Saturday, 14 July 2018

Air conditioning lamps replacement

The button illumination on the heating and cooling controls in Junior, our Discovery 2, have not worked for a few months. I finally got some time to replace the lamps.

I decided to use LEDs instead of filament lamps in the hope that they will survive longer.

The tricky bit is getting the controls out of the dash.


I used some radio removal tools.


It took me a while but the main tip that I can offer is that the spring clips are not in the middle they are centred about a 3rd of the way towards the top.
The gap either side is only just big enough to slip the thin tools in and if you unclip one side first it is not possible to get the tool in the other side, therefore the tools have to be in place on both sides before releasing either side clip.
It sounds like it should be easy but I found it just needed lots of frustrated fiddling before I was able to get it out!



Once out, removing the connectors and the two screws to get inside, is easy.

The lamps just rotate to release and the reverse to put back. LED's have to be the right way round so there is a bit of trial and error to make sure they work.



The original lamps have a green cover over them. With hindsight I should have bought green LED's instead of white but as it happened, for the three larger back light lamps, I was able to take the green covers from the smaller filament bulbs to fit on the LED lamps.


I accidentally pulled the flat cable out several times while working on this. Luckily I have come across this type of connector before. The top of the socket pulls up allowing the cable to slip in without any resistance. It's just a case of push it back down to lock the ribbon in.




The larger of the new LED lamps were not very well made, compared to the originals and did not fit securely even after I finally managed to get them in without completely mangling the connections. I used a bit of hot glue to stop them wobbling in the hope that this keeps the connection working. So far so good.


The result is quite good. The LED lamps are a little brighter than the originals even those with the green covers.

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Third party links:
Larger backlight lamps:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/509T-led-bulb-B8-5D-T5-Dashboard-Speedo-Blue-White-Bulbs-For-Car/263147193917
Smaller button illumination:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10x-T4-7-T5-Neo-Wedge-Side-LED-Bulb-Dash-Dashboard-Climate-Instrument-Base-Light/192352456473
I bought white LEDs but I would recommend getting the green versions instead.
On e-bay they refer to them all as T5 even though the two types protrude a different distance behind the circuit board.

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