Dim instrument panel lights

Fnlowrider

Fnlowrider

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Feb 23, 2020
23
3
Myrtle beach
I have a 1987 Caballero and my instruments we're very dim at night so I opened it up and found two bulbs were out I replaced them with what I was told were brighter bulbs I now have very little improvements during the day my amp gauge runs at about 12 o'clock at night with the headlights on and the radio on it goes down to about 10 o'clock. I figure this is about normal however the instruments are still not as bright as they should be. I'm thinking this is probably either a dimmer switch issue or a charging issue but I don't think it's a charging issue because I have no problems with battery draining or anything like that any thoughts?
 
Texas82GP

Texas82GP

Geezer
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
5,633
113
Spring, Texas
Make sure you have a good ground path for the dash light circuit. You could clean the rheostat on the headlight switch with deoxit and see if that helps. It is available from Amazon and is sold locally through Guitar Center. Great stuff......
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00006LVEU/?tag=gbody-20
 
TURNA

TURNA

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Jul 24, 2009
11,004
113
Socialist NY
Put a volt meter on the battery and have someone turn on one accessory at a time and see what happens.
That will tell what problem you have.

Harbor Freight has a small one for like 5 buxx and it works very well

Sears sells a Craftsman one for about 20


 
79 USA 1

79 USA 1

G-Body Guru
Sep 2, 2011
606
93
Cheektowaga, New York
Also check the ground running from the battery to the alternator bracket and look for corrosion at the base of the bracket to the intake manifold. If all else fails I recently did a LED upgrade on my Monte Carlo's due to the dim dash lights. These shots are from my 88 SS:

Before:
P1012138.JPG

After:
P1012154.JPG
 
Longroof79

Longroof79

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Oct 14, 2008
10,661
113
Gainesville, Fl
Also check the ground running from the battery to the alternator bracket and look for corrosion at the base of the bracket to the intake manifold. If all else fails I recently did a LED upgrade on my Monte Carlo's due to the dim dash lights. These shots are from my 88 SS:

Before:
View attachment 138026

After:
View attachment 138027
Wow Bob! That's like a night and day difference. :cool:(y)
 
79 USA 1

79 USA 1

G-Body Guru
Sep 2, 2011
606
93
Cheektowaga, New York
Wow Bob! That's like a night and day difference. :cool:(y)

Thanks Jack.
With the SS being a t-top car I thought it was just a problem to live with but when I did the LED's ......Problem solved!
 
8

88AZSS

Greasemonkey
Mar 13, 2018
176
63
Mesa, AZ
I did LEDs as well in my Monte Carlo. Its a major difference from before. Also, make sure that the bezel is sitting correctly and flush on the cluster as to not "lose" any light in the cracks. I haven't checked my grounds yet, wouldn't be surprised if cleaning them up and making sure theyre good doesn't improve it even more.
 
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Gonzo1970

Gonzo1970

G-Body Guru
Supporting Member
Sep 30, 2018
806
93
Clean your grounds.

-Gonz
 
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Longroof79

Longroof79

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Oct 14, 2008
10,661
113
Gainesville, Fl
Thanks Jack.
With the SS being a t-top car I thought it was just a problem to live with but when I did the LED's ......Problem solved!
Nice upgrade, Bob,
I should really consider doing it to mine. Where did you acquire your LED's? These cars all have dimly lit gauges.
I guess one thing to take into consideration, you can't adjust the brightness using LED's from what I've read in the past.
 
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