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[Mk2] [NA] Dials
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Geoff




Joined: 22 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:11 am    Post subject: [Mk2] [NA] Dials Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Hi all, I'm having a problem with the dials in my car. I filmed the problem today however didn't realise there was a post count before your allowed to upload videos. Hopefully posting the link works/isn't against the rules, if so I will remove it as its only for reference.

tinypic.(delete this space)com/r/2vwbiw9/9

The two issues I have are:

1. Hot and cold spots and needles not lighting up
2. Lights flickering when on full brightness

From doing a bit of research I'm guessing the problems with the needles and poor lighting are due to the fact I have blue bulbs. Came with the car I wasn't sure what colour standard even was. Took the bulbs out to have a look and they are like a tower shape, with one led on each side, rather then the type Shinny suggests using in his post
www.imoc.(delete this space)co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=166187&highlight=

Again I cant post photos yet so cant show the led side or the rear of them, they say Toshiba V-2 on the back. Every bulb on the back of the cluster is one of these (including the fuel warning light, which has turned on once while ive owned the car) so I don't know if I just need to replace the 4 like in Shinny's topic or if they are now all wrong? The only one that is different is a rectangle shape that says Denso on the back, I didn't pull this one out to have a look though.

Hopefully someone will say its a simple fix, follow Shinnys guide swap the 4 bulbs and ill have properly working dial lights and needles I can actually see. (I presume Shinnys guide works exactly the same despite the fact I have a the battery dial instead of a turbo one).

The other issue is the fact they flicker, mainly on the rev counter between 2k and 5-6k but its sometimes just a little bit, other times its all over the place. If I have the lights quite dim this doesn't seem to happen, or not that I can notice anyway and gets much worse the brighter you put the lights. Is this also down to rubbish blue led lights or do I have an electrical problem?

Finally, once I get all of this sorted I have made a post in the wanted section for a clock (time) on the dash as mine has burned out. Again no idea what colour the clock is or even what it looks like on as mine has never worked but I see lots of people talking about changing the colour of them, is it easy to make it blue or white to match the dials (but still be readable) and if so how.

Sorry for the long message, trying to get the car up together and finding this forum very useful so hoping you all can help clear up my issues.

Thanks, Geoff
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Pauln
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Yes this is largely down to the leds that the previous owner fitted.

Trying to illuminated red needles with blue leds never works. My own car came with leds that if anything were a deeper blue, and as a result the needles vanished altogether at night.

The second issue is that the distance between the lamps and the cluster face is quite small, and the type of led fitted simply doesn't have a wide enough spread, so is more prone to hot spots than the type featured in Shinny's post.

There re various versions of the "flat faced" led/smd lamps available. Some brighter than others. I used:

4-LED-XENON-WHITE-QUAD-501-T10-W5W

In my case I found the smd lamps a bit too bright for my liking. But leds are cheap enough so you can have a play and see what works for you. The illumination to the top boost or voltage dial is the same. So nothing to worry about there. Just follow shinny's guide. I actually fitted a voltage dial on my turbo as the stock boost gauge is useless.

From you post it sounds as though this is also the model that has a dash light dimmer fitted as stock. I've not had experience of running leds via a dimmer, but I seem to remember reading that leds don't always handle voltage dimming too well. So it might be worth trying to bypass the dimmer to see if that cures the flicker.

Alternatively it could just be a faulty led or a poor connection between the lamp holder and the circular pcb tracks on the back of the cluster.

The main thing is to swap for white lamps, and use gel to colour the dials if that's he look your after.

Just remember that unlike ordinary bulbs, leds only work one way around. So if they don't work first time spin them around and try again.

In terms of the warning lights, you can again use leds on everything other than the low fuel level light. The sensor won't function correctly with an led as the resistance of an led is very different to a conventional bulb, so this is the one case where you need to revert to an ordinary incandescent lamp.

As far as I'm aware the only way to change the look of the digital clock is to tint it with some gel as there isn't a bulb as such. It's originally green, so your options are limited. I used a bit of light blue gel on mine behind a piece of plastic cut from a cd case, and whilst it's not a perfect match to the blue used elsewhere it doesn't look too bad.

Paul
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Geoff




Joined: 22 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Hi Paul, thanks for the reply. The LED's from Shinnys post are no longer available to buy so have been looking for an alternative so thanks for the link. I don't suppose you have a photo handy of how yours looks with those LED's? When you say use gel is that something different from the colour sheets from Shinnys thread?

Yeah mine has a dimmer switch, didn't realise that LED's don't work well with dimmers but now you've said it does make sense, the connection is ok because I tried taking them out and turning them round so I'm hoping as its mainly on one side of the dials its just a broken LED.

Ill try and grab an original incandescent lamp off here to replace mine if there is an LED in there. Didn't read the thread before id taken the dials out, had a play and put them back in. It has worked once so I'm not sure if its been replaced before or not yet.

