Dashboard Lights

General MGB discussion
Post Reply
User avatar
Ruabon Red
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:30 pm
Forename: David
Surname: Hughes
Location: Wrexham

Dashboard Lights

Post by Ruabon Red » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:45 am

The lights in my 1970 roadster are very dim and I'm contemplating having them changed to warm white LEDs.

Googled reports on how difficult an operation this is seem to vary, based presumably on the DIY competence of the owners involved.

Given my competence (or lack of) and time constraints, has anyone had them changed by a garage and if so, at what cost?
User avatar
Charles Farran
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:08 am
Forename: Charles
Surname: Farran
Location: Warwickshire

Re: Dashboard Lights

Post by Charles Farran » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:17 pm

I changed them last year and am delighted by the results. I believe that the pre rubber bumper cars are probably easier to do as you don't have the fad of dealing with the lower console of the later cars which have the heater controls & clock to fiddle with. Replacement of the bulbs was straight forward once you can get access to the backs of all the dials.Due to the layout of the main dials in the later cars i had to remove the rev counter to get access to the fuel gauge & the air vents to access the oil temp gauge. You can get shorter LED bulbs for the main gauges which save having to remove the coloured filter, which would impede a standard length LED.This also means you can use warm white bulbs rather than coloured so that the end result is close to the original albeit brighter! - i will up load a picture of the end result.
1980 Roadster
User avatar
Charles Farran
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:08 am
Forename: Charles
Surname: Farran
Location: Warwickshire

Re: Dashboard Lights

Post by Charles Farran » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:23 pm

[attachment=0]20190313_154711.jpg[/attachment]
Attachments
20190313_154711.jpg
1980 Roadster
User avatar
Charles Farran
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:08 am
Forename: Charles
Surname: Farran
Location: Warwickshire

Re: Dashboard Lights

Post by Charles Farran » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:30 pm

I got my LED bulbs from Classic Car LEDS . Very helpful, the guy there was very knowledgeable & about the requirements for MGBs & particular years. (I have changed all the internal lighting apart from the indicator warning lights & and the ignition light & the little lights in the rocker switches).
1980 Roadster
User avatar
Michael Barclay
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:05 pm
Forename: Michael
Surname: Barclay
Location: Abingdon

Re: Dashboard Lights

Post by Michael Barclay » Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:55 pm

Hello David
Presumably you are referring to the instrument lights. On pre rubber bumper cars it very easy. Took about 15 mins to do on my 74 B. Just put your hand up under the dash and pull out the bulb holders from the Rev counter and speedo, unscrew the old bulb and * in the new LED bulb. Replace the bulb holders and test. It’s that easy. The fuel gauge is similarly easy to access, but the oil pressure/temp gauge is a little more difficult. On my car I removed the fascia air vents to gain access but on your car you may have a radio fitted. Make sure you get the correct bulbs. * thread, not bayonet fitting. Suggest you do one at a time and test before moving on to the next.
Hope this helps
Best regards
Mike Barclay
User avatar
Ruabon Red
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:30 pm
Forename: David
Surname: Hughes
Location: Wrexham

Re: Dashboard Lights

Post by Ruabon Red » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:04 pm

Many thanks for the helpful replies.

I've been in touch with the recommended company and the bulbs are coming out at £2.25 each - cheaper than I thought!

Has anyone had them fitted by a garage?
User avatar
Peter Cresswell
Posts: 545
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:05 am
Forename: Pete
Surname: Cresswell
Location: Stone, Staffordshire

Re: Dashboard Lights

Post by Peter Cresswell » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:55 pm

Hi Mike,
The cost of getting a garage to do it will depend on their costs for labour, which in turn depends on which part of the country you live in, but £50 to £80 per hour would be typical. Some may be honest enough to charge you for the actual time and others might have a minimum of 1 hour for their labour, so shop around, and it would be best to use a garage that knows about 'old' cars! Edit - In Wrexham you have the Welsh MG Centre, see if they can do it, or Tony Ennion, see http://www.theennionworkshop.freewebspa ... ntact.html.
Pete
1969 MGB Roadster
2011 MG 6 TSE Magnette
2007 Mercedes SLK
Plus 32 other cars since 1965
Allan T
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:59 pm
Forename: Allan
Surname: Titmuss

Re: Dashboard Lights

Post by Allan T » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:28 am

With the single exception of the ignition warning light that has to be left old-tech tungsten for the system to work, I've changed every bulb on my car for LEDs from Classic Car LEDs https://www.classiccarleds.co.uk

Some of the dashboard/instrument lights are fiddly to get at, but I swapped them all without removing any instruments. If you don't mind being upside-down under the dashboard, it's not worth involving a garage.

If you have rocker switches and replace the Lilliput bulbs in those, LEDs are polarity-sensitive, and it's likely someone will have reversed the connections on one of them (it doesn't matter with tungstens), so it's worth removing them to check.

It's probably the lowest cost/biggest benefit change you'll do - it transforms the inside of the car. I can even see the blue full-beam warning light in daylight, which I struggled to see at night before. And the direction indicator warning lights are clear in daylight, too.

One word of warning: if anything has a coloured lens, you need to get a similarly coloured LED, rather than fitting 'white'/clear bulbs everywhere, as with tungstens.

Good luck!
Allan T
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:59 pm
Forename: Allan
Surname: Titmuss

Re: Dashboard Lights

Post by Allan T » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:19 pm

Re-reading your original enquiry, if it's just the instrument lights you're changing, and if you have them swapped by a garage familiar with the cars, I'd have thought about an hour's labour should cover it. But there's the slightly delicate matter of them fitting parts you've supplied, and you'll find varying views on that from one garage to another.
JohnH
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:12 am
Forename: John
Surname: Howard

Re: Dashboard Lights

Post by JohnH » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:05 pm

Yes I obtained my LEDs from classiccarleds.co.uk. I believe their 'testbed car' is an MGB GT. I have changed headlights, sidelights (white) including the twin filament stoplights (red), reversing lights (white) and dashboard (warm white). Not bothered with the indicators as a bit more difficult.
Take note of AllanT comments re colour and not changing the Ignition bulb. It does help if you remove the rev counter for access and its best to bypass that dreadful dimmer rheostat by simply joining the Lucar connections with a flat blade of metal.
One problem I found was unscrewing those very old blackened bulbs from their holders. A bead of blue tack saves cut fingers! In doing all things under the dashboard a youngster can be a helpful asset.
Post Reply