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  #1  
Old 12-15-2006
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dash light mod

ok so i read a few threads on how ppl did the dash mod, sand off the green and paint another color an dput led,s in. my question is what will i need to do the dash mod? material wise, and for the led bulbs will i need anything else to make them work or are they just drop in bulbs? if theres any links on how-to do the dash mod can someone please post? i think its gonna look killer once its all done and from what ive seen it looks friggin sweet! thanks for any help.

Last edited by blackbetty; 12-25-2006 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 12-15-2006
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I'm kinda curious about this too... I had a light go out behind my dash just last night, and I figured if I had to go back there anyway, maybe I'd make some changes, maybe go red or something, I dunno. Anyway, if anyone has input on this, I'd really appreciate it too.
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Old 12-15-2006
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Old 12-15-2006
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well i hope i can try to help you. i did the mod with my 96 ranger. the guages just pop out once you unbolt everything.pop off the outer two then middle. from there its a little hard. you have to pop the needles out with a fork to get the overlay off. before you pop the nedddles off you have to make sure you know where the tempture and fuel, battery and oil when hot. where the normally go when ur truck heats up. then you can take a razor blade and lightly scrape off the paint off the back. the lights on the back i just put in #194 bulbs that fit my truck bulbs that were behind the overlay. i believe you have to get the inverted cone wedge base bulbs for even light shine. then i put mine back. you can paint it or just put in the led color bulb and should shine the color like mine. well hope this helps if not i got most of my information when i did it from johngrigg's web page. he has a lot of mods there. good luck and there should be 6 bulbs behind the cluster to replace. at least on my 96 ranger there were .
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Old 12-15-2006
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take a pic of the gauges when the truck is warmed up and ideling.. it will help you put it back together
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Old 12-16-2006
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You can also index the needles with the key on engine off. (speedo and tach)
Oil and temp you can do when warmed up. Fuel and battery you can do as soon as the key is on and engine running.


And yes they make direct replacement leds in 194. Eelbay has the best prices.
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Old 12-17-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blhde
You can also index the needles with the key on engine off. (speedo and tach)
Oil and temp you can do when warmed up. Fuel and battery you can do as soon as the key is on and engine running.


And yes they make direct replacement leds in 194. Eelbay has the best prices.
what do you mean by index the needles?
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Old 12-17-2006
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I took the easy way out, and seems to be fine. All I did was take the overlays out, started scraping the green paint off, then just replaced the clear 194s with the red one from autozone. I'll get some pics tonight, all Ive got left is the steering wheel lights, and the 4wd lights. they are clear as of right now.
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Old 12-17-2006
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The problem with changing the light color is you get all one color. If you keep white bulbs or LED's you can use the glass paint on the overlay to get different colors. Mine is blue and red, and I changed all the warning indicators to yellow.
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Old 12-17-2006
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well today i started on the mod, hoping to get at least 35 hp from this mod lol jks, well i got the plasttic over lay ripped off and scraped the green paint off, i chose with using blue, blue bulbs and blue paint, will that work rele good? the bulbs i picked up arent led's there replacment ones but blue, as for the paint can i use spray paint or is that too thick and wont let the light through?

Last edited by blackbetty; 12-17-2006 at 05:34 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucky919
what do you mean by index the needles?

Marking the needle position.

A picture or tape/marker. Or whatever method works for you.

Only critical gauges is the speedo and tach. You can do the warm idle rpm/ 3k rpm in first. Or the method of key on engine off.
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Old 12-18-2006
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I had 2 bulbs to go out, 1 on my tach and my battery. As far as marking the needle pos., couldn't you just mark the needle pos. on all of them and reapply in the same pos. I am about to head out and buy some bulbs and paint. I figured I'd do the mod also since I had everything apart. One question I do have is, what grit of sand paper would you use?
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Old 12-18-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbetty
well today i started on the mod, hoping to get at least 35 hp from this mod lol jks, well i got the plasttic over lay ripped off and scraped the green paint off, i chose with using blue, blue bulbs and blue paint, will that work rele good? the bulbs i picked up arent led's there replacment ones but blue, as for the paint can i use spray paint or is that too thick and wont let the light through?
Read my how-to which was linked early. You need transparent "glass paint" and it's cheap and easy to obtain at a hobby store.

Why do I bother to write this stuff, sometimes I wonder......I go to a lot of trouble to write those how-to's, people tell you guys about them, then you ask questions which are answered in the how-to, lol!
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  #14  
Old 12-18-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Read my how-to which was linked early. You need transparent "glass paint" and it's cheap and easy to obtain at a hobby store.

