how to change cluster leds

Discussion in 'Saturn Ion Specific' started by ionit3, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. ionit3

    ionit3 Platinum Member

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    Courtesy of Cavingman on RLF

    Parts:
    Go to Here --> http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-...ct=CAR&keywords=&cart_id=685331.31216&next=50
    You're looking for B8.5D Instrument Cluster LED bulb They have white, blue, green, amber, red, and UV-blacklight.

    First begin by making sure you have all the necessary tools needed...
    7mm socket and ratchet or socket driver
    small flathead screwdriver
    small needlenose pliers

    1. Begin by removing the radio trim. This can be in many ways. Some prefer to hold onto the trim where it meets and bottom of the radio and pull. Others prefer to slide a small flathead screwdriver into the edge of the trim and pry it off. It's held in by small metal clips and removes quite easily, so remove it however you feel most confortable.

    2. You will notice the wiring harness for the hazard switch is attached to the back of the trim. You can un-clip it by using the small flathead screwdriver to lightly lift up the plastic tab and un-hooking the clip. Be sure not to pry too hard, it may break! Unhooking this is optional. If you dont want to mess with the hazard switch wiring, you can let the radio trim hang but it may get in your way.

    [​IMG]

    3. The next step is to remove to cowel above the gauges. To do this, look just above the radio and under the gauges and you will see a 7mm bolt holding the cowel down. Remove this bolt using 7mm socket. Be sure not to drop it. Place the bolt in your cupholder.

    [​IMG]

    Just like the radio trim, you will have to pull up on the gauge cowel to release the metal clips. Grab the upper edge and lift up, it should not be too snug.
    Now you should see something like this:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    4. The gauge cluster is held in by 3 7mm bolts. One to the left, one center underneath and one to the right of the gauges. Remove these and place them where you placed the other. Now pull the gauges towards you and flip the whole unit over. You will see a clip holding the harness onto the back of the gauge cluster.

    [​IMG]

    This clip does not have to be removed, but it makes it alot easier to replace the LED's.
    It can be replaced by pushing on the small tab on the black part, and pushing the grey plastic piece to the side like a lever. Doing so will release the harness and you can then pull it away from the gauges.

    [​IMG]

    5. You can see 6 small beige circular things on the back of the gauges. These are the bases of the original bulbs. We are only removing 4 of these. The upper 2 are the lights for the turn signal indicators and shouldnt be bothered with. Begin by removing the 4 lower bulb bases by either using a small screw driver and turning them out, or by using needle nose pliers and turning them using those.

    [​IMG]

    Once these are removed, you can install the new replacement LED's. Simply turn them in just like the original bulbs were removed. You will have to use needle nose pliers as the replacements do not have a notch for a screwdriver. Sometimes they can be turned in by hand also. You have to make sure the contacts on the new LED's sit correctly. There are 2 metal tabs on each side that must pinch the circuit board or a contact will not be made.
    THESE CONTACTS ARE POLARIZED. If some of the bulbs do not initially work, remove them and turn them around. It does make a difference.

    [​IMG]


    6. You can hook the wiring harness back up and flip on the headlights to make sure everything is working correctly. Again, if some of them do not light up, remove the bulb that isnt lit and turn it around.

    7. Re-installation is the exact reverse. There are plastic lining tabs on the gauges to help you line up the bolts when re-installing. To install the radio trim and gauge cowel make sure they line up and lightly push to engage the metal clips. Be sure to reconnect the wiring harness on the gauge cluster and on the hazard switch. When everything is together it should look something like this:

    [​IMG]


    8. Enjoy!

    [​IMG]









    Additional information from Dacuda


    I changed my Odometer color to red to match the needles. Herez the pic
    [​IMG]

    If you have an old cluster, or pretty much anything else that would have surface mount LEDs in the color you want, you can do this too. The only thing is that you really should know how to solder, otherwise you might kill your cluster. All it is, is 3 surface mount LEDs. The ones in the red box are the ones to change.
    [​IMG][/img]


    They are surface mount LEDs (or SMD LEDs). I don't have the exact specs on them since I just grabbed them from an old cluster I had laying around. Here is a couple of links to similar ones, although I'd verify sizes before ordering. After all I just stole mine from an old part.
    http://www.globalsources.com/gsol/I/LED/p/sm/1002750108.htm
    http://www.globalsources.com/gsol/I/LED/p/sm/1000762741.htm
    http://www.globalsources.com/gsol/I/LED/p/sm/1002945734.htm
    Unless you were looking for an odd color, you could probably get a cheap cluster off ebay and steal parts from it. The one I grabbed parts from was my backup cluter for my old 2000 SL. Before you even take the LED from the board, you can check to see it's color just by using a coin cell 3V battery and some test leads.
     
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  2. Jhop16

    Jhop16 Full Access Member

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    does this work on Cobalts?
     
  3. cobalt123

    cobalt123 Platinum Member

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    nice write up(s)
     

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