Changing the Gauge Cluster Color

sikwan

06 Tin Can
From this post...

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1738&postcount=8

...I figure I'll do it too. :D

I took apart the the gauge cluster and this is what I found.

This is the gauge face that goes on top of the PCB.
shroud.jpg
Letters and colors designate what I'll be changing it to.

This is the PCB that holds the surface mount LEDs.
pcb.jpg
Blue for the gauges, red for the needles, and red for the low fuel light. I only took off the center gauge to measure the dimensions of the LED underneath.

Note: Make sure you're grounded when handling delicate electronics.

Picture from the website in the link above.
tacho2.jpg
Notice they have 12 LEDs for the digital readout, while I only have 6. The website also notes that the latter year Sprinters have only 6 LEDs.

bigled.JPG
Dimensional drawing for the gauge LEDs and the low fuel LED.

smlled.JPG
Dimensional drawing for the needle LEDs.

Ordered the LEDs from Digikey...

18 475-1135-1 LED BLUE 2-PLCC SMD (gauges)
1 475-1133-1 LED SUP RED 2-PLCC SMD (low fuel indicator)
4 475-1153-1 LED SUP RED SMD (needles)

A detailed write up will come once I receive the parts.

Seek
 

kkanuck

LUV my T1N
Seek,

You are a project warrior........

Is this a matter or removing the old light with solder a flux and installing the new in the same location, no other mods?

Tibor
 

sikwan

06 Tin Can
IMGP0002.JPG
To start, remove the screws above the gauge cluster using a T20 torx bit.

IMGP0003.JPG
Pull out the right side vent and remove wired connector from defrost switch. Notice one of the vent vanes become undone. This is normal.

IMGP0004.JPG
Pull out the left side vent and remove wired connectors from light switches. Vent vanes come undone for this side too.

IMGP0010.JPG
To reinstall the vanes, insert one side to track.

vent.gif
Separate the halves and slip vane into track.
 

sikwan

06 Tin Can
IMGP0013.JPG
Vanes reinstalled.

IMGP0014.JPG
Remove screw using T20 torx bit on each side. Remove gauge cluster cover.

IMGP0016.JPG
Remove screw using T20 torx bit on each side of gauge cluster.

IMGP0018.JPG
Pull gauge cluster up to remove from latches.

IMGP0019.jpg
Push white tab down to release gray handle and push towards red arrow direction to release connector.
 

sikwan

06 Tin Can
IMGP0020.JPG
Push black tab down to release gray handle and push towards red arrow direction to release connector.

IMGP0021.JPG
Bend tab away from black box to release keyless entry box from guage cluster. Second tab is on the opposite side.

IMGP0023.JPG
Push clear tabs (8x) in to remove clear plastic lens from gauge cluster.

IMGP0025.JPG
Remove needles using flatblade screwdriver. I used the edges of the enclosure for leverage.

IMGP0027.JPG
Size matters. :smilewink: From top to bottom; tach, speedo, temp & fuel needles are the same size.
 

sikwan

06 Tin Can
IMGP0030.JPG
Pull tabs out (8x) to remove backside cover.

Note: You are about to come in contact with the electronics. You must be grounded to avoid damaging the static sensitive devices.

IMGP0031.JPG
Bend white tabs (6x) at red arrows to remove PCB from plastic shroud.
Bend metal tabs (4x) at blue arrows to remove digital readout from PCB.
Push center plastic stops (8x) at green arrow so that tabs can be squeezed to pop needle instruments off of PCB.

IMGP0038.JPG
Needle instruments were place in their respective locations. The instruments look the same, but I wasn't going to take any chances to find out if they were different.

attachment.php

I found that all the LEDs were mounted with the Cathode pointed downwards.

I had a couple of soldering irons at my disposal. I held the two soldering irons, one in each hand, at each end of the LED and lifted the LED off like chopsticks on a morsel when the solder started to flow. I cleaned off the excess solder left on the pads, used a pair of tweezers and a soldering iron to mount the new LEDs. Pay special attention to the orientation of the LEDs. If they are mounted the wrong way, they will not turn on.

The LEDs that I purchased were exactly identical to what was on the board. All I did was match up the physical likeness of the old to the new LEDs and mounted the new ones. In most cases, it will not be like this. It's best to check and see where the Cathode side of the LED is and mount it towards the bottom of the board.

beforeafter.JPG
Before on top and after on bottom. Notice the tach and speedo needles were swapped back to original.

