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mr. cob

Changing the color of gauge lighting in the dash

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Howdy All,

I am old school, I LOVE gauges, the Pete has 22 of them.  I noticed when driving the truck at night that even with the white dash gauge lights dimmed there was still quite a bit of glow that did affect night vision, turn on the chicken lights that reflected on that long hood and it did have an impact on how well you could see the road at night.  When I was in the Army all the dash lights were lit up with red lights this worked well the gauges were easy to read and the red light didn't have nearly the affect on night vision as the white lights do.  The gauges in the Freightliner I have use green lights, they are OK but I really don't like the color.  So has anyone changed the dash gauge lighting color in their trucks, if so what color did you go with and why?  Thanks for any replies and information shared, a photo of your lit up dash would be wonderful.

Dave

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A long time ago I changed the dash lights of my Chevy II to red.  Most was done by painting the inside of the gauge housing red.

In the safety rage of the late 70's that was the thing, red dash lights for night vision because airplanes had red gauge lights.  The thing is that in a vehicle, you encounter headlight which kills night vision.  Airplanes don't encounter headlight very often and ARMY vehicles do not encounter headlight either in combat.

But the effect is restful on the eyes.  Not sure how to do it on modern gauges.

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Our Volvo has a washed out orange color.  Back in the boat building days, most of the gauges we used had red as the background for all the stated reasons.  Dark blue is hard to read, Green works, but the needles and numbers have to be a color that can be seen on the green back ground.  

If you can change it to red, go for it.  

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Green is for the most part best for night vision. And if you check with ebay. I got 25 LED green bulbs for I think it was $8. with shipping. Will get a pic of one this week if you want to see them. Got the flu, so will be a few days before I get out to the truck.

Heres a link to the bulbs I have LED-Bulbs-Dash-Instrument-Gauge

Also I run with all my dash lights as dim as they will go. And run a green light above the windshield. That takes the glare of on coming traffic away.

Edited by Pete Kildow

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2 hours ago, Pete Kildow said:

Green is for the most part best for night vision. And if you check with ebay. I got 25 LED green bulbs for I think it was $8. with shipping. Will get a pic of one this week if you want to see them. Got the flu, so will be a few days before I get out to the truck.

Heres a link to the bulbs I have LED-Bulbs-Dash-Instrument-Gauge

Also I run with all my dash lights as dim as they will go. And run a green light above the windshield. That takes the glare of on coming traffic away.

Howdy Pete,

Hope you feel better soon, I got literally knocked down last winter with the flu and pneumonia at the same time, two weeks of hell and didn't really feel right until a couple of months later.

I honestly don't know how someone who spends as much time on the internet as I do can be so darn dumb when it comes to finding things that I want to find.  I have plugged into googal as many different ways of asking for the type of light bulbs that fit the dash of my Pete as I can think of, even went to a Peterbilt web site and still can't come with a part number that will interchange for LED replacements.  At the Peterbilt site I didn't see any LED replacements but what I think is the right regular white bulb again its shown in the holder was priced at $3.95 each.

I see all kinds of photos of bulbs that are mounted in different types of holders, I don't need holders, just the bulb that fits into the holders I already have that are attached to a wiring harness with the holder simply plugging into the rear of the gauge.  "It's hard work" being an electronically- computer challenged individual nowadays.

Dave

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23 minutes ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

Is it possible to pull a bulb out of the dash and do a cross reference google search on it?  There might be numbering on the base still.

 

Howdy A&J,

I just yesterday reinstalled the dash panels after I had taken them all out in a failed effort to find a way to tap into the air application feeder line to feed into the brake controller.  All the lights were working so I didn't bother to keep one out to use for comparison. 

It's not that big of a deal to pull the panel again, I'll pull it out, remove a bulb, take a photo of it and post it here, that way perhaps someone can tell me what it is if there isn't a number on it.  I "assumed" all one had to do was go to google, plug in what your vehicle is, list what you wanted and it would kick out 13berzillion web sites catering to your needs, for me it doesn't seem to work that way.

