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· Premium Member
711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
You will be messing with the electronics of your vehicle. Tread carefully. You take full responsibility for any damage you may do to your truck. I am more than willing to offer advice, share my experiences and help in any way I can, but if something goes wrong and your Frontier spontaneously explodes...that's on you.

Alright, let's get on with it. First off, let me say...yes, I am aware that 90% of this information has already been posted, however when I was searching for the information to do a complete overhaul, I had to bounce between half a dozen threads to figure everything out, so I thought I would write an all-in-one thread that was a little more detailed than some of the other posts. I also notice that some of those posts are a bit old and needed a little updating, and as I stated, I would've liked to have seen a little more detail in the write-up, so I thought I would extend the courtesy for anyone looking to do this mod for themselves. That being said, I am writing this tutorial as if a complete novice was wanting to tackle the project, so some of this information may seem over-explained to some of you, but hopefully there is some information in here for everyone. Even if you only take bits and pieces from this tutorial, hopefully it can point you in the right direction.

Soldering/LED Tips
  • Don't be NERVOUS
    You will be doing a lot of soldering during this mod, and while mastering the skill takes a lot of practice (and I am by no means an expert) it's a pretty easy skill to pick up. Take your time and you'll do fine.
  • A CLEAN tip is a happy tip
    Most [decent] soldering irons come with a sponge, use it. Don't soak the sponge, but dampen it and keep it rinsed and handy. If you keep the tip shiny while working, the heat transfers much better and the job goes a lot smoother. When you see the oxidization (darkening of the tip) wipe it clean.
  • BAD heat
    LEDs don't care much for intense heat, when possible, get in and get out as quickly as you can. If you are struggling with a particular LED, take a step back, maybe work on another light and come back to it, if you apply too much heat you'll lose the bulb. If you have an adjustable soldering iron, don't max it out, only use enough heat to get the job done smoothly. Also, yes, the iron is hot. It's seems like a "well duh" kind of thing, but when you have a flashlight in your mouth, the iron in one hand, tweezers in the other and a magnifying glass inches from your eyes, occasionally you space out on just how hot it is. (I wouldn't be speaking from experience. Not at all...not even 4 times.)
  • That's a FINE job!
    If at all possible, use a fine tip. You can get away with a larger tip, but it'll make your job much easier if you can get a hold of a smaller tip.
  • LESS is more
    Don't glob the solder, it's not about how much you get on there, only the point of contact between the solder and the metal really matters, anything over that is excess.
  • The CIRCUIT BOARD, not the LED
    Don't apply the solder to the LED, instead, heat up the board where you want the LED to go, apply a small amount of solder, then bring the LED over, melting the solder just long enough to drop the LED onto it.
    LEDs always have a way of tipping you off on which side is which. On the circuit board you will typically see the symbol below [Fig 1]. I usually think to myself "the arrow points to the negative (cathode) side" for LED orientation purposes. All three LED types you will be soldering also have tell-tale signs for which contact is the negative one. The 1206 is usually marked on the negative side [Fig 2], the PLCC-2 has a notch cut off of it [Fig 3] and if you look at the 3mm LED, the shorter [typically] of the two leads is negative...and if you look closely at the bulb the negative side has the larger pin as well as a flat side on the bulb itself [Fig 4].

Tools Required
  • Screw Drivers
    Required for dismantling various vehicle panels and components. You will need a selection of slotted, phillips and torx drivers. Torx drivers will only be required if you plan on modding the HVAC controls and/or factory stereo.
  • Soldering iron
    Any will do, but if you are purchasing one and have a couple extra bucks, I recommend an adjustable one.
  • Tweezers
    These LEDs are tiny. If you really try to apply them with your fingers, I will shake my head in a disappointed fashion in your general direction. If at all possible, get one like what is pictured below [Fig 5] that automatically clamps, trust me, it makes things so much easier.
  • Patience
    This is going to get repetitive and tedious, stick with it, I assure you that it's worth it. Take your time, don't rush anything and you'll greatly lower the risk of damaging any of your parts.
  • Camera
    You'll need to post lots of pictures of your awesome work.

Tools Recommended
  • Magnifying Lens
    Again, you are working with some very small parts, and occasionally a closer look at things really helps, especially if you can get one that also holds what you're working on [Fig 6].
  • Multimeter
    This makes testing so much easier. On your multimeter [Fig 7] set it to the symbol shown above [Fig 1] and touch the black wire to the negative side of the LED and the red to the positive. If the LED is good, it should at least faintly light up. Note: It will not light up as brightly during testing as it will in your vehicle, do not panic if it seems like it's a weak light. I recommend testing each LED before soldering it in, and then testing it again after you finish soldering it in. This will save you a lot of headache later on.

