Changing Gauge Cluster LEDS

Removing the Meter Hood Assembly

Step 1: From seeing to remove the meter hood assembly there is a screw that is screwed in to a bracket. This screw when you try to unscrew it just keeps turning. I later found out that it has clips like those plastic tubes where you stick a screw in to hold in place on a wall. That is what they basically used and mine doesn’t come out. Best bet it probably drilling the screw until you take it out. I learned the hard way. You can try to see if it unscrews on your car otherwise you can take my steps.

There are six clips that hold the meter hood assembly. Two clips are on the top, two on the bottom and two on the sides. You can use a flat head screwdriver with some tape around it to pop it out. Now, if you still have the screw attached, I pulled the meter hood towards the wheel which bends the bracket where the screw it attached to. I took a knife to cut through the plastic screw to get the meter hood assembly out.

Once you have taken off the meter hood take out the black screw that holds the gauge cluster to the bracket. It is directly center in the back. Make sure you note that the gauge cluster goes behind the bracket and not it front of the bracket. (I found this out the hard way when the meter hood did not want to clip back in and cracked my plastic cover on my gauge cluster when I forced it.)

Once you take out the screw, there are two clips on the bottom of the gauge cluster. Get a flat head screwdriver and push the metal bar clip back and pull up the gauge cluster so it comes off the clip. Do the same for the clip on the other side.

Next disconnect the two plugs that go in to the gauge cluster and pull the gauge cluster out by pulling it down so that the top bracket doesn’t get in to way. It will finally come out.

When it is out then you are ready to make some changes.

Here is the gauge cluster assembly:

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Notice that there are clips that hold the clear cover and the black trim with silver circles in place.

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Press on the clips to release the clear cover and black trim.

Picture with the clear cover off:

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Picture when the black trim is off:

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Next part is to mark where the needle is at rest. Mark with a pencil so you can erase it later. If you do not mark it, it will give you wrong readings when you hook it back up. Especially if you don’t set the speedometer (hehe) right, you will see it get stuck some times. When you marked them, take a flat head screwdriver or your two fingers to pop off the needles.

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Once you popped them off make sure you know which ones go where. Then finally take off the front cover sheet off.

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Next flip it over to the black side. There are several screws I think about 10 that you have to take out. This will release the black cover.

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It will look like this when you take the cover off:

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Watch the capacitors because the usually carry some charge. So don’t go screwing around with them and get your self zapped. (hehe)

So, here is the front part of the board close up:

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Next pop out the green board. This should be easy:

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It is held by little posts which can be popped out with a flathead screwdriver. Make sure you pull it out slowly because the LCD screen is held in by a socket. The pins on the LCD will slow pop out of the socket and when you put the board back in make sure you line it up correctly with the socket to it clips back in.

Next flip the board over and you are ready for soldering.

You will need a soldering iron almost like this:

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There are a total of 8 leds that need to be changed to make it the color you want.

Unsolder them carefully by applying some heat from the soldering iron and use needle nose pliers to take out one side of the LED then do the same for the other side. Do this for all 8 and will be shown in the following pictures:

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This is how it should look like. This picture has the last 2 LEDS in still. Those have to be taken out.

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After all of the LEDS are taken out then add some solder to make sure each pad has enough solder so you can solder the new LEDS on, because all you will be do is use the needle nose pliers to hold the LED and heat up the pad to stick the one side on and then the other side.

Picture of the LEDS in a package:

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This is the picture of me adding some solder to the pad.

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Adding the LED now:

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Overall board with the new LEDS in. The first LED is a bit cut off:

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Putting the board back together in the cluster:

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Once you put the cluster back together, test it first by connecting the connectors and turn your lights an to see if it works. Then put it back in to the dashboard make sure the cluster goes behind the bracket and then screw it in. Then finally pop and click in the meter hood.

This is how it looks:

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Inside of my car:

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You are finished

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