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Gauge Lighting: Changing color

Old 07-21-2004, 12:45 AM
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Default Gauge Lighting: Changing color

CREDITS: This article was written by a dedicated Scion Life member. Please let out pmpnxb know if this article was helpful to you!

DISCLAIMER: Scionlife.com does not take any responsibility in what you do to your car. This FAQ could be filled with incorrect information. You could be voiding your warranty if not installed by a certified mechanic or dealership. It is quite possible that you can totally mess up your car by using this as a guide to install anything. This can result in serious bodily injury, death, dismemberment, sexually transmitted diseases and so forth to you and anybody else in case of an accident resulting from failure to take safety precautions and/or following the instructions in this write-up.

Get Ready:

Here's a quick easy way to change the way your gauge cluster lights up and night for about $1.00. I'll give you step by step instructions on how to take the dash apart, disassemble the cluster and color your lights. And the best part, you can change the color whenever you get bored. Feel free to drop me a line if this helped you out, or send me pictures of your different colored gauges
-- pmpnxb

What ya need:
Flat head screw driver
Philips screw driver
Sharpie permanent marker (color of your choice)


Optional:
Prozac - for staying sane while popping the needles off, and making sure they still work right. I've heard the cluster is $200 to replace.. But I've taken mine apart 5 times and haven't broken anything yet

1) While pushing down on the back of cluster pull back towards you on the plastic molding surrounding the gauge cluster. Then pop off the other side of the molding by pulling back towards you.



2) There are three Philips screws you can easily remove with a Philips head screw driver (who would have thought.) After you remove the screws pull back on the whole cluster gently, it shouldn't take too much force.


3) Make sure the vehicle power is off (don't worry about the open door light, just no keys in the ignition etc.) Push down on the tab holding the wiring harness in place and remove the wiring harness. [ Note: when you do this you will lose all your miles on your trip A and B odometer ]


4) Push the tabs in holding the clear gauge cover in and remove it.



5) Ahh the fun part.. Now carefully take note of where the needles are located. With a flat head screwdriver (or a needle popper) remove all 3 needles. [ Be careful these little bastards can shoot 20+ft. , I lost my speedo needle doing this tech article. But found it shortly after. ] After you get the needles off you can easily pop the gauge face off and slide it off the gauge cluster.



6) Remove the plastic back piece with the flat head screwdriver.


7) Color your LED's... make sure not to color the gas light Led or it will light up some funny color since it is orange. If you don't like the color you picked rub it off with some rubbing alcohol and change the color. [ Remember the darker the color the darker it will light up ]


My friend successfully used the Turquoise sharpie and got the indiglo color look.





Tip) When reassembling the gauge cluster, put the needles back on exactly where you popped them off... The beauty of these gauges is all of the needles have stops on them.. When you take it apart they are stopped at their lowest position, this makes it easy to calibrate when you put the needles back on. After the needle is on twist the needles counter clock wise and make sure it is stopped at the point you took the needle off.
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Old 07-21-2004, 06:21 AM
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this is really cool and easy.
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Old 08-03-2004, 03:25 AM
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I can't seem to get the screw out in the center of the pod holding the Odometer, in order to get the shell off. Can someone help me out?
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Old 08-03-2004, 04:00 AM
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I don't know if this is an '05 problem, but...

The screw you're talking about is basically a plastic anchor with a threaded plastic screw. It must be easy to put in, but it definitely is a beotch to get out. The problem is that the screw turns but does not catch any "threads" and turns endlessly. Maybe try lightly prying against the screw head while backing the screw out.

Or you can do what I did and rip the screw out with some pliers...the anchor will simply slide out after that. I didn't replace the screw because the snap-tightedness of the assembly doesn't really need the screw. Great for also showing off to the friends on how easy it is to take apart your car for customization.
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Old 08-09-2004, 06:58 PM
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Default clock light

i was wondering while u were working on changing the gauge lights did u happen to open the clock holder thing to the right of it. because i was wondering if u could change the background color of clock so it will match the a/c color that i already changed and so it will also match the spedomoter.
\



thanks stephen hull
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Old 08-10-2004, 01:15 AM
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Regarding the clock light, I took a look and it appears you'd have to remove the lcd panel to get to the backlight, I didn't see an easy to reach lcd. I took a slightly different approach to making my speedo blue. First, thanks for this tutorial, it was great! Instead of coloring the leds directly, I noticed teh inner plastic plate edges curve down to the lights, so I colored a clear piece of plastic (from a school binder) and taped it to the edge of the plastic cover. That way you just remove the taped pieces later if you want. Works great, same results.
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Old 08-10-2004, 07:51 PM
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Old 08-22-2004, 03:36 PM
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i did this trick with a orange sharpie for my hot lava xb. very easy to do and it looks great. thanks for the tip.
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Old 08-23-2004, 10:20 PM
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Anyone know how many rotations you turn the needle after replacing them?
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Old 08-24-2004, 12:04 AM
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i just made a note of where the needle was at when i popped them off and simply pushed them back on in the same spot, i did not have to twist them any, they work fine after that. very easy to do.
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Old 08-25-2004, 05:41 AM
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I was gonna do this mod.....but the disclamer scared me shi#less. lol

1+2=3
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Old 08-31-2004, 01:15 PM
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Default Neddle

Hi this is my first post my friends and I we use a fork we bend it in a L angle so the openings in the fork go right in to the needles and then pull up.Hope it's any help.
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Old 09-16-2004, 04:57 PM
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just a note - the gas needle doesn't register properly if you just twist it until it stops...that's the only needle you need to check for positioning before popping them off.

Also, if you want a more vibrant color, I discovered that if you color the edges of the plastic cover (that covers the actual gauge paper itself) where they butt against the LEDs it makes a rather large difference....more color but it doesn't steal much light either.
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Old 09-16-2004, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by xtremeOrange
just a note - the gas needle doesn't register properly if you just twist it until it stops...that's the only needle you need to check for positioning before popping them off.

Also, if you want a more vibrant color, I discovered that if you color the edges of the plastic cover (that covers the actual gauge paper itself) where they butt against the LEDs it makes a rather large difference....more color but it doesn't steal much light either.
To be used in conjunction with the coloring of the LEDs themselves as well.....my edit button seems to have disappeared, hence a double-post
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Old 09-22-2004, 04:06 AM
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Default trip

ok i need some help on changing the color on the trip section that lights up can i get it any other color? how do i gain access to it?
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Old 09-26-2004, 12:31 AM
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Anyone have these instructions for the XA. I'm sure its pretty close. I just don't want to screw anything up.
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Old 09-28-2004, 09:47 AM
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apparently the coloring of bulbs doesnt last too long it burns off . oh well. but to change the led under the lcd screen u need to resolder different color leds under it. somone on here said they were going to do it and put up a how to but i am still awaiting.
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Old 10-01-2004, 03:04 AM
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The clusters up top look pretty sweet! I just don't have the ***** to pull my Box apart. I kind of like the "White" light anyhow
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:15 PM
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Default Another idea

Maybe you can use a colored tape or film? You can find this stuff at any art supply store. Thinking about trying this.
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Old 12-12-2004, 02:58 AM
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my main tach/speedo just turned white after a month and a half so beware not permanent by any means.
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