FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and dash switch light bulb replacement.

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FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and dash switch light bulb replacement.

Postby qat727 » Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:34 pm

BACKGROUND

I’ve been putting off this write-up for some time now. I took most of the pictures a while back but never got around to posting them. I kept waiting to get the rest of the pictures but it hasn’t happened. I figure it’s better to get most of it out there and add to it later than continue to wait for motivation. That said, I’ll add to it later as I see fit. (Namely a proper diagnosis of what causes the HVAC lights to work intermittently and how to remove the switches and HVAC unit.)

After extensive searching on my part, I’ve determined that if a write-up on HVAC/switch bulb replacement already exists, it’s been titled incorrectly or is hiding from me. I did find this article pertaining to LED conversion: http://www.nicoclub.com/articles.php?id=223981

I spoke to the writer and was informed that the dimmer no longer works for the HVAC. For those that want to retain dimmer function and the same color as the rest of the dash, bulb replacement is the best option.

Disclaimer: All information is provided for reference purposes only. I will not be held responsible for any personal injury or property damage incurred as a result of following these instructions. I would suggest that you apply a degree of finesse to the plastic, considering its age. The write-up currently assumes you can get the HVAC and switches out by yourself. I may add additional instructions later.

BASIC INFORMATION

On the S13 HVAC, button indicators and slider illuminators are LED’s. Backlighting is handled by 2 incandescent bulbs.

On S13 dash switches, indicator lights and backlighting are all handled by incandescent bulbs.

I don’t have the part numbers for the bulbs, but they are expensive. I will provide an alternative for those with more time than money.

PARTS LIST

HVAC backlight bulbs: Radio Shack P/N 272-1141 $1.29 each

Switch bulbs: Radio Shack P/N 272-1092 $1.49/pair

According to axis, the OEM part number for the bulb and holder is 27545-53E00

HVAC BACKLIGHT BULB REPLACEMENT



First step: Pull the slider knobs off.





Gently pry up on the tabs on either side of the HVAC. You’ll need to release the bottom portion of the unit and slide it off.





Remove the screw holding the top cover on. Pull the tab back and slide the cover off.







Now you can see the two bulb holders.



Remove them with a screwdriver and a set of pliers. The holder is a type that only needs to be turned ¼ turn to release.



*****At this point, you have two choices. You can buy another bulb and holder from the dealer, or go the Radio Shack route. It’s your choice, but the dealer route is more expensive but less time consuming. The Radio Shack route follows.

Here’s the bulb you need from Radio Shack.





Properly cut down.



OEM bulb in holder. (Sorry about the blurry pictures. It’s the best I could get with my camera. It hates macro shots.)



Pull the bulb out of the holder. There are two little wires curled around the holder that you will need to undo to get it out.



Trim the top edge off of the holder with a set of nippers or the like. It should look something like this.



Strip the majority of the insulation off the wires of the replacement bulb and insert it into the holder.



Cut the excess wire to length and rewrap the wires around the holder.



As you can see, the replacement is a bit bigger, but it still fits fine. Reinstall the bulbs and reassemble the HVAC.



Make sure you get this wire plugged back in properly, as it likes to come loose.

If you did everything right, your backlight bulbs and HVAC should work properly now.

DASH SWITCH BULB REPLACEMENT

These are the Radio Shack bulbs you will need.



Defrost switch





Remove the bulbs with a screwdriver and a set of pliers. The holders are a type that only needs to be turned ¼ turn to release.



Unwrap the wires from the bulb holder and remove the bulb. Be careful with the holder, as you’ll need to reuse it.



Carefully remove the bulb condom. You’ll need to reuse it, so make sure to get it off without ripping it. Match up the new bulb to the old one, and cut the wires to length.



Put the condom back on the bulb and put the bulb in the holder.



Wrap the wires back around the holder the way they were before and reinstall. The same process applies to any of the holders of that design.

Finished product



Headlight switch









Follow the same process as detailed for the defrost switch.

Dimmer switch







Follow the same process as detailed for the defrost switch.

Hazard flasher switch





Carefully pry the two parts of the switch apart.









Remove the rubber bulb holder.



Remove the condom from the bulb and the bulb from the holder.





Reinstall new bulb per instructions detailed for defrost switch. Reassemble switch.

Cruise control and convertible top switches will be added if they become available.

Any questions or comments are welcome
Modified by qat727 at 11:19 AM 10/27/2007


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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and dash switch light ... (qat727)

Postby adrianfromthecastle » Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:52 pm


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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and ... (adrians_s13)

Postby amolao » Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:56 am

About time....

Excellent tutorial and professional step by step pics.

Thanks

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and ... (amolao)

Postby nissans13240sx » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:25 am

excellent write up! how much did the bulbs cost from radio shack

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and ... (nissans13240sx)

Postby qat727 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:45 am

nissans13240sx wrote:excellent write up! how much did the bulbs cost from radio shack
Thanks for the positive comments, everyone. Sorry I forgot to add the cost. I corrected it above. And here it is again, just so you don't have to go look for it.

