Dash Board Bulbs on a 93 Ford Taurus

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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?


Re: Dash Board Bulbs on a 93 Ford Taurus

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

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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

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 Byrer KJ5KB
Radar Tech & Smilin' Commercial Pilot Guy
Glider & CFI wannabe

"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...>"

Re: Dash Board Bulbs on a 93 Ford Taurus

snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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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.


Re: Dash Board Bulbs on a 93 Ford Taurus

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

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  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

  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 >>--

Re: Dash Board Bulbs on a 93 Ford Taurus

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

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Re: Dash Board Bulbs on a 93 Ford Taurus


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  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 >>--

Re: Dash Board Bulbs on a 93 Ford Taurus

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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.


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