Not exactly as easy as some cars that have bulbs that can unscrew... But if you can solder, it wasn't that bad. I also replaced my stepper motors while I was in there, just in case. I used some regular wide-angle white LEDs that I got in a 100 pack from ebay. I also picked up a pack of red LEDs to use on the odometer.
I'm really pleased with how it turned out! They've been working flawlessly for a few months now. They are white LEDs, but since the cluster is tinted blue, it gives off a nice cool-blue effect.
Some installation pictures:
The odometer was the trickiest one. I had to carefully bend back the LCD to remove the bulb. I tried to get the resistor on top of the PCB, though it wouldn't fit cleanly. I accidentally lifted a solder pad, though realized I could put the resistor under the board and solder to another spot. Worked out perfectly!
Nice work! What a pain these dashes are!
That looks great! Thanks for posting and the pics are good too!
Everyone claims you have to break the stepper motors to get the needles off on the 02-up clusters. Did you just spin the needle counter clockwise till the came free?
Akizzem wrote:Everyone claims you have to break the stepper motors to get the needles off on the 02-up clusters. Did you just spin the needle counter clockwise till the came free?
Pretty much, spun the needle carefully until it started spinning freely and popped it off with a fork. I followed the instructions here: http://almostgonesblog.blogspot.ca/2010/03/repairing-instrument-cluster-on-2005.html
Since I was going to rip apart the cluster anyway, I spent the $15 for four new stepper motors just in case they were the old ones with the higher failure rate.
Hello. I know the post is dated. But I got a spare cluster to try this with for my '04 and got as far as the resistors. What Ohms did you user for this modification?
470 ohms 1/4 watt is typical for a 12 volt circuit.
where had you found those white LED's and what had they cost you? What had you soldered the resistors in for?
Steve B. wrote:470 ohms 1/4 watt is typical for a 12 volt circuit.
Ohms depends on the LED color, also you need to calculate it for ~13.8v not 12v, otherwise your LEDs may burn out or not last as long.
On the inside my car looks like a fighter jet.
Well then, use a 680 ohm resistor.
I've been using 470's on everything for years on all my 12 volt stuff on my boat, and it has Lithium Phosphate cells which have a resting voltage of 13.2V.
Never a problem with any of them.