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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All, I've just had a frustrating day trying to source non-oem brand equivalent bulbs for the one's used in our instrument panels. There are some 14 bulbs in there, all the same and many of mine (the one's doing background illumination) were pretty black.

Much hassle to replace one lamp, so I want to change the lot without propping up the BMW staffers pension fund!

My lamps are about 5-6mm wedge type marked Toshiba 12V1.7W. I think they may be Toshiba part SX 155, but I scanned various suppliers and can't find a lamp of compatible physical or electrical size, neither do they seem to fit European 'T' standards. I might just swap out the holders or go led if I get fed up. However, I think these lamps are designed to have a very long burning life.

If you have a spare non BMW wedge lamp that fits, can you post any manufacturer ID on the lamp or PM me.

Thanks



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dash bulbs

#74 from any good auto parts store
 

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The ENTIRE i-bmw.com database is archived in the Community Archive Forums. Click on that and then click on SEARCH. I typed in "dash lights" and pressed enter and here are some of the links I found.

One that lists both bulbs and LED replacements is here. In fact, Voxmagna, you posted in it!!

Another thread claims that they are #75, not #74, but, it seems to be in the minority of posts.

Good luck, and don't forget about the archives!!

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I posted the info I was misled by earlier posts into thinking the replacement lamps were 12volt 1.2 watt which I sourced from a Suzi dealer.

Unfortunately mine and most EU BMWs in the past seem to have been fitted with Toshiba A12V1.7 watt bulbs in a T6.5 format to a German DIN spec. with a 1000 Hr life. They contain Xenon and are ruggedised for motorcycles where they are hard to replace!

You will not buy this lamp from anybody but a BMW dealer, since Toshiba made them specially. There are very few 6.5mm lamps made, although 5mm is more common. I'm told they fit, but nearest wattage is 1.2W or 2W.

So I'm curious as to what you guys have fitted on new BMW's, you might even have holders to suit the 5mm lamps. I intend replacing those instrument lamps that run all the time, with something giving at least 5000hrs. Leds aren't effective as they don't have the same light output and dispersion.



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Vox,

If you recall, I had questioned your 1.2W bulb on that previous thread.

Are you still saying that your bike and EU bikes use something different or are you now agreeing that they are all the same? I am NOT an expert and saying you are wrong, it is just all of the other posts seem to indicate that there is not a difference. Again, I am not trying to start an argument, just trying to document IF all KRS/GT use the same bulb or not so when people search the forums they don't get confused.

I base my belief that they are all the same since there have been many posts on using generic bulbs and/or changing to the LEDs (I agree that their dispersement pattern seems to rule them out for me) that have posts from US and EU members and they all seem to be the same.

My US bike had the 1.7W Toshiba and the 2001 & up CD Service Manual clearly states the 1.7 watt as per the other threads: "Other telltale lights, instrument lighting 12V 1.7W DIN 72 601" .

I think that they all use the BMW p/n 23 06 127 and look like this bulb. IF you know of a different one that can only be purchased from the dealer, do you have the p/n to post here for reference? Also, how would you tell them from one another? Could you post up a picture?

Thanks!

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Htheater, As far as my BMW rider documentation is concerned, your conclusion is now the same as mine - that 12V1.7 watt is the correct bulb for my '97KRS. Whilst your photo shows the wedge type used, you would see little physical difference between A T6.5 and a T5 envelope unless you measured it with a vernier. However I do not believe you can source a 12V1.7 watt bulb, especially in T6.5, from anywhere but BMW stock.

However, some US posters have said they are using 1.2 watt bulbs and just buy them in their auto shops as dash lamps with color choices. So my reckoning was they must be getting the T5 which might still fit or have different lamps and holders in their later models. The difference in light output although less, is probably not so great, but I don't know if the alternatives still do 1000 hours which I want to improve on. That would probably be a 14 volt rated lamp. All the 'external' bulbs used on EU manfactured vehicles have E specs and generally there are competing manufacturers, however this is not the case for built in instrumentation and BMW have presumably chosen not to use lamps which others make as standard.

One of the largest manufacturer of motorcycle bulbs and equipment is Stanley. There is still no direct equivalent to the oem, but there are some options I'm looking at. I remember the archive threads were more about changing the lamp color than finding non oem tungsten replacements or extending their life. But when there are 14-16 lamps in the instrument head likely to fail at random, I don't know why color generates so much interest!

Regards - VOX



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Vox,

Please do keep us updated with your findings. The 1,000 hour spec is a little disheartening since the instrument lights are on all the time, day or night. There are 5 of these (one for each guage and an extra one between the speedo and tach since they are so large) that we should be concerned about.

There are 10 other of the same 1.7W bulbs and one 3W (ABS Warning), but, they are not used that often since they are warning/indicator lamps, so should last a long, long time.

Thanks!

Randy
 

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This thread is quite illuminating!

Seriously, here is a problem I ran into when replacing a couple of bulbs in my R11R speedo. Apparently, some moisture entered the speedo housing during the few minutes I had the tiny bulb out. (And I live in a very dry area.) Some days later during cool weather I got condensation inside the speedo lens. Annoying! So, I had to cut the chrome bezel off to clean and dry it. Big project. It is much better but not perfect and probably never will be. Next time I'll buy some dry compressed air in a can like they sell for computer repair and purge the speedo/tach before I plug in the new bulb.

Good luck with your quest for replacement bulbs. The dealer said they retailed for $5 each or something beyond ridiculous. He cut me a break and charged $2 or $3.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mbohn and others, I was mislead a bit in the earlier archive threads because those that complained about condensation suggested that using lower 1.2 wattage lamps reduced the problem. I've never had a condensation problem. I've had my instrument panel out a few times now, and whilst I'm aware of the outer rubber seal, there's no way I would regard the housing as a hermetic seal.

I had some argon about so I put a bit of that in. Condensation is a funny thing. If you seal everything as in true hermetic, then dry air is the answer, but if sealing is imperfect which I believe is the case, then the warm lamps and some air circulation is better. I bet if I pressure tested the housing a couple of psi with a cycle pump, it would leak.

I read that some housings had a breathable strip on them, to let air through but keep water out. I never found this on mine. Certainly the rear does get water on it, evidenced by oxidation of the terminals which need good cleaning. I think the shape of the front, open at the bottom, easily allows moist air to stay trapped when the bike is not ridden.



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