HVAC backlight bulbs: Radio Shack P/N 272-1141 $1.29 eachhttp://www.radioshack.com/prod...15&cp

Switch bulbs: Radio Shack P/N 272-1092 $1.49/pairhttp://www.radioshack.com/prod...80&cp

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and ... (qat727)

Postby x240xdrifter » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:00 am

awesome write-up! I gots me a project!

any before and after pics?

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and ... (x240xdrifter)

Postby nissans13240sx » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:46 am

I Just did mine. IMO the hardest part was stripping the wires for the climate control. the wires are so thin one mistake and the wire slices right threw. Other then that im super happy with how easy it was. once again great write up!

any idea what size the climate control bulbs would be if i wanted to put leds in there?
Modified by nissans13240sx at 11:38 AM 10/1/2007

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Postby le_ryan » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:43 am

JESUS Matt !

you DID put alot of work into this, great write up man.

so have you decided on a title yet ?


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Postby Jookmasta » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:44 am

gotta say, i was always wondering how do get back the backlighting on some of my switches and u have now shown me how! very very good write up. i'm just kinda scared to pull off the switches as i think my hulk strength may break em..........any certain hints or techniques that u can suggest on removal of the switches?

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Postby ArcherV20 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:52 am

Wow that is a very nice write up man. Props on some really professional work.

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Postby dickie » Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:46 pm

i hate you for making me save and upload those pictures to the Nico iServe account for articles.

Which is why i will start tomorrow.

what kinda custom title you want?

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and ... (x240xdrifter)

Postby qat727 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:49 pm

I seriously appreciate all the positive feedback. It makes it seem worth the effort.
x240xdrifter wrote:any before and after pics?
Unfortunately, no. The switches and HVAC in the pictures are out of my fastback, which died soon after replacing the bulbs, and before I put the dash back together. I'll need to replace the bulbs and such in my coupe soon, so perhaps I'll have some before and after shots with it.
nissans13240sx wrote:I Just did mine. IMO the hardest part was stripping the wires for the climate control. the wires are so thin one mistake and the wire slices right threw. Other then that im super happy with how easy it was. once again great write up!

any idea what size the climate control bulbs would be if i wanted to put leds in there?
Wow. I'm surprised someone already tried it. Your comments made me remember that bulb. Yeah, the wires are stranded so you do need to be careful. I'm glad you got it working.

I'm not sure I understand the question. LED's come in various sizes, most common in a 3 or 5mm size. If you retrofit LED's in for backlighting, you'll need to add a resistor. I'm considering trying to make a full LED dash light setup that is dimmable. If I do it, I'll post up the results. If I didn't answer your question, could you please rephrase it?
vroom-chirp wrote:JESUS Matt !

you DID put alot of work into this, great write up man.

so have you decided on a title yet ?
I put about 8 hours into the write-up so far. Expect more later.
Jookmasta wrote:i'm just kinda scared to pull off the switches as i think my hulk strength may break em..........any certain hints or techniques that u can suggest on removal of the switches?
Unfortunately, at this point I don't. I had removed the entire trim bezel already and was able to just pop them out from the back. I'll be working on my coupe pretty soon, so I'll see what I can find out when I work on that.

Until then, my suggestion would be to look at the pictures I took, see where the clips are, and remember the locations when you try to pry them out. Removing this old plastic is like good foreplay; finesse is your friend.
dickie wrote:i hate you for making me save and upload those pictures to the Nico iServe account for articles.

Which is why i will start tomorrow.

what kinda custom title you want?
I haven't decided yet. I'm taking suggestions at this point. Possibly something relating to being anal retentive about lights.

I really didn't intend to make it hard on you. If it makes your life easier, I have all the images I uploaded along with the text of the write-up saved to my computer. I can zip the images and host them myself for you to download if it will save you some time.

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and ... (qat727)

Postby nissans13240sx » Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:05 pm

sorry i think i worded my question poorly. At radioshack there is a variety of led's ranging from 2.5volts- 12volts. I am only planning on doing my climate control with them, I just cant figure out which ones i need to buy. If that makes sense...?...

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and ... (nissans13240sx)

Postby qat727 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:07 pm

nissans13240sx wrote:sorry i think i worded my question poorly. At radioshack there is a variety of led's ranging from 2.5volts- 12volts. I am only planning on doing my climate control with them, I just cant figure out which ones i need to buy. If that makes sense...?...
Ok... I understand your question. Just an LED by itself takes between 1-4 volts, depending on color. If you want to power the LED with a higher voltage, you'll need to add a resistor. The resistor value depends on supply voltage and forward voltage of the LED (the voltage the LED needs to light up).

What Radio Shack has ranges from single LED's to LED's that are already mounted with a resistor, which is probably what you have seen. I personally don't like Radio Shack's LED's. The ones I have purchased have been overpriced, disappointing, and had a high failure rate. I'd personally rather do business with LSDiodes.