Thanks for the tip on changing the colour of the clock as well, will be cheap to give that a go as well.

Geoff
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Pauln
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Hi Geoff Colour sheets and gel are the same thing really. Gel is the term we used to use for adding colour to stage lights when I worked as a theatre electrician, pre all the modern led stuff. Old habits die hard . [Smile]

I keep meaning to try and get a better up to date photo of my instrument cluster at night as the only one I have is very fuzzy. My situation was also a bit different to yours.

My car came with white Lockwood dials and dark blue leds and was hopeless at night. In my case I managed to get hold of some white speedhut dials where all the markings on the dials glow blue when you power them up. But this still left the needles and odometer unlit, so I fitted leds to finish the job.

The first leds I tried were this type:


but were a bit too bright for my liking:


They would probably be ideal if your fitting colour gel/sheet, but I can't unfortunately see any listed on ebay at he moment.

I later swapped these for the ones in my previous link, which toned things down a bit:


and reduced the spill. Sorry the photos are poor, it actually looks much better in reality [Very Happy]

Paul


Last edited by Pauln on Mon May 15, 2017 6:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Geoff




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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Thanks Paul, its interesting to see the differences. I do plan on getting the colour sheets off amazon and would be happy with the result you have got. So have done so much ebaying and come across a few things. Wish I could post links to make it easier but this is what ive found.

www.ebay.(DELETE)co.uk/itm/10X-T10-8-SMD-W5W-501-LED-Super-White-Side-Interior-Number-Plate-Light-Bulb12V-/222106261205?hash=item33b69096d5:g:IDkAAOSwhRxXKLAg

These seem similar to what you were looking for.


www.ebay.(DELETE)co.uk/itm/T10-501-W5W-CAR-SIDE-LIGHT-BULBS-ERROR-FREE-CANBUS-5-SMD-LED-XENON-WHITE-BLUE-/142066182625?var=441163013491&hash=item2113cde9e1:m:mcXrQDjvsaqhuGr__u6zjuw

I don't know much about lights but I'm guessing these ones aren't as bright?

www.ebay.(DELETE)co.uk/itm/7-LED-HID-XENON-WHITE-501-T10-W5W-SIDELIGHT-NUMBER-PLATE-INTERIOR-BULBS-x-4-/330853655920?hash=item4d086a2570:g:WHwAAOxy0bRTGDWF

Then I found those which I presume are a slightly brighter version of what you used? And you suggested I might need something brighter for using with plastic colour sheets.

www.ebay.(DELETE)co.uk/itm/501-CREE-ERROR-FREE-CANBUS-LED-SMD-NUMBER-PLATE-XENON-WHITE-BULBS-T10-W5W-194-/201595605080?var=500812694746&hash=item2ef008d058:m:m3qp84Ars8VaLqxhPmWrJcQ

Then finally I found those, which to me also looked like a good design. If you have the patients to look at all those deleting the (DELETE) part of the link to make them work, which do you think would be my best option, would like to order today so I could have a go at doing this on the weekend.

Thanks, Geoff.
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Pauln
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

In reverse order. I'd avoid your last suggestion No this type you really need all the smds to be on the top of the lamps rather than split between the sides and the top.

The leds on the These would work but be dimmer are on top so that's better, but leds are generally not as bright as smds.

this one and the www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10X-T10-8-SMD-W5W-501-LED-Super-White-Side-Interior-Number-Plate-Light-Bulb12V-/222106261205?hash=item33b69096d5:g:IDkAAOSwhRxXKLAg look to be very similar lamps with the same number of smds on the top surface and should both work. But I'd personally go with the last one as these claim to be Pure White (6000K) and 360 deg, and look pretty much the same as the ones I originally fitted. These were really bright with a good spread of light.

It's hard to advice how bright they need to be as that's very much personal taste, but if you find those too bright drop down to ones with fewer smds or that use leds instead. The main things is that the smds/leds need to be on the top surface to give a good spread.

Paul
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Geoff




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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Thanks for all your help Paul. Ill give pure white 6000k ones a go first and see how I get on. If these turn out to be too bright then ill buy a set of the LED ones. I will update this hopefully over the weekend with my improved dials!

Geoff
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tiff_lee




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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Just for information and you may well know this already but smd doesn't necessarily mean LEDs, it means Surface Mount Device (as most conventional through hole components can come in smd form), so in this instance there is conventional through hole LED's and smd LED's.

With regards to brightness with a little wiring you can fit a pwn dimmer giving you control over brightness, it's a might better method than the old clunky rheostat that mine had fitted.

