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Old 02-16-2010, 01:01 PM   #1
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Replacing Lights in Dashboard?

Hey guys, ok so I'm wondering how hard it would be to replace the lights behind the cabin A/C and temp and fan direction and speed lights. The gauges are fine, the radio is fine and the seat belt warning light is fine, just the ashtray light, and all the knobs under the radio. Is it a fuse, or all new bulbs that are in order. 1991 Saab c900

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Old 02-16-2010, 01:03 PM   #2
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Remove the speaker cover on that side and reach.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:05 PM   #3
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It's easy. Take the radio out along with the cage for the radio. From there, you should be able to feel for the light sockets. They just slide into the dash fascia and slide out. Replace the bulbs and you're all set. I wish I could describe it better, but it's not too bad to do, once you have the radio and cage out, you'll see what I mean. If you can't find them, just use a tiny mirror and look for a tiny black socket that has 2 wires on the back of it.

The ash tray light, you'll have to remove the torx screws that hold the ashtray assembly in and then there is a bulb that is right on top of that, replace it the same way as you would for the other bulbs.

You'd only have to remove the drivers speaker for the instrument cluster lights.

I'm trying to remember what is tied into that fuse... I think it is tied into the cigarette lighter, so if the cigarette lighter outlet and interior lights don't work, then you're fuse is likely blown. But I am not 100% certain on that. Or, you could just open up the hood, pop off the fuse cover and look for a blown fuse.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:20 PM   #4
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Thanks

oh my gosh thanks so much, the instrument cluster and cig lighter are fine, just need to take the radio out, I know you need like these little 2 prong plugs to stick in the holes on either side of the radio, but none came with the car, where can I get them?

Thanks!!
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:23 PM   #5
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Make some out of a coat hanger.... Take some tin snips, dremel, dikes, or even scissors, cut the coat hanger long enough so you can bend them, and you're all set. It may not be pretty, but it has worked for me when I was in a pinch.

Here ya go, found a link for you... if you don't have a coat hanger, you can get the DIN tools at Best Buy or AutoZone.

http://www.i-hacked.com/content/view/213/45/



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Old 02-16-2010, 01:28 PM   #6
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Thanks

I added you to my AIM if that's ok
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:29 PM   #7
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That's fine... I'm only on once in a while though.
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:14 AM   #8
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Before you go pulling things all apart, be sure that your dash rheostat is turned up. The rheostat is a small black knob on the dash on the left side of the steering column.

If you've never been behind the dash of a c900, this will not be a picnic. Once you get the radio out, you have to remove the radio cage too. Bend the opening of the cage down at the top and up at the bottom. That will release the locking tabs so you can pull it out. Then you have to disconnect all the wires from the cage. Tuck them way back out of your way.

As mentioned, the lights are in small black sockets that are inserted into round openings in the back of the dash. There will be a mess of wires back there. It's easier to unhook a bra behind a tight shirt one-handed in the dark than it is to get the sockets out and then back in if you're a first-timer at both. You'll be doing it blind. Be prepared to be there for awhile.

Be careful not to disconnect the control rod on the heater switch while you're monkeying in there. When you're puting the radio back in, it's best to remove the driver's side speaker grill on top of the dash and pull the wires back in to place with your left hand while inserting the cage with your right to keep the wires from bunching and blocking full insertion of the cage.

Alternatively, you can remove the four long mounting screws on the bottom of the dash and tip the gauge fascia out enough to actually see what your doing. That comes with it's own set of problems. Like aligning the screws and not breaking the mounting tabs when you try to put it back.
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:56 AM   #9
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oh, I never knew what that knob did, what does it do exactly, that could be an easy fix?
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:16 AM   #10
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The knob by the directional stalk is the rheostat (dash light dimmer)... All it does is dims the dash lights. There are 2 of these on c900s. The one on the dash controls the dash and switch lights. The one on the right hand side of the instrument/gauge cluster controls the flood lights on the gauges.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:10 PM   #11
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wonder how hard it would be to LED the whole dash-or if its even worth the trouble.
c900 dah lights are dim and spotty.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:17 PM   #12
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wonder how hard it would be to LED the whole dash-or if its even worth the trouble.
c900 dah lights are dim and spotty.
Hopefully that will be one of my summer project. I was also thinking of swapping in a 9K cluster. But that would be a wiring nightmare.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:22 PM   #13
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Keep in mind that LEDs are generally brighter (I know, that's the point). I put them in my '94 vert and I think they are too bright. The lights reflect off the shelf in front of the gauge cluster and up onto the windshield. I find it annoying. You also can't dim LEDs to correct the problem. I think my LEDs were 4-light green ones. You may be able to get by with a smaller LED. Or put a less-reflective matte finish on the gauge shelf (what I plan to do). Lay a piece of black felt there or something.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:34 PM   #14
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You can dim LED's...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ywP7R3R5_g
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:38 PM   #15
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Hmmm... I wonder if it needs some special rheostat or if the bulbs are different? I definitely can't dim mine with the OEM rheostat in the dash.

Time for some research...
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:45 PM   #16
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You could always just put resistors on the LED's themselves, though it wouldn't be adjustable.

But yeah, they have dimmers out there for them.

http://www.plasmaled.com/LED_Dimmer.htm
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:55 PM   #17
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Looks like it works with pulse width modulation, which is why it's so spendy. I'm not sure it's worth rewiring the dash just to use LEDs--not for me anyway.
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:59 PM   #18
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like this?

ok, there's a knob on the instrument cluster itself across from the milometer reset and the clock reset/adjust, and it dims the instrument cluster but, is the rheostat on the left next to the steering column the heater knobs and such? like this picture.... what I'm thinking of is #5
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:01 PM   #19
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Yes, the rheostat is #5. They can be flaky sometimes, and be very touchy to get the lights to work properly (like my 90 is).
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:10 PM   #20
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ive turned that knob before, never knew what it did, but I never did it in the dark, it seemed kind of stiff of like it kind of on a spring but then it would stay, any tips on getting it to turn the right amount or anything?
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