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Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
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userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 3 December 2018 1:38 PM
Subject: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


There have been plenty of discussions on motorhome forums about difficulty reading the speedometer of motorhomes based on a Boxer/Ducato/Relay chassis in poor light daytime conditions, particularly the speedometer of X290 models (built from mid-2014 onwards).

Lots of suggestions have been offered to improve matters, including the possibility of replacing the speedometer’s white-numbers-on-black-background face with a black-numbers-on-white-background face. The current (January 2019) issue of MMM Magazin includes an article on Pages 138/139 that describes how this can now be done.

The motorhome in question is stated as being a Ducato-based Euro 5 Carado T135, but it’s plain from the photos that this is an X290 model as its instrument-cluster has the silvered bezels that only became available as an option when the X290 was introduced (and that made speedometer visibility in daylight even worse!)

The white dials are a Lockwood product and intended for UK-specification manual-transmission vehicles only. The ‘kit’ costs £55 and comprises a pair of replacement white faces (speedometer and tachometer).

Details and a photo showing the effect are here

https://www.lockwoodinternational.co.uk/dials/mph/fiat/a-l/ducato/ducato-part-no-8329.html
userColinM50
Posted: 3 December 2018 10:26 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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Yes, I read this earlier today when my comic, oops, I mean magazine, came and was really interested since I had asked the same Q here some time ago. Changing the dials seems an eminently sensible idea and one I'd be happy to have a go at but I do think £55 for two paper/card dial faces is a bit steep. Or am I being a cheapskate? Having spent north of £45k on a motorhome, what's £55 in the scheme of things. Or does anyone have a cheaper solution?

Either way I think I'll give it a go over the winter though I can't seem to find these infamous two torx screws that hold the binnacle on.

Ah, just been to have a look and they're there on the extreme edges.

Oh, and you'd have thought they'd have changed the fuel and temp guage dials for white too

Edited by ColinM50 2018-12-03 10:29 PM
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 4 December 2018 8:50 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


The initial stages of the procedure for removing an X250/X290’s instrument-cluster are shown in the relevant part of Lockwood’s “HOW TO” section where the location of the two tricky-to-find torx screws is shown

https://www.lockwoodinternational.co.uk/media/wysiwyg/instructions/Fiat/C120_C124_Etc_Fiat_Ducato.pdf

Presumably the ‘logic’ of only converting from black to white the upper part of the speedometer and tachometer faces is that the translucent black lower section of each dial displays various warning symbols and the (normally red) colour of such symbols would show up badly against a white background. The same ‘logic’ would apply to not changing the fuel and termperature displays from black to white. The attached photo of the tachometer face of Lockwood’s revised display (hoperfully!) shows the warning symbols very faintly visible in the dark lower section of the dial.

You don’t HAVE to swap your Boxer motorhome’s dials for white ones and there are alternative ways of obtaining improved instrument-cluster visibility that are simpler to implement and should be a good deal cheaper than Lockwood’s £55 asking price. But the Lockwood products are nicely made, fit properly and - if you yearn for white dial-faces - the only ones available.

A couple of points perhaps worth mentioning

1: If you should have problems with the instrument-cluster within your Peugeot Boxer’s warranty period and you’ve swapped the dial-faces yourself, Peugeot MIGHT quibble that the problems are of your own making and refuse an under-warranty claim. (In fact, even if a black dial-face is fitted - say to convert a km/h speedometer to mph+km/h - it’s evident that this has been done if one knows where to look.)

2: Be careful if, before reassembling the instrument-cluster’s components, you decide to clean the rear of the clear plastic ‘cover’ that’s in front of the dials. Cleaning the cover can cause it to become charged with static electricity that will attract dust like a magnet and the result may not be obvious until the cover has been replaced.



(tachometer.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments tachometer.jpg (91KB - 11 downloads)
usersshortcircuit
Posted: 4 December 2018 10:10 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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"there are alternative ways of obtaining improved instrument-cluster visibility that are simpler to implement". Please tell us more.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 4 December 2018 11:29 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp



Use the forum’s Search feature

Speedometer
Derek Uzzell
All posts

Then read the threads that look most likely to be relevant
usersshortcircuit
Posted: 4 December 2018 1:25 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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Thanks
userColinM50
Posted: 4 December 2018 4:18 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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Location: 2017 Peugeot based Elddis 167


Thanks Derek. As always you're a font of all knowledge
userMark Wilkes
Posted: 5 December 2018 7:56 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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forgive me for joining this conversation but I have put in a hud unit and it works far better than the standard speedometer that came with my van. I know its not everyone's thing to have something showing in the window but I just thought it might be an easier option than struggling with getting the dials out.
userColinM50
Posted: 5 December 2018 8:42 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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Mark Wilkes - 2018-12-05 7:56 AM

forgive me for joining this conversation but I have put in a hud unit and it works far better than the standard speedometer that came with my van. I know its not everyone's thing to have something showing in the window but I just thought it might be an easier option than struggling with getting the dials out.


