did an update on my gauge leds - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 07-04-2009
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did an update on my gauge leds

Just got done with an upgrade to the lighting behind my new silver gage cluster I have installed in my ranger.

Basically what I used a combination of lighting this time around. First I installed blue led strips(similar to oznium strips) wherever i could on the back of the cluster(white piece). Secondly I used some five SMD 360 plug in the 194 sockets. Both products were purchased from superbrightleds.com. The plugin bulbs WLED-BHP5 where the most expensive at $5.94 each with five smd on them each with an individual mcd rating of 5500. The LED strips where also purchased here because oznium has been out of stock for quite some time and its unknown when they will get more. These NFLS-B30 come in 19.5" or larger strips (you can cut at every 3leds/solder more on) and use SMD that are individually rated at 1000mcd.

Anyways I wish i would have thought to take some pictures during the build process. Doh! It actually turned out pretty smooth as there is only one hot spot where the 3 is on the tachometer(rpm gauge). I think one of bulb sockets is right under it.

Crappy pict:


There is this dull spot on 10 km/h between the odometer and trip mileage and I'm still not happy with the orange needles. The speedometer and tac don't seem to be bright enough. I'm not sure what else I could do about that? I'm wondering if i might be able to stick some led strips on top of the odometer and tac modules? got any ideas? the only other option might be switching to those component 13,000 mcd leds in the sockets but personally i doubt that will do any good as they seem to be overrated. I compared them with the SMDs and they seem about the same brightness. Superbrightleds rates theirs more realistically then the Chinese The other thing is the light is still under the circuit boards thus blocked.
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2009
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Looks good man... how far away from fairfeild are you?
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2009
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Im about an hour east of fairfield

Hrm i was just playing with my spare cluster & I'm thinking i might be able to stick another led strip in it on top of the shifter display firing up towards the speedo and tac needles. I was also looking at the odometer and tac modules trying to find places to mount leds as i have plenty of component ones
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Old 07-04-2009
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looks pretty good
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2009
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Looks nice. You got yours to look better than mine as far as having no hot spots.
I honestly don't see what's so great about blue gauges. I've done the mod twice now on 2 clusters, and went back to green twice.

Last edited by gts007; 07-06-2009 at 04:39 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-06-2009
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Can't wait to find me my '03 XLT 4x4 cluster to get to work on!
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2009
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yeah the lighting so far is pretty evenly light.

still though the orange speedo and tac needles are a bit dark so I have some more LED strips on order from superbrightleds to see if I cant increase the brightness a bit more. I'm also thinking about sticking a 360 component led in between the odometer reel and circuit board to better light that up as well as the km/h 100 over that area. Now i wait
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  #8  
Old 07-07-2009
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dood, thats pretty sweet....is there an easier way to this? now im wanting to change mine blue....
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Old 07-07-2009
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Originally Posted by LancerRevo View Post
dood, thats pretty sweet....is there an easier way to this? now im wanting to change mine blue....
Nope


Gotta take the entire cluster apart, start sanding and painting and soldering LED's
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Old 07-08-2009
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Nope


Gotta take the entire cluster apart, start sanding and painting and soldering LED's
yeah I had to do lots of soldering as well even with the led strips. Its really the only way to do it. Plugins alone just aren't bright enough especially if you have orange needles.


My order of more leds was supposed to come today..It seems the Post person decide not to deliver any mail to our neighborhood today though Dang it I was looking forward to working on my gauge cluster/hvac some more today too. Also taking picts this time
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2009
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Originally Posted by crucialcolin View Post
Plugins alone just aren't bright enough especially if you have orange needles.

I don't know where you guys come up with this stuff. I'm running natural white sanded WLEDx6 plugins (non-SMDs) in my sport trac cluster and HVAC and its plenty bright. And there are almost no hot spots at night.


Last edited by gts007; 07-09-2009 at 10:55 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-09-2009
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I don't know where you guys come up with this stuff. I'm running natural white sanded WLEDx6 plugins (non-SMDs) in my sport trac cluster and HVAC and its plenty bright. And there are almost no hot spots at night.
hrm thats weird it looks pretty good :) I'm guessing its only because your using white and we're using blue which naturally aren't as bright. Did you repaint your overlays too?


