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Old 01-21-2009   #1
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Default How To Install LED Lights in Instrument Cluster

SN95 LED Gauge Cluster and HVAC Controls
By: Trey - "TxCobrA98"
www.sn95forums.com

DISCLAIMER - I am not responsible for any problems (cluster failures, HVAC failures, shortages, electrical issues, personal harm to you or anyone else, etc...) from YOU attempting to do this LED swap. MY HOW TO article is to simply guide you through the process and help those that are unsure. I assume no responsibility if anything were to go wrong. However, I am responsible for all POSITIVE outcomes. =] This swap is very simple, just need basic knowledge and tools. You have been warned! If you wish to proceed, please continue, be safe and have fun!

After receiving about 5-10 PM's per day dealing solely with my 1998 Cobra's Gauge Cluster and HVAC controls, I have decided to write a "HOW TO" article. First and for most, I would like to clarify a few questions I have been asked. The gauge cluster and HVAC controls you will see in the following pictures or the first pictures are not aftermarket, not reverse-glo, not special edition or anything else. My gauge cluster and HVAC controls are the ones that were installed in my car from the factory.

Q. Now you might be asking, why do my gauges and controls look "bluer" or "brighter" than all of the other "stock" gauge clusters and HVAC controls?
A. I swapped out the stock "incandescent" bulbs in my cluster and controls with super bright "LED's."

Q. So what's the difference in the incandescent bulbs and LED bulbs and why does it make it appear blue?
A. Behind our clusters and HVAC controls lies a blue film (the film behind the number and dial cut outs are blue). An incandescent bulb emits a yellowish light (like most household bulbs that are incandescent). When you mix this yellowish light with a blue film, you get a green hue showing through the numbers of our clusters and dials of our controls. NOW, when you take the stock incandescent bulbs out and swap in their places the super bright, pure white LED's and mix it with the stock blue film, you get a BLUE hue. So white and blue = blue. Hopefully you get what im saying. That is why my gauge numbers and HVAC controls are now BLUE and not the stock green.

What you will need

7 Super Bright White LED's - Socket 194/168 (sockets are the same, just different numbers)
I bought my LED's from here (mine are the WLED-x5 Wedge Based Bulbs)

For 1999 - 2004 Mustangs you need 74-xHP3. The "x" denotes a color code so for example if you order green it'll say 74-GHP3.


A T-15 Torx Screwdriver


A 2 mm (i believe that's what it was) allen/hex wrench. YOU ONLY NEED THIS IF YOU HAVE AN AFTERMARKET HEADLIGHT KNOB!

An 8mm Socket, Socket Wrench and a few LONG extensions. YOU ONLY NEED THESE IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON DOING THE HVAC CONTROL LED SWAP!

MAKE SURE YOU UNPLUG THE NEGATIVE BATTERY CABLE FROM THE NEGATIVE BATTERY TERMINAL!

OK, so lets get started!

Step 1

Start with your untouched gauge cluster.


Remove the two T-15 Torx head screws.

Step 2
STOCK HEADLIGHT KNOB

"You need to pull a retainer clip outwards (away from the shaft) and then pull this knob off gently." - MustangWorld.com

Aftermarket Headlight Knob

Remove the 2 mm Allen/Hex screw in the side of your Headlight Knob Switch

Step 3

Once you have the knob taken care of, carefully remove the gauge clusters bezel (clusters surrounding piece). It will be stubborn more than likely but it should come out, just try not to break it! After the bezel is out, unscrew the four surrounding bolts to remove the cluster itself. They are again T-15 Torx headed bolts.

Step 4

Tilt the cluster by bringing the bottom out first. (like you would be putting the gauge faces pointing upwards)

Step 4.1

Remove the black connector that is connected into the back of the cluster. Carefully pull it straight back and out.

