CUSTOM white guges w/ led illumination - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 07-06-2005
advantEDGE's Avatar
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CUSTOM white guges w/ led illumination

This is my newest mod. I used the gauge color how-to to remove the green and used led's from superbrightled's.com to light up the cluster. However I had to figure out some way to get led's behind the gauges .... so I figured i'd use the stock setup plus it's the most non-destructive. I didn't like the idea of drilling holes in the back of the cluster. So, I took out the OE bulbs and discarded the bulb portion and modded the base they plug into and came up with this:


That is an led with a resistor hooked onto the 194 bulb's base so that you can just twist it in like normal. Cool huh? To get the light to spread evenly, i had to aim the led's in different directions to minimize the "hot spots". Some spots require their own aiming so this took a little while. Now, after carefully reassembling everything, here is what it looks like:
Name:  newgauges.jpg
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Now, before this gets critiqued this is far from being finished. I have to callibrate the needles, and fix a few bugs. But you cats get the idea. Tell me what you guys think!
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2005
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dang looks really good

i wish i could go somethin like taht with my 04 gauges
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2005
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Looks great! wanna do mine for me?
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2005
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That Looks Really Cool!!!!
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2005
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That is SICK!!! Did you sand down the dome & sides of the leds to they disperse more light??? That's what I had to do with my cruise control/fog lamp/and 4x4 switches when I went to LED on those.
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2005
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thats really cool u should do a how to on it but then again i am sure its close to john's how to but then again i would like to do it too
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2005
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That looks great!
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Old 07-07-2005
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I was planning this mod for my 04 since like, last year, haha. I'm glad someone did it. I'm gonna hit you up on AIM or some PM's

It looks great, good job!
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  #9  
Old 07-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighRollerII
dang looks really good

i wish i could go somethin like taht with my 04 gauges

Why cant you do it on the 04 gauges?
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  #10  
Old 07-07-2005
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That looks great! The uneveness of the lighting, though different, is pretty similar when you do the color mod with light bulbs. In fact, I'm quite impressed that you got it as even as you did.

Is that some kind of cap on the bulb as a diffuser? When you PM'd me about it, I think you said something like that?

Yes, the aiming is important. I found that angling the LED's in the cruise control pods was best to get even lighting as well.

This opens up the possibility of colored LED's as well to get a single color if you want it. Very nice.

I have a 6CD changer out of a Lincoln Aviator that was bad and sent to me so I could salvage the front panel. It's on there now and it has WHITE LED's and display. I used a dot of blue glass paint on each little chip LED and now I have nice, uniform deep blue buttons and a white display. I love it. I need to post that at some point.
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  #11  
Old 07-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
That looks great! The uneveness of the lighting, though different, is pretty similar when you do the color mod with light bulbs. In fact, I'm quite impressed that you got it as even as you did.

Is that some kind of cap on the bulb as a diffuser? When you PM'd me about it, I think you said something like that?

Yes, the aiming is important. I found that angling the LED's in the cruise control pods was best to get even lighting as well.

This opens up the possibility of colored LED's as well to get a single color if you want it. Very nice.

I have a 6CD changer out of a Lincoln Aviator that was bad and sent to me so I could salvage the front panel. It's on there now and it has WHITE LED's and display. I used a dot of blue glass paint on each little chip LED and now I have nice, uniform deep blue buttons and a white display. I love it. I need to post that at some point.
The leds in the radio face are surface mounted ones correct? If so I have the equipment to change them out and I have a few blue and green/red bipolar leds that I can use to do one. I have a sony head unit but I have been thinking aobut modding my stock head unit with some new leds and selling it.
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  #12  
Old 07-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehazard
The leds in the radio face are surface mounted ones correct? If so I have the equipment to change them out and I have a few blue and green/red bipolar leds that I can use to do one. I have a sony head unit but I have been thinking aobut modding my stock head unit with some new leds and selling it.

Correct, they are SMLEDs. I was wanting to just change mine out (I'm not so handy with soldering on circuit boards, but my housemate is,) but I couldn't find a source for ultrabright blue SM-LEDs on the net unless I was buying in bulk.. like 10,000+. I still have my original circuit board (I swapped an aviator face just like N3ELZ did) and I'd love to try it if you could point me to a good source for SMLEDs. I think there are something like 12-15 SMLEDs on the CD6 face.

I've been contemplating going back to the white LCD display as well, I have blue lighting gel in mine, and it looks perfect at night, but is so dim its barely legible during the day. Same with my blue-lit OHC (not the aqua-blue, actual blue.) Or I might make a second run at fabbing my own lenses.. the trick is to use a little pink to offset the greenish cast of the LCDs (the green color is mostly from the lense) before adding the actual tint color. The lense on the Aviator face is pink, but its got alot of dark tint to it as well.

(Edit.. I haven't been inside the 04 style CD6/MP3, so I'm not sure how its illuminated.. I can't remember if the 03 style CD6 was used in 04s or if they all have the CD6/MP3.)

