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Thread: Tach/Speedo lamp replacement w/LED's? '99' R1100RT

  1. #1
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    Tach/Speedo lamp replacement w/LED's? '99' R1100RT

    Got deep into the winter time bike work and decided to replace the Tach & Speedo lamps with LED's. Believe I've identified the four needed for the displays but after successfully extracting the housing for the speedometer came up against a BRICK wall getting the Tachometer out. Haven't broken anything yet but it appears the white housing of the tach has been glued to the dashboard support. (part description from BMW) If my assumption is incorrect could someone please tell me what releases the Tach from the dash? I've tried warming the plastic (sparingly/gently), sprayed a plastic safe CRC cleaner/lubricant into the crevice to no avail! I really want to get to those two old (dim) incandescent lamps and replace them with LED's.
    '99' R1100RT
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  2. #2
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    It should just slide out after removing the 2 rear M6 flange nuts.
    I've never heard of or seen them glued in. There is no reason to.
    Maybe the tach housing and dashboard support have swollen due to trapped moisture. (plastics swell when exposed long term)
    Did the Speedo slide out easily?
    '
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    Brake fluid theory

    The white speedometer housing slipped out easily upon removing two M6 nuts from studs securing it in the dash frame. Turning my attention next to the Tachometer I removed it's two M6 flanged nuts failing to literally drop out as the speedo had! I disconnected the dash wiring from the bike as it was my intent to inspect and clean ALL the wiring plug connectors as long as the nose fairing was off. I put the dash unit on the workbench and attempted for the next two hours to free the Tach from the housing. Assuming my best NCIS persona (forensic investigation) using a magnifying glass I discovered a trace of crystalline substance on the depth limiting step opening on the speedo side. Additional evidence that the speedo side had possibly previously been removed for the purpose of replacing a burned out lamp as the bulbs on that side were different brands. It's my theory that perhaps one of the previous owners or a shop mechanic splashed brake fluid on the dash during a front brake flush procedure, quickly cleaning it up so as to not mar nor leave a trace of the incident on the face of the dash but allowing a bit of the fluid to remain in the crevice between the bezel of the Tach and the dash support. (thus, my previous 'glued' reference) Because the front brake fluid reservoir is closer to the face of the tach than the speedo unit it may have received more of a drenching of fluid. It's my intention to proceed with care and gentleness trying to free the bond between the tach and the brittle dash support. I'm determined to replace the two dim incandescent lamps with LED's suspecting one may be burned out as the brightness on the face of the dial at night is not equal on the left compared to the right.IMG_2959Small1.jpgIMG_2960Smaller3.jpg
    Last edited by bhulse; 01-28-2022 at 02:08 PM.
    '99' R1100RT
    Licorice 'Twist'

  4. #4
    Registered User bewareboy's Avatar
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    I have replaced both the speedometer and the tach bulbs with LED, but it was probably 5+ years ago on my 04 R1150RT. I do recall having a similar problem and I thought I read up on the issue in this forum or maybe Advrider forum. Some similar experiences and solution was simply a little more force or persuasion than you would think, if I recall. Mine did come out eventually without damaging anything and the LED's are a nice improvement. Sorry I don't have explicit help, but for whatever reason your not alone. Continue to do a little research with the similar thread search/forum topic located at the bottom of the page. All else fails do a google search and you might find some Advrider threads on the topic. Best of luck...
    Jim "BewareBoy" Snyder
    Cincinnati, OH
    2004 R1150RT

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    'Brake fluid theory' DEBUNKED!

    I've successfully extracted the tach from the dash support and WITHOUT breaking anything! Careful examination of the exposed mating surfaces showed NO melted plastic, no glue and a perfectly smooth surface. (I guess I just debunked my own brake fluid theory) What was in the joint holding up the disassembly was very fine grit, smaller than sand and more like fine valve grinding compound. Even after attempting to break the bond with CRC electronics cleaner/lubricant and then Alcohol it was the well known WD40 (with an application of GENTLE heat) that loosened the tach from the dash support! And yes, one lamp was burned out and proved that TWO points of illumination for the dial is necessary. Now on to ordering my LED replacements and am only pondering color, (I like RED) or if white, what hue?
    '99' R1100RT
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  6. #6
    Registered User rogerc60's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago I replaced all of the instrument and dash indicator bulbs with LED (except the charging indicator, you must leave that one incandescent or the charging system will not work). I bought bulbs from superbrightleds.com. I chose amber for the instruments, and that turned out to be a poor choice. The amber bulbs are quite a bit dimmer than the green and blue that I bought for the turn signal, neutral, fog, and high beam indicators. That may have changed, though, in the past couple of years, maybe the amber bulbs are now up to snuff.

    I personally don't like bright dashboard lights at night, as I find them distracting. I want them only just bright enough that when I glance down at the instruments, I can quickly read them. But these amber bulbs are just a bit too dim. One of these days I'll get around to replacing them with something a little brighter. I like orange or red for night time instrument illumination, but red illumination in the tach would obscure the redline region; that's why I went with amber instead of red.

    Edit: I just checked the superbrightleds.com website; the bulbs I bought are no longer available, having been replaced with something different. I'll bet the new amber bulbs are brighter.

  7. #7
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    I chose red leds.
    Then soldered in red ones on the RID to match.
    Very easy on the eyes at night.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  8. #8
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    I chose red leds.
    Then soldered in red ones on the RID to match.
    Very easy on the eyes at night.
    That looks great 👍
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    BMW tools of 'force or persuasion'...!

    Quote Originally Posted by bewareboy View Post
    Some similar experiences and solution was simply a little more force or persuasion than you would think, if I recall.
    Here's what worked for me:
    Three simple tools: Mayo jar lid to support face of dash support
    Press blocks for two exposed retaining studs
    Fulcrum (LARGE SCREWDRIVER!)
    Was gently and carefully applying a little bit of heat while putting pressure on the fulcrum and POP! The tach was out. The tight fit and grit held it in until I applied a little more 'force or persuasion'.
    Attachment 86624BMW tools.jpgAttachment 86626IMG_2982lever(Edited).jpg
    '99' R1100RT
    Licorice 'Twist'

  10. #10
    Registered User jnrugg's Avatar
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    I did white on my RT and am very happy with it.
    Wish I could do the RID light as well.

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