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Headlight/Wiper/Defrost/Fog LED conversion

MustangP51

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The bulbs that illuminate the Headlight, Rear window wiper, Defroster, and Fog Light switches are very hard to find. The Headlight switch bulb blows frequently since it is on whenever the ignition is on. Here is how you can retrofit LEDs to replace the the bulbs.

Headlight Switch

First find 3 5mm LEDs, to keep the factory color you need green, Grind the tip of the LED flat, this will unfocus the lens and make the light spread rather then having a hotspot.
IMG_0060.jpg

Resistor | LED | Ground down tip | Factory Bulb

You need to solder in a resistor to each LED to step the voltage down from 12v to 2v.
IMG_0061.jpg


Insulate using heat shrink
IMG_0066.jpg


Remove the switch and the dimmer from the bezel
IMG_0070.jpg


Find the center of each symbol and use hot glue to secure the LEDs
IMG_0071.jpg


I choose to get the power from the factor bulb contacts, so I soldered leads to each. It is VERY IMPORTANT to get the polaritys correct, LEDs are Diodes and will only work one way. I used hot glue to insulate.
IMG_0076.jpg


Finish the wiring
IMG_0078.jpg


Result
IMG_0072.jpg



Fog Light and Defroster Switch

Remove the switches from the bracket, then use a Dremel to cut a small slot into the bracket to allow the wires for the Fog Light switch to get through.
IMG_0082.jpg


The 5mm LED will fit snugly into the socket of the bulb
IMG_0086.jpg


Solder in a Resistor, Heat shrink, then add a little hot glue to hold.
IMG_0089.jpg



Rear Wiper

IMG_0091.jpg


IMG_0093.jpg
 


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MustangP51

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Ill get a picture of the wiper,Defrost,Fog tonight, it started raining last night and I had to rush to get the Explorer out of the garage and the Mustang back in.
 




calisoundmix

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nice write-up, thanks for taking so many pics it'll make it easier when i do mine in a few weeks
 




jimbo74

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is it possible to find a 2v led? in a 5mm size?
 




MustangP51

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storlied

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How did you change your needles?
 




gijoecam

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Just a suggestion: Just buy 12V LEDs... They will have the resistor integrated into the base and are no larger than the ones pictured. It's just one less connection to potentially screw up.

I've seen them very cheap from Newark Electronics (www.newarkinone.com).

-Joe
 




MustangP51

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How did you change your needles?

I got some inverted wedge 194 LEDs off of ebay. Click on "Instruments" in my sig for the thread.


Just a suggestion: Just buy 12V LEDs... They will have the resistor integrated into the base and are no larger than the ones pictured. It's just one less connection to potentially screw up.

I've seen them very cheap from Newark Electronics (www.newarkinone.com).

-Joe

It is a good suggestion, but I buy my components in bulk and many of my projects don't have 12 volt sources.
 








MustangP51

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MustangP51

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I just checked your Instruments link and it does not have info on how you did the mods, do you think you can do a write up? I'd love to do mine the same color you did, also the link to the LED you used no longer works?!!?

I didn't need to modify anything, all I did was plug the LEDs into the 6 stock sockets in the back of the instrument cluster

Here is a link to an active eBay auction for the bulbs. If the link goes bad just type in "Inverted wedge 194 LED" on the eBay search.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/10pc...023QQitemZ360007733148QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

Keep in mind that the cluster will not be as bright as the stock bulbs with these LEDs and different year Explorers used different methods of making the cluster green. Some years had green jackets on the bulbs, and others had a green film on the gauge face. My year had the film on the gauge face so the color of the bulb is what gives the needle its color. I cant find any pictures from when I did the project so I cant really do a writeup. One more thing to keep in mind, the LEDs are polarity sensitive and will only work one way, so make sure you get the positive side of the LED to the positive lead from the cluster.

Hope It helps
 








greyphox

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Keep in mind that the cluster will not be as bright as the stock bulbs with these LEDs

A way around that is to use a lower rated resistor to raise the voltage across the LED (if it can handle it). The LEDs I used under my dash were 10mm 3V. I used 330 ohm resistors and they are pretty bright.

Also, depending on the number of LEDs you have, power supply voltage (be it 12V regulated or a ~ 13.5 - 14V unregulated), and application, you can hook up your LEDs in series or parallel.

Look here for info
http://www.hebeiltd.com.cn/?p=zz.led.resistor.calculator

BTW, MustangP51, nice job :thumbsup: looks very professional
 




MustangP51

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One more suggestion to anyone doing this, Grind off the tip of the LED that will light up the rear wiper switch. I just went back and did this to mine because it wasn't as evenly lit as I wanted it. Now its perfect.
 




scubadogg86

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he good walkthrough p51 i just did all the instruments on my explorer in blue leds and it looks farely well.... thanks again
 




kythri

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What do you use for grinding down the end? Sandpaper, dremel, a file?

Just curious how precise it needs to be.
 




scubadogg86

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a dremel is what i used with a grinding wheel i got a kit at walmart for 30 bucks if you need any other help let me know
 


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kythri

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scubadogg86: You said you did everything blue? What year is your Explorer, and do you have any night pics of the interior all lit up?
 




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