How to change you stock radio color

The Goal: Replace the stereo’s nasty 80’s green color with a bitch’n white (or whatever color you want – blue may cause your LCD text to display “dimmer”)

Tools Needed:
- Hand’s
- butter knife
- 10mm socket
- soldering iron (with fine tip)
- solder
- small needle nose pliers/tweezers
- masking tape (or some sort of removable marker)
- 70 New LEDs (I went white for all but on each of the CD slot, which I went blue; also the closer count needed is around 64-68)

The Guide:

1. Remove bottom of center console (pull from side)

image004  How to change you stock radio color

2. Remove “side skirts”; pull from bottom to the top

3. Remove gauge “shell,” pull out

4. Remove 4 screws holding in stereo (10mm socket)

5. Remove “warning/seatbelt” wiring; pinch and pull

6. Pull stereo out; pinch and pull all wires going into back of stereo (antenna not shown)

7. Bring the stereo inside to where ever you are going to work on it, make sure to choose a place free of static; or atleast be sure to ground yourself (I choose my coffee table; prob not the best place :-) ) and start the disassembly. Use a butter knife to “pop” the 6 tabs (goes all around the stereo;4 in front: 2 in back)

(place stereo aside; as it’s the “board” the has the LCD and radio button LED’s)

8. Remove screws holding the board to the plastic front of the stereo

9. Remove the board from the plastic housing

10. Put a piece of masking tape at the top of the LCD, then flip the board over and straighten the “pegs” holding down the LCD to the board with pliers.

Remove the LCD housing, taking note to make sure you mark every piece at the top (sorry no pics), also remove stereo knobs (mark one of the knobs, they only fit one way)

11. Un-solder the LEDs (I did a combo of un-soldering the correct way, and simply heating up the whole LED and having it “break apart”) I would google “how to un-soldering

12. This next step is what took me the longest, but is really not that hard. Time to solder the new LEDs on. On the bottom of the LEDs I ordered ( there is an arrow, point that towards the opening of the half box (see pic) and solder the new one on, you may need to add a dab of solder on the new LED (as the connection point is at the top of the LED, not the bottom)
image036  How to change you stock radio color
(I used small pliers to place the new LEDs)

13. Put everything back together the way you took apart, put there stereo back in the car.
edit: when you are putting the LCD “bracket” (last part of step 10) back on the make sure that you bend the “pegs” make enough to make a good connection with the board or else the LCD wont display right (to fix this if it happens all you have to do it open everything back up and simply bend the peg (the one near the “nonworking” section of the screen) in a little more.
image038  How to change you stock radio color

I hope this helps those looking for a solution to the soylent green color of the stock stereo.

happy modding

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