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Temptation w/ LED dash conversion. Color match the needles w/ a white LED to light?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by uglygun, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. uglygun

    uglygun [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I've got a silver streak Tacoma.

    I have some Silver Streak touch up paint. If I can get the backs of the needles clean enough I am tempted to paint them with the Silver Streak touch up paint then light them with the white LEDs.

    Thoughts?

    Yes, I have white paint as well. I don't really want to do the job twice if I wind up not liking the silver. I'm leaning about 25% towards taking the chance with silver and 75% towards nice safe white.
     
  2. rmb_crew

    rmb_crew My other ride has 18,400HP!!!!!!

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    For mine i just sanded the orange off and left them clear and the backlighting lights them up good.
     
  3. PreRunnerSeth

    PreRunnerSeth Well-Known Member

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    Repainting them really makes a big difference in how well they light up.

    I dont think silver will look much different than white if you can even tell.
     
  4. rmb_crew

    rmb_crew My other ride has 18,400HP!!!!!!

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    I really like the way just the clear lights up and its pletty bright for me.
     
  5. uglygun

    uglygun [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well, I went with white and I'm glad I did.

    LOOKS GREAT!

    Blue lettering with white needle.

    I melted 2-3 blue LED's but luckily I had bought like 10 extra.

    HOWEVER, for the white LED's, for some reason I didn't have the foresight to get like 5-10 extras. I got the bare minimum of 7 of the things, well I melted one of the seven.

    Fortunately, I did the temp and gas on the first pass. Then I got to the tach, figured if I screwed it up a few times I'd just leave the speedo alone until I could order more. I melted one while doing the tach, that left me two for the speedo.


    /edit

    This crap would of been tons easier with proper soldering irons. I went to 3 different places looking for the right soldering irons but kinda ran out of luck. Nobody had ultra fine tips for 25-30 watt soldering irons, hence a few of the LED's turning into marshmellows.

    I really didn't feel like paying 130 bucks for a complete soldering station for the tips that I wanted. Maybe if I did this stuff day in and day out.

    I very carefully set out to just do the left and center one of the speedo and nailed it on the first try. My theory? If I'm ever driving at night and do over 80MPH my speedo needle should turn from bright white to a faint red. All the same should be a cool effect.
     
  6. yosh2000

    yosh2000 Well-Known Member

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    ^ radio shack has 25 watt irons for like $10, tip is just fine! i've used cheap 15w and 30w irons, and now a $100 weller station and have no problems, you have a technique problem if your melting LEDs dude...

    pics of your dash lit up please, thanks.
     
  7. rmb_crew

    rmb_crew My other ride has 18,400HP!!!!!!

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    lol yeah i dont think i have ever melted a LED to the point where i cant use it any more:eek:
     
  8. uglygun

    uglygun [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well, DUH!

    LOL. It was the first time soldering anything this tiny. I could NOT find any tips that were narrow enough for my liking. That is after visiting 2 private electronics shops as well as the local Radio shacks. When your tip is almost the size of the damned LED, ya might have problems.

    The marshmellow LED phenomenon usually occurred after a poor initial placement, then having to melt the joint enough to move the LED to a better position. More often than not it seems if you've gotta try again, best to remove it, let it cool down, then try again. I ordered literally 2 times as many blue LEDs as I needed but didn't have the foresight to do it with the whites.


    Iron used was a 25 watt Weller but the tip was just too damned large for my liking. With more practice, yeah I could probably get it down. I'm convinced I'm all thumbs when it comes to working with anything smaller than a 1/4 inch square. Tried using some small tweezers to position the LED but they seemed to get in the way more than anything when it came down to it.


    Not worth my time, it's the same as any White needle and Blue lettering combination in the other dash conversion threads.

    Only exception is the possibility that my speedo needle may turn red at 100+ mph and now that it is back in the dash I'm not keen on testing it much less taking a picture of it.
     
  9. yosh2000

    yosh2000 Well-Known Member

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    ...with the exception of a red LED on the speedo needle...hence the request for pics. there have been a few guys that have wanted to do a fade on the needles, but i havent seen any pics of this done. does it turn pinkish at 70-80?

    w/ all the time you spend posting, you could have snapped a pic...:D
     
  10. uglygun

    uglygun [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I did get it up to 85 the other night, needle was still white.

    From what I saw during my repainting of the needle and getting to see how it pipes light into the needle. That combined with the placement of the red LED, I don't think there is going to be any changing of the color unless I get up to 100mph or more.
     
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