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Old 03-28-2011, 04:39 PM   #1
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1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I have heard there were problems with the 1987-1988 GTA digital dash option,can someone tell me specifically what those problems were and can the digital dashes be repaired to function correctly and be reliable?
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:01 PM   #2
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Curious. The only problems I've had with mine so far were blown bulbs.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:39 PM   #3
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I dont know what the typical problems they had with the dash were,but I've always been told the digital dash was trouble prone and thats why they only offered it for the two years.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:25 AM   #4
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Actually the digital dash was availible for 4 years, from 1985 to 1988. I have an 86' digital dash and have had no problems but bulbs like lb9GTA said. I have heard things about them bad, but everyone I have seen has worked just fine, and a lot of members here have said the same, so I think its one of those myths, since it looks complicated it must have problems, thats how I view it at least. But to sum it up, I have never had a problem with my Digital dash.
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:32 AM   #5
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Sorry to but in, but I have an '88 and was wondering where could I find one at cause I always thought they were so cool.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:05 AM   #6
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I did a search on ebay, none for sale there at the moment. Really your best bet is to find a parts car that has one and either pull it and swap, or restore the digital dash car. You can find a dash on ebay here and there, but you never know what you'll need and what it comes with. Wiring one up isn't the hardest thing, but you'll need everything with the system, the dash, the sensors, the computer, all the wiring. Look on here for a whole car or a complete set.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:28 AM   #7
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Gerry is right. You can't just swap the cluster, you need the complete dash and harness, and there are also special sensors on the body on the car for this setup.

But if you do this swap, you'll love it. Digital dash works great and looks ultra cool.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:34 AM   #8
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Wow thanks guys... I hadn't really checked eBay but will now :-)
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:10 PM   #9
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

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Digital dash works great and looks ultra cool.
I don't know how many times I've been sitting at a red light only to hear from someone in the car next to me say "dude! Look at the gauges in that car."
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:54 PM   #10
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I have an 88 with the digital dash and I have had issues with mine. One of the bars in the tach and the fuel level rarely decide to work. The digital speedo is pretty messed up. Two or three pieces of the 2nd 0 flicker or mostly don't work and and the speed bounces around +/- 5mph or so sometime and sometimes works fine.

I replaced a couple bulbs years ago after putting it put back together the right side of the dash where the odometer and that stuff is stopped working. Don't know what I did but its time to replace another bulb so I'm hoping I'll be able to figure it out. Since that side stopped working I can't swap between mph and km/h so I'm stuck with mph.

Overall its still reliable. I know whats going on. The only downfall is the gauges aren't as accurate other a regular dash because it can't work in smaller increments. Overall I still think its effin cool.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:31 PM   #11
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

What is supposed to light up in the square box in the upper left hand corner of the tach section? Mine just lights up a dim white. Also the digital odometer section lights up sometimes but mostly won't. Does yours stay on? Lastly does the headlight switch light up when the lights are turned on?
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:29 PM   #12
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

A lot of the issues are due to poor conduction through the copper traces on the flexible circuit traces. Oils from your hands can cause them to deteriorate, so if the parts have been handled a lot, they can wind up with problems.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:36 PM   #13
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I don't think I've ever seen a digital dash is it like KITT? Can some one post a few pics
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:31 PM   #14
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfrontier View Post
What is supposed to light up in the square box in the upper left hand corner of the tach section? Mine just lights up a dim white. Also the digital odometer section lights up sometimes but mostly won't. Does yours stay on? Lastly does the headlight switch light up when the lights are turned on?
The "box" is a shift light in 5spd cars. The headlight switch does not light up but there is a light above the dimmer. It could be a blown bulb in the odometer causing your issues too
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:53 PM   #15
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I have had my digital dash for 15 yrs and it has worked very well. Car just cleared 200k and is drivin daily. The only issue I have is the information center is getting hard to read, but all my gauges work perfectly.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:40 AM   #16
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I Have a 1987 Trans Am GTA with only 16K original miles one owner car.


I Am having a problem with my DIGITAL DASH, mainly the odometer. Sometimes the odometer numbers only come on half way where you can't make out the numbers, and other times all the numbers come on very bright and clear as they should be.


