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How to: 2nd Gen Gauge Cluster Removal and LED Conversion V2

Discussion in 'Performance Lighting' started by MustangP51, March 21, 2009.

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    1. crazycoop

      crazycoop Active Member

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      havent been on in a bit but heres mine the pic does it no good it a red like EXPLODRR's did it awile back just never got on to post it with every thing i had going on [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
       
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    3. minimac

      minimac New Member

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      Here is a image. they are a lot brighter in person, these damn cameras never work right!


      [​IMG]


      Just a heads up, anyone who has the anti-theft alarm system with the engine immobilizer, unplug the battery and wait 15 minutes BEFORE you remove the cluster! and don't hook it back up until you are FOR SURE everything is put back together properly. The anti-theft on my '01 XLT activated the engine immobilizer because i left the battery hooked up. if this happens to you and the engine immobilizer will not let you start the vehicle (i.e. you turn the key on and everything works, fuel pump turns on, and all the lights but when you go to start it just does nothing) do these steps to lift the immobilizer

      1. turn the key (with key fob on ring) to accessory (backwards) and let it stay in accessory for a minute or two.

      2. turn the key to run (DO NOT TRY TO START) and let it sit in run for a minute or two. then the vehicle should start.
       
      Last edited: March 1, 2013
    4. lunchfist

      lunchfist New Member

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      I could never get back into the Red dash lights after owning a pontiac haha. Both of those setups look great though! I'm still leaning towards replacing my gauges with the stock white face ones and putting some UV purple lights inside. We'll see how that goes, might be awhile yet.
       
    5. wheels23

      wheels23 New Member

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      Gauges won't work

      Well, I finally got around to doing this. I just put in regular bulbs.

      I turned the car on and the cluster was nice and bright. Unfortunately now none of the gauge needles will move (odometer, spedometer, etc), and nearly all of the other cluster warning lights won't light up (high beam and battery light will work, but none of the others will).

      I thought I had hooked everything up correctly. Anyone have any thoughts? Is it possible that the cluster is getting power to the lights, but lacking something that would allow the gauges to move?

      Thanks.
       
    6. EXPLODRR

      EXPLODRR New Member

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      NOT sure but it sounds like you dont have a connector properly replaced. Hopefully someone knows which one, tho you may find it quicker to go back in yourself and check....

      I have to go back in to see if there is a green film- on the 99xlt. and find out WHICH TOOL IT TAKES TO TAKE THE CLUSTER APART(??????????)
       
    7. EXPLODRR

      EXPLODRR New Member

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      Mustang- which models have the green film? and how to you get to it?? special tool???????
      Thanks:usa::salute:
       
    8. REMIRED55

      REMIRED55 New Member

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      1994 FORD EXPLORER XLT
      Does anyone know if this will work on a 91-94 Explorer? Or has anyone done this to a First Gen?
       
    9. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      I cant help you out with that one. I never took off the green film, and I don't believe there is any definite answer as to which models/years have the film.

      It should work with any cluster, as long as you get the correct LEDs. I don't know if the 1st gen explorers use 194 bulbs in the cluster.
       
    10. wheels23

      wheels23 New Member

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      Well, it turns out that all of my gauge problems were due to a blown fuse. Number 11 blew and caused all the problems. Got it changed out and all the gauges and emergency indicator lights are now working. The new bulbs in the cluster look great too. Oh, and the radio backlighting also works now, too.

      Thanks to everyone for your advice.
       
    11. EXPLODRR

      EXPLODRR New Member

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      RE: DIAL removal

      TOOK DASH APART AGAIN... a key bit of advise ****
      if you plan on taking the dials off to take the gauge cluster sheets off- let the vehicle idle for 10-20 mins. Then, **TAKE A PIC OF THE DIAL LOCATIONS****. Use this as reference when putting back together before pushing the dials all the way on. ONCE you are done doing what have you, again, idle the vehicle for 10-20 mins then push dials all the way in.
       
    12. EXPLODRR

      EXPLODRR New Member

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      found out its NOT an easy removable film... for the 99xlt that is... may take some creativity, but the green color is 'painted' behind the opaque, so I did want to attempt with out a way to replace the opaque film.
       
