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Wattage Increase for Gauge Cluster?

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  • Wattage Increase for Gauge Cluster?

    Based on a search I've seen a suggestion to swap out the two 3 watt main bulbs used to illuminate the gauge cluster for 5 watt versions (side marker bulbs).
    Does anyone have a feel for whether the circuit/wiring is robust enough to reliably handle this?
    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Well for anyone interested, a search on bimmerforums indicates a few people that state the 5 watt bulbs throw too much heat. So much for the easy way to brighter gauges.

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    • #3
      Perhaps the LEDs with the wide angle?

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      • #4
        The 5w will melt the orange caps - not a good idea!

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        • #5
          Thanks for the input guys.
          I thought about LEDs but decided I wasn't motivated enough to make that conversion.
          As an alternative, I made a few small holes in the orange plastic "hoods" (caps) that cover the two bulbs to try and allow a bit more light through. Thought I'd try this based on some people that have reported good improvements by removing the two "hoods".

          I also installed aluminum gauge rings at the same time which appear to reflect the light a bit. So, it's hard to actually quantify the delta but it appears noticeably better now - I'm happy with it.
          Last edited by TjcM3; 07-17-2009, 10:04 PM.

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          • #6
            I tried white LED's once but they ended up looking even dimmer because the orange caps and filters blocked the light output. I ended up just putting in fresh 3w bulbs. I was going to try the orange or yellow LED's the next time I pull the cluster, but haven't done it yet.


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