Step 4.2


Notice the white connector on the opposite end of the gauge cluster. Just like the black connector, remove the white connector the same way. Carefully pull straight back and out.
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Old 01-21-2009   #2
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Step 5

Once the two connectors are unplugged from the back of the cluster, carefully pull the cluster out. (It helps if you have the wheel tilted as low as it can go). From there, flip the cluster over and notice the 5 black TWIST style sockets. Untwisting the black sockets to the left will unlock them and allow you to pull them straight out.

Step 6

Notice MY already installed LED.


To replace the bulbs with your new LED's, simply pull the stock bulb out and replace with the LED. Put all the sockets back into the holes and get ready to reinstall the cluster!

So CONGRATS, we are halfway done with the swap! See, its not so bad right!?

REINSTALLATION of the Cluster

Step 7

Start by re-inserting the white connector the the back of the gauge cluster. Do not force it in, it will go in if you have it aligned right. It will require a bit of pressure but not 100% strength lol.

Step 7.1

Then go to the opposite side of the cluster and reinsert the black connector. Rules are the same as the white connector.

Step 7.2
Reinsert the Cluster with the gauge faces pointing upwards again and slide the bottom up and back to insert the cluster in its original position.

Step 7.3
ATTENTION! I would now suggest that you reconnect the negative battery cable to ensure your newly installed LED's are all working! Once you verify they are all on and in working condition, go back and DISCONNECT your negative battery cable.

Step 8

Screw in the 4 T-15 Torx headed bolts to hold the cluster in place (be careful not to drop the bolts behind the cluster, you may not get them back!)

Step 9

ATTENTION! Don't forget about the HEADLIGHT KNOB! I've done this and reinstalled everything and its annoying to think your done and then notice your missing a headlight knob! Go ahead and pull out the headlight knobs shaft to the ON position and THEN install the gauge clusters bezel.

Step 10

Reinstall your Headlight Knob with your 2 mm Allen/Hex wrench or simply push your stock knob back on (i remember having to adjust the retaining clip inside the knob when I had mine so you may have to play with it)
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Old 01-21-2009   #3
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Step 11

Reinstall the two T-15 Torx headed bolts into the clusters bezel and vwalah! or walah! or.... you get the point.

So, we have no completed the gauge cluster LED swap! If you are continuing on and doing the HVAC control LED swap, now is a great time to have a coke, pop, soda, w/e... Hey, im 18 so no beer for me. =P

LED HVAC CONTROLS SWAP

Step 1

Here we start with a stock HVAC control head unit. If you have a DVD player, make sure you fold the face down before unplugging the negative battery cable.

Step 2

Here I undid my shifter knob so I can remove the shifters bezel and boot.

Step 2.1

Once the shifter bezel and boot is taken off of the main console, unplug the cigarette lighter.

Step 3

Continuing, unscrew the two T-15 Torx headed screws securing the bezel.

Step 4

After taking out your stereo's head unit, take your extensions as well as your 8mm (i believe that's what I used) socket and socket wrench.


Unscrew the 8mm headed bolt that secure the bezel in place inside of the dash. (It is directly behind the stereo head unit. Follow the long black plastic piece)

Step 5

YAY! Our bezel can now come off after a few pulls around the perimeter of the bezel! Like the gauge cluster bezel, be careful not to break it! The bezel will be stubborn but should come out with a bit of strength!
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Old 01-21-2009   #4
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Step 6

Here is the long black piece attached to the bezel and the hole that the 8mm screw goes in.

Step 7

After the bezel is removed and carefully set down to avoid scratches, take your T-15 Torx screw driver and unscrew the four bolts holding the HVAC controls in place.

Step 7.1

Once the four bolts are removed, carefully pull out the HVAC control unit and look for the 2 black TWIST style sockets. (These are exactly the same as the gauge cluster sockets)

Step 8
Twist out the sockets, replace the bulbs, and reinstall.
ATTENTION! I would suggest replugging up the negative battery cable and making sure the LED's work like before. Once you verify they are working, go ahead and unplug the negative battery cable again. After doing that, reinstall EVERYTHING in REVERSE order! Reconnect your negative battery cable, pull the headlight knob and again, VWALAH! You should now be greeted with a nice blue gauge cluster and HVAC controls!

