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-   -   HOW TO: Create your own red S2 Needles (

ampedout 05-18-2005 11:43 PM

HOW TO: Create your own red S2 Needles
This walkthrough is best suited for those who have removed there instrument cluster before. If you have not, I would search the Complete-How-To in order to completely understand which and how connections etc need to be removed. Overall, itís a very simple process to remove the cluster in its entirety.

Ok, Lets get started..

1) I obtained these clear white needles from the junkyard off of a Ford Contour. You will need them also.

2) Remove the three screws holding the black fascia to the dash.

3) Remove the 4 cluster cover screws and unclip the 4 clips to remove the clear cover.

4) There are 5 screws on the back of the cluster that need to be removed. There is also a number of screws on the front of the cluster as well that you must remove before you pull the cluster out. (I have mine permanently removed for easy access) You grab the whole cluster front that the needles are connected to and pull/ wiggle it outwards. You will hear a creaking sound and eventually the cluster front will become removed as shown in the two pictures below.

5) Separate the housing from everything and prepare to paint it completely red using Krylon Fusion red paint as shown in the picture above. The purpose of doing this is to prevent the white housing from drowning the red light. Paint the housing for best results.

6) Now onto the needles.. Notice the stopper on the stock fuel and temp orange needles? These need to be cut off and transferred to the two small white contour needles. This can be done with Plastic Epoxy or strong super glue. Be patient and hold the stopper in place for a few minutes before letting go. Then let sit for roughly 15 mins to cure. The following pictures depict the final product. NOTE: The short white contour needles for the fuel and temp are too long. I took some off of both to allow them to fit correctly.. To accomplish this, I used a dremel.

7) On the back of the clear contour needles is a white strip of paint. Remove that with an exacto knife and 500 grit sand paper. Clean that off with paint thinner and tape off the whole area. The ONLY thing that will be painted red on these needles are the backside of the needles where the white paint resided so take note. Any excess paint on areas not wanted can be removed with a cue-tip and paint thinner. Note: I would not use acetone as it will eat away at the plastic as opposed to the paint thinner.

8) Now for the replacement bulbs that are red in color. You can buy them from walmart. They are 194R 12v bulbs for roughly 3 dollars each pack. You will need two packs. Install the plastic housing which was just recently painted red and the circuit board, reassemble the back plastic cover to hold the board in place. Then turning counter-clockwise remove the 3 white holders holding the stock white lights. Then, pull out the existing lights and replace them with the three red 194R's. Connect them back to the board by turning clockwise. The following pics depict the final product.
NOTE: Pic above was taken before the white plastic housing was painted red. As to not confuse anyone, this should be red at this point.

9) Reinstall the newly painted needles and reassemble everything as you took it apart.

Final Product

Looks awesome! Perhaps someone could find this sticky worthy. Cant wait to see others do this mod!

The 194 lights come in red and blue in any car store. For those on a budget heres the tally (less common tools etc.)

Krylon Fusion Spray Paint = $5.00
Contour needles = $3.00
Colored lights = $6.00
Superglue = $1.50

FocuzdZX5 05-19-2005 12:05 AM

Very cool mod!!

Chick 05-19-2005 12:14 AM

Very cool.

S2 needles eh? So all Focus's don't have red needles? My 03 does.

Lil PZEV 05-19-2005 01:40 AM

Ash, I think that was one of the changes the 2003 got... grey gauges and red needles were apparently not found in earlier Foci (except the S2 at least), but my 2003 has them as well.

Awesome write-up ampedout, very nice how-to here!

hotfocus 05-19-2005 01:57 AM

Wow dood...awesome write up. You should submit this to the how to section and get some free decals.

S2 05-19-2005 08:44 AM

Nice work on the HOW TO, glad ya posted this up. I'll add it to my HOW TO ARCHIVE, link is in my signature.

Lord Umoja 05-19-2005 01:35 PM

Very nice. I am interested in doing the same thing but with blue needles. My question is can you change the black "cups" thet the needles sit in? I like the "cantilevered" look of the stock focus needles instead of the round bottoms of the contour ones. (must be something to do with my OCD)

ampedout 05-19-2005 05:39 PM

You could. The needles are melt-welded to the base. You can attempt to pry them out without breaking the whole clear needle assembly and glue them back into place with strong super glue. Give it a try and good luck man! I would recommend to anyone, particularly you, to obtain a couple sets of these needles for trial and error reasons.

Decals? Sounds interesting.. Perhaps I could obtain the ones that make coffee in the morning and do my taxes?

Lord Umoja 05-19-2005 06:31 PM

The how-to seems to be very complete so my kudos on that. Just to clarify if I wanted to do this but with blue needles the only things diffrent that I would need would be blue krylon fusion paint, blue 194R bulbs and what paint did you use to paint the clear needles?

ampedout 05-21-2005 01:05 AM

Paint used to paint the needles is the same used to paint the housing.
The blue 194 bulbs will be called 194b for blue. You use the Krylon blue paint for the housing and needles both.

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