BLue dash lights ElCHEAPO - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Interior Semi-Tech General discussion of interior for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 01-07-2009
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BLue dash lights ElCHEAPO

Wow after stumblin on JP7's led cluster thread I started searchin others led projects. Cool stuff, every since I installed blue lit radio Ive been hating the green. I decided since I dont have the coin right now I could do the prep work to the guages. Then when Im ready for leds the guages are already prepped., Using Takedas thread for dissasembly instructions I was in the shop in an hour. JUST GOOOD STUFF.
I started the sanding thing but just seemed like a lot of work, I thought well if its just paint, so got out the Acetone, the backing paints just wiped off?
I ended up using blue masking tape cause I didnt want to look at the white till I do something else. WOW was I surprised, It actually looks good, Unfortuanelty my camera sucks, gotta get someone to snap some pics, but it actually worked. Ill probably add leds down the road but Im stoked and it was free. Well abit of work but hey theres a heater in my shop. I took apart today again & foiled clusters to brighten and removed odometer to see what I could do with it. When I took it it just had a colored piece of plastic behind it. Used a paint pen and more tape wal-blue.

My question is for others that have worked on thier cluster, I was dreading the needle removal but mine just poped off easily while turning gently counter close wise? The panles I just wiped with acetone. Also when I reassembled I just zeroed the needles, gently pushed on needles, turned CCW to feel stop and set needles at zero(where they are truck off/cold). All the guages are dead on. So I guess my question is "why did this seem so much easier than i thought it was going to be. Its a stock 04. Granted I havent done any of the led work which Im actually looking forward to, but the needle and panel prep seemed kinda daunting and I almost didnt do it. Did I just have more than my share of good luck now my trucks gonna burst into flames? Course I got to use all the work every one elsedocumented.
Ha
Anyway thought Id share the ElCheap cluster mod. U gotta remove the green anyway however you do the light color change. I put some pics of the prep work on my site, heres the best pic I could get with my camera


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Mark

Last edited by AnEv942; 01-08-2009 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 01-07-2009
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if it works and you like it...go for it
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Old 01-07-2009
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Good stuff. I might do that because I'm cheap. That is a clever idea too,using the tape.
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Old 01-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikey View Post
Good stuff. I might do that because I'm cheap. That is a clever idea too,using the tape.
yours is ALOT easier than the OP's.....03 and older can be done using the following links...

build up of my gauges(im in a whopping $15 for this mod)
https://www.ranger-forums.com/forum2...ad.php?t=62796

just the color change($10 tops)
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/296394/24
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Old 01-08-2009
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As to the blue tape being 'clever', it does work. Ive used it before on other projects. Regualr tape works for just toning down lights. Yes i was stoked when I realized my panels on 04 jus pop off. I was actually thinking of trying the translucent paint, I have a bunch but I couldnt find it.

Just fun stuff, it cool to mod somthing thats easy an cheap-Though Id kinda like to try the leds, If I spend any money it'll be on needles. The Red is just too bright. I tried to paint all but the last 1/2" black-thinkin the light would travel to the end-it didnt. Maybe white 1st then black ..

But the next bit of coin was going for a tiny small cheap CB- and install in the radio cubby hole like Ive seen here. But my hole adapter looks a bit more centered than what Ive seen other use, so Ill have to find a different adapter or mod mine. Though either way, Im making a face plate so CB looks like it belongs in there.

Now Ill also have to either find one with blue lights or mod the CB too its all good.

Last edited by AnEv942; 01-08-2009 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 01-09-2009
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Hmmm, so I could just use paint remover to take the green off of mine and then respray it with that anodized blue Metalcast paint....

That would be super easy and cost the same as buying new blue bulbs.
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Old 01-09-2009
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I have some translucent blue paint sitting beside me too....hummmmm
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Old 01-09-2009
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dooo it.

I like the green though, but blue is always nice.
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Old 01-09-2009
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I'm replacing my insterument cluster bulbs tommmorrow in my gauges, and I'm curious when you take the gauge cluster out what happens to the P R D N 1 2. I saw in another thread that it just dangles, but that was on an 01+ ranger will mine do that or does it just come out with the cluster
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Old 01-09-2009
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The green was ok,..If my radio had been green I probably wouldnt have done it...maybe..I dunno I m really liken the blue. Im afraid next time I drive my F250 Im gonn notice the stock green lights ...

As too the metal cast paint-test on some clear 1st-dont know how transulent or the color that might actully show thru...spraying have to mask areas you dont wanna darken? But might be cool. hmmm thers also some translucent lexan paint (R/c bodys) course if your going to the hobby store....

Paint remover test to insure it doesnt attack the plastic..When I used the acetone if I stayed in one area to long, Id see white rolling around so I d go to another section, use sparingly, just enough to rub off paint., The top white comes off real easy, the green takes a bit more rubbing. Or you do the sanding like most seem to do.

Im not sure on the A/T indicator, Ive a manual-I thought earlier years were the same, In clumps of years-I'd do some searching-course when you get it apart itll be obvious.
Note the how toos on the earlier years are diferent than mine-I dont think that much more diifcult cept, the panles, but different.

Ya options....
Mark
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Old 01-09-2009
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I only assume the paint would work well because I used the same stuff to tint my tail and corner lights, and that paint comes in several colours.
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Old 01-19-2009
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doing it that way, the tape will kill some of your light. I wanted it extremely bright thats why I like the blue LED shining through the open window. Good work, especially getting the needles off. Hopefully my video helped you.
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Old 01-20-2009
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Originally Posted by Jp7 View Post
doing it that way, the tape will kill some of your light. I wanted it extremely bright thats why I like the blue LED shining through the open window. Good work, especially getting the needles off. Hopefully my video helped you.
VIDEO? Your led thread got me going but I didnt see vidioe link-guess I didnt search hard enough....Wished I had, that part had me concerned, if it can be broken....but yes they do just pop off (04)
Yes the tape does dim it, but I usually have the lights pretty dim anyway. But now there all the way up-that due to the stupid needles. I was really hating the orange. I tried paint black cept the last 1/2", thought might be cool having a lil floating orange band, didnt work couldnt see em. I took back off, cleaned and painted white 1st then black cept the last 3/4"-now I can almost see em
I want to replace the needles, so Ill use your source. though I did see where a couple of folks had old take out clusters for sale, they apperared to have clear needles with white stripe? But I dont know if the earlier years I saw will fit mine? Be kind nice -Id save a couple of bucks and someone else could make a couple.
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Old 01-20-2009
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With the needles that usspeedo.com sells you MUST order the same needles I have for a 2004+ ranger. They come in blue, white and red. They are GM needles that have been reworked specifically by Rusty at usspeedo to fit the ranger cluster motors.

The 2004+ ford truck needles DO NOT WORK. I say this over and over and people still buy them.

Call rusty, email him the pictures of my cluster so he will remember which ones he sent me. I am nearly positive he used a tool to open the size of the hole up a little bit.

Oh, and you will need to trim the Fuel/Temp needles a tiny bit shorter or they will rub the trim piece. I cut mine down about 1/4 inch.
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Old 01-23-2009
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I don't like really bright dash lights at night. They're distracting and cause glare and reflection on your side windows and windshield.

That LED mod thread was sick.
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