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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. mfrankena

      mfrankena New Member

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      JAY! Thnx!
       
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    3. kidd666

      kidd666 Active Member

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      im just waiting to get my leds then im going to do this. i got twelve of them to see where they fit
       
    4. Varsity

      Varsity Don't need no stinkin 4WD...yet Elite Explorer

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      Read a lot of talk about a red cluster but haven't seen pics yet. I plan to do red on mine since my stereo buttons glow red so I don't want to offset too bad. Either way, this would be a summer project for me, but definitely gonna happen. Are these bulbs sold in any stores? I'll do ebay or Amazon, but I would prefer a store since I'm not too sure how many I would need.
       
    5. Varsity

      Varsity Don't need no stinkin 4WD...yet Elite Explorer

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    6. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      Well it has been a long time since i have been back to the site but I am planning up doing a version 3.0 soon. After a few years of flawless operation one of the LED units in the cluster started flickering and will be failing sooner or later.

      My plan is to avoid using these plug and play 194 LED units, as they do not seem to be as robust and have the lifespan that LEDs are supposed to have.

      I am making a bulk order of 10mm white LEDs in the 250,000mcd plus brightness and am hoping to be able to light the cluster up brightly and evenly, using only six 10mm LEDs.

      P.S. The rest of the LEDs are going to a DRL project to add AUDI style "Devil" lights to my headlights :)
       
    7. Orleans

      Orleans Member

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      Congratulations, important and complete information.
      One question: The based 194 is the same as T10? 10mm?
      Thank you
       
    8. xxixt4nkxixx

      xxixt4nkxixx New Member

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      mustang did you ever get to the 10mm bulbs yet?
       
    9. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      I did and unfortunately when I did the project my SX1-IS was back at Canon getting a "Lense Error" fixed so I was unable to get any pictures to do a write up.

      I will say that this version 3.0 is the best, it is the brightest and most evenly lit. however it was an extremely difficult project because the 10mm leds had to be soldered to the PC boards at odd angles to make the cluster light up evenly and there was about a 45 minute trial and error process of soldering the LED to the board, putting it in the cluster, checking to see how evenly it lit up, then taking it back out, de-soldering, re-adjusting, and soldering again, and so forth for EACH of the 6 LEDs. This truly tested my patience. I really could not have done a step by step write up that was easy to follow.
       
    10. iWatts

      iWatts New Member

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    11. barbaroja

      barbaroja Member

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      doing this now
       
    12. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      I will post one tonight.

      Good Luck!
       
    13. Chevellefan

      Chevellefan New Member

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    14. wheels23

      wheels23 New Member

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    15. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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    16. bsfrog19

      bsfrog19 New Member

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      AHH I realllllllyy want to convert my dash over. I have an 02 sport trac, everything is blacked out. Got HID head/fog lights, pink corner lights, and assorted other little crap. Went for the black and pink thing. Last week the bulb where my gas gauge is burnt out and now I can't see how much gas is in my truck once it's dark!
      I was thinking doing white LED's or pink to match everything else. I know how to do it, but don't know which besides 194 to get and where to get from? Someone helppppp
       
    17. wheels23

      wheels23 New Member

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      Thanks for the replies.

      After reading through the board, and especially Mustang's amazing conversion threads, I realize that my headlight switch bulb as well as my rear defrost/fog light buttons are all burned out.

      I don't have a soldering iron or the ability to do an LED conversion that is not a simple plug and play, so I am wondering how easily exchangeable these bulbs are.

      I have seen posts referencing the Radio Shack miniature bulbs for the headlight switch. It appears that they don't last long, but if I can't engineer the LED conversion, do I really have any other choice but to uses those bulbs?

      Also, are the bulbs for the rear defrost/fog lights a totally different bulb as well?

      Thanks for all of your help
       
    18. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      You can get direct replacement LEDs from superbrightleds.com
      under the automotive section
       
    19. donateariel

      donateariel New Member

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      so after reading the WHOLE forum post, all i need is 5 smd led to take out that green color from the dash cluster????

      or the 5 is only for the needles,??

      also what bulb size is the needles and what size for the other bulbs?
       
    20. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      All the bubls in the cluster are 194. There are 6 of them that light up both the gauge face as well as the needles.

      I personally have not scraped off the green film on the back of the gauge face so I don't want to give out any information I have not acquired first hand.

      By using any other colored LED without scraping off the green film you will only be changing the color of the needles.
       
    21. donateariel

      donateariel New Member

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      now what if i use like a super white smd?? or another type of white, ive seen some faces turn blue.

      pO? (personal opinion)
       
    22. donateariel

      donateariel New Member

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      P51 do you have harbor freight in CT?
       
    23. tgrfly

      tgrfly Active Member

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      I'm sure this has been asked, and I'm fairly sure I know the answer, but I want to clarify. I have an '03 X and I'm wanting to do the LED swap. Do the clusters have green film over the numbers? Wanting to make the switch to blue to go along with the blue interior lighting that I will be doing soon.
       
    24. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      Yes there is?

      To the best of my knowledge yes 3rd gens do have green film on the gauge cluster.
       
    25. tgrfly

      tgrfly Active Member

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      So the next question is what is the best thing to use to scrape the green film off?
       
    26. Hunter32

      Hunter32 Active Member

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      got it done today!! I got the 9LED bulbs so they are longer than the ones in the first post so I ended up grinding down the light pickups inside the guage cluster and then installing them..

      these are the LEDs i installed
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       

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