Thanks for the suggestion Mark, but can you give more details? Which HUD unit did you fit and how is it done? DIY or dealer fitted?
userMark Wilkes
Posted: 5 December 2018 8:50 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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Hi Colin. I bought just a simple and cheap one off eBay and it simply plugs into the obd port near the fuse box. It then has a display unit that sits on the dash and projects onto the window. I hope this helps.
userwitzend
Posted: 5 December 2018 11:12 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Mark Wilkes - 2018-12-05 8:50 AMHi Colin. I bought just a simple and cheap one off eBay and it simply plugs into the obd port near the fuse box. It then has a display unit that sits on the dash and projects onto the window. I hope this helps.


I also did the same but mine was switchable to straight view and it just sits on dash giving a illuminated display.
There are also apps for phones available which I tried but phone seemed to run quite hot
userDeneb
Posted: 5 December 2018 11:24 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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Obviously a personal decision, but I thought it worth mentioning that if you have any device connected to your OBD port, it can't be secured against access and with the cover removed it is even more accessible to a thief with a bypass device.
userEJB
Posted: 5 December 2018 12:34 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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My dash cam is connected to the OBD port but it is behind a removeable panel....Transit Mk 7.
The connection and wiring to the dash cam are not visible.
FWIW


PS. The display on my Transit is as bad as the Sevel vehicles!!

Edited by EJB 2018-12-05 12:35 PM
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 5 December 2018 12:55 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


ColinM50 - 2018-12-03 10:26 PM.................Changing the dials seems an eminently sensible idea and one I'd be happy to have a go at but I do think £55 for two paper/card dial faces is a bit steep.

Just on the question of quality, I am now on my fourth set of Lockwood instrument card replacements (four different LHD vans converted for UK registration) and the cards have been excellent.

They are not paper/card, but printed onto translucent plastic of (visually) exactly the same material as the originals, so that there is no apparent change at all, except for the inclusion of the MPH/KPH markings. For this purpose, at least for the SEVEL base vehicles, only the speedometer card is replaced, leaving the tachometer card unchanged, which one would think would highlight any variance in quality of material, texture, or printing, between the two dials. I can only say that I have been unable to detect any visual difference, even when able to compare the Lockwood card side by side (i.e. before fitting) with the (I my case Fiat) original.

If the white background dials are of the same quality as the like for like replacement cards, I doubt you will be disappointed in any respect with the quality.

As to whether the fuel and temp gauges could be replaced in the same way, I don't know why this was not done, as it does look a bit "half and half". The white dials were done as a one off, so if you want to see if these gauges could also be changed, it may be worth asking Lockwood if they know. The obvious rider is that it would, obviously, increase the cost.

The tricky bit is getting the original cards out, and the new cards in, over the dial pointers. The card material is quite stiff, the pointers are relatively flimsy, and the result is a task that requires a very steady hand, small fingers, and gimlet sharp sight (or very clean specs!)!

But, if you fit the bill, you've got the job!
userspospe
Posted: 5 December 2018 3:15 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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The January 2019 issue of MMM on pages 138 to 139, gives an article on how to swap the existing black faced instrument dials for the Lockwood version mentioned above. The article is illustrated and seems to give the same info as Derek's original post / link of the 3rd December.
userDen
Posted: 5 December 2018 4:17 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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I think Fiat need bombarding with complaints.
Even with the headlights on, fiat drivers are spending to long trying to see the speed.
Me included. I have a clean licence and want to keep it that way.
My Ford has adjustable brightness of the dials with or without headlights.
Perfect and so easy to read.
From a safety point of view it should be a recall, and someone mentioned about the warranty after it’s been messed with, I’m sure they would blame the upgrade.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 5 December 2018 5:11 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Den - 2018-12-05 4:17 PM

I think Fiat need bombarding with complaints.
Even with the headlights on, fiat drivers are spending to long trying to see the speed.
Me included. I have a clean licence and want to keep it that way.
My Ford has adjustable brightness of the dials with or without headlights.
Perfect and so easy to read.
From a safety point of view it should be a recall, and someone mentioned about the warranty after it’s been messed with, I’m sure they would blame the upgrade.