    13. 95Xsport

      95Xsport Member

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      Thanks for the write up, I'm thinking about doing this mod.
      Are these particular LED's supposed to have a longer life than the stock 194 bulbs?
      I prefer the stock look of the gauges so my only goal in this is to find a bulb that lasts longer.
       
    14. Galactica

      Galactica Active Member

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      LED's that are constructed well should have a life span around 100,000 hours, and will be brighter than conventional bulbs. Also, with their specific light output, they won't be as affected by films and whatnot on the back of clusters. Bulbs emit white light that is refracted by the films for a specific output color. LED's emit a single wavelength unless you get a white LED and that wavelength will cut through films and still come out the same color. I am considering changing everything in my Sport Trac to either red or blue (probably blue though since I have a couple bulbs out like the rear power window and the headlight switch.
       
    15. 95Xsport

      95Xsport Member

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      I know LED's generally last longer but just like CFL's, which also generally last longer than incandescents, there are certain applications where CFL's won't, ie. in places where they're turned off/on frequently.
      I wasn't sure if there was anything specifically with the application of these LED's that would cause them not to have a significantly longer life than the stock bulbs. I have no idea what, but I figured I'd check anyways....

      Would these work? LINK
      I want a warm white (as close to incandescent as possible) and I'm having trouble finding them with SMD's, like these linked earlier: LINK
       
    16. 97LTD

      97LTD Active Member

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      I have a 97 Explorer, and several of the dash lights went out for a while. The lights on the temperature and fuel gauges are dark at night. I see that there is 5 bulbs in a dash cluster am I correct?

      It looks like the 194 SMD LED is the best bet to replace the burned out bulbs. Since my dash cluster looks blue but the bulbs is white right? I prefer the long lasting bulbs that will not go out again.

      Thanks for the awesome info! :D

      Edit: Would this http://www.superbrightleds.com/more...bulb-5-smd-led-wide-angle-wedge-base/206/919/ be the correct, brighter and even bulbs for me? Just wanted to be sure before I buy it.
       
      Last edited: September 26, 2013
    17. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      6 Bulbs in the cluster. As long as you buy good LEDs they will last much longer than the incandescent bulbs.
       
    18. 97LTD

      97LTD Active Member

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      Thanks! I'm looking into getting those.
       
    19. DjDom

      DjDom Moderator Emeritus

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      I still gotta get my lazy butt to order some LEDs..
       
    20. Galactica

      Galactica Active Member

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      I am having trouble identifying what type of LED's to buy as direct replacements for all the dash switches (headlight, foglight, rear window, 4WD). Any help would be appreciated.
       
    21. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      Here is my write up on it. everything but the 4x4 since mine was AWD.

      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=199305
       
    22. Galactica

      Galactica Active Member

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      So soldering is necessary to do this? There are no direct replacements? Thanks for this anyway!
       
    23. redexplorer5.0

      redexplorer5.0 Elite Explorer

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      just put led in to my dashboard and led in the hvac controls love the way they came out
      cluster 2002 explorer sport and hvac control are from a 2002 explorer sport trac

      [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: November 24, 2013
    24. DjDom

      DjDom Moderator Emeritus

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      Finally ordered LEDs. Once they come, I'll do the swap.
      Hopefully mine won't be blue like many people here.

      Edit: Got around to doing this.
      Yup.. it turned blue

      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: March 15, 2014
    25. ghoststrike

      ghoststrike New Member

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    26. minimac

      minimac New Member

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      You are better off using this style of Bulb, I used these in my cluster, they spread the light out evenly.
      http://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-T10-5SM...Parts_Accessories&hash=item43ca3a74e6&vxp=mtr



      Remember, what ever bulb color you use, that is the color your gauge needles will be. But the numbers will be green no matter what. So if you get these green ones, you will have green numbers, and needles, might be a bit much. I used cool white and my numbers are nice and bright green, while the needles are a bluish white. [​IMG]

      Edit: The needles in this picture look pure white, but they do in fact have a hint of blue to them, i will try to get a better pic soon.
       
      Last edited: June 2, 2014

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