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96 Miata
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Discussion Starter #1
Since it is winter in PA, I decided to build a new cluster for my NA.
Project started in my head due to a bad airbag computer and the always on light. I wanted to swap out and right back in with the modded one. (Anyone know if the beeper stills works with a bad computer when you pull the light? It is a 96.)

My plan is to use a M edition cluster and a 1992 cluster. I am going to swap the real oil gauge into the M cluster.
Then I am using the 92 bezel with the chrome rings. The 92 bezel also does not have the ugly spots for non existent dummy lights. M edition with a real oil gauge an chrome rings should look sharp.
I have a used oil sensor from a Probe coming.

Car has about 85,000 miles. I can't recall exactly. Either I will attempt to correct one of the odometers or go with the 74,000 mile one. ( Closest one I have.) Prefer to not tear apart original cluster. I have corrected replacement odometers before. Hopefully the Mazda is not much different than a Ford.

While I am building it I am going to cover the airbag light somehow. Probably heat shrink tubing.

LED's are going in also. I am going with blue back lighting. The dummy lights are staying the stock colors.
I tested the T5 and T10 LED's today. I painted the positive side. Then I marked the positive side on the back of the M edition cluster. Easy to install them correctly.
Things I found out testing the LED's. The blue ones work great without sanding off the green. Blue ones work great in the yellow dummy lights. Blue does NOT work with the red dummy lights. By "work great" I mean the indicator shows blue. I have some white T5's coming for the dummy lights.
I tested the lights in daylight but I did not notice any hot spots. Night will tell me more.
I went with standard power LED's with the concave lens. I did not want high power lights. The concave lens is supposed to distribute the light more evenly.
I spent an extra $5 and ordered 10 - white T10-360 degree LED's. If the blue ones don't suit me I will use those. Otherwise they will go for the trunk / glovebox etc.

Some photos.
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96 Miata
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The blue 194's I bought did not perform to suit me. I swapped in the white 360 degree ones without the green rubber filters. Much better lighting. Plan on blue turn indicators and the light green backlighting.
I swapped the oil gauge, blacked out the airbag light, and have the cluster assembled.
I made a couple slight mistakes. My tweezers made a tiny scratch in the oil gauge. Also a slight oil spot on the speedo.
I have a daylight photo of the finished cluster. I will hook up the power supply and get a night photo.

For now, here are the results.
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96 Miata
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Discussion Starter #3
Night photo as promised.
The green is softer than it appears in the photo.
The blue turn indicators match the high beam indicator.
I wanted blue but one thing I did not like about other colors is it colors the odometer too. I like the white odometer with tinted backlighting.
Overall I am pleased with the look of the M edition cluster with the LED's

150573
 

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96 Miata
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Discussion Starter #4
The used oil sender is at the post office.
I was told to check the resistance of it. If it is 115 ohms or so then the sender is good.
It cost me $20 so even if it is bad I will keep it and try to repair it.
I found a page online with detailed repair instructions.
 

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96 Miata
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Discussion Starter #6
Here you go.

I had planned on sharing it, but I was at work and I did not have the link.
 

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96 Miata
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Discussion Starter #7
The actual link would help.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
The oil sender came today. Looks good. Checks out at 142 ohms. Slightly higher than the ideal 115 ohms but I think it will be fine.

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96 Miata
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Discussion Starter #9
I found a factory manual with the Mazda resistance specs. for the oil sender / sensor
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A year ago I solved my bad air bag computer and a red light ON problem, on my 96M. After I fixed it, I posted my solution on Miataturbo.net. Since your cluster is out you could easily fix the red light without using black tape, you just need to splice a small resistor (~300 ohm) to the wire feeding the red light. Check my post my post “1996 Miata air bag light ON FIX”, posted on 12-15-2019 for the details on what I did. Whether your beeper works or not depends on what's wrong inside the computer, that's why it's best to prevent it from going off and don't think of taking out the light bulb.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I found the post that BBSAGEV was talking about. I copied and pasted it here for others.

Smile
1996 Miata fixing airbag light ON


A few months ago my airbag light come and stayed on (very annoying). I knew that it’s probable is the SRS module, but I had no intention of removing the dash board center console heater and more just to get to the module. I also know that it’s impossible for get a new module and a used one is more than 20 years old with no guaranty to work. I had to reduce or eliminate the illumination of the air bag light. I pulled out my shop manual and reviewed the instrument cluster and SRS wiring diagrams. They showed that the light bulb is a 2 watt and is fed from the cluster circuit board; the output is to the SRS goes through a Brown wire on one of the cluster connectors. Next I dusted my old electrical engineering text book refreshed my memory on electrical circuits and there was the answer. Current is inversely proportional to the total circuit resistance, power (W) is directly proportional to the current, total resistance is the sum of the resistances of all the components in the circuit. Hence increasing the resistance of the circuit will reduce the current and reduce the power – the illumination of the light bulb, I just had to find the right resister (Ohm) to add in series with the light bulb.

Went to Fry’s Electronics and bought few packages of resisters, 100, 120 and 330 ohms ($1.50 per package of 2-4 resistors each). Back in my garage, I found an old instrument gauge in my scrap box, wired if the one resistor at a time and to the battery; with a 100 ohm resistor the illumination was reduce, with 200 ohm resistors the illumination was faint and with a 330 ohm resistor there was no visible light: that was the one I needed. I calculated that it will reduce the current to less than 30 milliamps enough to keep the SRS happy not to trigger the beeping.

Disconnected the negative battery cable and proceeded to remove the steering covers, the bezel and the 4 mounting screws of instrument cluster (no need to remove the steering wheel). I pulled the cluster forwarded, and found the connectors on back side. Disconnected the white connector the on the left (when facing the cluster) nearest to the air bag light. There it was the air bag light brown wire, at the 5th position of the connector. Pulled up lightly on the connector to get more room on the top and then cut the wire leaving 1-2 inch in each side, connected a 20 inch long, 18 gage wire to each end of the cut brown wire and threaded then through the back of the cluster to below the steering column. Connected the wires to the 330 ohm resistor, connector the negative battery cable and turned the ignition key to ON; all was good, no air bag light and no beeping. Disconnected the negative battery cable, secured the resistor and shrink wrapped and tied it under the steering column with a tie strap. Reinstalled the cluster bolts the bezel, steering covers and the under dash kick panel and reconnected the negative battery cable, reset my radio stations and the clock and took the car for a drive.

I know that this may not resolve inspection issues in some States, but there is no red light to alert an inspector. In California and Nevada you only have to pass emissions (smog) test, and in Nevada, if your car is older than 21 and is driven less than 5000 mile a year you can be exempt from smog check provided you get a Classic Vehicle or Classic Rod plate, same cost.

Disclaimers: This Fix in no way resolves the initial problem with the SRS module that caused the air bag light to stay on. I don’t know if the airbags remain functional and deploy-able when the light is on, it may depend on what is wrong inside the SRS module. This fix may give you a false sense of security the all is well with the air bag system- it isn’t so and it must be kept in mind!
 
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