HAS ANYONE HAD THIS PROBLEM OR KNOW WHAT COULD BE CAUSING IT?
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:41 PM   #17
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Its probrably the connection in the back. I recently had mine apart and noticed that once I put it back together my odometer numbers are much more clear than they were before I took the dash apart. Funny thing is I also now have a bad bulb on my fuel level and have to take it back apart to change it
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:10 PM   #18
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I have two complete dash with digital gauges i know both work and one single digital dash alone dont know if it works anyone interested let me know, one reads 125xxx the other reads 215,555 the other one inever connected so i dont know if it works, on my 87gta i never had a problem with it.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:08 AM   #19
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Thanks for the input. Hopefully its just a bulb or a bad connection and not worse.

DOES ANYONE KNOW IF I WERE TO BUY ANOTHER DIGITAL DASH TO REPLACE MINE, WOULD THE ODOMETER READ MY TRUE CAR MILEAGE OR THAT OF THE REPLACEMENT DASH???
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:24 AM   #20
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by gboctor View Post
Thanks for the input. Hopefully its just a bulb or a bad connection and not worse.

DOES ANYONE KNOW IF I WERE TO BUY ANOTHER DIGITAL DASH TO REPLACE MINE, WOULD THE ODOMETER READ MY TRUE CAR MILEAGE OR THAT OF THE REPLACEMENT DASH???

I believe it reads the digital dash same as other gauges they all read the mileage on the gauges no what your car has.
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:44 PM   #21
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

i have a 88 trans am with a digital dash the lites on the tach and gauges are dim and hard to read even at night has anyone had this problem? I replaced the bulbs and checked all the connections is it possible there is a bad ground in the ribbon on back of the dash or do I need a brighter bulbs I am using 164 is that the right bulb any help would be great. The speedo is bright enough to read it
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:27 AM   #22
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

The display on my '88 GTA was dim all the time and it ended up being the headlight switch dimmer. Replaced that and it was good to go!
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:56 PM   #23
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by gboctor View Post
DOES ANYONE KNOW IF I WERE TO BUY ANOTHER DIGITAL DASH TO REPLACE MINE, WOULD THE ODOMETER READ MY TRUE CAR MILEAGE OR THAT OF THE REPLACEMENT DASH???
When swapping the cluster you'll have to remove the odometer chip from the original cluster and install it into the replacment cluster to retain the correct odometer reading.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 01-22-2014, 08:23 PM   #24
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Just bought an 87 GTA & it was blessed with the digital dash, unfortunatly its not functioning properly. My speedo is stuck on KM/H & throws out random #'s also the Oil pressure guage does not read, also the info center does not come on.

Any thoughts on what this could be? Mostly concerned with the speedo right now.

THX
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:22 PM   #25
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I had the same problem with the km/h and I took it apart and one of the connections wasn't all the way. So I took it all the way off cleaned it and out it back on. Works great now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMroc86 View Post
Just bought an 87 GTA & it was blessed with the digital dash, unfortunatly its not functioning properly. My speedo is stuck on KM/H & throws out random #'s also the Oil pressure guage does not read, also the info center does not come on.

Any thoughts on what this could be? Mostly concerned with the speedo right now.

THX
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:41 AM   #26
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

The driver information center (DIC)is grounded at the center metal brace for the dash. It is under the dash pad ( good chance it's rusted. That brace could get rusty or the connection could get warped. I suggest check there first. I just had my dash apart (stock 88 digital dash) and when I put it together the ground terminal didn't get a good ground. Now it's dead. The wire is a pain in the *** to get to so I am waiting till spring. As for km/h the buttons may be whacky. My buttons for example won't let me reset the trip calculator. It's pissing me off b/c I can't figure out the gas mileage since I switched to 93 octane. But that's just me ranting. lol
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:41 AM   #27
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

my 88 digital dash works great and although i do miss the look of the analog gauges from time to time i could never swap mine for regular gauges

i do wish there was a way to alter the coloring of the digital to green or blue tho
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:17 PM   #28
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Quick question..

I know that bulbs can wear out on these often, but are there LED replacements out there?

