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Dim Instrument Lights

1503 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  jjb
The instrument lights on my '79 are exceedingly dim. The Tach and Speedo are OK, but the three minor gauges are almost impossible to see at night. They are lit, just not very bright. I cleaned the ground wires at the lower right hand side of the dash, but it didn't help.

I am sure I have to get behind the dash to fix this, but I wondered if anyone else had this problem, or could direct me to what I need to fix so I don't spend hours rooting around upside down trying to find the problem.
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There is no adjustment for the brightness of the gauges. I beleive they set them dim at the factory so you would not be distracted by their brightness.
If you have a working dimmer switch (the little round knob on the center console) it is for the lights on the other indicators: heat, wipers, parking brake.
I personally like it that way and have never been bothered by their 'dimness'.
This thread and this thread have some good info.
on my 'late '78 spider.. i took all my gauges apart on weekend.. cleaned them an spray painted them 'bright white' inside.. worked well for me..
Has anyone put the little halogen bulbs in an Alfa dash? I used them for my MG gauges, which were almost unreadable with the stock dim bulbs. It made a difference that was indescribable, and I didn't notice any heat problem (the gauges probably felt a little warmer, but no problems).
One of the well known British car vendors sells them particularly for that purpose (though they're ridiculously pricey). You can use them for turn signals and such as well. 5w and 10w depending on what you want them for. I don'tknow if the sizes are the same for an Alfa but just to get an idea if you're interested:
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{click on special offers, then halogen bulbs}

there must be many other places that sell these
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Over time, the filament of bulbs starts to deposit itself on the inside surface of the bulb. This dims the amount of light produced. I found that just by replacing all the original bulbs with new ones gave a good improvement.

Dim lights drove me crazy as well. If you want to really get into it, have a look here.

This is one of the best things I have done to my car.

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