I thought about changing the needle colors, but that would require the orange paint to be scratched off and replaced with something else. Since orange is not one of the three primary colors (Red, Green, Blue), I couldn't just change the orange color by mixing a different colored LED. I did the next best thing or probably the easiest and that is to use red LEDs. During the daytime it's the stock orange. At night it's red.

I also changed the low fuel LED from yellow to red. I thought red would be a better color to notify me that I only have less than 3 gallons remaining in the fuel tank.

Seek
 

Altered Sprinter

Happy Little Vegemite
Thats awesome Seek
I'll bet not many take that on! as simple as you have made it, a novice could get into a very expensive dash replacement
Oh! Master:bow:
Richard
 

Therberg

Member
:clapping: Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!!!!!!!!!!! :clapping:

Now you have done it, Yet ANOTHER mod I am certainly going to add to the must do list!


Tim H
 

Therberg

Member
Hi Seek,
Looking at the before and after pic of the gauges I am wondering what color the OEM leds are, white or amber? In the Digikey cat I noticed that the leds also are avaible in green, I really like the blue but green may be a better fit with my Alpine IVA-D900 flip out. Do you see any reason why the green would'nt work?

Tim H.

attachment.php
 

sikwan

06 Tin Can
Hi Tim:

Looking at the before and after pic of the gauges I am wondering what color the OEM leds are, white or amber?

The OEM LEDs that I replaced were amber (needle LEDs were orange, low fuel LED was yellow?). The gauge face is an opaque white, meaning you can pretty much use any color to suit your needs.

In the Digikey cat I noticed that the leds also are avaible in green, I really like the blue but green may be a better fit with my Alpine IVA-D900 flip out. Do you see any reason why the green would'nt work?

Green should work. Go for it! :thumbup:

Seek

ps. At least most of the colors are green; power window switches, HVAC controls. The ones that are amber are the center console switches, auto shifter, aux heater timer. I'll have to change those later.
 

SprinterUSA1

New member
View attachment 1428
Before on top and after on bottom. Notice the tach and speedo needles were swapped back to original.

I thought about changing the needle colors, but that would require the orange paint to be scratched off and replaced with something else. Since orange is not one of the three primary colors (Red, Green, Blue), I couldn't just change the orange color by mixing a different colored LED. I did the next best thing or probably the easiest and that is to use red LEDs. During the daytime it's the stock orange. At night it's red.

I also changed the low fuel LED from yellow to red. I thought red would be a better color to notify me that I only have less than 3 gallons remaining in the fuel tank.

Seek


Seek,

just found this thread. Did you change any other Leds in the instrument cluster or doors? I did my speedometer similar to yours. Did not go for all that much blue though. It also is a bit bright at night because of the larger openings on the gauge face. I got used to to it and really liked it but wished I had a dimmer function like the NCV3.


SprinterUSA1
 

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sikwan

06 Tin Can
just found this thread. Did you change any other Leds in the instrument cluster or doors? I did my speedometer similar to yours. Did not go for all that much blue though. It also is a bit bright at night because of the larger openings on the gauge face. I got used to to it and really liked it but wished I had a dimmer function like the NCV3.

Hi SprinterUSA1:

I didn't change any other LED yet. I just finished the SCS Frigette install and waiting to go charge it, so everything has been on the backburner.

On my 2006 T1N, I can dim the gauge lights. :thinking:

I haven't checked so I'm not sure if the door and console switches can be dimmed. If they can't, I'll just have to replace the current resistors with larger ones to dim them.

Seek
 

SprinterUSA1

New member
Seek, Richard,


How do you dim them? -/+ buttons? I never tried it but I guess there was something I did not know about the T1N or at least never used :thinking:

Also, where did you get your LEDs. I could not find any suppliers in the states when I googled it. It did not cost me a lot to have them shipped from Germany. Just took longer.


SprinterUSA1
 

Altered Sprinter

Happy Little Vegemite
Seek, Richard,


How do you dim them? -/+ buttons? I never tried it but I guess there was something I did not know about the T1N or at least never used :thinking:

Also, where did you get your LEDs. I could not find any suppliers in the states when I googled it. It did not cost me a lot to have them shipped from Germany. Just took longer.


SprinterUSA1
Just press + for increasing the brightness , you do not even need to have key in ignition to do it, providing the light shows that is once it cuts out
Richard
 

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