Results 1 to 30 of 135

Thread: DIY: Interior Lighting Part 1 (Gauge Cluster)

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    t3h ch33se Wiscon_Mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Plover, WI
    Posts
    9,858
    Points
    43,397
    Level
    100
    Points: 43,397, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Achievements:
    25000 Experience PointsO.G.Overdrive

    DIY: Interior Lighting Part 1 (Gauge Cluster)

    Since I don't have enough time to do everything at once, you guys will get this in pieces. The writeup has already taken longer than the actual process, In my estimate. Here goes:

    What you will need:
    • Phillips Head Screwdriver
      Standard Screwdriver
      Small Phillips Head
      Colored Sharpie / Colored Paint of your choice / Bulb Condoms of your choice
      (if replacing bulbs) 4 bulb #194s
      Sandpaper / Dremel Kit (recommended)

    Note: This will not require you to remove your needles.

    Step 1 (Removing the guage cluster)

    Unscrew the following screws on the guage bezel:




    Now you will need to remove the wiring harnesses from the Cruise/defrost/foglight buttons
    Press the tab on the wiring harnesses to pop it free:


    Now you need to take out the screws holding the guage pod in the dash
    (the two screws on the top, the photo only shows one as the clip for the second screw is missing and it can't be used)
    (identical on the left side)

    Now tip the guage cluster forward so you can get at the 3 big harnesses on it.
    Pull the clips up with a screwdriver and push the harness back and it'll pop out.


    now that you can pull the cluster out farther, you can get at the remaining two small harnesses and pop them out of the back. Now you can remove the cluster.

    Note for automatic tranny drivers (poor souls ) : you may have another wiring harness on the back for the indicators, I'm not sure.

    You want to move the steering wheel all the way down, and pull the guage cluster out the right side, with it fairly upright. It's a bit of a squeeze, but you can pull it off. Just be careful, because if you crank on it, you'll rip your dash material:
    :? :?

    Now, we get to the real work...

    Step 2:

    Undo the braces that hold the top of the guage cluster together (screw at the bottom of the 2 metal pieces)


    Then take the back part of the cluster off so it looks like this:


    Here is the back of the cluster:

    You want to remove all the brown bulb holders (6 of them, 4 big, and 2 small [ones in the center])and replace the bulbs with the color of your choice and/or color them with a sharpie/paint. If you're not replacing the bulbs, you need to take the condoms off of them and then color them. Replace all the bulbs.

    Note: you can't really see that the two small bulbs in the center are brown in the picture, but those are the ones you want to replace/color. edit: They are #74s. I do know that they ARE NOT #37s.


    Now, remove all the silver screws in the back of the cluster. They are what is holding the clusters in place. DO NOT REMOVE THE NEEDLES OR THE BLACK SCREWS ON THE FRONT! It isn't necessary and removing needles is bad.


    Take the guage out, and sand off the back two layers on the guages. There should be a silvery layer, followed by the green junk that colors your guages. Dust the junk off after sanding it all down, and then color the back with the color of your choice (in this case, red).


    Photo of the guages lit by natural white light:

    You can see that the bulbs aren't even the real factor in lighting, but every advantage counts.

    Before you reinstall the guages:

    There are walls that restrict the light to certain areas, and you may break them down. You can do so by hand fairly easily, and some might require a little work from the dremel tool, but try to get rid of some of them for more even, brighter lighting. I also used metallic tape to reflect the light towards the guages


    Repeat the sanding process with all of the guages. To test the guages, plug just the necessary part back into the car, and see that everything works.

    Now reinstall everything in reverse order, and enjoy!

    Notes:
    The parking light switch tends to be triggered, so you have to remember to shut it off when you have everything reinstalled.


    Also, your trip odometer will probably be incidentally reset when you remove the guages.

    Good Luck!


    Here is a link to another writeup that uses a different take on the lighting that will help with unevenness: viewtopic.php?f=39&t=22903
    ~Mark [SLi Admin]
    2015 Dodge Charger AWD
    2008 Subaru Tribeca Limited, 7 passenger w/ Navigation

    Former vehicles:
    03 Forester
    95 Legacy Outback

  2. #2
    "FNG" Patrick Olsen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Where the Navy sends me...
    Posts
    57
    Points
    5,822
    Level
    49
    Points: 5,822, Level: 49
    Level completed: 36%, Points required for next Level: 128
    Achievements:
    O.G.5000 Experience Points
    Bumping an old thread to show a '97 2.5GT cluster in comparison to the '95 cluster above. The gauges are the same, all the stuff along the bottom is the same, but the top center stuff is different.





    Some of the little baby bulbs are removed in that shot of the rear. What I thought was kind of strange was that some of the unused indications didn't even have bulbs (the two TCS ones), but some of them did (FWD, ATF hi temp).

    Speaking of little baby bulbs, anyone know what the little ones are? I don't think any of mine are burned out, even after 17+ years and 230k+ miles, but it would be nice to know for the future. By my count there are 17 of them in my cluster - 11 go to red indications, 1 blue, 2 green, and 3 yellow/amber. (All the bulbs are clear, of course.)

    And in case anyone is curious, the trim rings around the gauges are actually aluminum. I found them on Ebay UK years ago. (Not sure how I found them, as I can't say I've ever made it a habit to spend any time browsing Ebay UK, but I stumbled across them one way or another!)
    Last edited by Patrick Olsen; 06-07-2015 at 09:24 AM.
    Pat Olsen
    '97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan - RCE Tarmac2 coilovers, 4-pots front, H6 rears, '06 STI 6-speed, Quaife rear diff, mAd N/A powah!

  3. #3
    "FNG" Patrick Olsen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Where the Navy sends me...
    Posts
    57
    Points
    5,822
    Level
    49
    Points: 5,822, Level: 49
    Level completed: 36%, Points required for next Level: 128
    Achievements:
    O.G.5000 Experience Points
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
    Speaking of little baby bulbs, anyone know what the little ones are? I don't think any of mine are burned out, even after 17+ years and 230k+ miles, but it would be nice to know for the future. By my count there are 17 of them in my cluster - 11 go to red indications, 1 blue, 2 green, and 3 yellow/amber. (All the bulbs are clear, of course.)
    I discovered that the bulb on the 5" Autometer tach in my Mustang is the same as the little bulbs in the instrument cluster. They're #86/74/T5. Plenty of options on Ebay in various colors.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •