Replacing instrument panel lights - 99 Ranger / Mazda B2500

While I normally don't worry about cosmetic issues on my old truck (just gotta keep her running, that's all I care about), the lights that illuminate my instrument panel have begun to burn out, one after
another. At first, I didn't care if I couldn't see how much gas I had at night without clicking on the dome light, and then didn't worry too much about the temperature gauge, but then the light behind the tachometer went, and I just noticed that the light on the far left side of the speedometer is burnt out, too. If it keeps up at this rate, Beatrice will be totally dark behind the steering wheel by the end of the year.
How much of a pain is it to change these bulbs out? I've looked under the hood & see no way to get to the lights that way, so I'm assuming I'll be prying part of my dash off. So I can avoid causing myself any more serious troubles (and the subsequent trip to the mechanic to fix anything I break), can anybody clue me in on how to do this safely, effectively, and hopefully with the least amount of headache? Also, can anyone let me know what bulbs I need to buy so I don't have to pull my dash apart, yank them out, and then drive to the Wal-Mart like that to match them up?
Thanks.
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On Sat, 08 Sep 2007 20:28:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@chickenfriedsteak.us wrote:

I don't know but I'm gonna guess that anything that new will be a pain in the butt replacing the lights. More then likely you have to pull the whole instrument panel out. Go to the library and see if they have auto repair manuals available. My local library has a subscription to Mitchell On-Line which has repair info on everything.
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snipped-for-privacy@chickenfriedsteak.us wrote:

You have to pull the cluster out and replace all of the bulbs from the back of it. The only hard part is squeezing the trim and the panel itself over the steering wheel, but even that's no problem if you've got tilt steering. I don't. (: The first time you do it will take the better part of 2 hours to get the cluster out. The second time will take ten minutes.
--
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On Sep 8, 11:28 pm, snipped-for-privacy@chickenfriedsteak.us wrote:

Someone else may know better than I - - but -- I have the same problem -- one instrument panel light burned out on my 97 B4000.
According to the Haynes manual, the instrument cluster must be pulled out and the bulbs changed from the back of the panel.
ALSO -- it's a good idea to disconnect the battery whenever you're screwing around in the dash so you don't do something to set off the air bag.
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On Sep 8, 10:28 pm, snipped-for-privacy@chickenfriedsteak.us wrote:

Disconnect the battery to make sure you don't have a problem with the air bag.
I don't know how similar the instrument cluster is to those I've worked on but I found there a generally a couple screws along the top of the cluster trim ring that have to be removed. You can then carefully pop the trim off to have access to the actual instrument cluster.
The cluster is held in by four screws--one in each corner. Be carefull pulling them out as they are easy to drop and (at lkeast for me) difficult to find. You can then manuever the instrument cluster out. You will almost certainly have to disconnect the two cables on the cluster to get it far enough out to work on. Replacing the bulbs is pretty straight forward (they are twist out connections). Be careful
I'm not a pro at this and have limited exposure so your experience may vary.
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