As for the original post, my only concern with using colored LEDs in the gauges is that unless you leave the needles white and have them light up the same color as the bulbs, they will be very dim.

I intend to replace my bulbs with superwhite LEDs just to eliminate the yellowish caste of the lighting on the odometer at night, and the orangish color of my red needles (I'd rather they were straight red to match the red on my reverse-glow gauges.) It seems like the older my truck gets, the more yellowish the bulbs are. Good thing everything else in my truck is blue LEDs!
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  #13  
Old 07-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wowak
Correct, they are SMLEDs. I was wanting to just change mine out (I'm not so handy with soldering on circuit boards, but my housemate is,) but I couldn't find a source for ultrabright blue SM-LEDs on the net unless I was buying in bulk.. like 10,000+. I still have my original circuit board (I swapped an aviator face just like N3ELZ did) and I'd love to try it if you could point me to a good source for SMLEDs. I think there are something like 12-15 SMLEDs on the CD6 face.

I've been contemplating going back to the white LCD display as well, I have blue lighting gel in mine, and it looks perfect at night, but is so dim its barely legible during the day. Same with my blue-lit OHC (not the aqua-blue, actual blue.) Or I might make a second run at fabbing my own lenses.. the trick is to use a little pink to offset the greenish cast of the LCDs (the green color is mostly from the lense) before adding the actual tint color. The lense on the Aviator face is pink, but its got alot of dark tint to it as well.

(Edit.. I haven't been inside the 04 style CD6/MP3, so I'm not sure how its illuminated.. I can't remember if the 03 style CD6 was used in 04s or if they all have the CD6/MP3.)

As for the original post, my only concern with using colored LEDs in the gauges is that unless you leave the needles white and have them light up the same color as the bulbs, they will be very dim.

I intend to replace my bulbs with superwhite LEDs just to eliminate the yellowish caste of the lighting on the odometer at night, and the orangish color of my red needles (I'd rather they were straight red to match the red on my reverse-glow gauges.) It seems like the older my truck gets, the more yellowish the bulbs are. Good thing everything else in my truck is blue LEDs!

How did you get you overhead console to light up blue?
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  #14  
Old 07-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehazard
How did you get you overhead console to light up blue?

More of the blue theatre/stage lighting gel. (not really a gel at all, its a transparent, high-temp plastic used for stage and DJ lighting.) I need to add some pink to it, it still has a slightly greenish caste to it, and like I said, its dim during the day.
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  #15  
Old 07-08-2005
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Is it the lense that makes it colored? I think I remember a LONG time ago someone found a different lense or something...
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  #16  
Old 07-08-2005
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Looks great, too bad Im not talented like that.
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  #17  
Old 07-08-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advantEDGE
Is it the lense that makes it colored? I think I remember a LONG time ago someone found a different lense or something...
A little of both, the LCD itself is a pale green, the lense on Fords are dark green, the Lincolns have a pink lense that offsets the pale green and looks pure white.
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  #18  
Old 07-08-2005
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So it is possible to get the lettering to look white? What vehicle specifically should I look for this in?
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  #19  
Old 07-08-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advantEDGE
So it is possible to get the lettering to look white? What vehicle specifically should I look for this in?
Any 02-current Aviator or Navigator CD6 has the white face. 04+ use a different connector, the older ones will work in a Ranger but they are bolt-in, not snap in. What I did was to just swap out the circuit board and the lense, the other option is to grind off the "lip" around the face and use the whole Lincoln faceplate (black on the Aviator, silver on the Navigator.) These faces don't have the holes for the removal tools, so if you want to take the radio out you would have to take the bezel off and use two flattip screwdrivers to pop the clips loose. I've thought about doing that as a semi-security feature.
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  #20  
Old 07-08-2005
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damn that looks good, nice work!!!
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  #21  
Old 07-08-2005
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I like that...

Looks good...
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  #22  
Old 07-08-2005
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Anyone know how long it would take to take out the gauges on a 2004 ranger? I was thinking about doing it tonight but I dont wanna take them out and then have to get the hell out of dodge if the hurricane comes and kills Louisiana.
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  #23  
Old 07-08-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wowak
Any 02-current Aviator or Navigator CD6 has the white face. 04+ use a different connector, the older ones will work in a Ranger but they are bolt-in, not snap in. What I did was to just swap out the circuit board and the lense, the other option is to grind off the "lip" around the face and use the whole Lincoln faceplate (black on the Aviator, silver on the Navigator.) These faces don't have the holes for the removal tools, so if you want to take the radio out you would have to take the bezel off and use two flattip screwdrivers to pop the clips loose. I've thought about doing that as a semi-security feature.
I thougt it was the overhead console that we were talking about?
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  #24  
Old 07-13-2005
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I was wanting to do this mod. As well as add blue & white LED's inside my truck to light up the dark areas, mainly light up my cupholders to light water bottles up and make it easier to find while driving. I also plan on lighting up the door pockets in blue.
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