But to round it up and actually answer your question, your car's voltage is rated at 12V DC, but it is actually closer to 14V DC. You'll want to find either a ready made LED light with resistor rated for 12-14 volts, or buy the LED separate and calculate the value of resistor you need for a supply voltage of 14V.

Also worth noting is that depending on your LED choice, the light distribution may be less than satisfactory. There are ways around this such as sanding and grinding the LED, but experimentation is in order for the particular application. If you do convert over to LED lighting, could you confirm if the dimmer works or not? Personally, I'd recommend a color on the Red area of the spectrum, simply to save your night vision.

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Postby Jookmasta » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:14 pm

ive decided when next i get a chance to go to u pick, i will experiment on certain techniques as to how to pull a switch and how to pull it apart lol................

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Postby qat727 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:29 pm

Jookmasta wrote:ive decided when next i get a chance to go to u pick, i will experiment on certain techniques as to how to pull a switch and how to pull it apart lol................
Sounds like a good idea. If you find a surefire way, be sure to post it up.

Also, if anyone has a convertible top switch they'd like to take pictures of, I can add that to the write-up as well. I don't have one, nor access to one.

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Postby kornaz » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:12 pm

We need it for S14 too. :P

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Postby qat727 » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:29 am

kornaz wrote:We need it for S14 too. :P
Already got the S14 HVAC bulb replacement. http://www.nicoclub.com/articles.php?id=220795

I don't have an S14 around to play with. Sorry.

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Postby homeslicej2 » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:43 am

Awesome!

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Postby qat727 » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:53 pm

dickie wrote:i hate you for making me save and upload those pictures to the Nico iServe account for articles.

Which is why i will start tomorrow.
qat727 wrote:I really didn't intend to make it hard on you. If it makes your life easier, I have all the images I uploaded along with the text of the write-up saved to my computer. I can zip the images and host them myself for you to download if it will save you some time.
EDIT

I went ahead and zipped all the pictures so far and hosted them for you. All you should have to do is download and unzip them and re-upload them. Should save you a bit of time.

Pulled it down.
Modified by qat727 at 7:26 AM 10/3/2007

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Postby dickie » Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:17 am

too late, as of yesterday your article was formatted and posted on that side, and pics were hosted on the nico server.

dont listen to my b*tching, its just that and nothing more.

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Postby qat727 » Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:30 am

dickie wrote:too late, as of yesterday your article was formatted and posted on that side, and pics were hosted on the nico server.

dont listen to my b*tching, its just that and nothing more.
I'll try to remember that for future reference. I went ahead and pulled it down since there's no need now.

Just wondering, is it supposed to be up on http://www.240sxtech.com/ ?

If so, I couldn't find it, and every time you open an article, the link back to the main page is dead.

I also noticed the - Silvia Non-Projector (Brick) Headlights write-up seems to be gone

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Postby dickie » Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:34 am

no, first it gets placed into "the repository," which is a section of the forums where the info and pics are edited. from there it is dumped into 240sxtech.com and displayed in php for easier reading. it gets updated sporadically and the staff that usually handles that has been super-busy recently.

it will be there soon, though, so keep watching.

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Re: (d!ck)

Postby qat727 » Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:39 am

Cool. When I get a chance to add more to this, are you all just going to modify the copy?

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Postby dickie » Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:47 am

yeah, modifications to the articles in the forum show up instantly after the url has been placed on the tech page.

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and dash switch light ... (qat727)

Postby axis » Sat Oct 27, 2007 6:48 am

Was searching for what type of bulbs to get for the HVAC unit and found this thread. Nice write-up!

Just one question: Why can't you just skip the first nine photos? The tab you're lifting in picture #7 directly covers the two HVAC bulbs. All I had to do is lift it from the front edge of the unit without having to disassemble anything. I was able to replace the lights without unhooking the unit from the car.

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and dash switch light ... (qat727)

Postby axis » Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:01 am

Oh, and if you want to include the OEM part number for the bulbs and holders, it is 27545-53E00. Dealer wanted $7.58 each.

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and dash switch light ... (axis)

Postby qat727 » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:23 am

axis wrote:Was searching for what type of bulbs to get for the HVAC unit and found this thread. Nice write-up!

Just one question: Why can't you just skip the first nine photos? The tab you're lifting in picture #7 directly covers the two HVAC bulbs. All I had to do is lift it from the front edge of the unit without having to disassemble anything. I was able to replace the lights without unhooking the unit from the car.
Good question. Short answer: You're right, you can just skip the part about disassembling it. The reason I did it was because the little flap had some stress cracks and I didn't want it to break off. That and I wanted to see what was inside the thing.

So, if your flap will come up, then go for it, it's an easy way to avoid a lot of extra work. Good call.

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and ... (x240xdrifter)

Postby .Grimace » Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:23 am

x240xdrifter wrote:
any before and after pics?

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Re: FAQ/Write-up: S13 HVAC/climate control and ... (.Grimace)

Postby x240xdrifter » Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:29 pm

great stuff once again, I just did this to mine tonight and it....it its just awesome, i cant describe how happy I am to have backinglighting in the switches again


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