Going LED

I’ve been annoyed recently by the failure of one of the 3 bulbs that sit behind the Dash Pod of my Discovery TD5. Eventually, I had a look at the spare Dash Pod I have in the cellar and realised that the bulbs are actually standard bulbs.

To start off with, the 3 main bulbs are 501 Bulbs (LR Part YAW100040, Universal Part R509TMGR, 12v 2.0w), in a custom holder with a green rubber sleeve over the top of them. Then, the bulb behind the Odometer readout is a 509T (LR Part YAW100020, Universal R509TMGY 12v 0.5w), and finally, the bulb behind the High Beam Light is a 286 Wedge style bulb (LR Part YAW100050, Universal R509TMBL 12v 1.2w), in a custom holder. I think that is! I’ve ordered the bulb, but not received it yet, so this is awaiting final confirmation.

I ordered both Green and Blue LED’s to test, these were the ones in the top left of the image below.

However, they provide great light projection directly in front of the LED, but poor projection to the sides. So I’ve since ordered the style on the top right. These give much better projection to the sides and weren’t much dearer.

The bulb in the bottom left is the 509T LED, and the one on the bottom right is the 286 Wedge style.

You can also replace the side lights with the SMD style LED’s which look like the one in the top right, but you’d obviously want to use White LED’s for these. The bulbs in the headlights and the indicators for the side lights are all 501 bulbs.

The results are dramatic:

Now, I’d ordered 2 sets of 2 blue LED’s and thought I had ordered 2 sets of 2 green also, but it turns out that the green ones were individually sold, so only had 2, therefore I’ve done the blue version first. Blue doesn’t work! The Red upper parts of the temp gauge are washed out by the colour, so I’ll be taking it apart again in a few days.

Edit: As you can see above, it’s got the same problem as the blue with washing out the reds in the cluster. Sadly the SMD 509T and 286 bulbs arrived but were literally square pegs in a round hole, and wouldn’t fit. I’m searching for a smaller rounder LED 286, and have continued using the round LED 509T behind the LCD, though it’s output is very concentrated giving a lighter centre and darker outer than standard. Meh.

To get at your dash, drop the steering wheel to it’s lowest position and remove the 2 screws from the holes that just appeared on the lower face of the dash pod. Now pull firmly and the dash pod will pop off the dash. Unplug your switch cables, and place to one side. Now remove the 4 screws, two on either side and you can get at the rear of the Instrument Cluster. Be careful not to lie it on it’s front and to keep it upright. Twist the bulb holders to remove them, and pull the bulbs out carefully by hand before replacing them. The 509T is a direct replacement, so discard the old one.

I’d gone LED a long time ago with the interior lights, but when reading about the bulbs on the vehicle, as I’ve been going LED on those also, I discovered that there was a glove box light. Guess that’s been broken since I bought the vehicle!

All the interior lights are 37mm Festoon style bulbs, and I typically use a flat PCB style bulb with 6-9 SMD LED’s. The Glove box needs a thinner style though.

I’ve chosen the one in the top left for the glove compartment and my interior lights are similar to the one on the bottom. You can also replace your number plate lights at the rear with the one on the top right, I’d suggest a sealed unit for this location as they are more exposed. The number plate ones I fitted are 36mm, but there is a good deal of give in the whole thing, I have got a 32mm one fitted in the glove compartment as a temporary measure, which took a little fiddling to get to sit properly in the clips.

Finally, I replaced the piddly R5W lights that are the rear side lights with LED versions and the P21W brake/reverse bulbs with LED’s as well. I’ve been running these for over 2 years without any problems.

You can replace your indicators, but you either need to turn off bulb failure (and lose trailer indicator functionality) or add resistors. The indicator bulbs (front and rear) are P21W bulbs, and the side indicators are 501’s again.

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