How To: Change Dash LED Colors
SO this is a Re-Re-post of the orignal thread posted by RockyNBullwinkle, later re-posted by Madness.
The thread that RockyNBullwinkle originally posted contained the How To in a Word .doc and there have been many people posting links for this fiel over the years. Instead of just continuously re-posting links, I've decided to just put all the info in a thread. This is that thread.
All the credit should go to RockyNBullwinkle. None of this information was written by me. It's a great How To and awesome mod.
HOW TO: Dash LED Colors
DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY: The author of this How-To document and the hosting site is in no way to be held liable for any personal property loss or damage. Though these modifications have been attempted by many and they have been successful, we can not be held liable for each personís lack of skill or malfunction of recommended tools. This mod requires skill of unsoldering and soldering, use of dremel tool, use of acetone as a molding agent for plastic parts. The tools recommended must be used properly or they can cause bodily injury not limited to: electrocution, lacerations, third degree burns, eye injury and loss of limb due to blood loss.
The following methods are open to revision and are NOT the only way that you can do these modifications. These are the methods that I felt were easiest.
Parts Sources were www.Lc-led.com (PowerTops)
Radio Shack for resistor, Ace Electronics of Houston for small SMD's and Ultrabright 5mm Diodes.
The parts that are required: Powertops and 3mm LED's from LC-LED.com
List of Tools REQUIRED!!
Before you begin analyze your needs. You will be needing parts of course. Take inventory of your tools and ensure they all work properly before touching this mod. Take a look at the parts list and ensure youíve taken into account human error and that you have at least two spares of each item.
I did this order to keep my vehicle available for use as my daily driver.
1st Head Unit
2nd HVAC BUTTONS not the HVAC cluster the BUTTONS
3rd Heated seats and Traction control switches (in front of the e-brake handle)
4th Moon roof switch
5th Window and lock switches
6th Headlamp switch
7th HVAC (Cluster) controls
Before we begin unsoldering anything take note of your Head Unit. Is it an Audiophile, does it have a security key? If it does be very careful because there is a receiving diode that you will NOT take off. This is used to receive light from the diode sitting directly to its left from the optical prism within the key. You can identify this diode by its color, it will appear to be gold or brown. Place a piece of tape over this one so you donít accidentally remove it.
Unsoldering now begins.
Solder on the new.
b) There should be enough solder left on the board that you can tack one side (tacking is a technique that involves very little solder and very little duration of applied heat)
c) Once one side is tacked down, I took a pair of needle nose to apply pressure to the top as I tack the other side.
d) Once both sides are tacked I go back over and use more solder to secure the connection. Not really required if youíve already got adequate coverage of solder.
Test the lights first before reassembly. My method is not recommended for beginners. Reapply the face to the unit without the screws inserted and without the plastic face cover. Turn on your lights and they should light up. After verifying they work properly Reassemble the LCD cover before placing the plastic face on the board.
Heated seats and Traction Control
Reassemble once done soldering and verifying you have the clearance needed.
Moon Roof Button
Windows and Lock Switches
- b) Remove the WHITE or GRAY axle by inserting a small slotted driver in between the outside of the case and the axle
- c) DONíT PRY UNDER THE AXLE YOU WILL BREAK IT. Bend the outer case out slightly until the axle falls out on its own.
- d) There are two brass shims that sit in the switch, DONíT LOSE THESE they are used to actuate the switch
(Picture was taken after the application of the Matte Finish)
Lighting of the Cluster
There are two methods. I have individually lit each symbol using an LED for each symbol. The tempature side does not require LEDís as I did not paint over them. See the diagram for proper use of LEDís with resistors for this application.
The other method ivolves only 4 LEDís, acrylic rod to simulate an optic cable a heat gun to bend the rods into place. The LED sources are used at both side of the optic cable to supply light through the whole rod. Youíll bend two rods, one for the number side and one for the middle Vent control dial.
I surprised that no one has responded to this yet, I did this earlier this year and it's a great mod to do. I can add details from my experience later on if you want.
Yeah definitely. Yet to do it myself so i cant really add any input haha, hope to try sometime this summer. I'd love to have all blue LEDs
I kind of wanted to make another set so and take better pics one day. Plus I wanted to test mine to make sure it lasts.
Since they had the hard to find LEDs for the sunroof, I just ordered everything from this one place http://lighthouseleds.com/led-component-lighting.html
And a resistor calculator if you need or want to change resistors, I used 1/4 watt resistors. http://ledcalc.com/#calc
-The HVAC buttons, and Euro clock use SMD PLCC-2 LEDs. HVAC buttons x6 total (Clock x2)
-The sunroof button uses 0805 SMD (x2), have fun with those LOL…
-The headlight switch uses 3mm dome top LEDs. x8 for fogs / x7 for non-fog switch. The two LEDs in the window lock out switch for the 4-door are dome top. The heated seat "ON" LED also uses dome tops.
-Every other button uses 3mm flat top LEDs, so just buy a load of those.
-If you want to change the color of both LEDs in the heated seat buttons use a resistor on each LED. Or else the button will gradually dim as the seat gets warmer. [facepalm]
The three LEDs for the illumination in the headlight knob will blow guaranteed in a few days if you don’t add your own resistor in the circuit. You can also solder the three LEDs with their own resistor on top of the circuit board.
Or you really could add a resistor to the stock circuit like my buddy did, but I think most people would understand this.
For the HVAC dials I just made a template, and you don’t have to sand or grind the green filter off if you want to use blue. Plus with the LED being so close to the lens you don’t get a turquoise-ish color; I used 3mm flat tops.
This one is the most time consuming no mater what method you try.
Stock symbols, no strange looking alien spacecraft symbols here... and this is the time to touch up any chips.
For the trunk release I drilled two small holes and put the LED in like so, then I put the resistor on the wire and spliced it to the headlight switch. (It does show a reflection high-up on the windshield, it bothered me at first but now I don’t even notice it.)
Here’s my how-to for the SVT power seat, the switch is basically the same as the locks and passenger windows.
This looks great! Nice to see some pictures of it finished. cant wait to get started.
Also thanks for posting the LED/resistor sizes, that helps out a lot.
About the resistor sizing I calculated for 14.4v the calculator says 16v to be safe. Just don't do 12v, alternators don't generate 12v. Also, use the smaller number in the Forward Voltage in the LED specs, (such as 1.8-2.0v) punch in 1.8 in the calculator.
I have a question about these led conversions, i started this conversion today and did both windows switched (3 Doors focus 1) the right single siwtch works fine, but the driver side switch doesn't work well.
Most of the time one led goes off then later its on again and both randomly fluctuate, also if i press the up button for my window one led turns off ?
I hope you guys know what the problem is i tried the switch with and without resistors, same result dont get it.
^^ I had the same problem, the drivers window switch doesn't like being taken apart.
If you removed the circuit board out by loosening the "clamp" contacts and squeezed them back when done they won't make a good connection anymore no mater how good you try to squeeze them back. So I put a little solder the six contacts after the circuit board on and I haven't had a problem.
quick question... I was reading a post where they put red film paper behind other lights to make them red or blue or whatever the desired color... could I do that with all the lights instead of installing new different colored LEDs? would that be an easier beginners way to get all the interior lights red? just scratch off the green on the back of everything and put red see through film above the lights?
MOST of the icons are clear with green colored LEDs, so colored film wont work.
The gauge cluster and HVAC faces are the only things that have green film.
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