DASH LED REPLACEMENT - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 21 Old 10-06-2011, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb DASH LED REPLACEMENT

Ok this is not a full blown walk through of every single step, but more of a guide to show you what is involved if you wanted to do this mod your self. As with any electrical mod, don’t yell at me if you hose something up. I had no issues doing this, and its pretty straight forward but you are working with tiny components on a circuit board. And as they always say when messing with your electric stuff "disconnect the battery before you start"
The leds I got from these guys. http://www.oznium.com/plcc-2 Very fast shipping and the leds are not expensive. I bought 40 in case I screwed any up but ended up not wasting one. I changed out 11 on my dash.
For tools I picked up a 15w soldering iron and some of the 62/36/2 rosin-core solder .022 dia. from Rat Shack.
I Think it was around $20. total. You will also need a pair of hemostats or good tweezers to position and hold down the leds while you solder them in place. Unless your very nearsighted I would suggest using a magnifying headset like the one pictured also to be able to do a precise job and to see that you made a good solder joint .
Tools:


This is how the leds come. Just peel back the wrapper and drop them out as you need.


Not going to do an involved walk through on taking the cluster out cause if that is a problem you probably don’t want to be doing this anyway. Just remove the two trim pieces under the steering column then remove the two screws that hold the top cover over the cluster. Once screws are out just grab right at the top and pull up a hair and towards you and it will pop right out. Then 4 small bolts hold the cluster in. 3 plugs on the backside to unplug.

Once you have the cluster out you will see the tabs around the outside to release the cover. Just start at the top and work your way around the perimeter. Don’t try and push the tabs all the way out all at once. Just push the tab enough that it releases and keep working around. When you get to the last one the clear cover will lift right off. There is actually a set of tabs for each layer of the covers. One for the clear plastic one, one for the part of the cover that makes the tunnels then the white case top. The white cover part also has two tabs through the middle of the board so dont miss those on the back side. You can skip the top clear one if you want but its nice to have it separated so you can give it a good cleaning.
Do not be tempted to give the needles a swirl with your finger when you take the cover off. Note the position they are at, maybe even mark on the gauge face with tape or something and only pull the needles straight up and reinstall pushing straight down with out spinning them. Other wise when you start things back up the pointers will be off how far you spun away from stock, and you will get to take it all apart again to move them back. LOL dont ask how I know this.




I found the easiest way to pull the needles was a couple high tech tools usually found in a kitchen drawer. Just put something down to protect the face of the gauge and push down evenly on both sides to lift the needles straight up. On hindsight I should have taped the paper to the face so I could mark the position of the needles to aid in putting them back in.




^^^^^^^^^^
I used a razor and removed stock green plastic windows over the led display windows under the tach and speedo and replaced with red stage gel taped to back side of the face. It made it too dark to see the numbers easily with the green plastic and the stage gel together. I didn't take pictures of doing that. stage gel source: http://www.stagespot.com/gel-sheet.html

After the needles are pulled I used a knife to lift out the retaining rings. There are two different sizes for the top and bottom holes.



This is what you will have after getting it all stripped down



You should be able to tell which leds you want to change out buy just lining up the white cover and noting the locations. The main ones are kind of yellow colored looking so there easy to spot. Once your soldering iron has heated up enough follow the instructions for tinning the iron if its brand new.
I used the tip of my knife under one side of the led at a time to pry up as I touched the contact edge with the iron. It only takes a few seconds
and you can lift up the side your working on. You don’t want to get anything too hot.




You will notice one corner of the led has a notch. The new led has to go in the same direction as the old one or it wont work. On the board you
will see a little triangle symbol. the notch in the new led has to face that same direction. The notch on the led does not have to be aligned exactly
with the triangle symbol but it has to be pointed in that same direction.
Once you have both sides of the led lifted off you will see the two little pads where the new one will sit. You can see the feet on the new led how it
will sit. Before putting the new one down, touch the bare pads on the board with the iron for a few seconds and once the old solder turns shinny just touch some new solder to the pads on the board so it mounds up just a little. That’s all the solder it will take to attach the new led.



