Dash lights (i.e. gauge backlighting at night)

OK - since mine is finally getting up to modern day daily driver status, I’m trying to knock out the stuff that bugs me.

Since I’m older (but pre-cataract surgery) - dim lighting is harder for me to discern. Has anyone updated the dash lighting such that we can actually see it at night?

I have the original dimmer, it works. I’ve not delved into checking voltages/resistance. Are there bulbs readily accessible and readily replaced with some that have higher lumens?

thanks in advance.

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West Coast Classic Cougar has sets of LED lights available for dash illumination They make a noticeable difference.

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Thank you. I just checked them out. Has anyone availed themselves of these bulbs? easy to install? good function? I have a transistorized sequencer system (replaced the motorized rotary contactor years ago) - any hiccups with those systems?

I have them in my 1970 XR-7 and 2006 Ranger. Love them. am thinking about putting a set in my 71 XR-7.

It’s not an easy job to install them. Taking the instrument panel out is a rough job.


Definitely worth the pain in the butt to get the panel out. I muddled through it by repeatedly watching Don’s videos. I love the brightness of the LEDs.

The LEDs are excellent for the dash, very bright and easy to see. They only fit in one way, so if they do not light up, turn the leds around.

Also remember to use one incandescent light for the radio, this will create enough resistance so that the dash dimmer switch will work.

Don’t use an LED for the brake warning light, it must have an incandescent light globe.

Thanks, yearby - great tips

Make sure you get the most recent green dash indicator LEDs. Early versions from HiPo Parts did not have a high enough voltage-rated blocking diode inside the LED. Due to the unique way that the '68 Cougar indicator lights are grounded, voltage spikes generated by the large turn signal relay in the trunk would burn out these LEDs.

Note: this is only a problem when using the OEM trunk relay. My electronic system units are protected and clamp down these voltage spikes.

ANY LEDs will do the trick but I went from Green with no diffusers to Yellow with Red Diffusers (and the new gauge lenses helped too!

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