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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is going to be an ongoing thread to document how to convert every blue led in the interior to red.



I take no responsibility if you attempt this and mess anything up!!!


First off is the Gauge Cluster.

Start by gathering your LEDs and tools. All you need are the LEDs and a short phillips head screw driver. There are 26 LEDs in the cluster to change out. The rest are for warning lights and turn signals and should be left alone. I ordered 50 3528 red SMDs from Mouser. Get them here





This is how the LEDs should come...



Here is the before shot so you can see start to finish!



First remove the two screws above the gauge cluster.



Then reach down and pull the piece with the 3 rubber sections straight towards you. It is tight but it will come out. You may need to move your wheel down to get a better grip.



Next remove the two phillips screws at the bottom of the cluster




Once they are removed pull out the cluster and unhook the two plugs from the back. The tabs to release them are on the top.




After you have the cluster out you need to look at it from the back. There are 8 clips that you need to unsnap to open it up.




After releasing the clips you are left with this.



Turn it back over and release the two white tabs and the gauge assembly will pull away from the black back plate.




Once it is separated you can now pry off the needles. I used a fork to slide under the needles and pry directly up. Once the needles are off the gauge face simply lifts up.




Once you remove the needles and faces you can pull the white housing directly up to remove it from the board. You are then left with only the circuit board. I circled the LEDs that need to be changed.



This is the part where everyone can use their own technique. This is how I did it.

To remove the LEDs I used a pair of tweezers and de-soldered one side at a time.



Once the LED is off I put a small amount of solder onto the pads to make it easier to attach the new one.



I set the new LED down on top of the solder pads and soldered it one side at a time. Make sure you know which side is the anode and cathode. The cathode is usually notched on the SMD LEDs. The circuit board has a picture next to each led to show you which way is goes. The cathode goes in the direction that the arrow is pointing. You will see what I am talking about when you do it.




Once all the LEDs are done you will need to turn your attention to the gauge faces. On the back there is a blueish tint to them. I used lacquer thinner on a rag and rubbed it off. The face on the left has the tint and the face on the right does not.



This is after removing the tint from the other face.




While I was at it I sanded the red off of the needles to make them clear. This is optional and the stock red will work just fine. From this point you need to re-attach the needles. I barely pressed them on and you are able to feel where they stop turning. I moved them to the left until they stopped and then moved the needle back to 0. If they are off any the cluster should auto zero them anyway. Now just assemble everything back together and put it back into the car! Here is mine assembled with the clear needles.


And here is the final product, turned out very nice!



This is with all of the lights on in the garage to give you a better perspective on how bright it is.



Here is a video showing that everything still works like it should.




I also am going to do the radio and AC control but ran out of LEDs. I did the buttons and the rings of the ac control unit. Here is a teaser of the AC control.



I will update this once I get more LEDs and finish the AC control and the radio.


There are 26 LEDs in the cluster, about 40 in the radio, and about 30 in the AC unit.

On a scale from 1-10 I would give this about a 5. It is not hard but it is very tedious and takes a while.


If you have any questions please feel free to ask!








Ok so here is my first major update. I went out for a drive and with the red sanded off of the needles it doesnt illuminate fully and blends in way too much.

I got the idea to take some of the leftover OEM white LEDs and solder them into the spot that lights the needles. I then sanded and painted the back of the needles with white plastidip. I would have used whiteout but all I had was plastidip. Once they were dry I threw it all back together and this is the result. I used the soldering iron to melt the plastic in two spots to hold the needles back together.








And here is a video for you. I dont know why they show up blue in the video but they are very much white.
 

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273 Posts
Wow. This was turned out not that hard to do with some minor soldering skills. YOU sir are a pioneer in the Gencoupe community and I thank you.
 

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Zosyn who?
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Awesome write up!
 

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3.5L TT but wrong body
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Excellent!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for kind words everybody. I got tired of all the speculation about doing this and decided to tackle it myself! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I used a 40w soldering iron and .5mm solder. I can't wait to get some more LEDs and finish it up. I'll post detailed write ups for the radio, AC control, and switches when I do them.
 

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, SJ is the man
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I love DIY's like this where if you have a whole day to kill, it's cheap and makes a huge difference in looks. Well done dude!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am considering painting the back of the needles white and putting some white LEDs under them to see if it turns out decent.
 

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KDM FTW
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Discussion Starter #14
OK so needles are now white and they look AMAZING! I reused some of the OEM LEDs to illuminate the needles and I also painted the back of the needles white. Once it dries Ill have pics for you!
 

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This. Is. Epic. Will be doing it soon, thanks for the DIY man :)
 

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Full-Time Rice Eater
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Mooooooorre!
 
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