Use your tweezers or hemostats to hold the new led where you want it in the proper orientation and then just touch the iron to the side where the
foot meets the board for a few seconds. The contact foot of the led will sink into the solder fast so don’t over heat it. As soon as it sinks pull the iron
away and hold the led still for a few seconds till the solder cools enough. Then go the other side and push down on that side as you put the iron to the foot and board at the same time. As soon as it sinks pull the iron away. It will take a little pressure to get that side to go down so don’t be afraid to push a little but don’t lean on it.



Do that for all the ones you want to replace. Be mindful of where you are maneuvering the hot iron so you don’t melt something you don’t want to.
I left the leds that illuminate the needles alone cause they are red already, but I replaced all the ones under the sweeps, the blinkers, the bright light indicator and the fog lamp indicator. I put a dbl layer of the stage gel over the bright light indicator to tone the brightness down even more. It actually took longer to do this write up than it did to do the project.
Again I assume no risk for your work.
Doug



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Last edited by dsy; 01-09-2015 at 05:48 AM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 10-06-2011, 10:17 AM
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Cool, nice write-up
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post #3 of 21 Old 10-06-2011, 05:31 PM
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good write up, that looks awesome
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post #4 of 21 Old 10-06-2011, 05:36 PM
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Nice write up... I don't got the balls to do that...

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post #5 of 21 Old 10-13-2011, 06:11 PM
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Looks great!

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post #6 of 21 Old 10-13-2011, 06:40 PM
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that looks awesome, I would never even attempt that though
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post #7 of 21 Old 10-13-2011, 06:54 PM
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I would like to do this! May take it out and find someone that really knows a circuit board. Well done.
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post #8 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Despite all my warnings it actually is very easy to do if you just take your time.

07 Flame Red Unlimited Rubicon, 5.7 hemi, RCV shafts, 35" KM2's, AEV 3 1/2 lift, , AEV rear swing away Carrier, AEV Snorkel, LoD front bumper with Warn powerplant, 45qt Engel refrigerator / freezer. , Marchal E-Code lamps
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post #9 of 21 Old 10-15-2011, 11:19 PM
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Hats off to you man, you are much braver than I am. Cool project.

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post #10 of 21 Old 10-16-2011, 01:46 PM
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Is there a write up somewhere of how to get the dash cluster out?
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post #11 of 21 Old 10-16-2011, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBirish View Post
Is there a write up somewhere of how to get the dash cluster out?
The lower trim piece just pulls off from the bottom. The next one up just stick your finger in along side the steering column where the trim is narrow toward the top and pull out.
Then remove the two screws that hold the top cover over the cluster. Once screws are out just grab right at the top and pull up a hair and toward you and it will pop right out. Then 4 small bolts hold the cluster in. 3 plugs on the backside to unplug.

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post #12 of 21 Old 10-16-2011, 07:11 PM
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have you messed with the ones in the center stack?

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post #13 of 21 Old 10-20-2011, 02:51 PM
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Just got doing mine in blue. Very easy and it looks great.

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post #14 of 21 Old 01-09-2014, 08:31 PM
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Just finished mine in blue and some in white! Never soldered before and out of 10 blue LEDs I only messed up 2 of them. Pretty proud of it. Doing the wife's jeep tomorrow in hot pink LEDs and white LEDs

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post #15 of 21 Old 06-20-2014, 01:11 PM
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This is a great project and I did a video on how I did it. Maybe it will help someone. Thanks DSY! I credited you in the video description.
https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=J5njHRCSOAg
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post #16 of 21 Old 06-20-2014, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kipkay View Post
This is a great project and I did a video on how I did it. Maybe it will help someone. Thanks DSY! I credited you in the video description.
https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=J5njHRCSOAg
Glad others were able to use the info.. mine have held up perfectly.
Doug

07 Flame Red Unlimited Rubicon, 5.7 hemi, RCV shafts, 35" KM2's, AEV 3 1/2 lift, , AEV rear swing away Carrier, AEV Snorkel, LoD front bumper with Warn powerplant, 45qt Engel refrigerator / freezer. , Marchal E-Code lamps
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post #17 of 21 Old 06-21-2014, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07unlimitedx View Post
Nice write up... I don't got the balls to do that...
lol same here, I would just try and stick a big ass light behind it all and hope it looks good. But nice job with the lights. looks great.


