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Unread 11-10-2011, 01:05 AM   #1
dsy
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Dash LED Color Change

I posted this else where but will put it up here for those that dont go other places.
This is not a full blown walk through of every single step, but more of a guide to show you what is involved if you wanted to do this mod your self. As with any electrical mod, donít yell at me if you hose something up. I had no issues doing this, and its pretty straight forward but you are working with tiny components on a circuit board. And as they always say when messing with your electric stuff "disconnect the battery before you start"
The leds I got from these guys. http://www.oznium.com/plcc-2 Very fast shipping and the leds are not expensive. I bought 40 in case I screwed any up but ended up not wasting one. I changed out 11 on my dash.
For tools I picked up a 15w soldering iron and some of the 62/36/2 rosin-core solder .022 dia. from Rat Shack.
I Think it was around $20. total. You will also need a pair of hemostats or good tweezers to position and hold down the leds while you solder them in place. Unless your very nearsighted I would suggest using a magnifying headset like the one pictured also to be able to do a precise job and to see that you made a good solder joint .
Tools:


This is how the leds come. Just peel back the wrapper and drop them out as you need.


Not going to do an involved walk through on taking the cluster out cause if that is a problem you probably donít want to be doing this anyway. Just remove the two trim pieces under the steering column then remove the two screws that hold the top cover over the cluster. Once screws are out just grab right at the top and pull up a hair and towards you and it will pop right out. Then 4 small bolts hold the cluster in. 3 plugs on the backside to unplug.

Once you have the cluster out you will see the tabs around the outside to release the cover. Just start at the top and work your way around the perimeter. Donít try and push the tabs all the way out all at once. Just push the tab enough that it releases and keep working around. When you get to the last one the clear cover will lift right off. There is actually a set of tabs for each layer of the covers. One for the clear plastic one, one for the part of the cover that makes the tunnels then the white case top. The white cover part also has two tabs through the middle of the board so dont miss those on the back side. You can skip the top clear one if you want but its nice to have it separated so you can give it a good cleaning.
Dont be tempted to spin the needles around with your fingers when its all opened up. If you put the needles back in from the same postion you pulled them out, everything will read correctly once its all plugged back in. If you spin the needles around, it will be a crap shoot on your readings.




I found the easiest way to pull the needles was a couple high tech tools usually found in a kitchen drawer. Just put something down to protect the face of the gauge and push down evenly on both sides to lift the needles straight up. On hindsight I should have taped the paper to the face so I could mark the position of the needles to aid in putting them back in.





After the needles are pulled I used a knife to lift out the retaining rings. There are two different sizes for the top and bottom holes.



This is what you will have after getting it all stripped down



You should be able to tell which leds you want to change out buy just lining up the white cover and noting the locations. The main ones are kind of yellow colored looking so there easy to spot. Once your soldering iron has heated up enough follow the instructions for tinning the iron if its brand new.
I used the tip of my knife under one side of the led at a time to pry up as I touched the contact edge with the iron. It only takes a few seconds
and you can lift up the side your working on. You donít want to get anything too hot.




You will notice one corner of the led has a notch. The new led has to go in the same direction as the old one or it wont work. On the board you
will see a little triangle symbol. the notch in the new led has to face that same direction. The notch on the led does not have to be aligned exactly
with the triangle symbol but it has to be pointed in that same direction.
Once you have both sides of the led lifted off you will see the two little pads where the new one will sit. You can see the feet on the new led how it
will sit. Before putting the new one down, touch the bare pads on the board with the iron for a few seconds and once the old solder turns shinny just touch some new solder to the pads on the board so it mounds up just a little. Thatís all the solder it will take to attach the new led.



Use your tweezers or hemostats to hold the new led where you want it in the proper orientation and then just touch the iron to the side where the
foot meets the board for a few seconds. The contact foot of the led will sink into the solder fast so donít over heat it. As soon as it sinks pull the iron
away and hold the led still for a few seconds till the solder cools enough. Then go the other side and push down on that side as you put the iron to the foot and board at the same time. As soon as it sinks pull the iron away. It will take a little pressure to get that side to go down so donít be afraid to push a little but donít lean on it.



