Installed Reverse Indiglow Gauges Today!! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Installed Reverse Indiglow Gauges Today!!


October 23, 2003
Reaction score
City, State
west springfield, ma
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 xlt
First of all, im going to post pics. tomarrow.

If you are thinking about getting the the reverse glow gauges, but you dont want to go through the hassle of putting them in you should get them. They were really easy to put in.

First, you just remove the panel that surrounds the gauges and your head unit(pull gently and it just pops out), and there are two 7mm screws on the inside of the ashtray you have to remove, once you remove them pull out the ashtray and unplug the harness behind it, if you have 4 wd you have to unplugg the harness in the back of the switch also. You might, on an automatic put the shifter into 1st gear to get the panel off. Also you might have to remove your head unit, I diddent have to though.
Now that the panel is off you are looking at the clear plastic piece that goes over the gauges, there are 7 or 8 torque screws, i belive they are T15 or T20 i cant quite remember. But remove all of thoes and the clear plastic cover will come off, after that you can just pull off the black plastic border that goes around the gauges also. Now you are ready to put the new gauges in.

With the reverse glow gauges from you did not have to remove the needles:) . The gauges just slide over the needles, so slide all the gauges on in the correct spot and now it gets kind of tricky. The speedometer gauge fits in perfectly so I lined up the other ones up with that one. The tachometer had 3 screws in it that the new gauges did not have, and the tach would of gotten stuck. So I removed the three screws to see what happend and the tach gauge was still stirdy. I got thoes two gauges where i wanted them and i used some duct tape around the outsides where when you put it toghether you wouldent see the tape. I tried to do it without the tape but they just kept moving. The gauges dont fit perfectly, there is a small space in between each gauge, I dont know why. now thoes gauges are done so you can move on to the smaller ones.

With the smaler ones you have to move the needles around to get the gauges to slip over, dont worry that wont effect the readings of the gauges at all. Thoes are allittle tricky to line up also but get them in the spot where they look the best and tape the outside edges so they stay in place.

Now on the botton of the gauges where the wires go into the gauges there are little stubs and you might have to bend them to get the gauges to line up easier. Now that all the gauges are secured i ran the four wires across the top of the light buld channels and I ran them down the steering colum hiding them.

You can start putting the console together, dont forget the black trim, that goes on before the clear plastic sheild( I forgot about it so i had to take allof the swrews back out. Put thoes two items on and make shure you dont over tighten the swrews they will snap. Dont put the panel on though because you still have to take the head lamp switch out.

The head lamp switch comes out by taking the rear wiper switches out, they just pull out. And behind them there are two torque swrews holding the switch in place. The torque screws are the same size as the torque screws you had to remove before. Now you might have to angle the switch to get it out.

The wiring can be an opinion part but i will tell you what i did. On the back of the switch I found an orange wire with a black stripe and that only has power when the switch is on so I stripped it and I soldered the red wire of the switch the gauge comes with( you are going to have to run the wire up from the back of the panel to hide the wire) Then I couldent find a ground that I like up by the switch so I got another piece of wire and extended the ground wire so it reached the bottom of the steering colum where there is a bracket around the steering colum. there is a 12mm bolt and I just loosend it and squesed the wire in between the pieces of metal and i tightned it. Now the power and ground is all set tape up all parts of wire showing with electrical tape.

Now the four wiresyou routed down the steering colum from the gauges plugg into female pluggs that is attached to the switch that is attached to the positive and negative leads. Once you plugg in the all the four pluggs turn the lights on and see if they work. I they work your golden, and you are ready to go.

You can now take the wires that are showing in the floor and you can hid them where ever you want and you can install the switch.

install the last panel, dont forget the electric pluggs on the back of the ashtray and the 4wd switch, pop in the panel buy pushing on it gently. And reinstall the head unit if you had to take it out.

Now you have some sick new gauges that glow blue or green. any questions or concerns ill try to answer them

And again I will have picks tomarrow


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Oh yea its a first generation explorer

my beef

Nice write up. I have mine sitting in my non heated garge just waiting for the weather to warm up so I can put them in.

On the tach those three screws hold in the needle and stuff in back so as soon as the needle comes loose or iyou take it off all the brains of the tach moving will fall out back. I laid the tach gauge over the existing one and just poked tiny holes where the screws were then i put the screws Through the gauge and tightened them in the right spot i could not manage 2 get the top one in because it would of been screwed through some of the electrical part of the gauge so i just screwed the 2 on good luck everyone.

Pictures? Trying to get these new ones installed "ASAP" with a nice wiring that'll last longer than a month.. but you did use the light switch, either way, pictures! :p

I just put mine in, too. I'm not pleased with the quality of them. First of all, "check engine" light is in the wrong place, and also the light with picture of the guy in the seat that comes on when you start the truck is facing the wrong way. Also, the entire thing is a little off. Some parts are a hair to high, others too low. Not well done at all. Mine's from

Seems like a popular project these days. I just finished installing the reverse white guage faces in the bezel. I quickly hooked up the wires to check alignment and all appears well. All the symbols, lights, words, etc line up just right.
I need to install the whole instrument cluster tomorrow. The only fear I have is about the power transformer...wires. I hope I am one of the lucky ones that has a good transformer??!! Seems too many people on here have had their boxes burn out too soon. I checked my wiring carefully so all should stay working well. I guess we will see.............
BTW..I got my reverse glow guage faces from E-Bay too. Some place called MakoAutoTrends...something like that. The faces themselves are real nice...very crisp.

I just installed mine the other day too! They look sweet, a definite plus for interior enhancement :cool: . I used a wire tie to hold the inverter up against the steering column, below the dash, but it would sort of get in the way of my foot around the brake pedal. I cut the original tie and used another tie to hang it from a wire higher up behind the dash. It's out of the way now, but now my gauges won't light up! :eek: I can still see at night but it's a just a little aggrivating knowing that I'm gonna have to take apart the dash all over again, after I had just put it back together the day before :mad:. Any ideas on what might be the problem??

Can you guys post some pics of ur gauges installed , and lit up?

like was said, for me it was just time consuming really... And if you want to color your needles, do it when you have everything tore apart... cuz you wont want to go through the hassle again... And make sure to do it right so to speak, I used a multimeter to find out whats what on the dimmer, and tapped into the factory switch, so It lights up, dims, and works just like stock :D

I have a couple of white faced guage pics on here, one with the lights on.