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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. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      I looked at the pictures before I read your post and thought how in the hell did you get those to fit haha.

      Did you pull the cluster apart to grind down the fiber optics?

      Looks great BTW
       
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    3. Hunter32

      Hunter32 Active Member

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      yes i did. and i ended up cutting off a rather large portion of those optics. Probably just about 2/5 of an inch. I used a dremel and then i coated it with clear nail polish.

      I wish i had gotten some pictures for you guys but my camera was dead

      There are no real dark spots in the cluster and it is much brighter than before. I'm loving it! I was thinking about using red nail polish to make the needles red but i think i've read that if you take the needles off you risk putting them back on in the wrong position? (thus making your needles read false readings)

      so i just wasnt going to risk it..
       
    4. tgrfly

      tgrfly Active Member

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      So where did you get those LEDs and did they fit fine?
       
    5. Hunter32

      Hunter32 Active Member

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      i got them off ebay and they fit after i grinded down the fiber optics inside the guage cluster. if you get the 5 LED ones then they should fit without having to grind anything down
       
    6. storlied

      storlied Well-Known Member

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      We need V3 pictures man! lol
       
    7. CTroxtell

      CTroxtell Active Member

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      Patiently waiting for V3
       
    8. lunchfist

      lunchfist New Member

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      5smd LEDs installed...

      I LOVE THIS FORUM!

      [​IMG]


      i went with blue LEDs because i wanted blue needles, slowly working toward changing all interior lighting to blue.

      I'll have to do something about that green film on the gauge faces.....

      2001 Exp XLT 4.0 SOHC
       
      Last edited: March 25, 2012
    9. barbaroja

      barbaroja Member

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    10. tgrfly

      tgrfly Active Member

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    11. Brad1976

      Brad1976 New Member

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      MustangP51,

      Because of your signature, I now have a LOT more mods to do to my '02 E Eddie Bauer... Wondering if you may have gotten the opportunity to take the pics of your V3.0. Since I'm about to undertake this dash light upgrade I wouldn't mind seeing the difference before I buy the lights... :)
       
    12. shantana28

      shantana28 Member

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      you have a ford explorer 91 and did you get the needles fix?
       
    13. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      Well This is V3.0. It consists of 6 10mm .5 watt LEDs and 6 5mm LEDs. This was not a Plug and Play setup, I had to make small circuit boards consisting of a voltage regulator circuit to power these LEDs. I don't have any pictures of the retrofit but this was not for the faint of heart and was probably more time consuming then it was worth. I took this picture a few weeks ago but never got around to uploading it.

      [​IMG]

      Please excuse the ABS Light, a mouse chewed through the wire going to the rear wheel speed sensor. Wires have been fixed, and the mouse.....eliminated.
       
    14. Varsity

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

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      ^^^That looks really impressive, but not sure I wanna see the write-up.... I did the v2 which was just replacing the 194s with 194 LEDs and its great but my RPM needle doesn't seem to light up. The gauges around it and everything work nice, but just the stupid RPM needle is barely lit up. I don't know if you know anything about that.

      The picture looks great though, does v3 seem the brightest/fullest one yet?
       
    15. Brad1976

      Brad1976 New Member

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      1. Does anyone possibly have a picture of the inside of a console at all? I'm not referring to the "back" of the console like in the earlier pages of this thread. I'm referring to the inside, after the circuit board has possibly been removed...

      I should be able to afford getting my LED's within the next month or two and planning on a HUGE lighting mod.....

      2. Once I'm done my mods, if there's anyone that might be able to help me post the pics within this forums server, could you please PM me? I'd rather not use one of the free servers out there like photobucket, and honestly can't afford to really send in any money to this site as much as I would sincerely love to!!! :(

      Tanks!
       
    16. shantana28

      shantana28 Member

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      Will this work on ford explorer 91 and also where can I find the SMD lights?
       
    17. blankskater1

      blankskater1 New Member

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      i got my SMD lights on ebay SUPER cheap and I love this mod!!
       
    18. krajik1

      krajik1 New Member

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      Hey I have a 2004 ford explorer and I wanna do this to my truck my background is black it lights up green and my sticks light up red my truck is blue what do u recommend me doing?
       
    19. shantana28

      shantana28 Member

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      how do you get the gauge needles white?
       
    20. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      The needles are clear so they get their color from the light source. I used white LEDs.
       
    21. interscope8

      interscope8 Well-Known Member

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      http://www.superbrightleds.com/more...led-bulb-5-smd-led-wide-angle-wedge-base/206/

      Im planning on doing this to satisfy my itch to get another project going on my truck while school is going on and Im not driving every day. I want Blue LEDs and I saw scrogathon's post (#137) and am wanting that color. Im new to the LED lighting field and was wondering if the lights I linked would work for something similar
       
    22. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      Yes those are the correct LEDs, however to get the blue color you will have to scrape off the green film on the back of gauge cluster.
       
    23. interscope8

      interscope8 Well-Known Member

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      Ya thats what I figured... reading through the thread tho it sounded like the fella I was referring to did nothing but put the cool white bulbs in... guess I'll see when the time comes! :D

      Do you have any threads on here for switching out the door button LEDs? I already went through all your sig'd threads haha. There was a write up on myST too for it but I always like finding 2 threads and comparing them
       
    24. Hunter32

      Hunter32 Active Member

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      I used this one :thumbsup:

      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241185&highlight=switch+led
       
    25. interscope8

      interscope8 Well-Known Member

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      Thank you sir!! :D haha
       
    26. wheels23

      wheels23 New Member

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      getting ready

      I'm finally getting ready to do the LED conversion on a '97 Mountaineer and have a couple of questions:

      -Regarding polarity, is there a way to tell whether the LED bulbs are in the correct orientation without having to put the dash/etc back into place? I don't have access to any testing tool or anything like that. Is there some point in the process where you can easily test the lights before rebuilding the dash? Do you have to disconnect the car battery before starting?
      - When I have the entire thing apart, is it worth changing out all of the 161 indicator bulbs as well (not replacing them for LED, but just putting in new ones) so I won't have to take everything down again?
      - Is there a way to bring back the back-lighting for the buttons on the factory radio?

      Thanks!
       

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