This type will give you more variation

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PWM-Dimmer-Controller-LED-Light-Lamp-Strip-Adjustable-Brightness-12V-24V-8A-FT-/111865802969?hash=item1a0bb8b0d9:g:WNEAAOSwKtlWihRN

where as this type has 6 or 7 preset levels

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Inline-LED-Controller-for-Single-Color-Strip-12V-Low-Power-On-Off-Dimmer-Switch-/252306057191?hash=item3abe9ce7e7:g:5jYAAOSwUuFW1qLN
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Geoff




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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Hi Tiff Lee, thanks for your input. So like Paul mentioned one of the problems could be the dimmer switch. Is it possible to take out the old dimmer and wire in a PWM dimmer behind the dash to work with the lights I brought? If this is an option I will order one as for 1.50 its not going to break the bank and could solve the flickering, which would be extra annoying if that still happened after finally getting my dials looking nice. I would probably try and fit it behind the dash and then put the original dimmer switch dial on the PWM controller so it looked standard.
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Geoff




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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

If yes to the above questions, are these the same?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LED-Dimmer-Controller-12-24V-Brightness-Adjustable-for-LED-Light-Strip-UK-P4R2-/172053595652?hash=item280f318604:g:CLYAAOSwX~dWjb5D

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LED-Dimmer-Controller-Single-Color-Brightness-Adjust-for-LED-Light-Strip-12V-24V-/291285096980?hash=item43d1f1da14:g:tg8AAOSw1x1UM2uf

Looks identical but worded slightly different and I don't know a lot about electrics, I know its more expensive but means delivery time is much faster.
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tiff_lee




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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Yeah they are both the same, UK sellers are just charging a premium on the same thing from China as it saves you having to wait.

Im at work at the minute but have pictures of everything you need to know regarding wiring and standard looking install at home so I will upload later today.

Is the flickering at full brightness? Might be worth shorting out the dimmer switch to see if that removes the flickering although LEDs will be at full brightness in the meantime. I'll post again later with more details.
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Geoff




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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Mostly at full brightness, however it does occur until you turn them down to around half brightness or lower then seems to stop. Thanks that would be a great help!
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tiff_lee




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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Ok so this was the original dimmer fitted into my car



and this is one of the ebay variable (PWM) dimmers



Now you'll need to open it up and extend the wiring for the small potentiometer which you mount on one of the dash blanks as per the original dimmer



To wire in the dimmer you'll need to break into the dash backlight wiring but there is no danger of affecting anything else as the circuit only supplies the back lights.
iaw these pages from the BGB,



terminals B8 & B9 supply the lighting, you need to cut those wires and reroute the supply (or car side of the loom) to the dimmer 'IN' and then wire the dimmer 'OUT' to the speedo cluster side of where to cut wire.

Similar to this although I cut mine quite short on the plug side for personal preference, ignore the additional wiring coming off on the plug side.

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Geoff




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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Thanks tiff lee, wasn't quite how I was imagining to do it in my head but from your description and photos it doesn't look too challenging. Will give this a go and see how I get on. Thanks again [thumleft]
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Geoff




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Once again thanks to all those that helped with this, here's how it went.


Started off looking like this, photo doesn't do it justice really as it was still light out, but at night I couldn't see the speedo needle at all, and barely the revs counter needle, and as I posted in my video the lights flickered if you turned them up.





This was the cause of my problems, a really naff blue led. So out they came...





To be replaced by these.





Wasn't quite sure what I was doing as this was the first time I've attempted to do something like this but got comfy and cracked on.





I considered not doing the next bit but thought id at least give it a go, not quite as tidy as Shinny in his guide, and I'm sure others who have done it but didn't come out all that bad.





So I trimmed up the edges and here is the final result.








As you can see there are a couple of little bits that need redoing or adjusting but overall for a first attempt I'm really pleased with it. Despite the imperfections its much better then before, I can finally see how fast I'm going at night and it looks really clean imo. And to top it off I also have a working clock again thanks to Pete (MR22).

The PWM dimmer that was advised by tiff lee hasn't arrived yet so that will be a job for next weekend and will give me the chance to fix up the dodgy bits on the dials.
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Pauln
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1993 Toyota MR2 Mk2 Turbo Rev2

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Nice job, looking good [thumleft]

Paul
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tiff_lee




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Looks much better.

Have you got lights fitted inside your footwells?
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Geoff




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Thanks guys [thumleft]

Yeah drivers side wasn't working but have sorted them out while doing the dials, dome and footwell lights are both bright LED's really lights up the inside of the car.
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pbmr2
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

Where did you get the dome LED bulbs from?

Did this in my last car and it was a great upgrade.

Also is it possible to do the same with the door corner light (red marker light)? Which bulb would work there?
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tiff_lee




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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Reply with quote including images

pbmr2 wrote:
Where did you get the dome LED bulbs from?

Did this in my last car and it was a great upgrade.

Also is it possible to do the same with the door corner light (red marker light)? Which bulb would work there?

By 'dome' do you mean the main interior light? just buy some suitably sized SMD sized led board or cob led light (although in my experience cheap cob leds dont last long).

Same with corner light just buy some suitable smd led/cob boards.
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