Dave

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5 minutes ago, DesertMiner said:

Howdy DesertMiner,

The base of those bulbs sure do look like the bulbs used in my truck, but when I do a search for a "194" bulb the sites I have looked at says it won't fit my vehicle.  IF it is a 194 bulb, here's their part number for the red ones, 5 bucks each.

https://peterbiltparts.com/lighting/headlamps/lamps-bulbs/38264

Dave

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30 minutes ago, Darryl&Rita said:

Amazon, multi-colour, might be too bright. Keep an eye on the Lumen output. More, but the directional output might result in hotspots on the gauge face. Another contender, again in multi-colour.

Howdy Darryl,

Thanks for the links, I am going to do some calling tomorrow and find out for sure what darn bulb is in my dash lights.  Thanks for the links.  I have been reading that some of these lights project the light only within a certain angle or arc I am assuming a person wants a bulb that projects light in all directions to provide proper gauge lighting to make for easy reading.

Dave

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Hi Dave, 

Tap into the line that supplies the trailer brake service gladhand at a convenient location for your brake controller. Your Hayes controller won't need to be super handy cause you will run the trailer brake with the trailer brake controller right side of the steering column. 

For dash lights suggest calling your local Peterbilt parts department. Lots of times parts people will direct you to suppliers of accessories if they don't stock them. 

There is a Ural parks on the street in Prescott when I ride through town.

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37 minutes ago, noteven said:

Hi Dave, 

Tap into the line that supplies the trailer brake service gladhand at a convenient location for your brake controller. Your Hayes controller won't need to be super handy cause you will run the trailer brake with the trailer brake controller right side of the steering column. 

For dash lights suggest calling your local Peterbilt parts department. Lots of times parts people will direct you to suppliers of accessories if they don't stock them. 

There is a Ural parks on the street in Prescott when I ride through town.

Howdy noteven,

The air line that goes to the trailer brake lever on the right hand side of the steering column is huge compared to the line that goes to the air application gauge.  Perhaps there is a protective covering over the trailer brake air line, if it is, it's made from very hard plastic and runs the full lenght of the air line.  Today I am going to do some calling and will gather more information on the bulbs.

As to the Ural, there is a Ural dealer in the town of Prescott so that may be where your seeing the Ural, that or they are getting to be more and more popular and are showing up all over the place.  One of my best friends moved to Mayer Arizona a couple of years ago, he had lived in Texas, he has a Ural and is one of the folks who I stop and visit with each year as I wonder back home after the the National HDT Rally is over.

Dave

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Hi Dave the trailer service line will be 3/8 or 1/2 you can T down to 1/4 to fish up to the control. I would t outside the cab someplace. Behind the dash in a many gauge truck is "busy" isn't it? :)

Edited by noteven

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9 minutes ago, noteven said:

Hi Dave the trailer service line will be 3/8 or 1/2 you can T down to 1/4 to fish up to the control. I would t outside the cab someplace. Behind the dash in a many gauge truck is "busy" isn't it? :)

Howdy noteven,

If I am understanding you correctly, are you saying I can buy a "T" fitting that has TWO ends on it that are the size of the trailer brake line and ONE end that is 1/4 inch?  If that is true I think that is possible now that I have finally succeeded in removing the lower dash panel to cut into the trailer brake line and "T" from there.  As to space behind a many gauge truck, "busy" is not the word for it, I would suggest something long the line of gridlocked in the extreme.:unsure:

Dave

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Dave, when you go to look for the T you want remember that the sizes are "run, run, branch". In other words for a 1/2" line and teeing to 1/4" line would be 1/2"x1/2"x1/4" tee.

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3 minutes ago, Mntom said:

Dave, when you go to look for the T you want remember that the sizes are "run, run, branch". In other words for a 1/2" line and teeing to 1/4" line would be 1/2"x1/2"x1/4" tee.

Howdy Tom,

Thanks.

