LED Dash Conversion (How to & Complete bulb size) - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 05-07-2007
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LED Dash Conversion (How to & Complete bulb size)

Keep in mind this is a work in progress, with complete results to be done hopefully by this coming Sunday, once it's complete this message will be deleted and this DIY will hopefully be sticked on here.

For an extensive tutorial on how LED's work and resistor information you can hop right on over to John Grigg's Cardomain site (my inspiration for doing this complete mod myself :) ):

LED Tutorial



Disclaimer: :Any damage you do will be at your own risk, and I won't be held responsible for anything that gets messed up on your truck so read carefully.

Ok so I've seen allot of people who want to do a complete LED dash conversion to his or her truck, and along the way I've seen allot of people ask the same questions (not to be out done I have before as well):

'What is the bulb size?', 'what’s needed?’, 'what is the outcome?' or in some cases 'Has anyone done this before I'm afraid to test this on my truck!' etc.

After much research and a little bit of reading, I verified thru the owners manual (Cluster Illustrations really point out the obvious) the total number of lights needed in order to a complete LED conversion.

I found the total number of lights that would be need for each led conversion you do: Radio (10 soldered bulbs), Cruise (2), Instrument Cluster (16), HVAC (2), 4WD (1) and Light switch(s) (1).

On the Instrument cluster there’s 14 bulbs total (excluding the main lights because we've already figured out the total is 6 and size is 194.)

Here’s a complete list of the dummy lights (verified size is B8.3D from Superbrightleds.com for the t1.5 size not too sure but I will be testing these bulbs for a verified fit in a couple days since there on order.

Red

Door Ajar
Anti-Lock Brake
Brake System (Emergency Brakes)
Battery (Alternator)
Fuel Reset
Check Gauge
Anti-Theft (although this has been confirmed to be an LED already)


Blue


High Beams

Green


Flashers (Turn signals)
Speed Control (a.k.a Cruise Control)


Amber

Air Bag Readiness
Check Engine
Overdrive Off.
4WD High & Low



So in total there are approximately 14 dummy lights (aka idiot lights). Now if you wanted to go crazy and mod your radio I took apart my spare radio and found that there are 10 soldered bulbs on the circuit board.

Which bulbs you decide to use for this mod is completely up to you, keep in mind these bulbs require replacements that NEED to be soldered in place along with a resistor.

But hopefully this helps, as I stated before, I have 14 bulbs I decided to try for the conversion, (T1.5 Bulbs #74 in a twist lock base) seeing as these bulbs seem to be the best fit, I will take pictures of the fitting process so alot of the members here wondering about an LED conversion can see it with complete install photos and along with the finished product.



I plan on completing this whole process by the end of this month (LED bulbs are a bit expensive when ordered in large quantities) so it will definitely take awhile to complete this project.

My general idea is to have a white lit background with orange needles (I'm using needles taken off an Explorer Sport) my idea came from my friend's 2004 Honda Accord since the dash is completely LED and stays lit even when the lights are off and they're really bright at night as well.

Something like this:



For some reason you can't change the Volt meter need since there's a metal post on the bottom of the needle, so that will stay white.

*Moderators of this section please sticky this and remove this message once it has been sticked to this forum.*

Tools needed:
Fork (for removal of the needles)
Hex key (size 3/32)
Black Sharpie (to mark the exact position of each needle before removing them).

Total estimated time:

Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes (depending if your very meticoulous like I am)

Phase I Added:
05/07/2007 8:41 A.M

I took the liberty of taking apart the cluster of my truck and taking a picture and labeling it via FireWorks for those wondering what each bulb is for.




1. Over Drive Off
2. 4x4 Lo
3. 4x4 High
4. Speed Control
5. Check Engine
6. Right Turn Signal
7. Fuel Reset
8. Check Gauge
9. Battery (Alternator)
10. Air Bag Readiness
11. Left Turn Signal
12. Brake (Emergency)
13. ABS
14. High Beam
15. Fuel Cap
16. Door Ajar
17. Seatbelt
18. Anti-Theft (3mm LED)

I ordered a complete set of t1.5 (twist lock base #74) bulbs

8 Red (I excluded the Anti-Theft since that is already a 3mm LED)
1 Blue
3 Green
5 Amber


The black bases are the 194 size bulbs.

The Bulb used for each indicator:



Since I'm going to use colored LED blubs, for each dummy light I labled the colors for each light in case anyone wants to use the exact same color.

Phase II Added 05/07/2007 10:30 am:

Took awhile to readjust the needles since I'm using Explorer Sport and Sport Trac needles. A little problem I ran into was the Tach was sticking a bit and the Speedometer needle was a bit off, after a little adjustment (needle were basically pushed in to hard thus resisting it's movement.) everything works fine.

But here it is fully assembled, unfortunately it will be taken out again for the led bulbs to be installed.




I didn't include the Cruise control, 4WD, and Fog light switches because those would have to be soldered in. Once its complete I will take pictures of the completed project. I've never done a DIY on my own so bare with me with a bit of patience.

Last edited by HRoc; 05-07-2007 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 05-07-2007
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Whoo-hoo!

Thanks! I've got 2 lights burnt out on my dash, and I needed to get around to doing this! I'll be mocking your write up when it is done! You rock!
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Old 05-07-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaneTrain
Whoo-hoo!

Thanks! I've got 2 lights burnt out on my dash, and I needed to get around to doing this! I'll be mocking your write up when it is done! You rock!
Hey man anything I can do to help.

I have all the bulbs on order now, along with 3mm leds for the cruise pods, Headlight, Fog and 4wd switches.

I know John Griggs (N3ELZ) has a writeup on his cardomain site but I figured I'd improve it a bit and add my own, as well as linking his page on LED FAQ and tutorial on here.
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Old 05-20-2007
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Thanks for posting what those super small bulbs were. I have my entire thing done except for my HVAC cause they are the tiny bulbs but now that I know what they are, I can get it complete. Thanks. Once question though. How come your battery level needle is white while the others are orange?
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Old 06-21-2007
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Old 01-19-2011
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hey if im only looking to switch out the main bulbs what size would i need? im not worried about the red green amber blue ones right now really I just want to upgrade the main ones to LED i.e. speedometer, rpm meter, gas level, and any other main ones. what sizes would i need to get for those ones?
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Old 01-19-2011
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this is gonna be sweet!!
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Old 01-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameron073 View Post
hey if im only looking to switch out the main bulbs what size would i need? im not worried about the red green amber blue ones right now really I just want to upgrade the main ones to LED i.e. speedometer, rpm meter, gas level, and any other main ones. what sizes would i need to get for those ones?
http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...ini-wedge.html
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Old 01-31-2011
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thank you but could you help me a little more? How do i know which bulbs to get? i looked at this site a while back and couldnt find what i would need as far as size goes
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Old 01-31-2011
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i am going to do this once i rebuild my engine lets get the truck running first right then enjoy the finer things in life
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Old 01-31-2011
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How many bulbs should I be putting in each hole, and then how should they be wired? Should they be wired in series or parallel? And what resistor should I use on them, and then how should the resistor be wired in? I think if someone was willing to make a wiring diagram for this it would make it a lot easier to ubderstand.
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