Well here is some more pictures of mine with the strips installed + plugins:



On the cluster basically what i did was tap the strips into the back of one of the bulb sockets using wire and solder making it easier. Also I had replaced my theft light(since different in 2000/2003 models) only to get ready to hook it up and find out i used the wrong resister. I measured the voltage with my multimeter and found it bounces from 0.50v to 6v instead of 12 I set it up for. So I didn't install it and I'm not sure if I will now because I already put my dash back together. I don't really feel like taking it apart again not to mention the wear and tear on it and the bolts. Although i would like to have it in case PATS ever acts up so I'll know why my truck doesn't want to start lol
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Old 07-10-2009
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a couple more picts i took last night before it got completely dark out:

I'm still trying to decide if i like these billet *****(from uprproducts) or not.


Also I'm still not getting the amount of light output i would like to see in the orange needles. I'm thinking its because my plugs I have only have one 5500mcd forward firing smd.


I've ordered some 194 wedge sockets from autolumination.com since I have a ton of 13,000mcd leds thinking i will try making my own plugs which will fire more forward towards the gauge overlays.

Also I would just solder them onto the back of the board like in the howto but i allready messed up my spare cluster burning through one of the contacts with my soldering iron. Doh! dont want any chances of messing this one up plus its nicer to have removables
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Old 07-10-2009
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looks good!

if you dont like those billet ***** id be happy to take them off your hands
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Old 07-10-2009
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oznium products ftw.

If you want L1224R tails and a solid LED 3rd brakelight I am having a HUGE sale on them.
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  #16  
Old 07-10-2009
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how much were the *****
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  #17  
Old 07-10-2009
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theyre like 40 bux i think
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Old 07-10-2009
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VERY good progress!!


Mkay...I'm about to order myself some strips for my mirror signals and about to start over on a new cluster with my ideas of providing superior evenly spread light throughout the cluster!! IDK how many MSMT's i'll use, but it may get spendy i'm afraid...

Even considering a color change as well...I'm thinking Ultraviolet.
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  #19  
Old 07-10-2009
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shane, what are you doing to do with said old cluster?
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Old 07-10-2009
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shane, what are you doing to do with said old cluster?
Sellin' it.
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  #21  
Old 07-11-2009
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theyre like 40 bux i think
yeah got these ones in satin if i remember correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post

Mkay...I'm about to order myself some strips for my mirror signals and about to start over on a new cluster with my ideas of providing superior evenly spread light throughout the cluster!! IDK how many MSMT's i'll use, but it may get spendy i'm afraid...
Sounds great! I'll be curious to see how that turns out. I'll probably get to a point where I'm satisfied with mine then see what you come up with and want to redo mine again lol Btw did you find yourself one of the silver 03 4x4 clusters?
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Old 07-11-2009
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The place I mentioned before still has their 2 ones for $41. I'm bein' cheap. lol.
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  #23  
Old 07-11-2009
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The place I mentioned before still has their 2 ones for $41. I'm bein' cheap. lol.
lol cheap is always good I wish I would have stuck to that myself as I went way over budget on this mod(mostly leds)..still spending money and making improvements.

I'm thinking about getting some more of those superbrightleds.com 360 component LEDs JP7 mentioned on these forums and using them to make my own custom plug ins. I noticed they seem to produce a better overall forward light output then the 13,000mcd leds sanded down. Problem is they are pricey at $32ish for 36.
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Old 07-11-2009
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I love superbrightleds.com 360 LEDs. They make me happy.
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  #25  
Old 07-13-2009
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I love superbrightleds.com 360 LEDs. They make me happy.
yeah they seem to put out a nice amount of light. Dont have to hassle with sanding down the tips as well


In other news I just ordered up some orange SMD PLCC leds from oznium. The plan is to try and see if i cant mount them right under the needle hubs on my cluster and get kind of the inteliglow needle look without the expense
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