How To: Change Your Cluster to Blue L.E.D.s/Incandescent bulbs for $8

Discussion in 'SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech' started by AmBo, Dec 25, 2006.


  1. AmBo

    AmBo Active Member

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    Yea, I'm not giving up on the LEDs lol. I'll let you know how the new tri-power ones are when I get those in this week. :nice:
    #81
  2. san~man

    san~man O-G Founding Member

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    Cool, I just placed my order.
    #82
  3. san~man

    san~man O-G Founding Member

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    I opened up the rear defroster switch (other 2 should be the same: fog light and traction control). They're not hard at all to open up, you just need two fairly small flat head screwdrivers (the type to adjust glasses). Here's what they look like inside. The red circles indicate the connection from the led to the switch. Seems like the led isn't too hard to solder in. You could just cut the old leads out close to the connection to the switch and solder on the new leads.

    Top view:
    [​IMG]

    Side view:
    [​IMG]

    Opposite side view:
    [​IMG]
    #83
  4. san~man

    san~man O-G Founding Member

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    OK guys, I opened up the radio and it doesn't look good:

    It's fairly easy to take out :

    1. 2-8mm bolts hold it in to the dash
    2. The faceplace comes off easy by removing 4-t10 torx bits, 2 on top and 2 on bottom.
    3. Faceplate snaps off after you take out the torxs.
    4. There's one small signal wire that attaches to the faceplate, so when you unsnap it be careful to not let it drop and rip the wire out.
    5. About 8 or so t10 torxs hold the circuit board to the faceplate.

    This is what the circuit board looks removed from the faceplate:

    [​IMG]

    Here's what the LED's look like up close:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, they're SMT (surface mount technology) so they'll be very hard to remove and resolder unless you really know what you're doing and have a REALLY good soldering iron.

    Also, the display is one integrated unit, so that's out too.

    I'm not fuggin with them...my radio will be green until it craps out and I get a new one :notnice:
    #84
  5. SMRcalidiv

    SMRcalidiv Founding Member

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    Ok I went to Pep Boys and bought two red 194's to try out in the HVAC in place of my 5 way LED's, and once again the incandescents are far better. Where before the LED's left the blue or "cool" side of the heat dial completely dark, the incand. lights it up nicely as well as the rest of the symbols. I only wish I had ordered them from superlumination when I got my 74's because the red color is a little different. Hope that helped anyone thinking about ordering bulbs.
    #85
  6. ab 281 gt

    ab 281 gt New Member

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    Damn.. looks like I might have some led's up for sale soon!
    #86
  7. AmBo

    AmBo Active Member

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    I wanna see someone get blue incadescent bulbs and do it first before I buy more LEDs. :nice: someone step up! :p
    #87
  8. ab 281 gt

    ab 281 gt New Member

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    I think I'm about to order some for the gauges, my autometer gauges, and for the HVAC controls..

    Hopefully it doesn't take too long to ship!
    #88
  9. san~man

    san~man O-G Founding Member

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    I ordered mine yesterday (HVAC and cluster incandescent bulbs). If you want to wait, I'll post up when I get them in there.
    #89
  10. slimster

    slimster New Member

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    what is the solution to the green hvac dials though? any ideas? they have that green plastic insert how do change those?
    #90
  11. 2002GreyGT

    2002GreyGT Member

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    So how dark are the needles at night? Anyone trying painting them yet like somone suggested?

    I'm ordering my bulbs today and if my needles are too dull I'll give painting a shot...maybe.

    So what the vote on which bulbs work the best for the dash?

    1. Incadecent?
    2. Single stream LED's
    3. New TRI-LED's

    ~K
    #91
  12. AmBo

    AmBo Active Member

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    Got the Tri-Leds in just now. I'll be putting them in tonight. Check back later. :nice:
    #92
  13. AmBo

    AmBo Active Member

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    The Tri-LEDs light up the needles! :nice: What a difference in the brightness! No hotspots at ALL. Check out the difference in the LED itself:
    [​IMG]

    I tried to get a shot to really show the illumination of the needles and no hotspots. I couldn't. I'm not a photographer. hehe So I decided to whip out the old digi-cam and take a quick video. Take a look at what it looks like. :nice:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2x5oMFc5Ok

    It does make the blue look "white" but it's a deep blue like in the other pics. I know it still looks "dark" but when the camera gets close, that's the best representation of the illumination. The needles are clearly visible. :nice:!
    #93
  14. White97Jimmy

    White97Jimmy New Member

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    Nice! Im gonna have to get me some of those!
    #94
  15. ab 281 gt

    ab 281 gt New Member

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    Looks good!! I'm putting my incandescent bulbs in in just a few minutes. I'll let yall know how it turns out!
    #95
  16. ab 281 gt

    ab 281 gt New Member

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    Hahahaha the damn blue incandescent bulbs were a friggin joke.. The 194's for the HVAC controls still made it look green and it was not very bright. The 74's for the gauges made it appear blue but they were VERY dull..

    If changing your gauges to BLUE, DO NOT USE INCANDESCENT BULBS!!!

    Here are some pics (from my phone so bad quality..) Incandescent bulbs are on the left.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #96
  17. AmBo

    AmBo Active Member

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    That's what I was afraid of! Tri-LEDs ftmfw! :nice:
    #97
  18. SMRcalidiv

    SMRcalidiv Founding Member

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    wow, the tri led's look good. sucks the blue incand. bulbs didnt look as good as the red ones.
    #98
  19. san~man

    san~man O-G Founding Member

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    Yup, the gauges looked so dim, I didn't think they were on at all.

    What a waste of 12 bux lol.

    So, the blue tri-leds work?
    #99
  20. AmBo

    AmBo Active Member

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    blue tri-leds work very nicely. I'd say easily a 50-75% improvement over the single led :nice:

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