Why do I bother to write this stuff, sometimes I wonder......I go to a lot of trouble to write those how-to's, people tell you guys about them, then you ask questions which are answered in the how-to, lol!


lol did it!! thanks for the help though, i was just wondering if other types of paint worked....but i got the glass paint today at 4bucks a bottle, about 3 inches in height 1 inch diameter, quite a lot for 4 bucks!! but as for the other guy who asked bout the sand paper, i just used a scalpol to scrape the paint off, worked nicely! ill try to get some pics up soon.
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Old 12-18-2006
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lol! Sorry, just kvetching (yiddish term) -- I would like a dollar for every time I get a question that I've covered in a how to, even by folks that have read it!

I used a homemade scraper myself and that worked best for me as well.
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Old 12-19-2006
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got some updates.
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  #17  
Old 12-19-2006
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ok i got the mod done and go tsome pics of progress, later tonight when its dark illget some night shots of the dash in action, the ones you will see here are just lit with a flashlight behind them so its alot brighter than stock lol



here is the stock green lighting, there were only 2 of 5 bulbs that were working behind the dash!!


one of the stock lights.


this is the glass paint n3elz wus talkin bout. i got them for 4 bucks a bottle, theres quite a lot!


here is the back of all the gauges.


back of the tach gauge.


the tach guage lit up with a flashlight.


speedo guage lit up with a flash light.

so thats all for now, once it gets darker i will some pics of the lights in action. hope this helps someone.

Thanks for help n3elz.
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2006
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That looks great! Nice job!

I like the red "warning" area on the tach gauge -- nice touch.
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  #19  
Old 12-19-2006
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That looks good. I'll probably start on mine tomorrow afternoon or thurs. afternoon. I would have started to day, but I messed up the part of the dash that goes around the speedo. I had to sand it down after it dried a while, but I did manage to at least get the green scraped off on the ac/heater. What is the trick in getting the clear plastic oiece sep. from the black piece?
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Old 12-19-2006
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Careful prying with a wide thing object. The face has been heat sealed to the big clear plastic framwork at certain spots and you need to break those without tearing the overlay.

But maybe you're not talking about that? The overlay itself doesn't come apart. I thought you were talking about getting the overlay off the clear cover area over the gauges and circuit board but if you've been scraping, you've already done that?
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  #21  
Old 12-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
That looks great! Nice job!

I like the red "warning" area on the tach gauge -- nice touch.

Thanks!! now my only question would it be better and brighter if i used led bulbs? cuz im running stock replacment bulbs but with blue "tint" on them and i tried getting photos of them in the dark but its not coming out that bright on the camera, but in real life theyre fine and you can see full sweep of the guages and everything but would personally like them a bit brighter. are led's the way to go?
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  #22  
Old 12-19-2006
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It'll be nicer I think because the "white" from the LED's is more "full spectrum" and it might make the colors richer.

The only problem that some have had with LED's is that their light "spreads" differently than incandescent bulbs. Might not be a problem, but I haven't tried it personally so it's hard for me to be specific. Guess it's up to you guys to experiment and tell ME, lol.
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  #23  
Old 12-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
It'll be nicer I think because the "white" from the LED's is more "full spectrum" and it might make the colors richer.

The only problem that some have had with LED's is that their light "spreads" differently than incandescent bulbs. Might not be a problem, but I haven't tried it personally so it's hard for me to be specific. Guess it's up to you guys to experiment and tell ME, lol.

lol well i dont know how ur dash is setup behind the guages but on mine there is clear *prism* blocks i guess that are attached to the body of the guages and my obvious guess is that those *prisms* focus the light towards the guages wouldnt they? im definitaly gonna try with led bulbs cuz the stock ones arent really that bright. :(
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  #24  
Old 12-19-2006
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You can see a bit of how mine are in my how-to. Yes, the clear part of the gauges has those molded in areas that are like prisms. They were designed to work with "spread" light from the incandescent bulbs though, and I just don't know whether LED bulbs will look "even" -- but it's worth trying and there are ways to force the LED light to spread more anyway.
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Old 12-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
You can see a bit of how mine are in my how-to. Yes, the clear part of the gauges has those molded in areas that are like prisms. They were designed to work with "spread" light from the incandescent bulbs though, and I just don't know whether LED bulbs will look "even" -- but it's worth trying and there are ways to force the LED light to spread more anyway.

yea, LED'S are def' on my list now, i also had one heck of a time scratching the paint off the other lights on the dash panel that i had to take off, you have to be really carefull because if you scratch outside of the color then scratch into the black and then you lose shape of word not fun, thats all i gotta say. but ill try to get some LED'S before the weekend installed and haopfully have some better pics.
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