Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

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Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby Vespa Bob » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:53 am

The illumination of the instrument panel on my recently purchased 1986 Helix seems rather dim to me, but not having seen another one, I'm not sure whether this is a fault, or not. The cover is clear, no yellowing, but out on the road, I can hardly read the speedo, or other instruments. Is this normal, or is there a fix for this, if not?

Bob
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Re: Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby pyrate » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:56 pm

Vespa Bob wrote:The illumination of the instrument panel on my recently purchased 1986 Helix seems rather dim to me, but not having seen another one, I'm not sure whether this is a fault, or not. The cover is clear, no yellowing, but out on the road, I can hardly read the speedo, or other instruments. Is this normal, or is there a fix for this, if not?

Bob


not sure about an 86 but on my 95 it was a bad ground issue. the main ground on the frame was crusty. i just took it off and cleaned the frame and connector with a wire brush
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Re: Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby Vespa Bob » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:44 pm

Thanks for the tip, it seems like an easy fix to try, once I find the main ground wire!

Bob
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Re: Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby clockman48 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:13 pm

there are 2 bulbs , one on each side of the cluster that illuminate everything on the display....
one or both are probably burned out.
is one side brighter ?
it is possible that all you have is some illumination from the 2 vanity emblems that say Honda and HELIX bleeding to barely light things up.
the others are for turn , high beam , etc.

manual has you disassemble lots of plastic but as remember I would take the access panel off, the one with 3 screws.
and then carefully reach up and pull the boots and pull the bulbs to change.
have to blessed with. small hands ! once you find the Illumination bulbs it is easier....way up near the top ,not quite in line with the other bulbs.
otherwise take off more plastic to expose the cluster...., but I think then windshield etc needs to come off.

my 86 is bright.
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Re: Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby Vespa Bob » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:23 pm

Thanks clockman for the suggestions, but all the lights function, turn signals, high beam, fuel gauge, temp gauge, speedo, the lot, but they are not bright, particularly in the shade. I'm going to try cleanng the frame ground wire, as soon as I find it! I assume it's the wire coming from the neg side of the battery, but it disappears down in the dark! I may have to remove a panel or two, unless I'm looking at the wrong wire. Any ideas?

Bob
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Re: Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby clockman48 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:28 pm

no no no !
turn , hi low , etc are all bulbs plugged in the sides......they are fine.
the actual gauge , that makes numbers , lines of temp, lines of fuel are LIQUID CRYSTAL. they have NO LIGHT output of themselves.
they depend on the two earlier bulbs that are actually plugged into the edge of the plastic light guide that illuminates behind the glass with the numbers etc....those bulbs are faulty if dim.
yes some of the bulbs that remain on all the time (Honda - HELIX) may bleed into the display causing a dim display with the main bulbs gone....
those other bulbs are not inserted into the plastic light guide ....
I don't member but there are different wattage bulbs in the certain bulbs....check the manual

also if the two display bulbs may have slipped out of the tubes of the display housing....then it would be dim dim.

do not confuse the fact that the numbers etc produce NO LIGHT.
the whole display depends on 2 bulbs...
all the other bulbs are used for the turn , insignias , etc.
I believe I read your problem correctly....
when one of the 2 bulbs go out I can. barely see half the speedometer , temp etc...
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Re: Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby Vespa Bob » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:39 pm

OK, I am trying to understand, sorry if I appear dense, but it's the first time that I've encountered such a system. While I have the service manual, it is not too clear on certain situations. I'll check on those bulbs. I will remove the windscreen and other parts to get to the bulbs. I have wanted to re do these panels, anyway. Thanks for your continuing patience to guide me through this.

Bob
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Re: Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby clockman48 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:11 pm

not dense....
just have to distinguish between indicator bulbs and lcd illumination bulbs...
speedo numbers , fuel bars, temp , have no light in themselves....need the 2 bulbs to back light them.

oh and don't silicone grease bulb base. I made that mistake and they would pop out by themselves ...
I ended up using led bulbs and soldering them in.....
they also were too bright and washed out the color display so i modified them removing 3 of the led elements so only 2 remain....then I turn the socket until the light shine is proper and then push in..
no more burned out bulbs but a bit of work..
You also have to try polarity both ways as they work only one way. led are polarity sensitive..

I do things the hard way.
I wish I could get pictures working...photo bucket crapped out. trying to figure out google images but no luck yet.
wow..after looking at some other posts with pictures I tried postimage.org and it seems to work when I preview my post !! option now for photos again.
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Re: Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby pyrate » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:06 am

Vespa Bob wrote:Thanks clockman for the suggestions, but all the lights function, turn signals, high beam, fuel gauge, temp gauge, speedo, the lot, but they are not bright, particularly in the shade. I'm going to try cleanng the frame ground wire, as soon as I find it! I assume it's the wire coming from the neg side of the battery, but it disappears down in the dark! I may have to remove a panel or two, unless I'm looking at the wrong wire. Any ideas?

Bob


Yes. you will have to remove the side panel to get to the ground wire. Trace it from the battery to where it grounds to the frame.
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Re: Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby Vespa Bob » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:26 pm

OK, so now I'm completely baffled. I removed the instrument cover and checked all the bulbs, including the two plugged in at the top all by themselves and all were lit up! Brightly? It's hard to say with nothing to compare them to, but I would say quite bright. Now to clean up the main ground connection when I find time. Thanks for the tip of where to search for it, pyrate!

Bob
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Re: Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby CarCynic » Tue May 01, 2018 8:34 am

I don't think anything is wrong with your Helix -- at least if it is, it is wrong with mine, too.

I find a lot of lighting conditions in which I cannot easily see the LCD dash.

If I wear polarized sunglasses, and then try to look through a cheap plastic face shield, it is much worse. Ad another layer of plastic windshield, and I basically can't see anything ahead of me either -- except pretty rainbow color patterns .

My solution is to twist the throttle more so that I reduce my exposure time to the obvious hazard this creates.

I have to take the scooter out for a ride at night sometimes just so I can appreciate the cool digital dash.

(Slightly) more seriously -- it is OK in direct sunlight, where it basically is just transflective, and, as mentioned, it is well lit at night, but there is a range of lighting conditions where it is somewhat "washed out".
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Re: Instrument panel lights seem to be dim

Postby Vespa Bob » Tue May 01, 2018 9:44 am

Yep, that's like mine. I'm living with it so far, until I have to remove the maintenance cover for some other reason. Then I'll replace the two bulbs.

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