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How to change the color of your gauge cluster

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How to change the color of your gauge cluster

Postby bitshox53 [OP] » Dec 30 2019, 1:54am

Here is a very basic step by step guide I decided to write because I was bored and thought it *might* help someone if they have a burned out CEL like I did. This would also work if you wanted to change the color of your gauge cluster but I didn't do that because I enjoy what little sanity I have left :lol:

Total cost: ~$30 if you do not own a soldering iron
~$10 if you do

Difficulty: Medium (Very tiny LED)

Step 1: Go to the bay and search for "Yellow 3528 SMD LED diode". If you are changing the color of your gauge cluster simply choose whatever color you would like in place of yellow.
Note: You will probably need to buy a 100 count as they do not have single LEDs.

Step 2: Disassemble gauge cluster by removing the face then unscrewing the back. Next, you will need to mark the needle location with tape and a marker to ensure they are accurate when you place them back on.

Step 3: Find your either burned out/removed light and clean up the leads once the old led is removed. Be sure to be very careful with the leads as they may tear loose from the pcb board.

Step 4: locate the indented corner of the new led and the little white dot on the board. These two must go together on the board or else the led will not illuminate.

Step 5: Add a small bit of solder to one side of the lead and gently press the led in while it is still a liquid. You may have to heat the lead and press at the same time. The face of the led is also prone to breaking so be careful with using sharp instruments to press it down. Next just add solder to the other lead to secure the connection.

Step 6: Test the board by either plugging it into a power supply or simply by plugging it into the vehicle. If the light turns on then you're good to go. If not, ensure that the leads did not tear off and that the led is facing the right way. If are having trouble with which way the led needs to face, look at the other leds (they look similar) on the board.

Step 7: Once you have confirmed everything is working as it should, begin to reassemble everything again. I would also advice cleaning the dials as well as they may have gotten either oily or dirty with the cover off.

I believe that is everything. Again, I just installed a new CEL but the LEDs for the rest of the cluster look to be the same so it should be the same process for both. If there is anything I missed in this process feel free to add it in the replies!
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Re: How to change the color of your gauge cluster

Postby GBSierraSLE » Dec 30 2019, 2:40am

One thing that would be REALLY helpful is pictures showing the details of what you are doing.
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Re: How to change the color of your gauge cluster

Postby bitshox53 [OP] » Dec 30 2019, 2:44am

GBSierraSLE wrote:One thing that would be REALLY helpful is pictures showing the details of what you are doing.


Yes, unfortunately this was sort of an afterthought and I just finished putting my dash back together today :(
If anyone needs any help though I will try my best to assist.
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Re: How to change the color of your gauge cluster

Postby RivGuy » Dec 30 2019, 4:34am

Thanks for the Tip. The LED diode P/N may come in handy for me and others in the future.

The R&R of the LED sounds pretty straight forward. Did your cluster come with a yellow back lighting.?
Or did you change it.?

I don't even know what the back lighting color is on my instrument cluster. I'll have to pay more attention to details like that.
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