Alright, so we've all seen the modded gauges on the older model rangers, but how about a 2005? With some willingness to expirament, and the drive to produce an awesome mod...here it is.
I started out by removing most of the dash panels on the driver side.
And here are all of the panels laid out in the bed.
This is the full gauge cluster after being removed.
There are two wiring harnesses on the back of the cluster. The grey harness is horizontal and the black is vertical. The black controls the gauge motors themselves.
One other thing to mention before continuing...if you move a needle..against its will..dont worry about it. Everything is electronically controled and you cant knock something out of place that wont reset when you plug the harnesses back in. Anyhow, on with the modding.
Next their are two pieces to remove, the clear plastic covering that goes over the entire cluster, and the black trim piece that surrounds the guages. Both have clips that go around the outside edges of the cluster, and are very easy to remove. Once you've finished removing the pieces you should have this...
One thing I'll let you know about before I continue is that you wont be able to remove the needles...they're pressed/glued on and without a hair dryer(or flame thrower) they wont come off. I didn't really pay any attention to this because you can do the mod without removing them.
Anyhow, there are 8 screws underneath the gauge faces that need to be removed. If you carefully lift the edges or rotate the tach/speedometer you'll see them. Once all of them have been removed, go ahead and pull up on the two plastic tabs. Now flip the whole thing over so your needles are facing down, like so...
Next step is to remove the transparent green material from the back of the gauge faces. I found sand paper to work the best out of everything I tried. I recomment a thicker grit as it is rougher and removes the material quicker and easier. Another nice thing is the groves it leaves in the plastic. Once you start painting the back it makes it much easier to control where the paint is going because it sticks in the groves.
For mine I used stained glass paint, same as the others. I did my notches blue and the numbers white..everything else is the same for now. Because you have to rotate the gauge faces, you'll only be able to do one section at a time until it dries...I found that about 4 hours was long enough for it to dry and not be tacky.
That's pretty much all there is to it. Once the paint is dry, reassemble everything and enjoy!
Here's how mine turned out...