Thread: How To: Change Cluster LEDs on 04+ Photo-guide (pics now repaired)

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1 How To: Change Cluster LEDs on 04+ Photo-guide (pics now repaired) 
    I can't car too good. SaukRapids's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    1,035
    Thanks (Received)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    3
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    1376
    So, your dash kinda looks like this without the boost gauge pointed out. You could be a bit tired of it. Maybe you want something easier on the eyes at night.



    First, youíll need some LEDs. (Edit: You can search PLCC-2 SMD LED, or something like ďLED 1210/3528 (color choice)" This seems easiest to find as many colors as possible.) The four pad ones marked "PLCC-4" are incorrect.

    Note: I believe the LEDs I ordered show up as 1000 mcd brightness. I donít think this is correct. This is important because at 1000, it might be way too bright. Iíve found parts the exact same part number that show them in the 300-400 mcd range. I'd try to keep the brightness about there. These are what I used - http://lighthouseleds.com/catalogsea...ex/?p=1&q=1210



    Youíll need a decent iron and some solder. My joints came out functional and sturdy, but not pretty at all. Lol (see below)

    Note the notched corner on the LEDs. These are for polarity and need to be in the upper right corner assuming you are viewing the board the way it goes in the car.



    Itís been suggested to look for no-clean solder because the flux comes off more easily. I used Wal-mart rosin core, and youíll see the bit left on the board even after rubbing alcohol. The iron I used was a Weller WPS18MP. There are much better ones. I just used what I had, including a damp microfiber cloth to clean my iron. It was like .88 and went in the garbage can after.



    Ok, to start youíll need to follow the directions from the following link to remove the gauge cluster. Youíll go up to Step 9. My only advice here is in Step 8 find the marked section above the cluster in the guide, instead of grabbing at the top, follow the edge down to two tabs the lower dash panel go into. Pulling those is easier than trying to grip the top edge for removal. http://www.atthetipwebs.com/technolo...ctions/hud.htm

    Once the clusterís out, look at the edge for several black plastic tabs. One side holds the plexi cover, and the other holds on the back plate. Set those aside for cleaning being careful not to get a bunch of stuff in the glass side.



    Separate the board from the housing by pressing the clear plastic tabs while lifting the board after you remove the needles. Try not to flex the board. The clear plastic will stay attached to the gauge backing.



    The needles need to be marked (small arrow in the pic shows a tiny ink mark). I came across a ďguideĒ for installing different colored gauge backgrounds. I believe an alignment tool is used in the hole marked with the large arrow for those, which are probably worth a second look to match your color scheme.



    The motor shafts are actually pretty hard to bend, but still be careful.



    Now, in that guide was a difficult to read procedure for the needles. Itís actually much easier.

    Needles OFF: All the motors have stops. I turned my needles all the way left, careful not to force the needle past its stop. Mark it there. Pull them off with fingers or a tool. Donít bend the shafts.

    Needles ON: Start the needles much too high on the dial. Barely set them back on, just enough to stand. Turn them left, waiting to feel the shaft stop. With the shaft still stopped, gently guide the needle to its low mark. Hold steady with the other hand and just push them all the way down. They wonít bottom out or anything.

    Next, I apologize for this uhm, map I guess. Itís a little messy, but it does mark out the illumination LEDs in blue and red marks. There are a total of 25 LEDs for illumination. Thereís a clearer pic of the stock red LED locations below. The orange drawing are the indicators. Above the TCS light on the left is the Up Shift light for Tapshift. I donít know whatíll happen if your car isnít equipped, but you can simply cover it with tape.*





    *
    I was also made aware that apparently there are models in which the ABS light on this cluster will stay illuminated. I think that was if your car doesnít have ABS brakes? Again, it can be covered with tape. My current LEDs are covered from a bad ABS module. However, THIS IS UNSAFE. Please follow your operatorís manual and all that.

    Here are a few solder points that are a little tight. Be careful for heat soak to nearby components. The motor in the pic is the speedometer.



    I don't have pictures of the actual soldering because well, I only have two hands. So...

    To remove stock LEDs: I tried adding solder first, then heating while lifting with a tweezers. Adding solder is unnecessary. It was easier to heat one side while lifting with tweezers. The stock LED will lift on one side, bending the foot on the other. I did that all around each section first, so I had 8 LEDs partially lifted on the left gauge, for example. I then went back around and picked up the LEDs with the iron and set them in the towel.

    To mount new LEDs: I used my old, bad habit way of doing this. There has to be a better guide on how to hand solder SMDs with proper pictures. Anyway, what I did was clean off one pad as best I could with quick flicks of the iron to remove solder. I later found solder wick. I then tinned the other pad with a bit of solder. I didnít want a huge glob or big bubble, just a dab. I held the LED with a tweezers and attached it to the tinned pad, pressing down a little to flatten it out best I could. Then I soldered the other pad.

    Testing: I did this a whole bunch and it gets to be a PIA. I would suggest taking out the bare board to your car for the initial test(s). Also, the header on mine didnít need to be fully seated for it to power the cluster. Pressing that tab so many times on the harness wasnít the best for it.



