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Old 11-20-2011, 07:08 PM   #1
MustangFTW
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Default Easy/Cheap 1967 DIY LED Cluster Backlight

Recently I had to remove my cluster to rewire my ignition and thought that as long as I had my instrument cluster off i would repaint it, one thing led (see what I did there?) to another and i decided to replace my burnt out old bulbs with bright blue LEDs.

Things you will need:

-1967 cluster
-basic pliers
-wire stripper
-electrical tape
-various screwdrivers
-11 simple LED lights, I used the ones with a single LED, they came with wires attached.
-your preferred method of connecting two wires, I just used heat shrink straws.
-patience

I have the picture of how to assemble the LEDs to fit into the existing bulb opening, connecting the proper wires is easy, just connect one to the old wire and the other wire will need to be grounded.

When you remove the old bulbs push the wire through the bulb housing and snip it off so you can pull off the metal housing. inside the housing is a plastice piece and a spring, take you LED and do this:

Click the image to open in full size.

Next, push the plastic piece to the bottom of the LED:

Click the image to open in full size.

Next, wrap the spring+plastic is a length of electrical tape, I used about 3-4 inches of it.

Click the image to open in full size.

Now bring that metal housing and slip it over the whole thing, because of the electrical tape it should be a nice tight fit.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

this is going to pop right back in place where it used to be. since i had my cluster out I went ahead and took off the front cover and removed the blue pieces of plastic covering the bulb holes.

You might wonder why the plastic is blue but the lights are green when you turn them on. The original bulbs used gave off a yellow tinted light, this plus the blue plastic made the backlight the green color were familiar with.

some more pictures of the final wiring and repainted cluster:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
these are the ground wires.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I painted it matte black, im pleased with how it came out, it was really bad before.
ill get a better picture of the painted cluster tomorrow and hopefully hook it up.


I'll have pictures of the results tomorrow when I hook it up, I'll update this post when I do.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:35 AM   #2
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Green = sexy.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:59 PM   #3
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UPDATE:

make sure you have your ground and positive correctly, i learned the hard way! had to rewire everything today. LEDs, at least these, are directional so go test one on your car battery before starting!
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:33 PM   #4
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do you have a pix of it lit up?
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:37 PM   #5
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I will for sure on wednesday, possibly tomorrow evening. The rewiring set me back. From the single led i tested on my battery its promises to be nice and bright. And the dimmer will actually be useful!
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:13 PM   #6
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can you dim LED's?
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musnicki View Post
Green = sexy.
X2 I'm with musnicki.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
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can you dim LED's?
Iirc yes.
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:11 PM   #9
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I have orange in mine....leaning towards changing them to green.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:36 AM   #10
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woo, just tried them yesterday night, it looks amazing, very subtle and well light.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:36 AM
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1967, 67, 8793, backlight, backlit, cheap, cluster, dash, diy, led, mustanf, mustang, switch, vintage

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