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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just something I did yesterday...
I was going to NAPA to get some stuff for a friend, including some new lights, so I thought I would make my gauge cluster lights amber instead of old-museum-off-white. I took out a spare 88-89 cluster and pulled all the main bulbs. NAPA has replacements for the larger ones, in amber, but not the smaller bulbs in it. I got back and realised that the 90-91 cluster uses all small lights, after I had pulled the dash apart. So I read up on where to get the bulbs, or another way to do it. Someone on HT had used a red sharpie to colour the bulbs, I tried it but it didn't work too well, the ink would not stay uniform. I ended up pulling all the bulbs, masking the contacts, and hitting them with a light (1 pass) coat of some spray paint we had lying around. I drove around last night and it looks great! I really prefer the look of amber/red gauges instead of white, now I don't have to turn the dimmer all the way down. I'll take some pics tonight when it's dark if anyone is interested, I could do a small write-up on it too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know, when it's dark out I can take some pics. My stepdad used to have an EM1 and it had an amber display, it's much better. Notice that Audi/BMW use this too, the reason is that red/amber doesn't cause your pupils to dilate, so your night vision isn't compromised (think red lights on boats/subs). I almost always keep the stock display dimmer all the way down, now I don't have to.
I want to get the clock/climate controls amber as well, and I would like to have a kill switch for all the interior lights for when I'm driving at night in rural areas with little to no traffic.
I did manage to get the needles a little reddish, two of the cluster lights are in the top of the thing, they shine down on the inside. Still, they are white during the day like the rest of the display.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, that's bright (maybe more yellowish than reddish?)! I think it's a camera issue though. Maybe not, I'm the only person I know who turns the gauges all the way down, I just can't stand so much light like that at night.

I agree, I would rather have the bulbs, I tried that, but didn't realise they were wrong until I pulled the cluster out. If the paint comes off I will try to find the right ones, but I didn't want to take the whole thing out and not do anything.
 

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downest said:
Wow, that's bright (maybe more yellowish than reddish?)! I think it's a camera issue though. Maybe not, I'm the only person I know who turns the gauges all the way down, I just can't stand so much light like that at night.

I agree, I would rather have the bulbs, I tried that, but didn't realise they were wrong until I pulled the cluster out. If the paint comes off I will try to find the right ones, but I didn't want to take the whole thing out and not do anything.
When i clicked on the pic, i can see what you mean when you say "yellowish", but it is def the camera. At night & in person they are amber. At the time i wanted them to match the stock '99-00 Civic Si Cd player i had in there.
 

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I did this too.... Mines an 89 so the larger bulbs are just 168/194s... easy to find. The smaller bulbs were dipped in a bit of Testor's turn signal amber enamel about three times, allowed to dry, and reinstalled. I found they don't get hot enough to really burn the paint off like the 194s do. I had mine red, but they ended up burning off and looking pink. The amber looks much nicer.
 

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Hey all,

First post, but I've been reading these forums ever since I got my CRX in 04. I loved this post, the white is really strong at night, and I was tired of turing it down all the time. When I pulled the dash apart to replace the bulbs, I found this plastic housing covering the middle of the cluster that covers up access to one of the bulbs. How did you guys get to that bulb ... it was night time, so I couldn't see if it was screwed on or not.

Since I was frustrated by that time (my gauge is a amber/white rainbow right now) what is the bulb size for the climate control? So I can buy them before I pull it out.

Thanks!
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't remember what it looks like exactly. I know what piece you are talking about, the 89 cluster I have has that on it from a 91 cluster (it's a mess), but I don't think I had to remove it (I may have though, it was a while ago). You might have forgotten the bulbs that are on top that shine down. The bottom lights are for the idiot lights (CEL, oil, etc).
I haven't done the climate controls or the clock yet, I've been putting that off for a while.
My next project is to make a kill switch for all the interior lights, so I can turn them off when I'm driving at night and still have headlights. I was going to start on it tonight, along with a switch for my amp, but I can't find the switches I had set aside for it.
 

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Yeah, I havn't gotten to thw overhead ones yet (forgot to buy the liitle bulbs (168s I think). So I got started on the main cluster ones. Little did I know that it was a mix of 168s and 194s .. hooray. But there was one way down at the bottom that was a pain to get to, and one behind some white plastic deal that it looks like I need to take off to get to it. That or pull the whole thing off of the speedometer feed .. which scares the crap out of me, mainly because I don't know how to get it back on right if I do.
If all else fails, I have a flathead and a big hammer :rolleyes1:
 

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interesting thread...I think I need to replace my bulbs because the dimmer is all the way up and my cluster is dim still. but I like it like that, bright=bad.

I'd go red with mine if I did it. the model paint red for the clear plastics pieces should work, I would think it'd get darker and block light if it was burned on. another project for "the list"
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ragnaarok said:
interesting thread...I think I need to replace my bulbs because the dimmer is all the way up and my cluster is dim still. but I like it like that, bright=bad.

I'd go red with mine if I did it. the model paint red for the clear plastics pieces should work, I would think it'd get darker and block light if it was burned on. another project for "the list"
I used red paint on the bulbs way back when I posted this. Still holding up just fine.
 

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I did that with my CRV a couple of years ago. Used a blue Kandy Color from HOK. Came out really nice. I hadn't thought about red, though .. does anyone still have pics of how the red came out?
 
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