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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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      Yes you can check to see if the LEDs polarity is correct without having to put the cluster back in the car. In my first post I explain how to do it, look for the picture with the jumper wires in it.

      I did not disconnect the battery, but it would be a good idea to to so working in close proximity to the airbag.

      I would recommend replacing all of the back light bulbs with LEDs, I do not recommend you change out the indicator bulbs with LEDs. When the system does a bulb check when you initially turn the key, it will think that all the indicator bulbs are blown and the door chime will sound.

      Yes you can repair the lights on the radio, but it requires a high level of proficiency with a soldering iron. The LEDs are SMDs (Surface Mound Diodes) and are very tiny, and are extremely easy to damage from the irons heat.
       
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    3. wheels23

      wheels23 New Member

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      Thanks for the reply.

      I apologize, but I am completely new to this and ignorant of what I would need to bench test the board. What is on the other end of those alligator clips?

      For the indicator lights, I wouldn't change them for LED's, just wondering if there is any utility in changing out the bulbs that are in there now and working (just because they have been working fine since 1997). Or is it one of those "if it ain't broke..." kind of things?
       
    4. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      No need to apologize, the alligator jumpers are connected to a 12v power source. I use an old computer power supply, but you can use a 12v car battery or any power supply that puts out 10 to 13.5 volts.

      I would feel guilty if I told you that you don't need to change out all the indicator bulbs out, and a month later you have a bulb blow on you. So all I will say is that in my experience I have not had an indicator bulb blow on any of my vehicles. Even brand new bulbs blow out, so there is no fail safe answer to give.
       
    5. wheels23

      wheels23 New Member

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      Would something like this work somehow? I already have one at home.

      http://www.sears.com/diehard-gold-p...71987000P?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2#desc
       
    6. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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    7. wheels23

      wheels23 New Member

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      Could you explain how to do that, and what equipment I would need to buy?

      Thanks.
       
    8. EXPLODRR

      EXPLODRR New Member

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      :d
       
      Last edited: January 20, 2013
    9. EXPLODRR

      EXPLODRR New Member

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      :d
       
      Last edited: January 20, 2013
    10. EXPLODRR

      EXPLODRR New Member

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      [​IMG]
      194 from superbrightled.com
       
    11. EXPLODRR

      EXPLODRR New Member

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      how can i get the lights brighter???? anyone?
       
    12. RoCkrMAN

      RoCkrMAN New Member

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      I have a 97' XLT and I changed the gauges and heater controls out with some out of A 01 explorer sport and I put in my Red SMD LEDs and the heater controls look like crap (can hardly see them at night, and I only got a few bulbs working on the cluster and they don't light up. I'm really upset cause I have read all of the post saying how good they look and all. Could someone help me?
       
    13. Hunter32

      Hunter32 Active Member

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      if you install LEDs backwards, they dont work. So try flipping them around
       
    14. RoCkrMAN

      RoCkrMAN New Member

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      They come on, they just are not bright...:(
       
    15. willindsay

      willindsay Well-Known Member

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      Where'd you purchase the LEDs from? All are not created equal might just be that you got some low power ones.
       
    16. RoCkrMAN

      RoCkrMAN New Member

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      I got them off of ebay, but I went and put my original heater controls in and I took out the blue film and they are bright and nice, is it just the sports heater controls and cluster? Thanks!
       
    17. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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      Did you remove the film on the back of the gauge face and heater controls? The Red light will not make it through the green film well at all...
       
    18. RoCkrMAN

      RoCkrMAN New Member

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      The film on the sport gauges are like painted into the heater controls and won't come off easy. The 97xlt heater controls have a removable cover. The sport ones have one as well but it's clear and just cuts back some light so its not as strong.
      I just said to hell with it and sent them back and I'm going to order some white ones.
       
    19. MustangP51

      MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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    20. steve101

      steve101 Member

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      Doing this right now putting it back together don't forget to put srews back in lol
       
    21. lunchfist

      lunchfist New Member

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      mine look like this as well. I used blue though. Soon enough i'll get the sport white face gauge cluster, and put my blue led's in that.
       
    22. lunchfist

      lunchfist New Member

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      [​IMG]

      mine^^^

      even though i do not have even lighting, i still do not miss the nasty off-white glow of the needles from the stock bulbs.
       
    23. minimac

      minimac New Member

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      Guys i need help.. BAD!! I did this mod to my '01 XLT and everything went fine but the truck will not start. when i turn the key to run, the fuel pump and lights all go on like usual but when i go to the start position, it does nothing. It is not the battery. i think its something with the anti-theft. Pleaseee help me!!
       
    24. minimac

      minimac New Member

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      Never mind got it fixed! just had to leave the key in accessory for awhile. :D the cluster looks amazing, this is the best modification yet to my Ex!
       
    25. EXPLODRR

      EXPLODRR New Member

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      do you have pics????
       
    26. lunchfist

      lunchfist New Member

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      I'm with EXPLODRR, pics, or it didn't happen! :p
       

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