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Hello!  I have this Original VDO, re-manufactured 550 Spyder Style Large tachometer; and I was wondering if anyone knows where the bulb that lights it up at night for it is?  I found the bulbs for the surrounding gauges rather easily; and each of those had 2 in the back.   

I think this Tachometer only has 1; and its at the top?   

Anyone have any experience with this gauge?


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Let me preface this to say, lights are whatever you hook them up to be. True, A and E are the instrument lights, and light the face of the gauge by reflecting off the inside of the bezel. That probably why you see it lighting “F” in the plastic light holder at the bottom of the gauge.

Fibersteel lists these as replica 550 gauges, but they’re not. This is what original 550 gauges look like.
And according to, the two lights in the bottom of the tach are the signals, flanking what I assume is the blue high beam indicator. The combi gauge only has two lights, for alternator (red) and oil pressure (green)

Most “550 Replica Gauges” whether OG Brazilian VDO repros or Chinese copies are a weird collection of various VDO gauges with 2-3 lights in the tach and 4 in the combi gauge, something no Porsche ever came with AFAIK.

My early Beck came with Brazilian repros with a two-head arrow signal indicator in the bottom middle of the tach and red bullet lenses on either side. And 4 bullet lenses in the combi gauge, 3 red and one blue.
More modern repros have larger flat lenses for all the idiot lights.

These are the Indian-made repros that Greg sells, with icons listing the lights as (L-R) brake pressure (fluid) turn indicators, lights, and oil pressure, high beam, green (?) and alternator in the combi gauge  

My best guess at your gauge wiring is that A and E, are instrument illumination judging by the appearance of the bulb sockets (and the fact that I don’t see any lenses there in your first pic) D is the +/- for the tach itself and 1&3 should be your L/R signal indicators but since they’re red and green, I’m assuming alternator (red) and oil pressure (green) and 2 is your high beam.

One thing that puzzles me is that C has the vertical  line that I assume is the ground based on that same vertical line being between the +/- for the tach on the back of the gauge I posted. Another thing that puzzles me is that there appears to be a tiny red lens next to the right face plate screw about 7,000 rpm. Is that indeed a lens? Might be worth hooking up a 9V battery to some of those spade connectors to see if any of them light it. It would be pretty cool to have a shift light, although it so tiny I doubt you could see it in daylight.


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Last edited by dlearl476
@chines1 posted:

@MichalM they are OEM Porsche 914/912 gauges, modified to look more 550, and use OEM Porsche rubbers, so check with Porsche parts house (Stoddard, SMC)

So did they just cover over the indicator lights?


Original 912 5 gauge and 65-66 911 gauges.

Which makes me go “Hmmm, an oil temp/pressure gauge would be a lot more useful than a temp gauge and a (nearly useless) fuel gauge, and looks like it would be the right size for my Spyder dash. I’ve got plenty of idiot lights.”


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Last edited by dlearl476
@dlearl476 posted:

Which makes me go “Hmmm, an oil temp/pressure gauge would be a lot more useful than a temp gauge and a (nearly useless) fuel gauge…

After searching extensively (and fruitlessly) for the early chrome bezel gauge, I think I’m going to call Hemet tomorrow and see what it would cost the change my Combi gauge to a calibrated oil temp and and pressure gauge. Gotta be cheaper than the Carrera/904 Quad gauge.

I know he can put VDO guts in the Brazilian repro Tach and Speedo. Hopefully it’s the same with the 1/4 gauges.

Original spyder (and PA converted) are 100mm speedo and combi and a 120mm tach.  They reface them and use whatever guts you request, so lights are moved as needed.

We custom spec combi gauges for different countries and Hartmut can usually do it, although parts supply, like everything else, has added some new limitations.  That said, it seems like every change we make costs a $1000...  he can also take 52mm and 60mm modern VDO gauges (CHT, volt, temp, pressure) and put a new face and chrome bezel and make it look 356/550.  Those range from a few hundred to a grand each, depending on if the artwork exists already and how custom you get...

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