Do that for all the ones you want to replace. Be mindful of where you are maneuvering the hot iron so you donít melt something you donít want to.
I left the leds that illuminate the needles alone cause they are red already, but I replaced all the ones under the sweeps, the blinkers, the bright light indicator and the fog lamp indicator. I put a dbl layer of the stage gel over the bright light indicator to tone the brightness down even more but removed all the other stage gel I had put over the led display windows cause it made the numbers too dim to see good in the day light. It actually took longer to do this write up than it did to do the project.
Again I assume no risk for your work.
Doug :beer:



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Unread 11-10-2011, 01:16 AM   #2
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Great write-up and pics. So are you extremely happy with the results or just ho hum?
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Unread 11-10-2011, 01:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 1222 View Post
Great write-up and pics. So are you extremely happy with the results or just ho hum?
Thanks, No I'm very happy with the results. At night it looks great
It does not look real red in the crappy cell phone pic but in person its a deep red.
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Unread 11-10-2011, 01:52 AM   #4
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Yeah I was wondering about that, but your right, pics of things lighted up just never comes out right.
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Unread 11-10-2011, 03:33 AM   #5
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That looks incredible, if I had any electrical skills I would. Nice work though
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Unread 11-11-2011, 02:45 PM   #6
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Dash Leds

You are a true Jeep Hero to making that change from an ugly, outdated and proven it's one of the worst colors to have for dash lights on a Jeep that deserves more. Awesome Job!!!!!!! one question is how did you get the information screens/numbers and letters (outside temp, compass etc) to red from the green that they are usually?...Thanks for this life changing info...lol
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Unread 11-11-2011, 04:30 PM   #7
dsy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirCody View Post
You are a true Jeep Hero to making that change from an ugly, outdated and proven it's one of the worst colors to have for dash lights on a Jeep that deserves more. Awesome Job!!!!!!! one question is how did you get the information screens/numbers and letters (outside temp, compass etc) to red from the green that they are usually?...Thanks for this life changing info...lol
Yea sorry forgot to mention that part of. While I had the overlay out, I cut out the dark plastic windows that are part of the overlay over the LCD display windows and glued in a piece of red stage gel. I originally started out by just putting a layer of the stage gel between the LCD display and the overlay, but that made the display too dim to see in the daytime. By removing the dark film from the overlay and just running the stage gel it came out just right. I spaced on taking pictures of that part.

Its really a nice mod. The red is very easy on the eyes at night. Everything is red on mine now (blinkers, fog light indicator, high beam indicator) except for the warning lights. I left those stock so they get attention right away.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 09:52 PM   #8
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Wow thats really impressive. I can cut up the jeep but will never fool with the electronics! Nice job!!
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Unread 11-11-2011, 09:54 PM   #9
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that is really cool. i wish i could do that for my WJ only with blue...my stereo has blue lights so i like to keep the theme...but this looks amazing
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Unread 11-11-2011, 11:30 PM   #10
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Hey Bro..i gotta question for ya. On your A-pillar you have a Gauge and two switches; I was wondering if there is enough room between the front of the A-pillar cover and the A-pillar for a standard Gauge? In other words, is the gauge you have there the same size as a standard electronic gauge?
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Unread 11-12-2011, 01:03 AM   #11
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Thanks for the great write-up
It's now in our JK F.A.Q.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 02:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutdigger View Post
Hey Bro..i gotta question for ya. On your A-pillar you have a Gauge and two switches; I was wondering if there is enough room between the front of the A-pillar cover and the A-pillar for a standard Gauge? In other words, is the gauge you have there the same size as a standard electronic gauge?
Sorry did not see this till just now... Yes that is a standard 2" Autometer gauge in a Autometer gauge pod set into a Ruged Ridge A pillar switch pod.
The fit is perfect. 2 1/8" hole saw for the hole, then insert the gauge pod into the hole. The pod has a cut along the bottom side to allow it to expand or contract. It will be a little snug when you insert it into the hole you cut, then when you insert the gauge into the cup it expands the cup and locks everything in pretty good. With out any switches installed you could probably install two gauges there.
Doug
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Unread 11-18-2011, 03:05 PM   #13
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You live in Toledo - would you like to move to Columbus and be my friend?
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Unread 11-30-2011, 03:30 PM   #14
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Just ordered 25 LEDs

Thanks again for the write-up
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Unread 11-30-2011, 03:47 PM   #15
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Great job, will add though, be careful with precision soldering. you can burn through layers if you are not careful.

certified myself, but to be honest, as long as its under warrenty, too scared to even think about it.
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