next mod gage cluster - many ?'s - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 06-12-2009
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next mod gage cluster - many ?'s

Hey guys I hate to post yet another thread about gauge clusters however I just picked up a nice white faced 2003 ranger cluster with tac(57K) that I plan to install in my 2000 ranger(73k).



Anyways I've been doing a lot of research on the subject and still have some questions:

First off I'm planing on converting to blue LED. I was wondering what everyone's thoughts are on which is the current best method to use? I've seen it done by using led components(resisters + leds + solder), oznium ribbon strips , and plug ins. I'm looking to have the most even light possible.

Also I'm thinking about changing the orange needles to white ones if I can light them up blue. I'm concerned about day time visibility though. Has anyone else done this?

Then what about the gauge lights that are red like brake, security, etc. How can i keep those the same color?

Also how the heck to you get the shift indicator wire off when pulling out the old cluster? I know there is a plastic clip but the wire still goes into the cluster after you remove it.

Lastly I'm concerned about gauge accuracy. I've heard some people having issues with speedometer being off after changing the odometer to match the correct mileage. Is that really a problem as I have no way to check for correct speed readings?


Thanks I'm looking forward to finishing my new mod
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Old 06-12-2009
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Are those white or are they silver? No ranger came with white faced...except the 04+ Edge/Sport models.

White on white = ugly in my eyes. Why would you want your needles to be lit blue when the rest of the gauges is blue, is beyond me. I LOOOOOOVE me orange needles and blue LED's. Light up nice and bright and very visable in day or night.

How can you keep the idiot lights the same color? not sanding the old color off the faces.

Unclip the indicator on the cluster itself...alot easier than dealing with that tiny looped wire.

What you read about problems, is people not doing the rollback correctly...
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Old 06-12-2009
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You can pop off the gear selector part separatly if you'd like, but your gonna wanna change the color of that I imagine as well so your gonna wanna take it out.

Andrew
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Old 06-12-2009
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^^oops...kinda sorta forgot that little detail. lol.

I think TrePaul86 has an already blue modded one for sale....shoot him a PM if ya want.
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post

I think TrePaul86 has an already blue modded one for sale....shoot him a PM if ya want.
darn now I wish I would have known that before I bought the one i did. oh well..more modding fun for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01
Are those white or are they silver? No ranger came with white faced...except the 04+ Edge/Sport models.
I just checked again and it is silver so it looks like I overlooked that little detail :( But actually I think i might like it better since it will match the dash colors better. Different as well because most people are doing the white faces

After more thought I think I'll stick with the orange needles as well. I just hope they light up bright orange at night.
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Old 06-14-2009
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Well it looks like I have most of the details thought about.. I just need to figure out what LEDs to get. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm thinking about ordering from SUPER BRIGHT LEDS home but open to any good deals

Also still need to pick up some glass paint to do the overlays blue. I'm aiming for a lighter blue that better matches my pioneer P5000-UB. Any suggestions there? I'm planing on checking Micheals and Aaron Borthers tomorrow.
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Old 06-17-2009
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Just to update I decided to go with some plug in leds from superbright first. Right now I'm in the process of painting my overlays which is taking a lot longer then i expected and being kind of a pita. Using delta translucent paint i picked up at joanns. I keep missing small spots or having little bubbles develop in it for some reason..so I've to go to back over some areas.
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Old 06-17-2009
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beefy....now get it dun! lol. You'll love it.
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Old 06-17-2009
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this is on my list to do aswell...
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Old 06-18-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
beefy....now get it dun! lol. You'll love it.
yeah it will be nice to finish up :D round two painting is drying right now. However I still need to repaint the KM/H since the purple didn't come out all that well. Of course I forgot about it until now so there will be a round three in a few hours lol.


I just had a thought. How am I going to have orange needles light up well if i use blue leds? I'm wondering if maybe i can wire up a few amber leds on the sides of the motors (near needle rods) otherwise maybe I should have ordered clear LEDs :/
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Old 06-18-2009
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Old 06-18-2009
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hrm your right

here's the picts i have so far:

New cluster with 57k on it


opened up


hrm the overlays are missing


there they are


Painting as it currently stands


and of course more to come
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Old 06-18-2009
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^yay!!


I need to find me a 4wd '03 cluster....i want to redo my LED's now that i've got gobs of time on my hands. :(
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  #14  
Old 06-18-2009
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Been wanting to do this too. Can you use plug in blue LED's and not paint the faces? No way in hell will I be able to get those needles back on without ****ing up one of the gauges. lol.

