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changing leds in gauges

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showbiz

Joined: Jun 12 2006
Posts: 3


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Post Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:23 am

if anyone has done this before, let me know how you did it...

but here's what i'm trying to do.

im basically trying to change my leds in my gauge cluster on my car (grand am) to white, instead of the stock amber/red that they are now. ive changed them all out with no success, and i've tried adding resistors to them and changed them out, again, with no success.

if youve done it before or know a better way, let me know.

thanks...
Silentdawn

Joined: Apr 12 2005
Posts: 1481
Location: Hockessin, Delaware


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Post Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:27 am

you mean you put LEDs in w/o resisters? not smart.
showbiz

Joined: Jun 12 2006
Posts: 3


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Post Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:30 am

i put the resistor on the main line where the current comes thru...i'm not that stupid to just put an led on without a resistor.
alienyoungjr

Joined: Apr 30 2004
Posts: 4654
Location: Texas


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Post Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:49 am

showbiz wrote:
i put the resistor on the main line where the current comes thru...i'm not that stupid to just put an led on without a resistor.


I don't know what you mean by that, but the resistor needs to be on each and every positive lead of every single LED.

I have successfully changed 95% of my gauge cluster, and climate control to LEDs. Some of them were easy with drop in replacements, and the rest I had to custom fab them, but with a resistor for each LED. Now some of my warning lights would not accept LEDs because of their low resistance, but I just changed them back to what they use to be and they worked fine again.
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
Posts: 4517
Location: Texas!


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Post Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:39 am

by having no luck what do you mean?

also, a lot of cars use clear bulbs with amber film behind the gauges. to get a blue effect without aftermarket faces youll have to sand that off, if that is the case
Recon

Joined: May 27 2004
Posts: 1615
Location: Reno, Nevada


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Post Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:27 pm

I changed all my gauge cluster bulbs with 197 LED bulbs, with built in resistor, worked just fine... make sure you have the polarity right
corvettecrazy

Joined: Dec 17 2003
Posts: 4357
Location: moved (twice)


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Post Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:49 pm

depending on the year grand am I think it will be different.

I may be wrong on this but I think on a lot of 90's pontiacs the color for the dash was not caused by the bulbs but instead by a red film on the back of the dash inlay. Which makes it hard to just change the color by changing the bulbs.
chibahawk

Joined: Apr 24 2006
Posts: 29


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Post Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:06 am

is that also with most cars? I have a 2001 Mitsubishi Galant and I want to change the lights in my gauge cluster... what are the odds I've got amber tape and not colored LEDs?
corvettecrazy

Joined: Dec 17 2003
Posts: 4357
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Post Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:44 pm

chibahawk wrote:
is that also with most cars? I have a 2001 Mitsubishi Galant and I want to change the lights in my gauge cluster... what are the odds I've got amber tape and not colored LEDs?


no clue. Some companies use bulb condoms others color the dash. Take it appart and find out.
chibahawk

Joined: Apr 24 2006
Posts: 29


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Post Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:56 pm

yep i did and posted pictures but no ones answered my thread yet
alienyoungjr

Joined: Apr 30 2004
Posts: 4654
Location: Texas


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Post Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:33 pm

my dash had both the colored condoms and film, except none of my film was removable. I just stuck with the stock colors anyways, so it wasn't a problem for me.
alkatmsu

Joined: Nov 08 2005
Posts: 1560
Location: Kentucky


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Post Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:31 pm

My cavalier started with white, easy as pie to change the colors.
ancona46

Joined: Mar 04 2006
Posts: 408


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Post Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:46 pm

on a grand am you have to buy a new gauge face overlay changin the bulbs wont do anything because the gauge itself has the film for the color
alkatmsu

Joined: Nov 08 2005
Posts: 1560
Location: Kentucky


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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:51 am

ancona46 wrote:
on a grand am you have to buy a new gauge face overlay changin the bulbs wont do anything because the gauge itself has the film for the color

I know sunfire HVAC panels have a red tint to them, but I've heard that it can be sanded off. Maybe the grand am is the same way.
GlowinPontiac

Joined: Mar 04 2004
Posts: 5959
Location: Central CT


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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:03 am

the film is removable on a 92-95 GA with a heat gun a sharp putty knife about 8 hours and a steady hand.
ancona46

Joined: Mar 04 2006
Posts: 408


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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:30 pm

for all that trouble just buy new gauges they are only about 50 bucks for the 99 and up ga's
corvettecrazy

Joined: Dec 17 2003
Posts: 4357
Location: moved (twice)


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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:40 pm

GlowinPontiac wrote:
the film is removable on a 92-95 GA with a heat gun a sharp putty knife about 8 hours and a steady hand.


sounds appealing icon_rolleyes.gif icon_lol.gif
GlowinPontiac

Joined: Mar 04 2004
Posts: 5959
Location: Central CT


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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:47 pm

i tried it with a spare broken dash i had. worked great till one tiny slip and it gouged off the black paint too and made a big clear hole.

oh and i forgot you also have to use acetone to soften the film first. if you do it dont get that heat gun too close to the acetone icon_eek.gif
showbiz

Joined: Jun 12 2006
Posts: 3


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Post Sun Oct 08, 2006 5:20 am

looks like you have a grand am before '99. the only thing about getting new gauges is that they don't make them in white.
GlowinPontiac

Joined: Mar 04 2004
Posts: 5959
Location: Central CT


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Post Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:21 am

ya i have a 95. speedhut makes el gauges for it but i dont like the way they look during the day. i wanted it to look stock and black during the day but lihgt up blue at night.
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