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hey quick few questions about our dash gauges


Explorer Addict
March 15, 2008
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City, State
Carey, Ohio (Georgia Grown)
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 XLT
hey quick few questions about our dash gauges.. DONE w/ Pics

Ok so my gauges went out, just the light part of the gauges them self... the lights across bottom.. 4x4, abs etc work but none of the gauges. so im looking at doing reverse glow gauges.. anyone done them? are they just lay over or peel off the black?

what power source did you use?

secondly does anyone know what the bulb numbers are for the abs, cel etc. thinking while its off change it over to LED bulbs.

thanks guys.

i tried searching. but all i can find is where people just show the pics of it already done and dont ever talk about it.

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It's pretty common for bulbs to go out about this time, especially if they are all still the old ones from the factory. White face gauges and reverse glow gauges are usually just a thin film that goes in front of the stock gauges, since the mechanicals of the analog gauges are behind the gauge faces, and it'd be quite expensive to replace those with units that also had the mechanicals.

The power source for gauges is usually just the same wire for the gauge bulbs that is hot when the lights are on, or you can just find one that's hot when the ignition is on if you want them on all the time like some newer vehicles.

The gauges and idiot lights all use 194 bulbs. Using Long Life 194 bulbs is a good idea. LED bulbs don't usually give the spread of light you want for gauges, they might be ok for the idiot lights but there's not much point since those bulbs only come on during startup and when there's a problem.

the bottom lights and dummy lights, were just gonna do LED so save a little energy life. the ABS light im pulling. every since i took some of the ABS stuff off, that damn light never shuts off.

so for the glow gauges, just pull the needles and lay over the new onto the old. tap in the ignition hot wire on your light knob puller.

do i have those right?

is the a light behind the gauges or they meant to glow a different way (stock gauges)

Like I said, LED bulbs won't save anything in terms of energy or life in the idiot lights since they don't stay on.

Pulling the needles and replacing them is the hairiest part, you need to do it delicately and take it easy popping those off and pressing them back on, otherwise you can mess the gauges up and the only fix is new gauges. The Explorer gauges might not be as delicate as some others, but still, be careful and treat them like the precision instruments they are.

The reverse glow gauges usually have a wire or power strip for each gauge face that you tap in with to the wires behind the gauges, there is a power wire that goes to the circuit board that powers the bulbs. You can wire it to the headlight switch, sure, but I'd wire it to the power wire behind the gauges, for the fuse protection if nothing else, otherwise put a fuse in line if you wire it to the switch.

The reverse glow gauges illuminate the area around the gauges "indiglo" style, and you don't install the stock bulbs or any other type of illumination:


The white face regular glow gauges use the stock bulbs (or LEDs if you wire them in) behind the gauges, though there seem to be some kits that you do wire in and that use the "indiglo" for the positive part of the gauges:


Personally, I think they are a hassle and a waste except on a show vehicle. Much easier just to get replacement 194 bulbs and put them in, use "superwhite" bulbs if you want something different, or take the green film off the stock gauges if you want to use bulbs of another color.


I got a set like these overlays. They are fairly easy to install. worst part is routing all the wires out of the cluster.

DON'T PULL THE NEEDLES OFF the hole should be big enough for you to slip it on without removing the needle. Also make sure you get them flat as possible. I had to pull mine out twice because the needles would hand on a raised section.
Also if you're concerned about appearence make sure you center them perfect so the white just touches each other. Or you can get a metal trim panel off ebay. Which is what I'm going to do.

i got the ones you ordered, i had them in my last two cars, just for looks, truck is far from show truck as you get, lol.

i wont worry about leds, but i know the lights across the bottom need replaced and abs light removed. hopefully soon it gets here so i can see to drive at night again

hey are all the dummy lights and lights across the bottom of the cluster a 194 white, or is any of them amber or red. i found 194LL at local advance 2 per pack, but they have it in Blue, Red, Amber, White, Soft White, Bright White, Standard White. if they are all white ill just get the 194LL bright white. thanks :D

theyre all 'clear' or white-ish when lit. you could do colored ones to make the colors stand out a bit more, but its not really necessary.
and i agree with anime, leds in there is pointless. unless you never want to change them in 40 years cause of they are hardly ever on lol

i skipped out on the leds and just got standard 194ll bulbs. now when the gauge and bezel get here ill get it all on and be happy, something i wanted to do for a long time... hopefully next is axle finish up

edit: has anyone made the needles glow brighter?

my gauges are on the way. chrome bezel is on its way. found out the gauges came with 4 led bulbs, not sure for what because there was no information on the bulbs. but i was able to pick up the standard bulbs so itll be fresh and relit.

hey how do you remove the entire cluster? i found some problems i need to fix

hey how do you remove the entire cluster? i found some problems i need to fix

Check out the this Thread its on removing the dash but just go as far as removing the cluster.

Be careful cause mine was pretty brittle and a few small pieces broke off but they weren't important thankfully.

ok so finally a week where i could do it and ran into problems... but hey got it all out so i could fix er up. got the dash out etc... here is the back with the new smd super white bulbs

got the reverse glow on the gauges i need to get pics of it, but ill get pics of it all tomorrow day/night

also was bored a while back and needed to test some paints, so did up the dash

board w/ smd bulbs two are missing on purpose its the anti theft light and abs light

smd close up

Dash Trim

Done yay!!

OMG i can see at night to drive!!! made it look cleaner and nicer.. so much better.. haha wife wants it done to the van.

Here are the white gauges in stalled

Them fully installed along with chrome bezel and dash reinstalled


And famous RPM no hole, corrected with poke through.