Dave

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Trying to tie in T's in the crowded behind dash space can be a headache sometimes 

The fittings might be easier to find in DOT compression vs push connection. You can also buy compression x compression x pipe  thread then make up compression if you want to point your 1/4" line not at 90deg off the main line.

or I suppose push x push x pipe 

If you have a commercial truck supply like Fleet Pride or similar in your area they should have the DOT fittings and line in stock, or a Peterbilt or Kenworth dealer. 

Sometimes a push connect fitting is the better choice if the spot is a stupid place to wrench on compression fittings. But mostly they are used to reduce assembly time and price at a factory. 

Always remember the inherent safety in air brake systems is their relative simplicity and low operating pressure with a "fluid" that is plentiful and that won't boil. Oh and minor leaks don't cause you to sail over the cliff..

funny we don't use air brakes on heavy "rv" trailers :ph34r:

oh well 

Hope we are helping not confusing :)

Edited by noteven

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3 minutes ago, noteven said:

Trying to tie in T's in the crowded behind dash space can be a headache sometimes 

The fittings might be easier to find in DOT compression vs push connection. You can also buy compression x compression x pipe  thread then make up compression if you want to point your 1/4" line not at 90deg off the main line.

or I suppose push x push x pipe 

If you have a commercial truck supply like Fleet Pride or similar in your area they should have the DOT fittings and line in stock, or a Peterbilt or Kenworth dealer. 

Sometimes a push connect fitting is the better choice if the spot is a stupid place to wrench on compression fittings. But mostly they are used to reduce assembly time and price at a factory. 

Hope we are helping not confusing :)

Howdy noteven,

Thanks for all the information you have provided, you and many others are HELPING, I may be confused at times but don't worry its a normal state for me.

I just found this on Amazon, 194 bulbs in many different colors, cheap enough to where a person could buy them and if they aren't want your looking for not be to disappointed.  As the colors of my truck are White and Purple, I wonder how the Purple lights would look in the gauges.

https://www.amazon.com/CCIYU-Instrument-Cluster-Halogen-purple/dp/B01EJGZAZ0?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-ffsb-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B01EJGZAZ0&th=1

Dave

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Howdy All,

OK, for those of you who are following this thread here is some concrete information.  On my Peterbilt, and I am sure many other older trucks there are TWO regular dash light bulbs.  The first on is a 193, it draws 4 watts, the second is a 194 it draws 8 watts, the two bulbs are INTERCHANGEABLE, same type of plug in, same outer dimensions the only difference is the 194 is BRIGHTER then the 193.

So I have order up a package of 20 RED and a package of 20 PURPLE 194 lights from Amazon.  I ordered the brighter lights as they can be dimmed if they are to bright, if the dimmer bulbs don't put out enough light when they are turned on high they are worthless.  I have a good idea of how the gauges will work and look with the RED lights as every military vehicle I drove had RED dash lights so if I don't like the look of the PURPLE lit gauges I'll install the RED bulbs and be HAPPY. 

I am hoping the PURPLE bulbs will work, I have always liked PURPLE and it would be nice to have something a bit different.

THANKS to EVERYONE who has posted to this and all my other threads giving suggestions, links, opinions and photos, I have learned a lot and I am sure that somewhere along the way others have also gained knowledge or at least enjoyed the banter and information that was exchanged.

Dave

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Your clock is going to be a "VDO Bulb" that isn't like the rest.  I don't know of an LED for it so you'll probably need to put a condom on it.  Wish I could remember its number.  802 or something like that.  The more domed and diffused the lamps are the better.  The pyrometer goes weird.  It hotspots but it only lights in that one spot without it going anywhere else.  It is fine as long as the bulb lets a lot of their light out the side.  You might also need to update your dimmer switch to the newer PWM version if the lights get all strobe like.  Your original dimmer is still PWM but early 90's style that isn't quite right.  Did my 22 KW gauges in bright white, mostly just preference.

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7 minutes ago, Scrap said:

Your clock is going to be a "VDO Bulb" that isn't like the rest.  I don't know of an LED for it so you'll probably need to put a condom on it.  Wish I could remember its number.  802 or something like that.  The more domed and diffused the lamps are the better.  The pyrometer goes weird.  It hotspots but it only lights in that one spot without it going anywhere else.  It is fine as long as the bulb lets a lot of their light out the side.  You might also need to update your dimmer switch to the newer PWM version if the lights get all strobe like.  Your original dimmer is still PWM but early 90's style that isn't quite right.  Did my 22 KW gauges in bright white, mostly just preference.

