Making Gauges Red - Page 2 - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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

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  #26  
Old 10-01-2011
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The problem with the red going pink is not the bulbs but the gauges, after removing the paint on the back the gauges are still a translucent white. Mix that with red of almost any color and you get some sort of pink or light red.

How about just removing the paint and use some RED LEDs, bright RED LEDs ?
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  #27  
Old 10-01-2011
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The pink is because the filter is not strong enough (dark enough) for the given light source. Red LEDs will take care of this, as LEDs emit a pure color, but if you don't want everything the same color, this poses a problem. If you have a bright light source, and want any given color, the filter needs to be darker than the desired color. Then the areas that do not have any filter will appear white, while the filtered areas appear the desired color.
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  #28  
Old 10-01-2011
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Jp7 do you have any internal shots of the 04+ cluster and where you placed your SMD's? I would like the same effect! How did you get that crisp blue color and how did you go about removing the factory green film on the reverse side of the gauge sheets?
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  #29  
Old 10-01-2011
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He has it somewhere buried in a thread. You have to use a fine grit sandpaper to remove the green paint from the back of the gauges. It will not remove the numbers/lines etc because those are painted on the front of it. If you try to remove the paint from the PRND21 thing... it will remove those letters/numbers, just fyi.

I just used red LED strips in mine and it's pretty even throughout and wired it in to headlight switch. Also I changed out all the bulbs to red LED's. If you ONLY switch the bulbs.. it will not be even... at all, hence the reason for the LED strips.
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  #30  
Old 10-01-2011
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Originally Posted by 04RangerDave View Post
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Jp7 do you have any internal shots of the 04+ cluster and where you placed your SMD's? I would like the same effect! How did you get that crisp blue color and how did you go about removing the factory green film on the reverse side of the gauge sheets?
It's in my 2004 cluster thread, it can be searched. I did this quite a long time ago before I started using SMD's, I think I used 20 360 degree LEDs. Using SMD's is so easy I could get better results in half the time today.

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Originally Posted by ME00Stepside View Post
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).
No - white LEDs are doped with different compounds to give spikes at certain wavelengths making the LED appear white. Similar to mixing hot water with cold to get a comfortable temperature. There is no such thing as a truely "white" LED, they are all pseudowhite.

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The problem with using colored LEDs is that you're stuck with having a one-color cluster.
Not quite, I built a radio for my girlfriends cobalt with SMD's - took me about 20 hours with design work included. She's got 2 colors (pink and purple), both of these LEDs are actually blue and reds, but they are doped with impurities (phosphorus I think?) to give them a purple or pink appearance.











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  #31  
Old 10-01-2011
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Gotta admit that looks pretty sweet.
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  #32  
Old 10-01-2011
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Jp7, I won't bother filling up this thread arguing visible wavelengths any further, but I've used white LEDs behind filters of various colors with excellent results before. We'll just leave it at that.

As for the ability to use different colors, that's some nice work on the radio. I'm actually doing mods to my interior that are of a similar project level, that will have multiple colors on my cluster and HVAC panel, but most guys on here are not going to be doing anything like that, so for purposes of recoloring clusters, the either/or discussion is pretty relevant.
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  #33  
Old 10-01-2011
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  #34  
Old 10-01-2011
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can't wait to see the finished product! i didn't get a chance to get rolling on mine
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  #35  
Old 10-04-2011
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Hey Jp7,

After watching your YouTube video on how to remove the needles from a 04 + cluster I feel like I might have messed up my spare cluster I removed the needles from because I just pulled them straight off with 2 forks.
I pulled them straight off because I thought if I twisted them it would mess things up. I think I should just mail the thing off and have it done professionally.
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  #36  
Old 10-07-2011
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So what bulb size are the cluster LEDS?

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...nstrument.html

I take it ONE of those has to work with our clusters?

Also does pulling off the needles screw with the calibration of the cluster? IE: Pull the needle off and you put it back does the car always start at zero position or will it start if you put the needle in a different position.. IE:

You remove needle at 12'clock position and you put the needle on at say 11 oclock... is it then always going to be off until you get it perfectly right or will it start reguardless at a default position?

I ask because my subaru wrx was very picky about if you pulled the needle off... my STi does a full sweep to calibrate... not sure on rangers.

Thanks,
-Nigel
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  #37  
Old 10-07-2011
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You have to put the needles back on in the correct way. There is no way of calibrating it. Just hope you know where to put it.
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  #38  
Old 10-07-2011
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I got the cluster all back together in the truck. Running into two problems. One, the tach and speedometer needles don't really light up at all. Two, I can't get speedometer right. I set it at 60 using the scan gauge and it right on. Problem is when I go down to lets say 35 I am actually going 31 or 32. What gives?
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  #39  
Old 10-07-2011
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I set my speedo at 70 using my friend on the interstate as a reference and didn't have any issues. Then again, I generally use my Ultragauge for my exact speed since it was calibrated with a GPS

The white needles I had lit up just fine
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  #40  
Old 10-08-2011
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Well, every time I've done any mods to a cluster, in any vehicle, I generally pull the range limit pins out of the face, then start the car and let it warm up, then put the needles on in the position they were in previously. This, of course, requires doing the reverse before you remove the cluster (or on your other cluster if you used a spare). I usually check the speedo with a friend, but it's always worked for me. It's not really surprising that you're off a little at lower speeds. Factory speedos aren't known for their accuracy.
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  #41  
Old 10-08-2011
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I done probably 3 clusters with setting the gauges with no problem. It just seems to be this one is off a little. I got another set of guts for the speedo so I am gonna swap out and try to set it again to see if there is a difference. If not, then screw it.
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  #42  
Old 10-08-2011
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I do what the how-to shows and use 4 alligator clips, 2 per "Y" and hook them up to the rear of the speedometer where there are 4 pins and then get a reading using a AA battery 3 times. once i'm ready to put the needle back on, i place the needle on and then get readings again til its back to where it was before i removed the needle. its easy.
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  #43  
Old 10-08-2011
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I've done it that way before. I just used the scan gauge this time and put it on there. I swapped the guts out to another clusters and I got it very close so I am going to leave it.
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  #44  
Old 10-08-2011
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Originally Posted by robert99ranger View Post
I've done it that way before. I just used the scan gauge this time and put it on there. I swapped the guts out to another clusters and I got it very close so I am going to leave it.
pics!
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  #45  
Old 10-08-2011
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The blue looks so good. To bad I left my camera at school and the one on my phone took a crap 3 days ago. Got to get a new phone. I'll try and get one tomorrow with the gf's phone.
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  #46  
Old 10-10-2011
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The blue looks so good. To bad I left my camera at school and the one on my phone took a crap 3 days ago. Got to get a new phone. I'll try and get one tomorrow with the gf's phone.
haha. did the thick layering affect putting the overlays back on? on one of my past 3 clusters i had to sand some of it off to fit back on well
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  #47  
Old 10-10-2011
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I didn't have an issue putting it back on. I tried to put it on somewhat thin.
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  #48  
Old 10-11-2011
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  #49  
Old 10-11-2011
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Icon14

nice! did u end up going with blue led's or what?
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  #50  
Old 10-11-2011
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White ones from Terry. I'll try and get a better picture. Doesn't come out the best when driving.
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