Reference Manual

Chapter 6: LED Instrument Lighting

Article by: Sebastian Ducasse

LED lighted cluster

Parts required:

  • 4 x 5mm high intensity (color of choice) leds
  • 4 x resistors the rating would be these following colors codes from left to right; yellow, violet, brown, gold. Now if i did my math right should be  Resistance: 470 Ohms Tolerance: 5% (you need to use them so that you donít burn out the leds and they last longer too.

    Resistor value can vary depending on the LED, this page I find helpful for determining the proper resistor value (Ed.)
  • 22 gauge wire.
  • Shrink tubing.

    The Procedure:

    The first thing to do is remove the cluster from the dash.

    cluster removed

    Once you have the cluster out you will need to remove the front plastic cover and the black metal one.

    mask removed

    Then you need to carefully remove the gauges from the plastic case.

    gauges removed

    Remove all the bulbs you won't need anymore

    Now you will need to assemble your LEDs. Take an LED and figure out what side is positive and the other negative. The longest leg of an LED is positive (anode; a), and the shortest leg is negative (cathode; k).
    Another way of checking which side is positive or negative is by looking on the side on the LED. The side that has a flat side on the bottom is the negative side / leg.

    typical LED

    Now you need to solder the resistor to the anode leg ( very important that you use one resistor per led, the rating I gave is for only one led ).

    LED connections

    Then run 2 lengths of wire from the ends, and use shrink tubing so as to not have any contact between each leg. What I did is run one tube around one leg then the next tube around both legs so I looks like this:

    LED wires

    Now I would suggest you test you LEDs before you close everything up by using a 9 volt battery (only do this if you have the resistors on).

    Now once you have made at least 4 of em you can run your LEDs in the cluster case, you can put what ever way you want but I found this was the best for me:

    LED placement LED placement LED placement LED placement LED placement

    Now I would suggest you test your LEDs before you close everything up by using the 9 volt battery

    Once you have placed your leds all the wires should come out here:

    power wire out of cluster

    I painted the inside of my metal cover black on one side and white on the inside to help reflect the light better:

    mask removed

    Now close it all back up, do one more light check with the 9 volt battery and then put back in the dash

    And run them to your power source thru here:

    power wire routing

    Run your power to any 12v source ( I used a block off my fuse box ) and a good ground as well

    I put this together based on my own experience and in no way take resposibiliy for damages this may cause on your dash cluster if you are not in any way comfortable in doing this on your own ... i suggest you dont.

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