Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Faded instrument cluster


Well-known member
Dec 9, 2001
2001 red convertible, 1985 wht
I have an 84 with a faded but fully functioning (except hard to see) instument cluster. Has anyone rebuilt any of these. It looks to me just like the LEDs are shot if so how difficult are they to repair/replace.
Welcome To The Corvette Action Center billd!

Glad to have you in our community. Hope you find your time spent here enjoyable and fruitful. :upthumbs

The bulbs are not difficult to replace at all, just expensive. ;)

If you take the plastic bezel off the front of the guage cluster, you'll see four silver discs (Those are the reflectors, or dispersal devices, for the light bulbs; this directs the light to the guages and not in your face.) Gently pry the discs out of the cluster and you'll be able to see the bulbs.

The replacement bulbs you buy will have sockets included, but unless you have the cluster removed, you don't need to replace the sockets. Just find something that enables you to grip the glass bulb without crushing and breaking it, and pull the bulb from the socket.

When you are ready to replace the bulbs, use disposable surgical gloves or something to prevent transfer of the oils from your skin to the bulbs. If you don't, you will drastically reduce the lifespan of the bulb.

Carefully insert the two wire prongs of the bulbs into the sockets, replace the reflector discs and the cluster bezel, and you're finished.

Gordon Killebrew has an excellent book dealing with the digital guage cluster:

  • "1984-1989 Corvette Digital Cluster Book" - A Complete Step-By-Step Operational And Troubleshooting Guide
    For Your Car, Inc.
    P.O. Box 239
    Cross Plains, TN 37049-0239

Good luck.

_ken :w
I have replaced my digidash for autometerproducts, look like a hot nascarracer.
Hey Johnny you got any pictures of your auto meter dash after installation?

There are 4 882 halogen light bulbs which provide back lighting for the LCD displays... there are NO led's in the dash.....

Most of the 84 dashes I have rebuilt need new sockets..I would HIGHLY advise removing the dash and see what you have inside..If your not technically inclined...have it done....it's usually pretty toasted in there IMHO.

FrankM said:
johnny is this the website for autometerproducts?

i have http://www.autometer.com/

Yes, it is. Look at the 200 Mph speedometer. You need everything electric.

I will put some pics on the net, but be patient, it will take a wile. Not for next year.
If you check with Jensen Tools....you will find a small tool we telephone guys use to remove the same type bulbs from older phones.Jensen Tools/lamp remover :xmas :xmas :xmas :xmas

Thanks everyone for the responses. I'll call my dealer and get the bulbs.
Bill, you might want to bear in mind that there are less costly places to get your bulbs, and you can even lower the voltage of the bulb so it runs cooler.

Vigman has some good recommendations for these I believe, run a search for "digital dash" AND/OR "vigman". ;)

_ken :w
Not Me.....

However In one of the threads...( which i was in ) had a source for about 8.00 a bulb for the 883 ( factory halogen bulbs) I pointed out you could run with 7073 Stanleys or 163's ( eqiv) cheaper but you had to change the bases.

Do you have any idea where to find these $8.00 light bulbs. The dealer here has some but the're $39.00 each. $8.00 sounds pretty attractive.
I'm pretty sure I saw those going for about $11 a pop at Ecklers or MAD with new socket. ;)
I only pay around $11 or $12 for the 882s through the dealer, with my local Corvette Club discounts. :D

_ken :w
tested light bulbs

I tested the light bulbs and only one of four is not working. I now have the cluster disassembled on my bench. The connector that holds the two boards together in the cluster has what appears to be a burn mark on it at the end connection point closest to the interior. Is this the light connection point? Is there a place to have this rebuilt anyone have any experience having these assemblies repaired? Hoe much does it generally cost to have these refurbished or does it make more sense to purchase a used one?
Darn I wish you had posted this a few days ago....go to Ebay...click on Ebay Motors....then select parts and accessories. Once there go to the search window and search for Corvette. This will bring you some 55 odd pages of nothing but vette parts. There is one person selling clusters, I forget the price but it is much much better then the $400.00 I paid for mine last summer before I knew of CAC or looked around ebay. I will go look and see if I can find it and supply the email or whatever...:)
Found one, the bidding is at $100.00 and it has 10,000 miles on it...84-89 cluster Hope this helps:xmas
Eagle85C4 said:
Found one, the bidding is at $100.00 and it has 10,000 miles on it...84-89 cluster Hope this helps:xmas [/B]

how can all those clusters on ebay have such low mileage.:confused
I should buy one and then put my 217,000 mile cluster up for auction.
I am taking bets I would see it resold on ebay with under 25,000 miles.:dance
Edge Connector


The connector is the #2 source of failure.

3 options here
1) I dont advise this.. however make a jumper wires ( 12 ) from the top board to the bottom board. This will be actualy a better connection however a pain for the next guy.

2) Any GOOD electronics supply store should have these molex connectors or you can order from Newark Electronics

3) Send it to me.......


Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors


MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Our Partners

Top Bottom