I would never give up the 80's "digital" cheese. It is why I love my GTA, I loved it new, and I somehow love the 80's. We didn't know how innocent everything still was...
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:29 PM   #29
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I have a 1987 at trans am Gta with the digital and my fuel gauge Doesn't work at all an ideas? and does anyone have wire diagram?
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:19 PM   #30
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I have an 88, but it should be the same schematics:
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:23 PM   #31
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

and the factory diagnosis..... with the locations.......
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:34 PM   #32
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

hope that helps, my personal opinion is that you have a problem with one of the wires in that they might be pinched, or one of the terminals could be corroded.
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:46 PM   #33
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I swapped LED's into mine and it made one hell of a difference. Made the display 'pop' a lot more. I'll upload pictures when I get the chance.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:15 AM   #34
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I put this LED bulb in my digital dash. The dome design makes the LED element super bright and it really made a difference. they are a bit pricy...$13 at Autozone.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:23 AM   #35
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

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I put this LED bulb in my digital dash. The dome design makes the LED element super bright and it really made a difference. they are a bit pricy...$13 at Autozone.
Click the image to open in full size.
Thanks for the reply, is that also the same bulb you put in the button panel for the info center? (mph-kmh, avg. speed etc) your light fills out a lot better than what mine does. Cheers
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:23 AM   #36
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I had the same issue. Problem was at the main wire connector. The wire connector slides onto the dash assembly on the dash and sometimes when you push the digital dash back it will push the connector half "off track" and out of position. That was the case when I took my dash back out. I put it back in place and the right side of dash came back on.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:26 AM   #37
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Yes. Bulb works in all dash light areas. Don't fit for turn and bright indicator and all other "idiot" lights.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:34 AM   #38
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

I mean the actual buttons themselves with the red light that illuminates the text on the buttons . A 194 bulb seems way too big to get one into the button assembly

EDIT: my bad, thought I was on a different thread which had pictures of the illuminated buttons. I was using my phone and the layout can be a little screwy

Last edited by Firechicken86; 03-31-2014 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:57 PM   #39
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Oh. Actually I didn't know those buttons lit up at all. I've had my car a little over a year now and they've never lit up so I just assumed they were not supposed to! I will have to investigate... Thanks anyway! - even if it was on the wrong post!
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:01 AM   #40
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

No problem! I actually saw it on a classified thread for a digital dash. I asked the OP what LED's he used (thought I was on that thread, which is what brought me here) but have yet to have a response. Here's a picture of what his looks like illuminated
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:08 AM   #41
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

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Originally Posted by Firechicken86 View Post
I swapped LED's into mine and it made one hell of a difference. Made the display 'pop' a lot more. I'll upload pictures when I get the chance.
Do you know what bulbs you used?

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Originally Posted by pieman View Post
I put this LED bulb in my digital dash. The dome design makes the LED element super bright and it really made a difference. they are a bit pricy...$13 at Autozone.
Click the image to open in full size.
How many bulbs do you need to replace all of them?

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Originally Posted by gboctor View Post
I Am having a problem with my DIGITAL DASH, mainly the odometer. Sometimes the odometer numbers only come on half way where you can't make out the numbers, and other times all the numbers come on very bright and clear as they should be.
Mine does the same thing, but if you press the DIC gently you can get them to come on or turn off, they seem to do different things in different weather also.

I guess I need to take it apart and see if it's something obvious.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:28 AM   #42
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

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Originally Posted by 83 Crossfire TA View Post
Do you know what bulbs you used?



How many bulbs do you need to replace all of them?



Mine does the same thing, but if you press the DIC gently you can get them to come on or turn off, they seem to do different things in different weather also.

I guess I need to take it apart and see if it's something obvious.
you need 6 194 bulbs to complete the dash. This includes the dic center aswell as it takes two leds. Although this does not include the bulbs for indicating, hi beam, e-brake etc as they are smaller. I used very high power white LED bulbs to put in the dash. They were too big to fit through the back so I had to take the dash apart and insert them through the inside. Very much worth it. one problem I encountered with this, is that due to the intesity of the white LED, it caused the orange sections of the dash (speedometer, info center) to look yellow and washy. So to counter this I used two very bright samsung amber leds for those sections that really made a luscious orange color for these sections. Here's a picture of before and after LEDS

Before (camera settings heavily optimized just so it could pick up on the dash lighting)
Click the image to open in full size.