It is a risk, although the risk should be limited to items potentially affected. If the gearbox were to fail, for example, it would quite unreasonable for a manufacturer to seek to evade their warranty obligations on the ground that the speedo and tacho cards had been personalised - though they might do that if either instrument subsequently failed. However, Fiat dealers will undertake the swap (for a charge), so it seems Fiat are not unduly fussed.

Bear in mind also that you will be able to retain the original cards, which you could re-install if in doubt. I've had a few faults fixed under warranty, plus a couple of recall updates, and the issue of the speedometer dials hasn't been questioned - although white in lieu of black would be a much more obvious change.
userTracker
Posted: 5 December 2018 5:53 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: Vanless in Evesham.


Many years ago I made a bracket and used to mount the sat nav atop the instrument binacle cloes to the driver's line of vision.

Granted it is not ideal due to time lag of speed updates but worked well enough for me for several years in several vans, and cost nowt, and was easy to fit and remove.
userGerry McG
Posted: 5 December 2018 8:09 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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note the Lockwood site says only for UK spec RHD MANUAL models....
I can't think why autos would be excluded
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 6 December 2018 9:58 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


When Ken Hall originally commissioned Lockwood to produce a black-on-white speedometer face, it would have been sensible to also have a matching tachometer face - otherwise the overall display would have looked more than a mite odd.

As I said above, when ColinM50 commented on the fuel & temperature gauges not having been changed to black-on-white, a Ducato’s speedomete and tachometer dials display warning symbols/lights as well as speed and engine revs, and such symbols/lights - having not been designed to show up well against a white background - will be better left to be displayed against the original black background. As will be seen from the attached photo (and the bottom-centre photo on Page 139 of MMM) the fuel and temperature display also carries warning lights, so is also best left black.

Regarding the black-on-white dial-faces, Lockwood warns

"PLEASE NOTE: This white dial is NOT SUITABLE for imported vehicles as the speeds are calibrated for UK spec Manual Models Only.”

I've just spoken to Lockwood about this and been told that there’s a variation in the ‘scale’ of the original speedometer face of LHD Ducatos and the original speedometer face of RHD Ducatos. This is allowed for in their km/h-to-mph (white-on-black) replacement speedometer dials, but the black-on-white speedometer face is designed specifically to match an original RHD speedometer (Ken Hall’s speedometer) and, consequently, would be unsuitable for LHD imports as the speedometer needle would be indicating an incorrect speed.

Speedometers of Ducatos with ComfortMatic transmission differ from manual versions (variations in the warning symbols and their position) and the fuel/temperature display was not changed to white because of its warning symbols/lights.

Lockwood said that (following the MMM article) there has been considerable interest in the black-on-white dial-faces from owners of motorhomes with ComfortMatic transmission, so they may well offer a similar ‘kit’ for ComfortMatic vehicles. If there is sufficient interest, they would also consider producing black-on-white replacement dial-faces suitable for LHD imports.



(Ducato warning lights.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments Ducato warning lights.jpg (185KB - 11 downloads)
userLockwood
Posted: 6 December 2018 11:02 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: Unit 7 Domestic Street Ind. Est. Leeds LS11 9RT


Hi,
we manufacture the white dials in question.
Can we please clarify that these are not card or paper.
They are true replacement dials which meet the legal standards and requirements.
They are made from the correct material which will not deteriorate and will last the life of the vehicle.
Hope this helps.
Lockwood Int.
userLockwood
Posted: 6 December 2018 11:15 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


Just joined

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Location: Unit 7 Domestic Street Ind. Est. Leeds LS11 9RT


Hi Derek,
further to our conversation on the phone and now seeing your photo of the speedo.
If this photo is your speedo then the white dial we have is correct for you.
Lockwood Int.
userLockwood
Posted: 6 December 2018 11:24 AM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


Just joined

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Location: Unit 7 Domestic Street Ind. Est. Leeds LS11 9RT


Hi,
the UK spec and (grey) imports are calibrated slightly differently.
Production of white dials for the imports is dependent on the amount of feedback we receive.
Dial production is an expensive process.
Lockwood Int.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 6 December 2018 1:45 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


Lockwood - 2018-12-06 11:15 AM

Hi Derek,
further to our conversation on the phone and now seeing your photo of the speedo.
If this photo is your speedo then the white dial we have is correct for you.
Lockwood Int.


