How-To: Blue LED lights in the gauge cluster

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How-To: Blue LED lights in the gauge cluster

Post by daaboots » Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:59 am

Disclaimer: I assume no responsibility for injury or death by following these instructions.

Tired of the green cluster lights? Changing them to blue LED's is very simple and wont cost you very much!

Tools and parts you will need:
- 8 LED lights, inverted lens wide angle, 12V 194 (6 if you dont replace the turn indicators)
- Philips screw driver, stubby and a long one.
- Pliers
- Piece of rubber hose

Overview:
We are going to remove the top dash cover, remove the gauge cluster, remove the old bulbs, and replace them blue LED’s. Simple enough eh?

Steps:

Remove all 4 screws holding the dash in place.
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Remove the side pillar covers.
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Remove the dash cover. Start up pushing up to release all the metal clips, then pull straight back.
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Remove the plastic cover at the bottom of the gauge cluster.
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Remove all 4 screws holding the gauge cluster in place.
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Remove the gauge cluster by simply pulling it forward. You don’t have to worry about wires because the gauge just plugs into the dash.
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Remove one of the illumination lights by twisting it. They will be the big gray ones.
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Now the difficult part. You need to remove the light bulb from the socket, but it is very hard because the light bulb is actually soldered in place. CAREFULLY used some pliers and an old piece of rubber hose to remove the bulb. Don’t squeeze too hard because it will break and send glass flying everywhere.
*Update* - I've heard this only applies for 05 Neons.
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Insert the LED into the socket. You need to make sure that your contact wires look like mine in the picture in order for the bulb to make contact.
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Now another tricky part. LED’s are polarity sensitive. You need to make sure the positive terminal is connected to the positive power supply from the gauge cluster. This might take some trial and error to get it working. I suggest you replace 1 bulb at a time, plug the gauge cluster back in, and make sure it is working correctly. If it isn’t reverse the bulb in the socket.

Here is the finished product. I’m not quite happy with the looks. I purchased the LED’s that emit light from the end of the bulb and I think I needed the ones that emit from the side. Good enough for now but I will be changing them sometime in the near future.
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*Update - Replaced the LED's with wide angle LED's. Looks so much better. Not really the best pics but you get the idea.
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*Update - Here are a few places to buy the LED's
http://stores.ebay.ca/BestHongKong_Auto ... idZ2QQtZkm
http://autolumination.com/194.htm
http://www.superbrightleds.com/mini-wedge.html
Last edited by daaboots on Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by NiteHawk » Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:25 pm

very good writeup, but just so you know, only 05's were soldered, everything below that the bulb just pops out.....
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Post by daaboots » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:59 pm

NiteHawk wrote:very good writeup, but just so you know, only 05's were soldered, everything below that the bulb just pops out.....
Good to know. Thank you for the correction.
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Post by dblsg » Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:09 am

very nice write up... :thumbup:

you would want to get the wide angle l.e.d.'s next time :wink:
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Post by daaboots » Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:44 am

dblsg wrote:very nice write up... :thumbup:

you would want to get the wide angle l.e.d.'s next time :wink:
Yes, i learned that the hard way i guess :oops:
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Post by Canada » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:34 pm

I want to do this, but can you still dim your cluster with the MFS?

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Post by NiteHawk » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:36 pm

yes you can
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Post by Canada » Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:44 pm

Hmm, thanks Matt.

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Post by NiteHawk » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:15 pm

no problem :)
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Post by Mr Josh Zombie » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:19 pm

I did this a couple of months ago... Did the cluster and HVAC in the blue that was from autolumination.com.

Just to let everyone know, they're kinda hard to see at night. If you want blue, just use the super bright white LEDs. It comes out a soft blue, and you can still see the redline and the needles ALOT better.
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Post by NiteHawk » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:24 pm

be careful with those ones opi, i've heard of them dying within months.....
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Post by Mr Josh Zombie » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:35 pm

NiteHawk wrote:be careful with those ones opi, i've heard of them dying within months.....
I personally have yet to buy them, I've just seen the pics or the outcome on SRTforums.

