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  • Reohostat replacement

    I drove last night and of course the candles were barely illuminating the gauges. It's been on the back burner to do something about that for 4 years. Cruising along with the top down gave me time to contemplate what course of action to take.

    I know the gauges have been painted on the inside by the PO. The bulb covers are cloudy as all get out, so replacing them would help. But what about a new rheostat? Anyone ever change one and then have to wear sunglasses at night? It's something that could be done one afternoon instead of taking out all of the gauges for an extended period of time.

    And while typing this it got me thinking about you guys with 3D printers. Can you print clear plastic bulb covers? And for later cars can you do green plastic? Seems like a business dying to be started
    1972 Sapphire TR6 #CC84,something

    1959 Red TR3 (Wife's)

  • #2
    Even at full brightness through the rheostat, the gauges are none too bright. I plan to just bypass the thing anyway next time I'm in there.
    1976 TR-6 BRG - CF57239U
    Carbs by Poolboy
    Rear Camber Kit, Rear Hubs by Goodparts
    Gear Reduction Starter by TSI
    Distributor by British Vacuum

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    • #3
      Many of us, myself included, decided to replace the incandescent bulbs in the instruments with LEDs. I went this route when I opened up my gauges, and found all the colored light domes had all perished or crumbled away. Rather than trying to source more of the domes, the LED route just seemed easier, as well as offering more brightness with far less current.

      There are vendors out there that sell complete kits. I can strongly recommend classiccarleds.co.uk (NFI) Here is the gauge kit for TR6:

      https://www.classiccarleds.co.uk/col...87-e10-mes-987, available in warm white, green and blue.

      This has resulted in a very marked increase in brightness (absolutely "sunglasses at night"). The only issue is, a mechanical rheostat will not work with LEDs, and you WILL need to be able to turn them down - they are that bright. There was someone who was converting rheostats to solid state, allowing them to control LEDs, but he is apparently not doing them any more (I believe I got one of the last).
      Keith, Huntsville AL, 1971 CC66559U
      10.0:1 CR gasflowed head | Weber DCOEs | CP "150hp" Cam | Distibutor by Advanced | Lightened flywheel | Phoenix SS Exhaust System | HVDA 5-Speed | Good Parts suspension and anti-roll bars | Konig Rewinds | Boyd 15 gal tank | Miata Seats and Mr Mikes covers | Carl Visser dash | Mohair hood | Gas-strut bonnet and boot lift kits

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      • #4
        Thanks guys. I should've said that I don't want the LEDs. Not my cuppa tea for a 6. I drove my TR3 at nigh once and couldn't believe how bright they are.

        TR3 lights. Surely this is doable in a 6?

        Click image for larger version

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        1972 Sapphire TR6 #CC84,something

        1959 Red TR3 (Wife's)

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        • #5
          Replacing the rheostat will not make anything brighter unless is is burnt out on the higher voltage sectors and only working on the lower voltage/lower brightness settings.

          The gels inside the instruments were originally vacuum formed from a very thin transparent green or blue plastic. You could use 3D printing to print a form for the gels, but not to print the gel itself.

          On the brightness of the LED's, install a solid state rheostat in-line and just turn them down.
          1973 TR6 – BRG with beige interior, custom LED lighting
          Hardtop, OD, Rollbar, 15”Koenigs
          Bored, balanced and polished motor with Kastner/TSI S2 Cam
          Header, custom exhaust, custom alternator, e-fan
          Lowered, poly suspension, Konis and rear anti roll-bar
          www.coventrysfinest.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by oppositelocksmith View Post
            Replacing the rheostat will not make anything brighter unless is is burnt out on the higher voltage sectors and only working on the lower voltage/lower brightness settings.
            Seems this may be a possibility. There is definitely an ON/OFF aspect to them with no gradation in brightness. The lights on the 6 are nothing like the lights on the 3.
            1972 Sapphire TR6 #CC84,something

            1959 Red TR3 (Wife's)

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            • #7
              Does a TR3 have a rheostat control? those instruments are very visible & readable.

              Have you tried jumpering the rheostat wires together to see if you're happy with the brightness of stock bulbs? I've seen a lot of posts where people have done this as their solution.

              I did the led conversion with green bulbs, and really like them. Very bright though...so I had the rheostat conversion done. Dale Osterndorf did my conversion, and as Keith mentioned, he may have stopped.
              Last edited by Atl TR6; 06-07-2019, 06:22 PM.
              Bruce
              1974 base TR6 Emerald Green "Emmy"
              (with J-O/D added)

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              • #8
                Bypassing the rheostat made a difference..."Oxidation bypassed". YMMV.
                I made up a 'jumper' splice and plugged the rheostat wires into it...Cormae was able to unplug the wires and pull them up thru the ashtray opening so I could make the connections.
                I let the rheostat stay on the dash...didn't remove it.
                AND...don't forget to pull the fuse...
                Last edited by poolboy; 06-07-2019, 07:24 PM.
                Driving a 1973 TR6
                Doing ZS carb repairs
                email kencorsaw"at"aol.com

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                • #9
                  Been trying really hard to understand why folks want such bright gauges.

                  I dont like or want that much glare in my face. I groomed mine, but they are turned up just enough to read, but not blare/glare....

                  Now the lights behind the jewels are another matter....
                  Last edited by tr6harris; 06-07-2019, 11:08 PM.
                  '74 TR6 CF13007U aka "Mr. T"
                  Custom Blue (Delft-Like) and New Tan (Formerly Mallard and New Tan)
                  Points, Ballast Bypassed, Bosch Blue Coil, Moss Cobalt Wires, Champion RN12YC plugs.
                  Peaks and tweaks, but the spirit of Original
                  Redlines always.
                  My wife is the Driver, I'm just the Mechanic....

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                  • #10
                    Hello all,
                    I like the white and bright LED lights, they look good and being able to see the gauges would be a plus. Was wondering if the rheostat I included a picture, would this work ? Hopefully the stock knob could be fitted, any thoughts ? Any wiring suggestions if this could be used ? Hopefully the "box" can be fitted behind the dash. Thanks, John Mack

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                    • #11
                      I’m kind of a purist too but the green LED kit on Ebay for our cars is the bomb! Looks great and not too high tech either. Plus the wattage you save from all those incandescent bulbs makes this a no brainer for cloudy bulb bezels and less current draw too. It was like a 20 minute job!
                      1974 TR-6 Logic Overdrive

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                      • #12
                        I jumped the rheostat last night. 5 minutes of work and voila. I can see the gauges. (shoulda taken a before photo to show how big the difference is)

                        Click image for larger version

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                        1972 Sapphire TR6 #CC84,something

                        1959 Red TR3 (Wife's)

                        Comment

                        Reohostat replacement

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