After (no camera optimization) has plastic trim removed
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:50 PM   #43
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

what are "very high power?" Something like pieman posted, or the more typical 5smd or 9smd bulbs like:
Amazon.com: Zone Tech 10x 194 168 2825 5-smd White High Power SUPER BRIGHT LED Car Lights Bulb: Automotive Amazon.com: Zone Tech 10x 194 168 2825 5-smd White High Power SUPER BRIGHT LED Car Lights Bulb: Automotive

Were the amber bulbs something similar?

Is the dash lighting still dimmable?

did you replace the indicator lights with something also or are they OK like they are?

I've replaced all of my interior lighting, with the exception of the dash with an assortment of multiple smd LED's (_I think_ most were 9 smd, but at one point I got a bunch bulk and used the biggest that would fit in each location) with the exception of the dome light which I replaced with a small panel. I also reworked most of the reflectors to better direct the light out of the housings. The interior lighting is nice now, bright and you can actually work inside the car at night reasonably well without a flashlight (nice when fixing something at night on a TNT night...), and the aimable map light is like aiming a decent LED flashlight. All that adds up to the cool ATARI dash looking dingy in the car compared to the rest of the lighting.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:03 PM   #44
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Close. For the white lights I used http://www.ebay.com/itm/121100360973...84.m1439.l2649. These will require you to insert the bulbs from the front of the dash as they will not fit through the hole in the back, but does fit into the bulb housing the same.

For the ambers I used
http://www.ebay.com/itm/230992765198...84.m1439.l2649 these will insert through the back of the dash no problem as they are not oversized.

The dash lights are still dimmable and they do dim when turning on park lights as they should.

I do plan on replacing the indicator/hi beam lights with LED's. The problem is due to the hi power of the amber lights and the low power of the normal bulbs in the housing it makes the indicator and high beam lights have a slight amber tint because of the little bit of light bleeding through the housing. It's something that LED's for them will fix no problem though.
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:55 PM   #45
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

huh, I have some (like a dozen) 5 smd bulbs sitting around, and I'm betting that they're brighter (and whiter) than the 194's that are in there, and based on your pics I wouldn't be surprised if I can get them in the housing. What do you think?

I'll need to order some ambers, but similar ones are like $10/10 from amazon, so that's no big deal if they work.

Any idea what bulbs the indicators use? I'd like to get them all before I take it apart so I don't have yet another thing sitting taken apart (currently I have the door and center console disassembled, the steering column in my Cummins Ram (signals and wipers quit working), and I won't get into my Mach 1...).
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:37 PM   #46
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Hello,

I recently purchased an 88 GTA with the digital dash. I figure I'll post here instead of starting a new thread.

I am looking for the diagnostic procedure to determine the cause of my system check/ odometer displays both INOP- along with MPH/KPH function INOP. Speedometer will reset its self while driving. Main cluster seems to function correctly otherwise. I was told it needed a computer core. I would like to confirm this first.

Thank you for your time.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:24 PM   #47
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Hi I had the same problem, with the buttons. I had to open them up and clean the contacts.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:55 PM   #48
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Thank you for the reply. I will be taking the cluster and system check displays apart soon. I will check contact points and connections. Are there light bulbs that will illuminate these displays? Right now no display and no switches are working. Completely INOP.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:10 PM   #49
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Great info here!
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:32 PM   #50
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Re: 1987-1988 GTA Digital dash questions

Can You take a pic before you take it out, with the key on. I'm a visual person,

And some pointers: when you finally get around to taking it apart., go very slowly and take your time. With the buttons, they are supposed to illuminate, there is a T5 wedge in there (this took me along time to figure out). Also the buttons break very easily, I should know, I managed to break all 4, thankfully I had a spare dash at the time.

*correction 5, I had to hot glue one back in.
dont get me wrong though, once cleaned, the buttons work very well, you'll be shocked.

as for the displays not working at all, check fuses, I think there is a 10 amper that powers the dash, as all are out, it could be that simple.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:32 PM
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