Mangusta Gauge Illumination (brightness)

My Goose has some pretty dim gauges at night.  It has a functional rheostat, and the bulbs are reasonably bright looking at them behind the dash/gauges, but I can hardly read the gauges during night drives.

 I am currently running 12V 3w (fiat) bulbs.  Not completely sure if this is stock and correct.

 I found some 6.3 V 250 MA replacement bulbs that will fit and seem brighter.  Are they safe to use for long term in a Mangusta? 

 What have some of you guys been using?

Original Post

...Using lower rated bulbs will just mean they are likely to fail faster, but that may mean hundreds of hours and (depending on how often you drive at night) may not be a big deal.  2 steps you may consider instead, first is to bypass the rheostat---the next is to replace with LED bulbs. The LEDs will at least allow more brightness without baking up the heat around the bulb (something that is certainly happening with the 6v bulb). 

I haven't tried this, maybe there are others but at least the engineering here is smart; .  And the price is really not so outrageous ($40 for 6 bulbs and 4 times brighter than the incandescent type...Also, has a hybrid green/white, so less likely to have the bluish tint inherent in most white LEDs). See also from our other friends at PIM . Lastly, #194 replacement LED bulbs are cheap from Hong Kong (search "t10 5050"). 

Plug and done. 

 LEDs cannot use the Rheostat well--or properly, LEDs don't work over a big range via voltage control (they have to be pulsed to have much range)...but since the problem in these old Italian gauges is never that they are too bright ...Lee

Take a look here


Johhny Woods is really detailed in all his posts and this deals with a complete interior resto but about half way through he does a step by step guide with pictures of each step for exactly what you need. He mentions that VDO instruments aren't that easy to take apart so if you wanted just brighter lights I'm a plus 1 for Jon Haas at Pantera  Electronics. Incredibly helpful and customer friendly.

He's just done a Mangusta version of his Pantera fuse box for me which I'll post about when it's fitted in New Year as could help a number of owners.    That's not a product he lists but 2 easy conversations and 3 weeks later he'd delivered it.  It's a work of art!! 

Woods also used some 3m silver tape internally to improve reflection of the 2 x Led lights he used. 

Hope that helps

Oh, the bad news; the "194/168 bulbs used on Pantera are different from Mangusta, aren't they ? I think Goose uses older style "1893" bulbs with bayonet bases, note that PanteraElectronics mentions '71 Pantera cannot use their hybrid white/green LED. The good news, LED replacements for these are dirt cheap.  

I think, do NOT use an LED in the GENERATOR waring light--I'd think this requires the traditional incandescent bulb (not just as an indicator (where the bulb is bidirectional for current and proportional illumination depending on the amount of difference between the battery and alternator), but also because the bulb appears to be one way for current to flow back to alternator voltage regulator and "field" I'm reading). Using for the turn signal is probably OK (at least, even the mechanical thermo-blinker timing relies on the current draw of the outside indicator lights, but not on the single bulb output in the Gauge). 

...Veglia gauges are not all that hard to take apart...But crimping back the bezel without it looking like sin is another thing!  If  I can be of any help, it is to give you some peace of mind that opening up the gauges is Not going to help a lot...

  First regarding the power---my  reference is are laptop computers, which will typically consume about 3 watts with the LCD half bright and doing nothing. But each of the 6.3v bulbs will take 6 watts, with virtually of all of converted to heat. So with 10 bulbs in the dash, by my perspective this is quite a lot of heat...The good news, it will give the rheostat more range

 But also, unless you would actually wrap the back of each movement in the gauge with reflective material, I see no practical way to improve the optics. The path from the bulb causes the rear of the movement area to be well illuminated, and only by chaotic reflection will anything leak around the rim. But since the movements themselves are non-reflective, there is not going to be any recycling of light inside the can--meaning, most of the light will simply be absorbed by the movements.  Finally, what little escapes around the dial itself (and this is a small gap, about 1mm) gets redistributed onto the dial face. 

  The interior of the can itself is painted white. If you have the cans open already, it wouldn't hurt to freshen up with a new blast of white ...But for example, on LCD displays the recycling reflector behind the Light Guide is almost always Only a white material (not silverized).  But at the core, these gauges are incredibly primitive optical designs and (short of actually bonding side-firing LEDs around the circumference of the light guide at the front of the dial) just blasting with a stronger source is where I'd suggest leaving it...Lee




Photos (6)

FWIW, all gauges in Panteras and Mangustas are interchangable, assuming proper senders, so any solution for one car will fit the other with a little adaption. In Panteras, stock are 3 amp incandescent bulbs;  up to 4 amps (BMW etc) do help gauge illumination at night. Over 4 amps seem to cause trouble with the heat given off causing condensation inside and electrical difficulties. My 2¢-

Add Reply

Likes (0)