That's it! Not to long of a job but it can be aggravating. However, the results definitely speak for themselves! Hope my HOW TO was easy to follow and you got the output you desired








After shots!

This tutorial was brought to you by Trey - "TxCobrA98". If you have ANY QUESTIONS, feel free to email me at elewarfare [AT] yahoo [dot] com or go to www.sn95forums.com and look in almost any thread for me. (TxCobrA98)
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Old 02-03-2009   #5
 
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Default Follow Up to MineralGray02's LED Instrument panel lights. How to make them ANY color!

After reading the write up on this instrument panel LEDs I decided I wanted to do it. But I had 1 problem: The color scheme of my car is Red and Matte black. So I followed his instructions, but after I got the panel out, I did this:

1. Mark where the needles are located, then Carefully pull them off the gauges.

2. After theyre off, carefully pull the guage face off of the cluster. (Its held on by some spray adhesive. Just pull carefully)

3. Pop out the tach and speedo stops (4 of them)

4. The back of the gauge face piece has a greenish type paint on it that makes it illuminate green. Take a razor blade and spend the next 2 hours of your life scraping that green paint off the piece.

5. After that green paint is scraped off, wash the piece with some "slick off" or what the sophisticated people call "adhesive remover"

6. Place the piece back on the gauge panel (you dont have to reglue it because the screws hold it in place.)

7. Put the stops for speedo & tach back on, as well as the needles

8. Now your gauges will be clear instead of green. Purchase the color LEDs of your choice from the website MineralGray02 mentioned. (I got the same ones he did, only in Red. WLEDx5)

9. Follow his intructions for gauge replacement.

10. Now you have any color gauges you want.

I havent got my Red LEDs yet in the mail. I will post some pics of it installed when they get here.

Theyve got some pretty cool colors to chose from so be creative!
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Old 03-23-2009   #6
 
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Default Re: How To Install LED Lights in Instrument Cluster

what color bulbs did you use white or blue?
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Old 07-26-2009   #7
 
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Default Re: How To Install LED Lights in Instrument Cluster

did you order the natural white led's?
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Old 08-12-2009   #8
 
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Default Re: How To Install LED Lights in Instrument Cluster

I would like to see what the black lite one looks like.
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Old 03-10-2010   #9
 
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Default Re: How To Install LED Lights in Instrument Cluster

Are the LED's dimmable?
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Old 06-29-2010   #10
 
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Default Re: How To Install LED Lights in Instrument Cluster

will this work for a 2000 mustang?
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Old 06-29-2010   #11
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Default Re: How To Install LED Lights in Instrument Cluster

Quote:
Originally Posted by aapierce1990 View Post
will this work for a 2000 mustang?
yep
mikes is an 03
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Old 07-10-2010   #12
 
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Default Re: How To Install LED Lights in Instrument Cluster

WRONG! this will only work in 94-98!!! NOT 99-04!! they have different size bulbs!
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Old 07-10-2010   #13
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Default Re: How To Install LED Lights in Instrument Cluster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus98GT View Post
WRONG! this will only work in 94-98!!! NOT 99-04!! they have different size bulbs!
Yes it will, the green film may have to be filed down though. The bulb size for a 99-04 mustang is a 74-xHP3 you can get it from the above website. The x denotes the color. For example if you order blue bulbs for a 99-04 it'll say 74-BHP3
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Old 07-10-2010   #14
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Default Re: How To Install LED Lights in Instrument Cluster

I believe foxes are 194's also....would blue bulbs be EXTREME blue? I want them noticeably blue. Anything would be better then the way they are now, they are way too dark!
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Old 07-27-2011   #15
 
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Default Re: How To Install LED Lights in Instrument Cluster

hey im new to this but i got those led 74 bhp3 wedge base bulbs for my a/c control an they do not fit!!! any one know what i need to do to make them fit into the twist lock on the a/c control im goin insane!!!
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