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post #18 of 21 Old 06-23-2014, 01:42 PM
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Hey DSY, just out of curiosty, did you have any issues with the needles not lining up properly? I have tried numerous times to get them to line up, but my fuel gauge cannot seem to get lined up. I'll have it lined up and then two minutes after I turn the Jeep off, it jumps past full. I've also tried the test by pressing the odometer button and turning the key on and off twice to no avail. Please help!!!!
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post #19 of 21 Old 01-09-2015, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atrio3 View Post
Hey DSY, just out of curiosty, did you have any issues with the needles not lining up properly? I have tried numerous times to get them to line up, but my fuel gauge cannot seem to get lined up. I'll have it lined up and then two minutes after I turn the Jeep off, it jumps past full. I've also tried the test by pressing the odometer button and turning the key on and off twice to no avail. Please help!!!!
sorry just saw this. yes first time I opened it up I made the mistake of turning the needles by hand. Cure was just open it back up after noting how far off they are and pull them back off and and repositioning them to correct the offset. Only took once to get them right on.

Guess that should have been in the warnings at the beginning

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post #20 of 21 Old 08-21-2015, 08:25 PM
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Thanks OP. This is an awesome guide. I just did gauge lights in blue. I left the other lights their stock colors.

Now all I need to find is the right colored blue film to cover the digital displays.

And figure out if there are the same leds in the temp and a/c controls.

Forgive teh pic quality....

EDIT: I am going to leave the digital displays intact.

ALSO NOTE ABOVE IN ANOTHER POST ABOUT MARKING THE NEEDLE POSITIONS. MAINLY GAS AND SPEEDOMETER.

First time around I just made sure that each needle was rotated fully counter-clockwise then pushed the needles on so they were on 0 for the speedo and on E for the gas gauge.

In a run to the country today to expend a few rounds, I was driving along comfortably and noticed that the speedo said 80MPH! I knew that was wrong. Then I went and looked at my pic above. The speedo is reading 16 even though the jeep is in park. Never noticed it.

Got that fixed and then tested the gas gauge. If you rotate it fully counter-clockwise then set it at E, you will be in big trouble. Went and filled up. It ran way past full. Figuring I was on 1/4 tank when I filled up and it took 15 gallons to fill, if I left it the way it was I would be bone dry when the needle hit E. I fixed that shit real quick. LOL
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Last edited by FreeBallin; 08-22-2015 at 08:33 PM.
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post #21 of 21 Old 08-26-2015, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeBallin View Post
Thanks OP. This is an awesome guide. I just did gauge lights in blue. I left the other lights their stock colors.

Now all I need to find is the right colored blue film to cover the digital displays.

And figure out if there are the same leds in the temp and a/c controls.

Forgive teh pic quality....

EDIT: I am going to leave the digital displays intact.

ALSO NOTE ABOVE IN ANOTHER POST ABOUT MARKING THE NEEDLE POSITIONS. MAINLY GAS AND SPEEDOMETER.

First time around I just made sure that each needle was rotated fully counter-clockwise then pushed the needles on so they were on 0 for the speedo and on E for the gas gauge.

In a run to the country today to expend a few rounds, I was driving along comfortably and noticed that the speedo said 80MPH! I knew that was wrong. Then I went and looked at my pic above. The speedo is reading 16 even though the jeep is in park. Never noticed it.

Got that fixed and then tested the gas gauge. If you rotate it fully counter-clockwise then set it at E, you will be in big trouble. Went and filled up. It ran way past full. Figuring I was on 1/4 tank when I filled up and it took 15 gallons to fill, if I left it the way it was I would be bone dry when the needle hit E. I fixed that shit real quick. LOL
have you or anyone else experienced sticky needles? mine don't rotate smoothly and cant figure out why! I reset them multiple times!
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