I'm using just the regular blue, and so far so good.
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Post by NiteHawk » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:46 am

use the Matrix led's, dont use the Superstars
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Post by atom » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:26 am

Could I just buy colored bulbs? LEDs are of course sweeter but I don't want to bother with getting the illumination correct. Bulbs are probably cheaper too :p
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Post by daaboots » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:29 am

atom wrote:Could I just buy colored bulbs? LEDs are of course sweeter but I don't want to bother with getting the illumination correct. Bulbs are probably cheaper too :p
You can try it... not too sure how well it would work though. Try it and let us all know :D
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Post by Mr Josh Zombie » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:54 pm

atom wrote:Could I just buy colored bulbs? LEDs are of course sweeter but I don't want to bother with getting the illumination correct. Bulbs are probably cheaper too :p
you could try it, but chances are the color will burn off in a couple of weeks
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Post by jT » Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:00 am

just adding a comment

i had done this with the 194 bulbs from BestHongKong on ebay.. they are good but you probably want to use the 2 white ones in there somewhere because the red lines are a bit dim. other than that they are good

you can also use the same type bulb to change the bulb in the ATX gear shifting area (under the console)

i have 1 or 2 left over bulbs around if anyone wants them, $1 each

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Post by Nick Drake » Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:44 pm

jT wrote:just adding a comment

i had done this with the 194 bulbs from BestHongKong on ebay.. they are good but you probably want to use the 2 white ones in there somewhere because the red lines are a bit dim. other than that they are good

you can also use the same type bulb to change the bulb in the ATX gear shifting area (under the console)

i have 1 or 2 left over bulbs around if anyone wants them, $1 each
I've had those bulbs in for about 5 or 6 months and two of them are already dead, so I just bought some regular 194 bulbs and I'm switching back to stock.
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Post by BigDutch » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:09 pm

I just did the install myself, and I am very happy with it!
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I think it looks sweet!

I am going to play around with it to see if I can get the red line and needles to be brighter. I used WLED lights and they do make all the difference!

These ones!
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Post by daaboots » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:12 pm

^^ Good stuff :thumbleft: Glad my how-to was useful :D
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Post by BigDutch » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:26 pm

Yeah it was really easy to follow, I created a simular one on the .com site for the canadian peeps' out there!

I didnt have to move the LED conntection wires though. But the damn things were polarized... I have to take it all out to fix my High Beam Light! lol
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Post by SOHCKing03 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:16 pm

Holy post resurrection Batman!

But I have a question... my Stratus had a special film that turned green to light up the cluster. You would have to remove the film and replace it with a homemade one out of computer paper. Do the Neon clusters have a film that needs to be removed or is it just replacing the bulbs?

Also, I want to have my guages be white with a bright red needle, is there a bulb that affects needle color? If not, I'll use importintelligence's needle kit (link).

Thanks.

-Brad

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Post by BigDutch » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:47 pm

if your cluster is anything like the Neon's there is a film that is blue'ish and it is not quite removable. If you are after a Blue look like the above, you just need the white/blue led's (wled is better)

without seeing your cluster, i would gather the needles are the same as the neon's and that there is a bulb near the needle that will illuminate it. By placing a white led near it - it should keep them bright red.

I have no experiance with the importintelligence so i cannot answer your question about the needles.
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Post by INVUJerry » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:01 pm

That sucks the mileage is still green though :-/
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Post by BigDutch » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:03 pm

There is a film that you can over lay that makes it blue. I have some I just havent put it in yet
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Post by SOHCKing03 » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:52 pm

Okay so if I want my gauges white (like the fancy Lincoln my friend has lol) then is that impossible with the film?

I am going with a green/white color scheme and so I would like my gauges green.

-Brad

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Post by BigDutch » Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:35 am

well the film is for the green odometer display. the film that is on the guages is blue already. you should be able to get a bright green display but it will be impossible with a factory guage to get a white display. You would have to go with an aftermarket over lay for the guages.
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Post by titansxt » Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:11 pm

FYI
When you look at an LED the part of the led that looks like a toilet (inside the bulb) is the negative side.
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Post by neonperformance88 » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:41 pm

so how many bulbs would i need if i wanted to change the cluster plus hvac bulbs?
Also there are two typed of wleds listed on superbrightleds.com the 1led bulb and the 4leds bulb which one should i get??
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Post by Adionik » Sun Dec 23, 2007 7:03 pm

Bigdutch, where did you get your bulbs? I want the brightness you have!

Can you see the needles well at night?
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