    I ended up using a bit more tape because the edges lifted. I used two colors of LEDs, green and blue. Here is the picture of my final LED pattern/placement. I changed out the MPH and Seatbelt lights too. The circled color changes are my final placement after more tinkering. The red circle's around the Seatbelt and MPH lights.



    This is how it'll look without painting the needles. I went to the trouble of edging them later with flat black Testors after a little 1500 grit. That cut the purplish light that followed the RPM needle around. You probably wouldnít need to edge the whole thing, just the thick part I think would work.



    And this is how mine looks with the needles edged. I may tip them with flourescent blue or white.



    (Edit: Painting only the thick part is definitely an improvement. I suggest trying that first.)






    As always, your mileage for the process may vary. Have fun and good luck!
    Last edited by SaukRapids; 07-06-2017 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Afterthoughts.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2. Advertisement




  3. #2 Re: How To: Change Cluster LEDs on 04+ (photo-guide) 
    GT Level Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    lebanon ohio
    Posts
    338
    Thanks (Received)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    5
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    0
    Just wanted to say thanks for write up. Just did mine and came out great! Thanks again!
    07 base tinted windows led tails new wheels spo grills spo spoiler retrofit projectors transgo shift kit overkill tune inferno lip special edition rear lip 2.5 cat back dual exhaust
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3 Re: How To: Change Cluster LEDs on 04+ (photo-guide) 
    I can't car too good. SaukRapids's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    1,035
    Thanks (Received)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    3
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    1376
    I came back to edit this, and wow.. someone used it.

    Nice!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4 Re: How To: Change Cluster LEDs on 04+ (photo-guide) 
    I live here. Below Average Joe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    'Merica
    Posts
    7,356
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1
    Dislikes (Received)
    1
    Chats
    22776
    Also, to remove the solder easier you can use a de-soldering pump. Here is what I have used in the past.

    https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/88552732

    I also use this soldering station.

    https://www.amazon.com/Weller-WES51-.../dp/B000BRC2XU
    Quote Originally Posted by Sven The Sexman View Post
    Bill had a major role in all of the Star Wars movies; he was the force.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5 Re: How To: Change Cluster LEDs on 04+ (photo-guide) 
    GT Level Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    lebanon ohio
    Posts
    338
    Thanks (Received)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    5
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    0
    Yes I did. Never did much soldering before just took my time came out great. It was well done write up you did. Thanks
    07 base tinted windows led tails new wheels spo grills spo spoiler retrofit projectors transgo shift kit overkill tune inferno lip special edition rear lip 2.5 cat back dual exhaust
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6 Re: How To: Change Cluster LEDs on 04+ (photo-guide) 
    I can't car too good. SaukRapids's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    1,035
    Thanks (Received)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    3
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    1376
    Thanks for the feedback, guys!

    If you don't want to do this yourself for whatever reason (no time, equipment, experience, etc.) there's a guy on the FB groups selling them. Looks like he knows what he's doing because he has several photo's of excellent work. There are a couple concerns though, at least to me.

    He has a Canadian plate on his ride (also exemplary, btw.) That's good for friends north of the border, but shipping may be a factor. Especially, if you want your original cluster back. I'm not sure what he's charging, but he seems open and up front about it.

    It would cost a little under $100 to do this yourself; that's including one extra cluster and LEDs.

    You can find him by looking for a 3800 group member with "Steven Leafnation John" fb profile name. Good enough then, thanks!
    Last edited by SaukRapids; 07-06-2017 at 12:49 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7 Re: How To: Change Cluster LEDs on 04+ Photo-guide (pics now repaired) 
    I can't car too good. SaukRapids's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    1,035
    Thanks (Received)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    3
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    1376
    There's still some interest in this from fb. Mine's been working well since the project. No flickers or strange things.

    The guy that did these crashed his car and left the 3800 scene probably later in 2017, when this was last updated.

    I wouldn't suggest trying to make any money on them these days. Clusters are cheap at 20 bucks a pop on any junkyard.

    You could try this yourself like 4 times for under $75. (3 at the yard + 1 in your car + LEDs, etc)

    That's all I got.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8 Re: How To: Change Cluster LEDs on 04+ Photo-guide (pics now repaired) 
    GT Level Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    lebanon ohio
    Posts
    338
    Thanks (Received)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    5
    Dislikes (Received)
    0
    Chats
    0
    Itís is really not too hard to do just time consuming. Mine are still just working also since I did mine. Thanks again for write up!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. Likes SaukRapids liked this post
  11. Advertisement




Similar Threads

  1. Cluster change, will gxp cluster work in a gt? "2007gp"
    By szalajka05 in forum Audio, Security & Visual Electronics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-25-2011, 12:02 AM
  2. instrument cluster change out to a gxp
    By tankrc in forum 04+ Specifics
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-07-2011, 05:04 PM
  3. intake gasket change guide
    By 94grandprix in forum 3.1L V6 (LHO/LG8)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-08-2011, 07:38 AM
  4. Cluster light change
    By J06GT in forum Audio, Security & Visual Electronics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-21-2010, 09:33 AM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •