Finally changed my gauge color... - : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-05-2010, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Finally changed my gauge color...

I hope this hasn't been posted a billion times, but I changed my gauage color to red today. I love how it turned out.

If anybody cares, all it takes to do this is to simply pull on the panel beneath the steering wheel, it's held in with those clip things. Then it hinges down and can be completely removed.
Then, you'll see 2 screws at the top left and right corners. Remove them (6 mm socket), then pull the plastic piece surrounding the gauges up and out. The gauge cluster is held in by 4 6mm screws, one at each corner. Take those out, then pull the gauge cluster forward. On the back, there are 3 plugs holding it in (and making it work lol). Press the clip down, and pull those out... if you've been mudding, there may be dirt here... I had to rock mine quite hard to get them out.
After pulling that, the cluster comes out just fine.

I then made a template of the gauges (in microsoft paint, no less) and printed them out on transparencies (got mine at office max, but I'm sure you can get 'em lots of places). (white background, red gauges. If anyone needs the template, I can e-mail it out [just pm me with your e-mail addy and mention of this project. I had to keep the file as a .bmp file to ensure correct sizing and to make it easy for you to fill the current setup with whatever color you want. If you get the template from me, just make sure to print it out to 100% scale to ensure proper size)... this was by far the most time consuming part.

Essentially, you just take those printouts and slide them behind the black gauge face. The kicker here is sliding it over the needle supports behind the face, essentially just keeping it right up against the black gauge face. (a letter opener can be helpful here if you have fat fingers).
First thing I did was lay the printout templates down on top of everything, then cut them out and put small "markers" with a red sharpie on the excess transparency to help line things up once I slid the transparency behind the black gauge face.

Here's a pic of the right side cut out and markers marked (on the right side, I used the lettering that's on the white part of the cluster, traced some of the letters, and traced around that little "box" cutout of the black gauge face. Make these markers while it all lines up on the front. Then when you slide it behind the black piece, make sure it all lines up again.) the "1" designates those numbers I was talking about and the box.

The following pictures shows it after I have it all lined up in back:

The "1" is that same marker mentioned before. The "2" is markers I used to line up the bottom cutout... I'll talk more on that later.
I simply slid this in, lined it up and superglued (lightly) on top of those numbers to hold it in place. I recommend using a letter opener again to hold the transparency and black gauge face up while keeping a finger pressing down on the actually gauge parts to make sure nothing moves, then putting the glue in under the transparency.

The following pic shows the left side:

The "1" is showing a small peg that I used to help line the left side up and hold it in place. I cut the hole around the peg and slide the transparency in and then slid the transparency over the peg. The "2" are some holes that happen to be in the black gauge face. I used these to line everything up once I got the transparency back there. I used two holes per transparency to ensure proper lineup. (Yeah, I had to do 2 layers to get the right depth of color... trust me the second one is a lot easier if this happens to you.)
The "3" are the markers used for the bottom template.

The bottom template is unnecessary if you cut like I showed up above... if you use red on it, it makes the light of the digital readout more of a "white" color, if you care. I simply made a 2"x8" block of red and printed it out, cut to fit, and superglued it in place. I don't have a readily made template for this, and only used one layer to make sure it stays bright.

So that's it... Hope it helps someone. I used red, but I don't see why this wouldn't work for any color. Oh, one more thing... when buying transparencies, make sure you get the right ones for your printer. They aren't super cheap... so if you buy the wrong ones, you'll be upset about it. The wrong ones will allow the ink to smudge all around, if it sticks at all. The reason I used this method, btw, is that I didn't have to worry about accidentally covering up warning lights and such with red, risking dulling their effectiveness. Loving this red so far... really easy on the eyes at night.

[edit to include more detail about template requests as well as where I purchased the transparencies]
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Last edited by JKBenB; 09-05-2010 at 09:15 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-05-2010, 09:07 PM
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Great job!!! I like!!! PM sent to get template!!!!

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post #3 of 3 Old 09-05-2010, 09:11 PM
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Nice job!

2014 Rubicon on the build!
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