Speedometer LED swap questions - Chevy Impala SS Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Speedometer LED swap questions

I think i've read every single thread on here about the swap, here is my issue:

I took out the original bulbs, put LEDs 194 into the sockets, ensured that they worked in the socket by testing them with a battery

The issue that I have is when I twist them back into the speedo they only work at certain angles, it seems like the connection is not very good. So I bent the prongs on the socket to get a better connection, it worked on one of them but not the rest, it seems as if the solder on the board itself is rubbing off or not providing a connection.

If I solder the socket onto the board will that make them work? I thought i'd ask here before I went that route. Are there any suggestions?

Thanks
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ssonss1 View Post
I think i've read every single thread on here about the swap, here is my issue:

I took out the original bulbs, put LEDs 194 into the sockets, ensured that they worked in the socket by testing them with a battery

The issue that I have is when I twist them back into the speedo they only work at certain angles, it seems like the connection is not very good. So I bent the prongs on the socket to get a better connection, it worked on one of them but not the rest, it seems as if the solder on the board itself is rubbing off or not providing a connection.

If I solder the socket onto the board will that make them work? I thought i'd ask here before I went that route. Are there any suggestions?

Thanks
When you bend the prongs on the more poorly made replacement sockets, the copper does actually dig into the board solder. The best thing to use are the stock sockets, pulling the original bulbs out and reusing the sockets. The copper contacts on these are bent in such a way as to not dig into the solder. If your solder has been dug out, you may as well refill those areas AND reinforce any and all weak solder points you see around the entire perimeter. These speedo's go out for this reason 99% of the time.

You only want to fill the areas (exactly!) where solder is needed. Don't solder the socket/bulb directly onto the board (well, you could, but...).

I upgraded all of my bulbs to U/V LED and it turned the whole speedo from looking drab and archaic to vibrant and almost modern. You can accomplish the same effect w/ red, green, etc...

Every time you pull the cluster, it weakens. Go in. Do what you have to do to get everything running right. OCD clean everything. Button it up. Don't touch it again unless absolutely necessary.

Just some tips based on many years direct experience. GL
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 09:00 PM
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If you look at the oem green 194 socket bulb bases and the black LED aftermarket bulb bases you'll notice the contacts orientation is different between them,when locked in place.

If you back off the LED bulb base a little from lock position,it may work better.

Take a look see what you think.Good luck. Jim
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEO9C1 View Post
Every time you pull the cluster, it weakens. Go in. Do what you have to do to get everything running right. OCD clean everything. Button it up. Don't touch it again unless absolutely necessary.

Just some tips based on many years direct experience. GL
Ooops.... My cluster is a mess, I hate it. LED bulbs were awful in mine, put regular bulbs back in it. I have an LT1 Z28 cluster, I hate it. I need to procure a 96 cluster and get it to work...

95 6-speed DCM SS- "LSXT56" [email protected], 1.91 60'
96 DCM [email protected], 1.74 60'- Bro rocks it now
07 Silverado 6.6 DMax- Standby
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Timmay!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SEO9C1 View Post
When you bend the prongs on the more poorly made replacement sockets, the copper does actually dig into the board solder. The best thing to use are the stock sockets, pulling the original bulbs out and reusing the sockets. The copper contacts on these are bent in such a way as to not dig into the solder. If your solder has been dug out, you may as well refill those areas AND reinforce any and all weak solder points you see around the entire perimeter. These speedo's go out for this reason 99% of the time.

You only want to fill the areas (exactly!) where solder is needed. Don't solder the socket/bulb directly onto the board (well, you could, but...).

I upgraded all of my bulbs to U/V LED and it turned the whole speedo from looking drab and archaic to vibrant and almost modern. You can accomplish the same effect w/ red, green, etc...

Every time you pull the cluster, it weakens. Go in. Do what you have to do to get everything running right. OCD clean everything. Button it up. Don't touch it again unless absolutely necessary.

Just some tips based on many years direct experience. GL
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimpala95 View Post
If you look at the oem green 194 socket bulb bases and the black LED aftermarket bulb bases you'll notice the contacts orientation is different between them,when locked in place.

If you back off the LED bulb base a little from lock position,it may work better.

Take a look see what you think.Good luck. Jim

Thanks for the tips! I ended up trying about 20 different bulbs and it was very odd some worked with no issues and some didn't. It wasn't the actual socket that was causing the issue. I don't think i'd try that again lol, heres the finished pic, all white LEDS, but look bluish green for some reason once in the speedo.

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