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Modding the 01-04 instrument cluster w/LED's? need advise..

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Old 11-17-2009, 12:47 AM   #1
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Modding the 01-04 instrument cluster w/LED's? need advise..

I've got a 2002 with 145K and a bulb has burnt out on the cluster.. (fuel gauge side)

I'd like to replace all the bulbs with LED's and here are my questions..

I believe the cluster takes four 194 bulbs..
Can I order white LED's and will the amber color still be present?

What makes the needles light up amber, is it translucent paint?
Can the needles be removed safely from the instrument cluster and reinstalled?

I figure if I have to replace the bulbs, I mite as well have some fun with it..

Can you post up your modified 2001-2004 instrument cluster and list your mods?

thanks a bunch
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:50 AM   #2
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interesting question.. bump for info.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:30 AM   #3
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It can be done, But you wont be able to dim your lights. LED's arent dimable.
not sure about the needle though.

Im still working on trying to get my LED's to work correctly in my dome light.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris D. View Post
I've got a 2002 with 145K and a bulb has burnt out on the cluster.. (fuel gauge side)

I'd like to replace all the bulbs with LED's and here are my questions..

I believe the cluster takes four 194 bulbs..
Can I order white LED's and will the amber color still be present?

What makes the needles light up amber, is it translucent paint?
Can the needles be removed safely from the instrument cluster and reinstalled?

I figure if I have to replace the bulbs, I mite as well have some fun with it..

Can you post up your modified 2001-2004 instrument cluster and list your mods?

thanks a bunch
The amber color is present even when the lights on the dash are off, so Im assuming its paint. Im not sure though.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:55 PM   #5
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as far as color goes, i'm pretty sure its just an orange covering that does that and the lights are white. ive never taken off the instrument panel but thats what it is for the climate controls. I've heard that its hard to remove and replace the needles.

and no, its not dimmable
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:06 PM   #6
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I've already changed mine... Changed to PIAA hyper blue non LED (because I wanted the ability to dim) and it does take 4 (194) bulbs.... The orange color will be gone unless you put the orange bulb condoms back on, which defeats the purpose of a different color. Its pretty quick and easy... I would say 1 hour start to finish! Good Luck!
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:17 PM   #7
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good question/idea would like to know more if this accomplished
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motive View Post
I've already changed mine... Changed to PIAA hyper blue non LED (because I wanted the ability to dim) and it does take 4 (194) bulbs.... The orange color will be gone unless you put the orange bulb condoms back on, which defeats the purpose of a different color. Its pretty quick and easy... I would say 1 hour start to finish! Good Luck!
Have any pics?
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kg4ghn View Post
Have any pics?
I can take a pic of the final color tonight... But, I didn't take any pics as i was taking the dash apart.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EverTaco23 View Post
It can be done, But you wont be able to dim your lights. LED's arent dimable.

This is misinformation. LEDs are infact dimmable and putting LED 194 bulbs in they would dim. Now they would most likely not be linear with the rest of the lights in the truck with regards to the dimming ratio and you sacrifice the color when you analog dim LEDs. the right way to dim leds is to Pulse width modulate them. This means that they are on full bright then off at a frequency higher than what the eye can see. Then the ratio of on vs off time determines the brightness. The problem with using 194 led bulbs is the directionality of them. the light pipes in the first gen come to the bulb from every angle and a truely omni-directional light source is needed to light them all evenly. There are omni directional 194 led bulbs available but there is no guarantee on how well they will work. I have not checked on the needles but I assume they are lit by a light pipe from one of the bulbs. this means if you remove them and scrape the orange off the back and repaint it white then you would get white needles or whatever color bulb/LED bulb you're using.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motive View Post
I've already changed mine... Changed to PIAA hyper blue non LED (because I wanted the ability to dim) and it does take 4 (194) bulbs.... The orange color will be gone unless you put the orange bulb condoms back on, which defeats the purpose of a different color. Its pretty quick and easy... I would say 1 hour start to finish! Good Luck!
So if you took off the condoms it would make the stock lights white?
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:13 PM   #13
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EverTaco23 View Post
It can be done, But you wont be able to dim your lights. LED's arent dimable.
not sure about the needle though.

Im still working on trying to get my LED's to work correctly in my dome light.
never thought about that, I think i'll go blue but not LED
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motive View Post
I can take a pic of the final color tonight... But, I didn't take any pics as i was taking the dash apart.
waiting on those pics!
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:16 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by rab89 View Post
waiting on those pics!
Here you go... A little fuzzy w/ the blackberry, but I tried.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRQ TACO View Post
So if you took off the condoms it would make the stock lights white?
OEM bulbs are just plain white 194 wedges with orange condoms.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motive View Post
Here you go... A little fuzzy w/ the blackberry, but I tried.
Cool.

So you installed blue bulbs and got a white color? Or is that just b/c of the poor pic quality?
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kg4ghn View Post
Cool.

So you installed blue bulbs and got a white color? Or is that just b/c of the poor pic quality?
They're white bulbs with a blue tip and they do have blue tint... but the pics don't give justice! Here's what they look like...
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motive View Post
They're white bulbs with a blue tip and they do have blue tint... but the pics don't give justice! Here's what they look like...
Ok, cool.

How many bulbs did you need total?
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