1 Introduction

The stock positions of the dash turn indicator lights are, more often than not, obscured by the steering wheel making them difficult to see during day. This will sometimes cause the driver not to notice they have left the indicators on when the turn indicator switch is not reset. This can happen when a lane change is made where there is insufficient travel in the steering wheel to reset the turn indicators. Coupled with a quiet electronic flasher, a loud stereo, inattentive driver or any combination, the driver may be mistaken as elderly. This nifty mod will add a second set of LEDs to the instrument cluster that are visible to the driver.

The second mod was replace the OEM 194 bulbs for the instrument illumination with red LEDs.

The third mod was replacing the OEM bulb in the clock to red LED. This proved to be a little more challenging to come up with a solution since it was a single type 74 bulb. I ended up using a pair of 3-LED strips mounted on either side of the LCD.

The fourth mod was trying to get the A/C module to match. This is lit up by two tiny bulbs in custom sockets. I first tried two standard red LEDs but they put two spots on the LCD. My final solution was to cut out a small section of the light box and use the 3-LED strips similar to the clock. Only one side could be notched due to the leads for the LCD. There were two holes that came pretty close to the locations of the LEDs on the strip so I merely slid it in between the LCD leads and the light box.


2 Materials
  • 2- Standard Amber LEDs
  • 6- 194 Red LEDs
  • 2- 2 packs of Red 3 LED Strips
  • Drill and bits
  • Utility Knife
  • 3/8" Shrink Tubing
  • Electrical Tape
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • #2 Phillips screw driver
  • 8mm socket/ratchet

3 Instrument Cluster Procedure

Figure 1 shows a typical LED set used for accent lighting.

Figure 1

 

3.1 Remove the instrument cluster shroud by removing the 4 screws holding it in. Use a #2 Phillips screwdriver. Two screws will be directly under the left and right side switches and the other two will be under the shroud just above the speedo and tach gauges. Once removed, pull the shroud off. Disconnect the connectors to the switches on either side of the shroud. Once the shroud has been removed, remove the two screws on the tabs on either side of the cluster. Then using an 8mm socket, remove the two nuts located on either side of the cluster. Carefully pull out the cluster part way. Disconnect the speedometer cable by releasing the blue clip. Next disconnect the remaining wire harnesses. Pull the instrument cluster out and set on a table. Remove the screws holding the clear lens. Remove the clear lens and then carefully remove the black bezel for the gauges (Figure 2).

Figure 2

 

3.2 Decide on where the LEDs are to be mounted. In this case, the LEDs are to be mounted between the two small edge gauges and the large gauge. Flip the bezel over. In this case, there were tooling marks left by the injection molding process that were conveniently located where the LEDs were to be mounted (Figure 3). Using a very small drill bit, drill a pilot hole from the back side of the bezel.

Figure 3

 

3.3 Next, flip the bezel over. Using the recommended size as outlined by the LED manufacturer, drill out the pilots holes. (Figure 4).

Figure 4

 

3.4 Insert the LEDs using the the manufacturer's procedures (Figure 5) and route the wires so they lie between the guages (Figure 6).

Figure 5

Figure 6

 

3.5 Next, drill two 1/4" hole at the bottom of the instrument cluster to allow the LED wires to pass through (Figure 7).

Figure 7

 

3.6 Insert the LED wires though the holes and carefully place the bezel back on the instrument cluster (Figure 8). Ensure the wires do not get pinched.

Figure 8

 

3.7 Flip the assembly over so that the circuits are facing up. Locate the bulb holders for the turn indicators and remove them. The LEDs are polarised and therefore the positive and negative traces need to be identified. The negative will be the top trace and the positive will be the lower trace. Apply a very thin layer of solder to the very edge of the trace (Figure 9).

Figure 9

 

3.8 Carefully solder the LED wires to the proper traces. Ensure that only a small amout of solder is used. Too much solder will interfere with the bulb holder replacement (Figure 10).

Figure 10

 

3.9 Reinstall the bulb and holder (Figure 11).

Figure 11

 

3.10 At this time, locate all the bulbs that are used to light up the guages and replace the OEM bulbs with red 194 LEDs (Figure 12).

Figure 12

 

3.11 Reinstall the instrument cluster back into the cockpit. Before securing, test to ensure that the lights operate properly. Figure 13 shows the completed installation.

Figure 13

 

4 Clock Lighting and A/C to Red LED Procedure
 
 

4.1 Obtain a set of 3" Red LED strips (Figure 14).

Figure 14

 

4.2 Remove the clock from the dash and then remove the bezel to expose the electronic components. Remove the OEM bulb (Figure 15).


Figure 15

 

4.3 Remove the LED strips from the packaging. The front will have 3 small LEDs (Figure 16). The back will have doublesided tape. Remove the entire tape from the LED strip (Figure 17).

Figure 16

Figure 17

 

4.4 The LED wires need to be shortened. Unsolder the wires from the strip making note of polarity. The positive wire (in this case) will have a stripe. Locate the resistor. Trim the excess wire until there is approximately 1" of wire infront of the resistor. Resolder the wires back onto the strip making nore of polarity (Figure 18).

Figure 18

 

4.5 Locate the contacts where the OEM bulb used to be. NOTE: ROUTE THE WIRES THROUGH THE HOLE FROM THE FRONT FIRST (NOT DEPICTIED). Carefully solder the wires from the LED strips to the contact surface. Take note of the polarity (Figure 19). Figure 20 shows the complete assembly with the wires properly routed through the hole.

Figure 19

Figure 20

 

4.6 Align the LED strips so that the LEDs are shining into the glass of the LCD. Use electrical tape to secure the LED strips. Ensure that the tape is far enough to the edge of the LCD so as not to be seen when the bezel is put back on. Carefully route the wires so that they will not obstruct the buttons (Figure 21).

Figure 21

 

4.7 Reinstall the clock and test to ensure it functions. Figures 22 & 23 show the installed clock before (OEM) and after (LED) respectively.

Figure 22

Figure 23

 

4.8 Remove the AC unit from the dash. Disassemble the unit until the LCD is free. Using a utility knife, cut out the holes on the side that does not have the pins for the LCD (Figure 24).

Figure 24

 

4.9 Place the LED strip on the LCD enclosure with the LEDs facing inward. Secure the strip with electrical tape (Figure 25). The doublesided tape backing will not need to be removed from the LED strips as with clock mod.

Figure 25

 

4.10 Flip the LCD module over. Using a small piece of heat shrink tubing, cover the solder points for the wires on the back of the strip. This is critical. failure to do so will result in shorts with the LCD pins. Remove the backing for the doublesided tape. Carefully slide the LED strip between the pins and the light enclosure for the LCD. Solder the wires to the OEM bulb contacts taking note of the polarity. The positive terminals are towards the connector CN4 (Figure 26).

Figure 26

 

4.11 Figures 27 & 28 show the completed mods illuminated at night.

Figure 27

Figure 28

 

 

 

[Cargo Area Lighting] [LED Evaluations] [JDM Tail Lights]

[Interior Lighting] [Project Starion Home]