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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There are a couple of great threads on converting the bulbs in the instrument panel to LED, but the wife wants to stick with the OEM look, so I'm trying to figure out what the OEM bulb actually IS so that I can order replacements.

On the Honda eStore, it shows a bulb that looks more like a fuse (3.4 watt, with contacts at both ends of the glass, P/N 34295-SA5-003 [edit: turns out this is the bulb for the glove box]) for a couple of bucks each. The PDF manual I have does not show a drawing of the bulbs, but on page 23-76, it shows the locations and describes them as 3.0 watt bulbs (but no number).

Other posts I've discovered claim a size #74 bulb fits as a replacement; others suggest a #24 (but someone said the #24's didn't quite fit). But, those bulbs don't look at all like the bulb in the drawing on the eStore site.

I found one thread where someone said they had to buy the bulbs at the dealer for $15 each, in a pinch, so that's $150 for bulbs (if you're going to replace all 10, which I plan to do since it's such a hassle to get the instrument cluster out to even get to the bulbs).

Can anyone say exactly which bulb they used as a replacement for the OEM bulbs (not LED replacements) and what number it is? I really want to be sure I have the right bulbs, before I tear into the dash and cluster, so that I can get the job done in one day.

Thanks! :beerchug:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the link, Tim!

This is a more complete drawing than I've seen elsewhere... it shows the back view (in the lower-right) as well as how it all goes together.

I think what I'm looking for is #24 in this list (P/N 78181-SZ3-003), which seems to be a 3-part assembly of the socket and the bulb. The drawing is pretty small, but it looks like a typical 'wedge' style bulb (that plugs in, like a Christmas light), rather than a 'fuse' style bulb (with contacts on each end).

Is the bulb not available alone? Do you *need* to replace the socket when you change the bulbs, or is that just a "good idea"?

Years ago, when I replaced instrument panel bulbs on a different car, I was able to pull the bulbs out from the front and then just press new ones into the sockets. Has anyone tried that approach?
 

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In that particular listing, what you see is what you get I'm afraid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Someone suggested that it's best to replace ALL of the bulbs in the instrument panel while you're at it. I guess the thinking is if some of them are burning out, others will be right behind them.

That's 35 bulbs, total. Has anyone run into that problem, where other bulbs burn out soon after replacing some of them and you wish you had replaced them all because it's such a pain to get to them?

I was *already* wondering if it was worth it to replace all 10 of the gauge bulbs, since they are so expensive (over $8 each when you consider shipping), so I'm really not sure it's worth buying all 35 (I think that will be over $250), even though there's certainly some value to the time it would take to tear the whole dash apart again.
 

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As far as the backlight, you have to remember that they've all got equal time in service. Multiple failures especially after being shifted around during disassembly and reassembly is pretty likely.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I replaced all 10 bulbs (I ordered them through Tim), just to be safe and to make sure the backlight would look uniform across the entire cluster. All the rest of the bulbs were working fine, so I didn't bother replacing them.

The number 37 was written on the bulb packages that I bought. The bulbs and sockets come as an assembly, with a light blue tinted sheath over each bulb.

Wouldn't ya know it... I noticed the D4 bulb has gone out now that it's all back together... so replacing all the the rest of the bulbs IS something to think about. Maybe it's just the ones with the most time in service, as Tim pointed out.

Having just gone through all the steps, I think I might be able to replace that D4 shift position light in about 2 hours, but I'm not sure it's worth it.
 

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I've never heard of an aftermarket replacement equivalent for the RL dash bulbs, but if there is, I'd be interested in knowing about it myself.

Hi Tim,

I have a 2003 Acura RL and I need the ODOMETER BACKLIGHT/PRINT PANEL. The part number that I have is 78147-S0K-A01 which comes up as print panel for roughly $36.00. Also, I need 78181-S0K-A21 (4) bulbs @ roughly $4.00 each. I was wondering if the parts numbers presented here are correct? Please let me know before I order. Thanks.
 
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