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just replaced all my dashboard lights (pics n links)

LONO100

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03 sport trac XLT
hey all, i just replaced my instrument panel lights. for all those that havent done it yet but need to do it, i posted a link to a youtube video where the guy shows you where all the screws and clips are. it was very helpful, but you have to watch like 6 little videos and figure out the order in which he took the dash apart instead of just making one big video. some tips and thoughts;

the part number for the bulbs you will need is 194. check everythign outside of opening the dash before doing so. you dont want to spend the time to do this if all it is is a loose fuse or something like that.

i was tempted to buy the LED lights, but they cost 10 bucks for two and there are six bulbs you need to change in the instrument cluster and two in the HVAC controls. i stuck with the regular lights for 3 bucks a pair. if anyone has used the LED lights for their panels, please respond and let us know how they worked out for you. i first bought some blue colored bulbs, but when i installed them, they werent nearly bright enough to shine through the gages. they were so dimm, i had to take them back and i ended up just getting the standard clear bulbs. be careful connecting the bulbs back into the back of the cluster panel. the whole backside is a big conductor and you dont want to scratch or crack anything back there. you dont even have to unhook the connectors of the radio, HVAC controls and cluster panel, you can turn them and change the bulbs because there is enough slack on the wires.

again, if anyone has used LED's in their dash panels, please let us know hwo they worked and if they are worth the money. good luck if you have to do this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYQH8Ehvvhw&feature=fvsr

CIMG0451.jpg
 
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BrianDye

I'll have another...
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Some of us have had better luck with LEDs than others, 10$ for 2 sounds like a parts store rip off, order them online for cheaper than standard bulbs.

I got mine off eBay for like under 10$ for all 8 that I ordered shipped. One is starting to flicker, but I didnt clean my contacts in the plugs before I installed them.

There is a night and day difference, SO much brighter, and more vivid.

Ill get pics up when I get home of my 95 and my 00 with LEDs if youd like.
 
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Clusterpup

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Miami, FL
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02 Sport Trac 4x4
Some of us have had better luck with LEDs than others, 10$ for 2 sounds like a parts store rip off, order them online for cheaper than standard bulbs.

I got mine off eBay for like under 10$ for all 8 that I ordered shipped. One is starting to flicker, but I didnt clean my contacts in the plugs before I installed them.

There is a night and day difference, SO much brighter, and more vivid.

Ill get pics up when I get home of my 95 and my 00 with LEDs if youd like.

Throw up some pics of the LEDs, you know we all like pics.
 
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LONO100

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thanks brian,that would really be a big help. If they are as brightas you say they are,itll be worth opening the whole thing back up again. Two questions: do you need any special adapters or pieces to run LED,or do they just plug in like regular bulbs. Also, what color LED are you using for your dash and cluster? I am really partial to blue, have you seen how bright the blue ones get? Thanks again.
 
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Sams01XplrSprt

Southern Cali Explorer
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lono where in the bay area u at. i got my family and friends and my gf living in the bay area.

majority of my family lives in san jose and just one of my uncle's lives in san carlos and my other uncle in los gatos and my friends are all over the bay area and my gf lives in the border line of san jose and morgan hill.

as for me i live in southern cali in newport beach but i come to the bay area a lot to visit.
 
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MidnightRebel07

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I just replaced all the back lights on my gauge cluster because 4 of the 5 were burned out, have to wait 'til it gets alittle darker out to really see. I used MustangP51's project thread, I didn't replace them with blue L.E.D.'s yet but his thread is the best I've seen so far for step-by step instructions and labeled pictures.

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=240166
 
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LONO100

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hey sam, im living out in fairfield right now, that's the next town after you pass vallejo. originally from sf (mission dist.) and i work out in oakland. im out in san jose all the time, i have family that lives in eastside san jose, aka the east LA of the bay area!
 
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MidnightRebel07

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I 'm gonna do the same eventually. I've had 4 of the 5 back lights out for about two years now, turn the lights on last night for the first time and wow I forgot what it was like having dash all the gauge lights was like. Definetely like the bue l.e.d. look though.
 
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cdgjones

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1996 Explorer
We used LED replacement bulbs on a '96 Explorer and WOW it looks great!! We didn't buy enough at first so only half the dash was done, it made the difference between LEDs and regular bulbs stand out. Worth the extra dollars!! Now all the bulbs have been replaced.
 
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OffTrac

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Am I the only one that doesn't like an extremely bright dash?
 
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CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
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Does the dimmer switch reduce the brightness of the LED's?
 
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LONO100

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i like a pretty bright dash, i dont want it to blind me though. that is also a good question posed by cdw, i am wondering if the dimmer controls the leds intensity.
 
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bdmaash

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dimmer controls the intensity just fine
I put in leds a few years ago ( twice), have to be careful with the cheap ebay ones, they burn out since the control circuit isn't good.

I rewired the leds the second time, and installed them (same cheap ebay ones)
 
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MJBALDAUFF

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2003 Explorer Sport Trac -LED Dash Lights

I installed Blue LED dash lights. Got them for about $1 a piece on ebay. The Blue is a little DIM. Lights show up as greenish behind the panel. Acceptable, so I did not order another set. Next time I will install the white LEDs though. They have been installed for about 1-2 years and I have had a couple of burn outs. Definitely keep the extra bulbs if you buy the pack of ten. One of the pack I bought was DOA. I am reading these posts because I am going to go ahead now and reorder the white now when I go back in. I may need to replace both the small and the large ones this time. Two dash bulbs have died. One at the base of the speedometer and the one at the top.
 
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