General Lateral thinking and dash bulbs

Discussion in 'Lounge & Gossip' started by jd1959, Saturday 27th Feb, 2016.

  1. jd1959 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Zack Kilkenny
    As the two Honda's we have are about at the 10 year mark loosing dash/switch bulbs is a common occurrence. Being slightly OCD I can't stand having a dark spot where there used to be light. I usually replace with an OEM bulb but the cost (usually 7+ euro) from the dealer irritates me. Led bulbs work but it takes a lot of tinkering to get the light levels even and the colors right across the entire dash, given Honda worked hard to adjust the bulbs to suit. So I got to thinking, they are an easily rebuilt part if I could get the bulb. The bulbs are a 3mm 14v usually 60 or 40ma bulb which from my time doing modeling are commonly found in model railroads, doll houses etc. Got onto ebay and found the following:

    100 PCS 3mm Clear 14V 60mA Grain OF Wheat Bulbs Mini Bulbs | eBay

    100pcs Clear 2 5mm 12V 16V 40mA Miniature Grain OF Wheat Bulbs Warm White NEW | eBay

    I'll use the old base for the bulb and you can remove the colored cover on the old bulb if your careful and reuse, but in case it rips found:

    20 PCS Assorted 4 Colors Grain OF Wheat Bulb Caps Covers FOR Bulbs | eBay

    I'll report back to let the results be known, if it works well I should have enough bulbs for the rest of my, hopefully many, Honda ownership days.
    exec and Zebster like this.
  2. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    Oooh this look interesting.

    Please do take lots of pics of the process and look forward to further updates on this.
    Harvey likes this.
  3. harry22673 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Are you really not going to change them all to LEDs
    Think of the savings
  4. jd1959 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Zack Kilkenny
    As I said I'm a bit OCD about it so many wouldn't care about the following. I have used LED in the past, but I personally don't like the effect unless a fair bit of time is spent getting the levels even. Given the OEM bulbs vary in output per location, 120mah-40mah, an ebay led doesn't allow for adjustment without a good selection of resistors and usually the mount doesn't allow space to fiddle to much. Other problem I find is the led puts out light in one direction so many times a fully illuminated switch or gauge is bright at the top and dim at the bottom or outright dim as the bulb sits perpendicular to the face of the switch. Just overall uneven.

    I do have a few knocking around and occasionally will use them to fill a spot, such as the DOT when the rear defrost switch is on and so on. I use LEDs for most of the other lighting in the car dome lights, parking lights, courtesy, plates, reverse and so on and am very happy with the results. I'm waiting for at least one of my front fog lights to burn out to replace them with some led h11 bulbs that are patiently waiting to hopefully match in better with the color of the HIDs.
    legend-ary and SpeedyGee like this.
  5. jd1959 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Zack Kilkenny
    Ok, got the bulbs in and as requested a few photos and a non-guide - guide. You can find the OEM bulb rating in the parts drawings, 12-14v -40ma, 60ma, 80ma and so on. ebay or aliexpress are good places to look for cheap bulbs see first post. A hobby shop would probably have them as well, but with a substantial mark up.

    IMG_20160329_091417. open the leads from the fitting with suitable tool.

    IMG_20160329_091526. remove burnt out bulb.

    IMG_20160329_091555. carefully remove rubber color cover from the old bulb, if it rips all is not lost as you can get colored covers as well, see first post.

    IMG_20160329_091736. as the original is a 3mm 40ma bulb, the replacement that I have is a 2.5mm 40ma bulb so the cover is slightly loose, I added the smallest bit of general purpose adhesive to the inside of the cover to make sure it doesn't slip off. A 3mm bulb is a nice tight fit and doesn't require any thing other than refitting the cover.

    IMG_20160329_091918. refit the bulb into the holder and bend the leads around the tabs in the same manner as removal.

    IMG_20160329_092140. Trim excess lead length and you have one 'rebuilt' OEM dash bulb.

    Reinstall and get back into your OCD comfort zone.
    Harvey and SpeedyGee like this.