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How To: Gauge Cluster LED Bulb Replacement.

Discussion in 'Interior / Audio / Electronics DIY How-To's' started by X-aCuTiOnA, Nov 26, 2005.



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  1. X-aCuTiOnA

    X-aCuTiOnA W.W.H.D.? Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    East LA, Cali
    Gauge cluster LED replacement for bulbs

    DIY Gauge Cluster LED's

    Well, months back I saw the write up to change the bulbs in your cluster. Well, I could only do the one big bulb and the little bulbs, I couldnt find bulb paint. I saw that OC_civic had LEDS on his and wanted to do that instead. I went to radio shack to get some LED's and all they had were 3 volt and 6 volt, which, im pretty sure is a no can do due to the 12v battery. So today in advnced I looked in the ricer section and BAM, 12V individual LEDS. So I found one of my projects for the day.

    DISCLAIMER
    *********
    I take no personal resbonsibilty for any mishaps or malfunctions on your part in this How To. Do this DIY at your own risk. If you do not know how to work with electrical or wires, do not continue.
    **********

    NEEDED:
    At least 5 Individual 12 volt LED's (I found these in the ricer section of Advanced Auto)
    - NOTE: Make sure they are 12 VOLT.
    Scissors
    A pair of wire strippers (I used nail clippers cuz I lost mine)
    A small flathead screwdriver or knife
    about an hour of your time
    --------
    If you want to get fancy and do it correctly, you can bust out your solder iron. This is optional and for the
    experienced person only. I didnt cuz I dont own one. So I ghetto/mexican rigged it.



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    STEP 1:
    Remove your gauges. (If you dont know how to do this, search, i know its on here and its not that hard.)

    STEP 2:
    Once your gauges are removed, turn it over to the back. You will notice a bunch of black and brown knobs. Locate your primary bulbs (Circled below for EX gauges, I believe DX, LX, CX have only 4 primary bulbs) Twist off the knobs and remove the bulbs. (keep the bulbs just in case)
    [​IMG]

    STEP 3:
    Open up your LED package and remove LED's. Different sets vary on how they are packaged. Mine came each indiviual LED with 15 ft of lose wire. we only need about 2 inches from the bulb. For safe measure leave about 5 inches of wire from the bulb. With the wire cut, get your strippers and strip off the plastic around the wire. (If you use clippers, be careful not to cut the wires) I twisted them to keep them all together. ***Use proper judgement when estimating how much plastic you leave between the LED and the stipped wire. Too much and the wire wong go in right. Too little, and it wont stay or wont work.***
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    STEP 4:
    Grab the knobs you pulled off the back that was holding the bulbs. If you look on the sides of the knob, there are to little metal tabs. (picture below) Those provide the power for the LED's. With your little flathead or knife, lift those tabs up. Dont break them, you want to apply on slight pressure. PLace the wires in the slot for the bulb with the stripped wires sticking out. Now grab one stirpped wire and place it underneath on of the metal tabs. I pulled it in on one side and came out the other. If the is excess, that is fine. Once underneath the metal tab, use you flathead or knife and push down on that metal tab. It should stay relativly back to normal, keepin the wire smashed under it. (That part can be substituted for solder and soldering iron. As I stated before, this should be left to a person with experience) Now, do so to the other side in the exact same way. When done, snip of the little excess.
    [​IMG]

    OPTIONAL STEP: If you want more light, you can also replace the over gauge lights with white LED's, this way your needels and front gauge area will light up brighter to. To do so, just install LED's the the same way, but replace over gauge bulbs instead.

    STEP 5:
    You should have all your LED's in their knobs. All you have to do now, is put them back in there sockets. With the wires under the tabs, it makes it harder to turn, just put a lil more effort, it will go in. All to do now, is re-install gauges and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Heres a crappy pic of mine.
    [​IMG]

    Any questions, feel free to PM me, or post on here.

    Brought to you by,
    X-aCuTiOnA
    First pic by oc_civic
     
  2. oc_civic

    oc_civic .................... Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    i dont know if yours is a little dim.. but i just used replacement led lights instead of cutting up that rig.. the light output i have is basicly stock or better.. "pictures in my signature link"
     
  3. civicsi94

    civicsi94 dial up ownz me Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    nice writeup there homes
     
  4. 95EXcoupe

    95EXcoupe New Member 5+ Year Member

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    Ellicott City
    autolumination.com #74 LEDs. I used those in my dash, simple pop in, worked great. Nice enginuity though
     
  5. BlackHopeDC5

    BlackHopeDC5 Is Black Again??? :shock: Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    that doesnt look good at all....what happened?
     
