How-To: Change the color of your HVAC panel
If youíre considering doing a total LED conversion, you may want to START
here. This will give you an idea of what is involved with the other process, and is MUCH EASIER than the instrumentation.
- 7mm socket and wrench, or a screwdriver with a socket adapter
- Flat head screw driver
Remove the two 7mm bolts above the A/C control *****. It is easier if you pull off the control ***** first, but is not necessary.
Remove the radio bezel by getting your fingers between it and the dash and pulling straight out. There are 2 clips on each side which hold the top portion on, so you may want to work from one direction to the other (bottom to top works well).
It is highly recommended you disconnect everything attached to this bezel and set it aside
The connections should consist of:
~Aux 12V power supply (two pull-off connections, one female spade and one rubber-type)
~Cigarette lighter (one pull-off polarized connection)
~Antenna (pull-out male connection)
~Radio harness (a flat head will help in removing this harness)
You may have more switches for fog lights or 4x4 switches, but since I donít, I canít describe the connection type. Someone please PM me the type of connection (pull-off harness, spade connectors, etc.)
Now remove the four 7mm bolts around the outer edges of the A/C panel. This isnít necessary and wonít allow you to pull it too far out from the dash because of the vacuum hoses connected to the back, but youíll be able to accomplish the next task much easier.
Using a flat-head screwdriver, pry up on the black plastic where it clips onto the white plastic:
Now youíll be able to remove the 161 bulbs and replace them with the LEDís. However, I was cheap and didnít want to buy more LEDs so I removed the green plastic wedge-base adapter by twisting it out and bent the prongs of the 194 bulbs to contact the metal electrical-contacts on the reverse side of the white plastic panel.
Before putting this all back together, you'll have to seperate the two layers of the HVAC panel face. It's glued on, but remains adhesive after you pull it off so you won't have to re-glue it:
In this last picture you can see the two sockets for the lights, one with a 194 LED and one with the green plastic wedge-base adapter. As mentioned, you can buy 161 LEDs that simply plug in to replace the stock bulb, but I'm cheap so I retrofitted and soldered. I can still de-solder it and replace the wedge adapters if I get some 161 LEDS too.
Reverse the steps to put it all back together and enjoy your cool new custom A/C controls.