Making Gauges Red - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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

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  #1  
Old 09-12-2011
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Making Gauges Red

I've looked at the tutorial for painting gauges. I have another cluster I picked up the other day and want to make it red. Question. Can I just take the factory color off then get red 194 bulbs? Or can I change the color to red on the overlays and just use the stock bulbs in there? I have no need to convert to LED like in the tutorial. Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-13-2011
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yes, you can use red bulbs. i would still paint the overlays to give it a nice uniform look.
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Old 09-13-2011
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Sounds good. So can I paint the overlays and just use the 194 bulbs that are already in there or will that not look good?

Also, I was looking at the HVAC and thinking about painting it. I got the front cover off but it looks like it would be hard to sand down in there. Any info on doing that?
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Old 09-13-2011
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It will look sorta pink if you don't change out the bulbs to red. And if you don't change it over to LED... the lights might be kinda dim.. just sayin'.
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Old 09-13-2011
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If I were going to do this, (which I was had I kept my ranger) I was going to do it with a junkyard set of gauges and HVAC panel. Then If I didn't mess it up just swap it in. That way you have more time to get it done and get it done right. Just my two cents.

And by doing it that way you can paint it red and do red led's.
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Old 09-13-2011
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How about just the twist in leds that are already in the 194 socket or whatever they are called? Anyone know of a cheap place for those?

And that's exactly what I done Adam. I found another white cluter at the junkyard and a silver hvac. Figure then if I mess up then atleast I still got the one in my truck. I just don't want to do all the soldering.
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Old 09-15-2011
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Done forget to index the needles with key on power before you pull them off. You will need to reinstall them with the key on to get them close to where they were. After going blue my speedo is of by about 3mph, which is about the width of the needle. It is off in the good way so I have not changed it.
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Old 09-15-2011
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Oh I know all about taking the cluster apart. Had to put white overlays from a expo sport on a normal tach cluster since the sport one had been under water.
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Old 09-27-2011
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Would this be what I need?

I was thinking about getting the Iridescent Dark Blue/Blue and Iridescent Red/Gold. These look like they will actually be those colors. The normal red looks to light.

http://www.dickblick.com/products/de...ckw=02964-3000
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Old 09-27-2011
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I tried hobby lobby and they don't have anything. Tried hobby town usa and they don't have anything. I can not find a place locally that sells this paint.
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Old 09-27-2011
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you need the glass paint. I can grab you some if you want. I need to grab some blue for my coming cluster :)
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Old 09-27-2011
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Wirelessly posted

Pedro can I use that on my cluster. Krylon stained glass paint?
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Old 09-27-2011
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While you're already working on the cluster, I'd go ahead & drop in some red led's. They should last a ton longer than the old bulbs & give a more vibrant color.

Here's my oem green cluster with my blue led's:



It looks 100% better than the old bulbs, much brighter & a lot easier to see.

Here's a LINK to my led's classified's page.
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Old 09-27-2011
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Pedro can I use that on my cluster. Krylon stained glass paint?
idk ive never used krylon glass paint and i've also never taken apart an 04+ cluster.
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Old 09-28-2011
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Can't decide if I want to do blue or red now
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Old 09-28-2011
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I love a red truck but i don't quite like red gauges lol. I'm going to the craft store at 2, after my next class so let me know if u need paint and which color
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Old 09-28-2011
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Lets do blue. How much does it cost?
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Old 09-28-2011
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2ish
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Old 09-28-2011
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RED Gauges are nice, just check out the interior of an Audi at night.

I found repainting the gauges with “Glass Paint” RED turned out too pink for my tastes.

I ended up buying RED Gauge faces, with these you could use OEM Bulbs or LED replacements. (another project not done yet).
The OEM Bulbs die quickly, consider replacing with the LED Bulbs, since everything is already apart...
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Old 09-28-2011
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Just my 2 cents, but I would go for a darker color than you want, and use white LEDs. It's personal preference, but having the entire cluster, including the odo, colored, it looks a little boring. If you get dark enough glass paint, and put bright white LEDs in there, your needles and odo will still be white, and you even have the option of doing the cluster two-tone, like factory (red zones for warning lights, MPH/KPH different color, etc).

I dropped a blue Exploder cluster & HVAC in mine, and I had the blue LEDs in for a short while, but it drove me nuts. I switched to bright white, and although the blue on the face isn't as vibrant, the overall look is cleaner IMO. At some point, I'm doing another cluster/HVAC, and it will be something quite different, so I'm not going to bother with darkening the color at this point, but when you're doing yours, it's something to consider.
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Old 09-30-2011
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Is wet sanding just water and sandpaper? Noob question but never done that.
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Old 09-30-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert99ranger View Post
Is wet sanding just water and sandpaper? Noob question but never done that.
Yes, but wet or wet/dry sandpaper is used. It is meant to be used with water.

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Old 09-30-2011
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Hmm, I see. Didn't see that at Menards.
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Old 10-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLong31 View Post
It will look sorta pink if you don't change out the bulbs to red. And if you don't change it over to LED... the lights might be kinda dim.. just sayin'.
Correct, using a filter removes light

Quote:
Originally Posted by 99offroadrngr View Post
idk ive never used krylon glass paint and i've also never taken apart an 04+ cluster.
I've taken apart many 04+ clusters. The trick is getting the needles off. I have a youtube video for how to do it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ME00Stepside View Post
Just my 2 cents, but I would go for a darker color than you want, and use white LEDs. It's personal preference, but having the entire cluster, including the odo, colored, it looks a little boring. If you get dark enough glass paint, and put bright white LEDs in there, your needles and odo will still be white, and you even have the option of doing the cluster two-tone, like factory (red zones for warning lights, MPH/KPH different color, etc).

That's a bad idea. LEDs are monochomatic by nature, so using a filter on a monochromatic source will give poor results.
Do yourself a favor and use many surface mount LEDs in strategic spots... that is if you want good results.



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Old 10-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jp7 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ME00Stepside View Post
Just my 2 cents, but I would go for a darker color than you want, and use white LEDs. It's personal preference, but having the entire cluster, including the odo, colored, it looks a little boring. If you get dark enough glass paint, and put bright white LEDs in there, your needles and odo will still be white, and you even have the option of doing the cluster two-tone, like factory (red zones for warning lights, MPH/KPH different color, etc.
That's a bad idea. LEDs are monochomatic by nature, so using a filter on a monochromatic source will give poor results.
If you're talking about a colored LED, then yes, they are monochromatic. However, white light, regardless of the type of source, is full spectrum. Filtering it is just as effective as filtering incandescent light. In fact, using white LEDs behind filters yields excellent results, as long as the filter is strong enough that the brightness of the LEDs doesn't wash out the color, (hence my comment about using a slightly darker color paint).

The problem with using colored LEDs is that you're stuck with having a one-color cluster.
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