Thanks for explaining during our conversation the reasons why your black-on-white dial-faces were designed as they are and why they are only appropriate for RHD manual-transmission vehicles.

The photo you refer to is not of my bought-in-the-UK Ducato-based 2015 left-hand-drive manual-transmission Rapido motorhome’s speedometer - I stole the photo from an on-line Practical Motorhome article.

The 1st photo attached below is of my Rapido’s instrument-cluster that had its original kmh-only speedometer-dial face replaced by the the UK dealer when the motorhome was UK-registered and I assume the replacement mph/kmh face is a Lockwood product (as I don’t think anyone else makes them).

As mentioned in this 2016/2017 forum entry

https://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/fiat-dashboard-lighting-/45838/31/

I chose to ‘front light’ my motorhome’s complete instrument-cluster using a strip of sideways-pointing LEDs.

In fact, if the 1st photo below (of my LHD Ducato’s mph/kmh speedometer) is very carefully compared with the 2nd photo below (the photo stolen from a Practical Motorhome article and presumably of a RHD vehicle) it is possible to see differences in the positioning of the speed numbers on the speedometer-scale.



(ledlight.jpg)



(Ducato warning lights.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments ledlight.jpg (143KB - 9 downloads)
Attachments Ducato warning lights.jpg (185KB - 10 downloads)
userLockwood
Posted: 6 December 2018 2:52 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: Unit 7 Domestic Street Ind. Est. Leeds LS11 9RT


Hi,
thanks for the clarification.
It is our dial in the photo of your cluster.
We just need the responses to the white dial option so we can make them for the imports.
Kind Regards
userTracker
Posted: 6 December 2018 3:36 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: Vanless in Evesham.


I like the idea of a HUD as I too find it hard in the car to look down to focus on the speedo and back to the road and I had no idea you could get OBD plug ins via Amazon or Ebay.

Does anyone have any specific info on makes as like all gizmos I have no doubt that whilst some are great other may be disappointing, and spending more does not always buy you more.

This looks good to me as it does not reflect onto the window?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Display-Intelligent-Digital-Driving-Distance/dp/B07G5VH51N/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1544110055&sr=8-8&keywords=heads+up+display+car

Thanks

Edited by Tracker 2018-12-06 3:47 PM
userColinM50
Posted: 6 December 2018 5:12 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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good to see Lockwood are joining in the chat and hope their business flourishes - always good to see an expert get involved.

I have a query. I really like the white dials, but think keeping the fuel and temp gauges as original, i.e. in black, looks a bit crap. So can you supply a kit comprising speedo, rev counter and fuel and temp gauges dials and if so a price would be helpful.

If it makes a difference I have a 2017 Eldiss 196 based on Peugeot Boxer. I can take a pic if you need it.
userTracker
Posted: 6 December 2018 5:19 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: Vanless in Evesham.


Lockwood's email and website are on their profile Colin, might be easier to talk direct with them?
userColinM50
Posted: 6 December 2018 5:25 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 
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Appreciate that Tracker but thought giving them the opportunity of widening the info base might be helpful to them. Happy to call them and post their reply?

Phoned them but no reply. Will try tomorrow

Edited by ColinM50 2018-12-06 5:27 PM
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 6 December 2018 5:34 PM
Subject: RE: Boxer/Ducato/Relay - Speedometer difficult to read in daylight
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


Tracker

The link you’ve provided in your posting of 6 December 2018 3:36 PM above refers to a device that uses GPS rather than data from an OBD port. However, there are plenty of HUD devices that plug into the OBD port and some where it's possible to select wheter the data used comes from GPS or the OBD port.

For the OBD type, you’d need to be sure that the device is compatible with your car and (if buying from Amazon/ebay) it’s certainly worth reading the pros-and-cons reviews.

This March 2018 thread discussed such devices and also mentioned displaying OBD-provided information on a phone.

There was a ‘DIY' article describing the OBD/phone approach on Pages 183/184 of the October 2018 issue of MMM Magazine, and a GOOGLe-search on “hud speedometer review” will retrieve plenty more stuff. (USA example here)

https://10carbest.com/best-hud-for-car#guide
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