Fx4wannabe01, I'll buy your full cluster! lol
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Old 06-18-2009
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It won't light up blue if you dont take the cluster down to bare bones...


haha...i've got a few who want it now. lol. I may just reuse the faces and mod my stock clusters backing/frame or whatever with the new LEDS.

Here's the build of my gauges... https://www.ranger-forums.com/forum2...vert-leds.html
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  #16  
Old 06-18-2009
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Hmm, could have sworn that someone just plugged in blue LED's and it worked. I think it will, i was replacing my bulbs with leds I got at Autozone. Bough amber ones by accident and the whole cluster was amber. So wouldnt blue do the same thing?
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Old 06-18-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerfish View Post
Hmm, could have sworn that someone just plugged in blue LED's and it worked. I think it will, i was replacing my bulbs with leds I got at Autozone. Bough amber ones by accident and the whole cluster was amber. So wouldnt blue do the same thing?
you would still have to paint your overlays to make it show up the best. I bought the plug in LEDS mudranger96 is using. Although they don't seem to be all that bright in mcd ratings so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.


Anyways my last painting of my overlays is drying right now So hopefully it comes out perfectly. Then I will have to figure out how to paint my automatic shifter gauge blue. That might be a bit tricky since I'm not sure if you can easily detach/attach to the shift cable.

Also I will have to figure out how to roll my odometer forward. I'm not exactly sure I understand the process totally in the howto. Especially with the speedometer coming into play.
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Old 06-18-2009
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green + blue = what color?


it might has a blue tint to it, but you will have to sand down your faces...period. unless you like not having a true blue cluster i suppose.

Thats just my thoughts...do it if you want and show us the results.
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Old 06-18-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crucialcolin View Post

Also I will have to figure out how to roll my odometer forward. I'm not exactly sure I understand the process totally in the howto. Especially with the speedometer coming into play.
Just take your time...read the thread a few times...and you'll be a-okay. Use a brand new battery BTW.

If you already pulled your needle, which you've done already, your only option is to use your existing speedo and odo with the new needle...you have nothing to base your calibration off of on your new cluster.
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Old 06-19-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
If you already pulled your needle, which you've done already, your only option is to use your existing speedo and odo with the new needle...you have nothing to base your calibration off of on your new cluster.
yeah I already pulled the needle carefully and documenting it to the exact the location it was in and was able to put it back exactly the same thinking it would help. I might not get around to swapping the clusters until later next week anyways. I'm also tempted to buy one of those scangauges to help with accuracy let alone its many other uses.

Heres a few more picts in the meantime



For some reason these dont look as well via camera as in reality.




and back together.


Now I just need to figure out how to best do the shifter display blue.
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Old 06-20-2009
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nice progress!!

I'm really hitting myself for choosing red on all the idiot lights. I should have just left them as-is like you did.
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  #22  
Old 06-20-2009
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Yeah it seems to actualy have come out pretty well so far :)

now I think I'm going to take my spare cluster i pulled out of an explorer(98 i think) in a junkyard to play around with learning the odometer change method. I noticed its blue instead of green. I didn't know ford made black gauges with blue in explorers? Anyone else know that? it sure was a surprise. I may have to offer it up for sale later lol.
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Old 06-20-2009
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Yeah..even some rangers had blue as well. I want to say 95-97 explorers and rangers had blue?

You can steal the heater control ***** from them or a gen2 taurus...so you can have the blue indicator thingy on the *****.
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Old 06-20-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
Yeah..even some rangers had blue as well. I want to say 95-97 explorers and rangers had blue?

You can steal the heater control ***** from them or a gen2 taurus...so you can have the blue indicator thingy on the *****.
smakes is lucky enough to have said blue gauges...
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  #25  
Old 06-22-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
Yeah..even some rangers had blue as well. I want to say 95-97 explorers and rangers had blue?

You can steal the heater control ***** from them or a gen2 taurus...so you can have the blue indicator thingy on the *****.
yeah when i was at the yard I was looking for the **** and hvac plate. Someone beat me too it though :/ I thought about checking taurus'es but i didn't know what year gen2s where.

Well anyways I'm planing on doing the new cluster install tuesday and I'll pull the speedo from stock gauge putting it in my new one. Hopefully that goes perfectly.

Last edited by crucialcolin; 06-24-2009 at 01:12 AM.
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