on your pants without thinking... Don't Ask Me How I Know This.)

The first one will take you an hour or two of actual work (not counting the head-scratching time reading the Shop Manual to see how it comes apart, and which lamp goes where). The next one 45 minutes. And by the third, you should have it down to a half hour, no book.

It is possible on some cars to snake your arm up there blind and change them in place, but I wouldn't try. You have to know which one is which by feel - and then find the hole again with the new lamp.

Get enough lamps to change ALL the dash illumination bulbs in one shot while you are in there, there are usually four to six depending on the cluster style - they've all been on for the same run time, so it makes no sense to do all that work to change one or two bad lamps, and a month later do it all again...

The idiot lights and the indicators can probably be left as is, unless you drive a lot with the turn signals on. But at under $2 a bulb MAX (under $1 each if you buy the 10-pack bulk box) you can change them at the same time if you wish.

Oh, and don't forget the other things that light up at the same time. Depending on the car you may want to change lamps in the heater controls, the shift indicator on the console, the ashtray (Tollbooth Change Cup) light, etc. while you have the cluster out - you might be able to reach them easier through the big hole.

--<< Bruce >>--

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Go to the library if it has an alldata subscription and look it up in the service manual. It probably is going to require you pull the dashboard.

One trick, when you do this - replace ALL of the lights whether working or not. The illumination level will be even, and the ones not yet burned out soon will be.

Ted

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