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I recently picked-up an '05 Silverado for an upcoming project build. I was quite surprised at how many interior lights were burned out. It seems like literally half of everything is out... HVAC, dash lights, steering wheel, door panels.... all of it has about half the lights working. Weird. Chevy thing?

Anyways, I love the truck thus far otherwise. Seeing how others have had great success with the LED swaps, I figured it was time to do it myself. I've got hundreds of LED's in my office from previous projects over the years, though very few of the flat top ones, which seem preferable for this application. Ordered 100 blue LED's from Amazon on Thursday night, received them today (Saturday). Didn't take much time to perform the actual soldering. One LED failed upon power-up, but that was quickly replaced. I went ahead and setup a power supply on my desk so I could work on it in the comfort of my office while testing it. ;)

Another issue with the dash was the gear selector display (PRND321) was not working. From forum reading, it seemed to be a common problem with the 511 resistors coming unsoldered. Sure enough, that was my problem as well. Using a small screw driver, I lightly pried on the sides of them to test for bad connections and a few actually lifted up with minimal pressure (which definitely should NOT happen when properly soldered). I went over all 7 of them to ensure solid contact. A quick run out to the truck to test it proved the fix to be successful!

Ok, picture time...

Right off the bat, here are the before and after photos of the dash. Notice that my needle alignment is pretty much on par! (sans the RPM gauge)
stock_dash.jpg

finished.jpg


The blue LED's I got off Amazon for $8.88... bag of 100 (I usually get them for just a few $ from China, but I didn't want to wait this time!). The 475 ohm resistors were $5 from a local company.
leds_resistors_475.jpg


The first fix was the PRND321 display. You can see the 511 resistors circled in blue. The brownish marks around them is just the residual flux from soldering.
resistor_fix.jpg


Prior to removing the gauge needles, I was very careful to rotate the needles fully counter-clockwise, then marked where they were pointing. I know this isn't a 100% way to do it, but it works.
needle_line.jpg


This is right after soldered the blue LED's in. As can be seen, one of them has failed and subsequently was replaced.
dash_blue_leds.jpg


For powering the board, you can use the denoted pins... one is ground (pin A12), the other (pin A11) can be fed anything between 0-12 volts or so. Pin A11 is the "Instrument Panel Lamps Dimming Supply Voltage", so you can simulate the trucks dimming feature simply by changing the input voltage. I had a handy digital voltage regulator (buck converter) that allowed me to do just that.
connector.jpg
 

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Awesome project there. I wish I had the skills to do stuff like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
esox07 said:
Awesome project there. I wish I had the skills to do stuff like that.
Thanks! It's really just a matter of doing some research ahead of time, then jumping in. This was my first time, but it went pretty smoothly. Though seems one of my LED's (for battery indicator) came unsoldered during installation, but I'll just live with it for now. Still a huge improvement from where I was at!
 

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I did this led swap this past weekend, very easy mod. The only thing I did not count on was the gauges lighting up blue even though the led's I used clearly lit up white when I tested the cluster before putting everything back together. I know for some that would be ok but I was just hoping for white.
What can I go back and change to make the gauges light up white?
Thanks
 

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I swapped in white LED's this past weekend, that was that seems to have been the easy part. Now the gauges lite up blue which is not what I was after. I would prefer the white instead. The LED's I used do not appear to have any hint of blue when on. One company I spoke with said I needed to buy a new metal face from them in order to have white backlighting again since to OE gauge face has a blue tint on the back that cannot be removed. Anyone else had this issue? When I look online at all the vendors that sell these LED's dash conversion kit's I always see white as well as the blues, greens, reds, etc. How do they do it? Any help would be great.

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The stock overlays have blue silk screened (or equivalent) onto the back of the overlay for the numbers and hash marks. With stock bulbs it is barely noticeable but with LEDs it's probably amplified because of the more direct light.

If you want it all white, and it will be bright, you can remove the blue mask. You can sand it off with fine sandpaper and clean it up with alcohol, or you can go the faster but more risky route. :lol:

With a cloth on the tip of your finger, barely wet it with lacquer thinner and rub the blue off quickly then immediately wipe it with a dry paper towel. The risky part is if you get any thinners on the front of the overlay it will make a mess of it, so be careful near the openings in the overlay.

Have fun
 

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Looks great. I am having this done in my '03 this weekend. New blue needles, color change on the message board and shift indicator, steering wheel controls, HVAC, 4wd shift buttons, headlight controls, etc. White LED will go in everything. I am excited to get it done.
 

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GMT604 said:
The stock overlays have blue silk screened (or equivalent) onto the back of the overlay for the numbers and hash marks. With stock bulbs it is barely noticeable but with LEDs it's probably amplified because of the more direct light.

If you want it all white, and it will be bright, you can remove the blue mask. You can sand it off with fine sandpaper and clean it up with alcohol, or you can go the faster but more risky route. :lol:

With a cloth on the tip of your finger, barely wet it with lacquer thinner and rub the blue off quickly then immediately wipe it with a dry paper towel. The risky part is if you get any thinners on the front of the overlay it will make a mess of it, so be careful near the openings in the overlay.

Have fun
Thanks GMT604,
That gives me a place to start. All i have gotten from various vendors is that I have to purchase a new gauge face, but they cannot provide the stock black for an 07 classic w/ trans temp, just every other color under the sun. I'm older and like things simple what can I say.
 
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