  6. X-aCuTiOnA

    X-aCuTiOnA W.W.H.D.? Registered VIP 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    My camera is shitty and doesnt show how they really look any justice. My gauges looks a lot better then the actual pic
     
  7. Blk05Civic

    Blk05Civic Reppin HX Registered VIP 5+ Year Member

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    hey that first pic is actually my gauge cluster :D haha

    i did a write up on this with alot of info from oc_civic, and mine also turned out dim, but then u have to get some extra sockets and splice them into the wires and then find places to put them and it works better

    my bulbs cost me $14 with shipping ($5 shipping)
     
  8. Tom

    Tom honda.co.jp Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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  9. AlumnCIV

    AlumnCIV New Member 5+ Year Member

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    california
    Here r my gauges but mine were a lot easier to change...hit me up for the web sites for the lights hella cheap.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. rojo412

    rojo412 New Member 5+ Year Member

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    Feb 16, 2008
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    Cleveland, OH
    Not to reopen any old wounds, but I am new and have a question regarding this topic.

    I am going to do the LEDs in my gauge cluster, a 94. I get the concept of taking it apart, I understand what number bulbs I need. I know that superbrightleds.com is the way to go.

    Here's the rub: They have multiple different types of the same number bulb. Any suggestions as to which model I should do? I want to get the numbers to be red and bright. Any suggestions from the pro's?
     
  11. Astheros

    Astheros AMPhotography Registered VIP Registered OG 5+ Year Member 10+ Year Member

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    ^^^^ go with the ones that have the widest light output and more luminosity. check their specs page to see what each bulb's output angle is.
     
  12. HiepsterEK

    HiepsterEK New Member 5+ Year Member

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    Location:
    Toronto
    Need some help

    Hey guys I have a question im trying to improvise or find a new cluster for my 96 ek, well I seen the Evil Auto Style look and im lovin it so i want that look in my cluster aswell, im located in toronto, so i prefer the readings in km/h love the black bg and white font and blood red needles, been looking all day lots of things possible like putting leds inside (no too good with electrical) so im looking for a more basic approach that will get the job done. heres a image to nudge the thought.

    http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/23000160/Images/2/VC-0001.jpg

    http://www.clubcivic.com/board/showthread.php?t=122784&page=5

    there are also other alternatives i seen which involve florescent paint and led bulbs, oh and on that note (what kinda bulbs do you need to replace the bulbs in the gauges)

    any help will be appreciated thanks.
     
  13. incubus_95

    incubus_95 New Member 5+ Year Member

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    So how many bulbs do you need for a 95 dx and do you only need 74s?
     
  14. 95INDIANACIVEX

    95INDIANACIVEX New Member 5+ Year Member

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    i just used superbrightleds.com 74s and they look sick...my 95 ex used 6...i only bought five and it still looks good
     
  15. jdmblahblahblah

    jdmblahblahblah New Member 5+ Year Member

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    paradise california
    i gotta 91 hatch....i dont want the LED bulbs but i want to change them to amber....anyone know where to get the bulbs or do i just paint them..?
     
  16. jdmek_hatch

    jdmek_hatch New Member 5+ Year Member

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    miami
    any one got any pics of how it came out after? i have a ek hatch and i want to do it.
     
  17. ReGGaeKiinG

    ReGGaeKiinG New Member 5+ Year Member

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    Dorchester, Mass
    if your 95 ex used six then my 93 ex must need 6 too .. word. six in my shooping cart it is den..
     
  18. brecha

    brecha New Member

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    Dominican Republic
    hi guys.. i know that this post is F$#% old.. but i want to know how can identify the bulb light for the needles..

    i just want them red too ... i hope some one help me with this and post some info...

    THANKS !
     
  19. brecha

    brecha New Member

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    well.. not necesary.. i did the change and i found it :D :lol::lol::lol:
     
  20. Lee7201

    Lee7201 New Member

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    Oct 7, 2016
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    2
    Location:
    Maryland
    Old thread, new question.
    Replacing the four or five main gauge lights is not difficult. But the Honda repair manual says that there are also two tiny bulbs at the top of the instrument cluster. You have to replace those if you want to see the needles. My mechanic did this, with regular bulbs. I want to replace them with LEDs. Can anyone el me how to do this? Correct bulb numbers?
     


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