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

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas' started by Chris D., Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Nov 16, 2009 at 11:47 PM
    #1
    Chris D.

    Chris D. [OP] Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  2. Nov 17, 2009 at 5:50 AM
    #2
    Gr8WhiteTaco

    Gr8WhiteTaco bishes love my haircut

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    interesting question.. bump for info.
     
  3. Nov 17, 2009 at 7:30 AM
    #3
    ETaco23

    ETaco23 Marshall offroad Fabrication

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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. :)
     
  4. Nov 17, 2009 at 8:44 AM
    #4
    VirginiaBound

    VirginiaBound Whyareyoureadingthis?

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    The amber color is present even when the lights on the dash are off, so Im assuming its paint. :confused: Im not sure though.
     
  5. Nov 17, 2009 at 1:55 PM
    #5
    oofy15354

    oofy15354 Proud Tundra *****

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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
     
  6. Nov 17, 2009 at 2:06 PM
    #6
    BSPDX

    BSPDX Well-Known Member

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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!
     
  7. Nov 17, 2009 at 2:17 PM
    #7
    EL TACOROJO

    EL TACOROJO SNAPPIN NECKS AND CASHIN CHECKS.

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    BURRY
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    good question/idea would like to know more if this accomplished
     
  8. Nov 17, 2009 at 2:32 PM
    #8
    kg4ghn

    kg4ghn Well-Known Member

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    Have any pics?
     
  9. Nov 17, 2009 at 2:44 PM
    #9
    BSPDX

    BSPDX Well-Known Member

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    I can take a pic of the final color tonight... But, I didn't take any pics as i was taking the dash apart.
     
  10. Nov 17, 2009 at 3:04 PM
    #10
    PreRunnerSeth

    PreRunnerSeth Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  11. Nov 17, 2009 at 7:35 PM
    #11
    ETaco23

    ETaco23 Marshall offroad Fabrication

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    huh.. thanks for clearing that up! ^^^:eek:
     
  12. Nov 17, 2009 at 7:55 PM
    #12
    SRQ TACO

    SRQ TACO "You've Got Red on You"

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    So if you took off the condoms it would make the stock lights white?
     
  13. Nov 17, 2009 at 10:13 PM
    #13
    BG04Taco

    BG04Taco Well-Known Member

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  14. Nov 18, 2009 at 12:23 AM
    #14
    rab89

    rab89 Well-Known Member

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    never thought about that, I think i'll go blue but not LED
     
  15. Nov 18, 2009 at 12:29 AM
    #15
    rab89

    rab89 Well-Known Member

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    waiting on those pics!
     
  16. Nov 18, 2009 at 8:16 AM
    #16
    BSPDX

    BSPDX Well-Known Member

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    Here you go... A little fuzzy w/ the blackberry, but I tried.
     
  17. Nov 18, 2009 at 8:18 AM
    #17
    BSPDX

    BSPDX Well-Known Member

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    OEM bulbs are just plain white 194 wedges with orange condoms.
     
  18. Nov 18, 2009 at 10:38 AM
    #18
    kg4ghn

    kg4ghn Well-Known Member

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    Cool.

    So you installed blue bulbs and got a white color? Or is that just b/c of the poor pic quality?
     
  19. Nov 18, 2009 at 11:12 AM
    #19
    BSPDX

    BSPDX Well-Known Member

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    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...
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Nov 18, 2009 at 2:20 PM
    #20
    kg4ghn

    kg4ghn Well-Known Member

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    Ok, cool.

    How many bulbs did you need total?
     
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