Replacing Instrument/Dash Lights? Help - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 186 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Replacing Instrument/Dash Lights? Help

Hello,
Just joined the forum and am looking for some great tips for my '99 Forester. One of the instrument LEDs (I presume it is an LED) has been out since we bought it but another has gone out and I can't read the &%#$! guages at night! I have looked around here for a thread but couldn't find anything. How easy are they to replace? Could I do it with simple tools on a lazy Saturday? Or do I have to tape a flashlight to the ceiling? Thanks, Colin

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post #2 of 186 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 10:17 AM
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The cluster comes out with a total of about 5 screws. Then you can usually replace the bulbs from the back. It is a really easy thing to do. All you need is a phillips screw driver.


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post #3 of 186 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, really? Thanks. I took a look at it and it looks complicated. Do you know how much room I have in there to do the work? And what type of replacement bulbs I would need? Thanks
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post #4 of 186 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 10:58 AM
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The trim piece that surround the cluster has two screws on the top. Remove those and pop the trim piece off.

The cluster is held in with 3 screws. Remove those adn pull the cluster toward you. The top of the cluster has 3 wire clips, undo those and take your cluster inside. Sit on the couch, watch some TV and replace the bulbs that are burned out by twisting them free from the back.

I don't know off the top of my head what replacement bulbs are needed though. I do know they are cheap at Radioshack. I helped a friend repalce a few bulbs on his 01 earlier this year.

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post #5 of 186 (permalink) Old 10-03-2008, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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One last question before I attempt this:
Does anyone know how many lights are in this cluster? Just two? Thanks for your help, Colin
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post #6 of 186 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 06:53 AM
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I too need to replace dash bulbs, I can remove the two screws at the top of the instrument cluster, but it feels like it's being held in by something else at the bottom. Do I just need to be more forcefull with it?

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post #7 of 186 (permalink) Old 12-04-2009, 04:54 AM
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This might help

http://www.scoobymods.com/sf5_dash_b...al-t11750.html

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post #8 of 186 (permalink) Old 12-04-2009, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cojobi View Post
One last question before I attempt this:
Does anyone know how many lights are in this cluster? Just two? Thanks for your help, Colin
There are a bunch of little lights. All with specific functions. Some are the normal illumination for the speedometer, tachometer, fuel and coolant gauges, and others are specific to certain functions. They're all tiny little bulbs, and on a rough estimate, I'd put 10-15 of them back there. I'm going on knowledge of my 98 RS's gauge cluster. I haven't pulled the Foz's out to check that one for differences.

The scoobymod's link has a good picture of the back of a gauge cluster.



The little black things are the lamp holders.

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post #9 of 186 (permalink) Old 12-04-2009, 05:47 AM
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post #10 of 186 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 03:00 AM
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I find myself in a simular position with my '01 Forester. The lamp behind the Gas Gauge went out. This thread was great in replacing it. My problem is that I purchased the replacement lamp (part# 85066GA390) from the dealer here in Dallas ($11.50 what a shock), after installing it I find that the lamp they gave me is 3 time brighter than the rest. Now I need to replace the rest, is there some place I can get them cheaper?

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post #11 of 186 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 03:07 PM
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Doing the same thing today but am trying to figure out what leds to order from superbrightleds.com

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post #12 of 186 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 01:47 AM
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I am having the same problem, how do you figure out which one to get?
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post #13 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 02:09 PM
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I have not seen a recent update on where to get the 85066GA390 back lighted bulbs, in the blue holder for my 01 Forester. They are not listed in Wagner, GE or Sylvania catalogs. Dealers don't seem to inventory them and want around $13/each and 4 are required. any suggestions?
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post #14 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 04:08 PM
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I see that this is your first post, so welcome! We're glad to have you here. Subaru, the official car of New England! LFOD!

There have been a few posts here by members who took their bulbs to Radio Shack, searched out ones that looked similar but for the lack of the base, and then were able to retrofit the new bulb into the old base. Sometimes it was just a simple press fit; sometimes it required careful soldering.

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post #15 of 186 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bbottomley View Post
I see that this is your first post, so welcome! We're glad to have you here. Subaru, the official car of New England! LFOD!

There have been a few posts here by members who took their bulbs to Radio Shack, searched out ones that looked similar but for the lack of the base, and then were able to retrofit the new bulb into the old base. Sometimes it was just a simple press fit; sometimes it required careful soldering.
Sorry for the poor picture quality, the bulbs are very easy to find I have changed several of mine last week from a 1997 S/tb, you don't need to solder any of them they are fitted in a little cap that you have to pull them them out of, they might seem a bit tight but just pull at them. There is an example of the bulbs in the pics. The biggest ones are fitted with regular park light bulbs, smaller ones are the same as the park light which is a pull out process, very small ones are for the climate control unit and they are the ones that you have to thread through a little base. Just take them out and take them to a auto shop they will find them for you, and one reminder they are 12 volts.
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