Howdy Scrap,

I ordered the lights, #194 bulbs in red and purple, when they get here I'll plug a bunch of them in and see what it looks like.  How are you coming on your project will you have an opening in your shop in the near future?

Oh, I have another question for you, in order to remove the big lower center plastic dash panel, its held on by three screws on the bottom, I had to grind the head off of one of the screws as it was frozen into the nut thing that it threads into.  The nut thing on the panel mount just spun as I tried to turn the screw out, so I will have to remove the nut thing somehow don't know if it can be replaced or just use a regular nut and screw when we put the dash back together after the brake controller has been wired and air line run to it.

Dave

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I'll go look at one with those panels and see what I can figure out.  Should be able to get all those parts still.

The trailer light harness came in and will work pretty well.  It is longer than your truck!  Mount the Jackalopee in the battery box, click this harness in the white connector in your firewall, ground wire to your cab sill corner, then run it to Jackalopee, then run it back out to be your trailer plug in the back.  30 minute install, tops.

Cleaning project in my shop falls somewhere between avoidance and procrastination.;)  Let me get a list of parts together in the other thread so you can order them.  Hopefully me and them will be ready when I get back from Chandler Feb 12.

8VRyYq1l.jpg "border=0
m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image.

 

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2 hours ago, Scrap said:

I'll go look at one with those panels and see what I can figure out.  Should be able to get all those parts still.

The trailer light harness came in and will work pretty well.  It is longer than your truck!  Mount the Jackalopee in the battery box, click this harness in the white connector in your firewall, ground wire to your cab sill corner, then run it to Jackalopee, then run it back out to be your trailer plug in the back.  30 minute install, tops.

Cleaning project in my shop falls somewhere between avoidance and procrastination.;)  Let me get a list of parts together in the other thread so you can order them.  Hopefully me and them will be ready when I get back from Chandler Feb 12.

8VRyYq1l.jpg "border=0
m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image.

 

Howdy Scrap,

I already have everything I need to install the Jackalopee, I bought the entire kit, it came with all the wires and conections that are needed to install it.  There isn't any room to install the Jackalopee in the battery box, I plan to install it on the back of the cab where it will be out of the way, easy to get to and protected.

Dave

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On 1/21/2018 at 8:02 PM, mr. cob said:

Howdy Pete,

Hope you feel better soon, I got literally knocked down last winter with the flu and pneumonia at the same time, two weeks of hell and didn't really feel right until a couple of months later.

I honestly don't know how someone who spends as much time on the internet as I do can be so darn dumb when it comes to finding things that I want to find.  I have plugged into googal as many different ways of asking for the type of light bulbs that fit the dash of my Pete as I can think of, even went to a Peterbilt web site and still can't come with a part number that will interchange for LED replacements.  At the Peterbilt site I didn't see any LED replacements but what I think is the right regular white bulb again its shown in the holder was priced at $3.95 each.

I see all kinds of photos of bulbs that are mounted in different types of holders, I don't need holders, just the bulb that fits into the holders I already have that are attached to a wiring harness with the holder simply plugging into the rear of the gauge.  "It's hard work" being an electronically- computer challenged individual nowadays.

Dave

I'm on day 8 of this stuff. I can breath better today. But sure wish someone had gotten the tag number off that Mack truck that hit me. My whole body hurts, Have coughed so much is most of it. My wife had it first, she got back to work Monday. Worked 5 hours came home and went to bed. Yesterday she made it 6 hours same thing. If she could have gotten away with it. I feel she would have been off a few more days.

Man I pray its over soon. Way to much to get done to the truck. And not enough time to do it. Camping time is coming up fast.

PM me a address and will mail you a couple of the bulbs. And let you see if they work in your truck. Some they can be dimmed down. Others they will not dim at all.

Edited by Pete Kildow

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