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 Install: Dash Mod - LEDs and Brushed Aluminum Faceplate « View previous topic :: View next topic » 
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DailyDrivenTJ.com
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:03 am    Post subject: Install: Dash Mod - LEDs and Brushed Aluminum Faceplate Reply with quote

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Joined: 09 Apr 2006
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Introduction



Well, bored with my Jeep, I decided do something with the interior. I came across a lighting mod from one of the Jeep forums and decided to do it myself. Even though this mod was very easy to do, there was not much of an instruction per se. So while I am at it, I decided to write this up for those people who are too careful with the mod they engage in. ;)



To add to that, I found this brushed aluminum face plate for the instrument cluster. It was real brushed aluminum, not one of the fake stickers.




Tools and Parts Needed

Tri-Power 3 LED Bulb #74, QTY. 5 @ 3.99 each from Autoillumination.com
Brushed Aluminum Dash Bezel www.CustomBezels.com
Phillips Head, Flat head Screwdriver
Torx


Job Hours
<20 Minutes


Procedure

<Aluminum Bezel>
1. We need to pull the instrument cluster from the dash. Locate these two torx screws on the kick panel on the driverside.


2. Carefully remove the plastic kick panel, moving the steering wheel in the up position helps with the removal. Watch out for the light switch. This will get you access to the two screws that are holding the dash bezel on the bottom.



3. Remove the top dash cover by prying it out using a flat head screwdriver.



4. Once the top dash cover is removed, remove the 3 screws holding the dash bezel. Remove the bezel.



5. You can see 4 screws holding the instrument cluster, remove the screws and you can just pull out the cluster. Be careful not to scratch the clear plastic.



6. Take the cluster to somewhere it won't get scratched up, remove the clear plastic by pushing in the tabs as shown below. Try not to touch the inside of the clear plastic since you cannot clean the inside once everything is bolted up. Also try not to mess with the gauge needles. They are very sensitive. You blowing air on it has enough force to move it up and down.



7. Once the clear plastic is remove, remove the visor.



8. This is what it looks like once the visor is removed. Mock fit the aluminum trim.


Another Shot,



9. Once at the desired position, tape it down with the supplied tape. The tape is very very sticky. You are warned. No, it is not double sided tape.





10. Now reverse the removal procedure for the visor and the clear plastic and reinstall them back on the dash. Care not to scratch the clear plastic!



<LED Replacement>
12. On the back side of the instrument cluster, locate the bulb base that are used for the back lighting. They located as shown.


This what the LED bulb looks like. They are quite small. These consume much less electricity and generates much less heat.



13. The bulb base is twist type. The base is NOT SCREWED in. Just twist it about 30-60 degrees counter clockwise and the base will disengage from the cluster. DO NOT FORCE IT! This is how it looks once removed. Pull the old bub out and replace it with the LED. Even though the LED has distinct polarity on it, it is not clearly marked on the bulb itself. If the polarity is not matched up correctly, it will simply not light up. I will show you how to deal with this problem in the subsequent procedure.



14. Put the light assembly back into the cluster. Repeat step 13 for all the indicated back lights as shown in the step 12.


15. Mock fit the completed instrument panel and turn on the light and see everything lights up.



16. The left side of the cluster did not light up. This means I got the bulbs polarity wrong. Take the light out along with the base and rotate the whole base 180 degrees and reinsert it. You just reverse the polarity. Now it works like a champ!



17. Reverse the tear down procedure and you are DONE! Enjoy the new look!

Comparison

Before
Low Setting ______________________ High Setting


After
Low Setting ______________________ High Setting


The LED INDEED dims a little but it is not as noticeable on the picture as in real life. It also seems very very bright in the picture, but it is ever so slightly brighter than the stock, IMO.


Disclaimer

I tried my best to document as much as possible along with pictures. I hope you find them useful. However, do use the information provided here "as-is". DailyDrivenTJ.com or the author does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, or process disclosed. Use the information at your own risk.


Last edited by DailyDrivenTJ.com on Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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scott00tj
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 09 Apr 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Medina, OH

looks great. i really like the gauge overlay. have you noticed any sun glare off of it while driving?
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Newbeme
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 387
Location: Eastern Iowa

scott00tj, welcome to the board.

I was looking at doing some thing like this a couple months back, but the newer TJs have redish orange needles that I'm afraid would look purple with the blue LEDs.
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DailyDrivenTJ.com
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 1766

scott00tj wrote:
looks great. i really like the gauge overlay. have you noticed any sun glare off of it while driving?


I see you successfully registered! Welcome!

As far as glare goes, I am not sure yet. I installed two days ago and I only driven it once. I will report back in a week.

Michael
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MarineSniper
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:30 pm    Post subject: Just Finished My LED Install Reply with quote

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Joined: 08 Apr 2007
Posts: 4

Looks 100% better then stock, took 20 minutes tops. Very inexpensive upgrade. Going up to do both my brother in laws Jeeps right now. Thank you for the write up, extremely informative.
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scott00tj
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 09 Apr 2007
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Location: Medina, OH

DailyDrivenTJ.com wrote:

As far as glare goes, I am not sure yet. I installed two days ago and I only driven it once. I will report back in a week.

Michael


Cool thanks. I thought about getting the same overlay you have here and maybe painting it.
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DailyDrivenTJ.com
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 09 Apr 2006
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I have been driving with it for a week. The brushed texture diffuses the reflection even though I haven't experienced anything dramatic.

Michael
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SilverXJ
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 17 Feb 2007
Posts: 26

I have the brushed SS overlay on my XJ and it does give some glare back, but only at certain conditions, which is minimal.

BTW, I love this write up and plan on doing it to my XJ once I get my stroker in. I only need to decide if I want amber or blue. This is a great alternative to all those white (ick) indiglo gauges.

Have you tried to change the HVAC lights to match too?

-Chris
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DailyDrivenTJ.com
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 1766

No HVAC, I don't think I will swap them out. For one thing for 98 with slider controls, it has green tint on the mode selection plate, not on the bulb. Besides, those switches for the accessories and the odometer will be still green even if I get the HVAC control blue lighted. Might as well leave some green. :)
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scott00tj
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 09 Apr 2007
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Location: Medina, OH

I just ordered myself a carbon fiber overlay. I'll post a pic when I get it installed.
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DailyDrivenTJ.com
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 09 Apr 2006
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Thanks Scott, please share the source of the parts too!

Michael
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wrangler88
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 24 Apr 2007
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looks sweet which overlay did you order? got a part number?
thanks!
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DailyDrivenTJ.com
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 09 Apr 2006
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I don't know if you are asking me the question or asking Scott about the part number. The aluminum overlay can be purchased from custombezels.com .

Michael
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Newbeme
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 387
Location: Eastern Iowa

What a bummer. I don't see on their Jeep list where they have an overlay for any Wranglers that are 2003's or newer. Am I missing it?
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scott00tj
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 09 Apr 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Medina, OH

DailyDrivenTJ.com wrote:
Thanks Scott, please share the source of the parts too!

Michael


I ordered it from www.CustomBezels.com. Haven't seen it yet though. How long did your order take to show up?
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