  • SMD 1206 LEDs
    The smallest LEDs we will be working with on this project. Color is up to you, I went with Superbright Blue. You will need 15-17 for the gauges (2wd vs 4wd), 24* for the HVAC, 24* for the factory stereo and 20* or so for the miscellaneous switches on the center console, door locks (except the drivers door) and other dials around the vehicle. I bought a strip of 100 LEDs, and finished with 7 spare...with only about a half-dozen casualties.
    *Numbers are approximate, it's late, I'm tired, and even going back through pictures I can't be 100% certain on how many I did.
  • PLCC-2 3528 LEDs
    Again, color is up to you and I only used two of these LEDs, they are part of the heated seat switches. If you do not have these switches or do not wish to alter them, you can skip these. Since I only needed a couple I scrounged some from an LED strip I had laying around, but you could easily grab a small pack online.
  • 3mm LEDs
    The only location these were used is in the driver's door switch cluster. Five LEDs are needed in total. Color is your choice. I bought a big pack, only because I know I will use these on various other projects.
  • Superflux 4-Chip LEDs
    You'll only need two of these, but if you purchase some, I highly recommend getting pre-wired ones as it will make things much easier. These get installed for the shifter and the illuminated key ring.
  • Polarizing Film
    You only need this for any LCD screens you wish to reverse (change the screen from an illuminated background with dark lettering/numbers to a dark background with illuminated lettering/numbers). I wanted a sheet that would be large enough to do all three screens (4x4 screen, odometer and stereo) so I bought one large sheet, if you only want to do a small area or don't mind piecing together the sheets, something much smaller would work just fine.

Final Information
  • Cost
    Depending on how extensive you go...this could change. For a complete overhaul you should be able to get set up for (at most) $50-$60, and on a 2wd basic overhaul (switches, dash and center) you could easily pull this off for around $25. If you need to purchase additional tools (soldering iron, multimeter etc) that will change accordingly.
  • Time
    This could change based on your skill level and confidence, but I would say that this project could easily be done in two days for even a novice. If you are a little more familiar with everything and have all day to tinker, you could get it done in one.
  • Difficulty
    I only give this an intermediate level due to some of the tediousness of the project. Once you get into the groove of things you'll be amazed at how quickly you blast through parts of the project, but there are the occasional hurdles that may trip you up.

Now, without any further delay, let's tear into things!

· Premium Member
711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Before I get too far into this project, please note that is was completed on a 2012 Nissan Frontier Pro 4X Crew Cab. Your truck may have some similarities as well as some differences. I may have some switches that you don't and you may have a more elaborate setup than I will vary slightly by truck. Please note that if you see something that doesn't match your setup that doesn't mean something went wrong. If you have any questions or are looking for any advice, feel free to ask!

The Tear-Down
I found the easiest thing to do was get all of the parts ready to go for soldering, however you may want to do one section at a time. I just didn't want to have to tear apart the same sections of the dash each time I wanted to start a new section, so I grabbed all of the pieces at once and brought them in to work on them. Also, you'll note that there are steps I took during dismantling that could've been skipped, but in some cases it was nice having a little wiggle room when pulling stuff apart.

Door Controls
  • At the base of the control panel, use something to pry underneath the switches [Fig 8]. I was far too lazy to walk inside and get my plastic prying tool, so I risked scratching the truck by using a slotted driver. Don't be like me, be careful with your plastic parts.
  • Disconnect the wire harness on the back of each switch panel [Fig 9]. Simply push in the button and pull the connector at the same time.
  • On the driver's door, you will need to pull the window lock button out from the top [Fig 10]. Use your thin [plastic] prying tool again to get it started, and then pull it the rest of the way off.
  • Using a thin slotted driver (we're on the underside now, being worried about scratches isn't as high of a priority) carefully release the tabs on the housing of the switch panel [Fig 11] to pull it away from the face.
  • When removing the circuit board, hold the switch panel so that the switches (the part you normally see in the truck) are facing the ground as there are a few pieces in the housing that are not attached and are simply 'floating' in place [Fig 12]. If you are not careful you may drop these pieces and you don't want to lose them, or your switches will no longer function properly.
  • Once all four door switch panels have been collected [Fig 13], set them aside to bring in with everything else.

Center Console
  • The top of the console simply pops off [Fig 14], you may need to use your previous plastic pry bar to get it started.
  • Remove the three screws you just uncovered [Fig 15]. The entire section will now pull forward.
  • Pull the wiring clips out from behind the electronics [Fig 16]. In my case the stereo had four plugs and the HVAC had one, all of which just unclipped. At this point I also pulled the clips for the hazards and the passenger side airbag light. Note: If you don't want to clear an airbag fault later, instead of unclipping the airbag...use a torx driver and unscrew the entire unit from the face (shown in green [Fig 17]). I opted to just pull the clip and fix the fault later on.
  • To remove the HVAC controls from the face remove the four torx screws at the edge of the system [Fig 17].
  • Use a small slotted driver to release the tabs and pull the two vents on either side of the head unit [Fig 18].
  • Similar to removing the HVAC, pull the four screws along the edges of the head unit [Fig 19] and with the vents out of the way, unscrew the two smaller screws [Fig 20] (shown in blue), I also removed the four screws holding the brackets on each side of the head unit (shown in red) but only to run some tests of my own inside the unit, removing these eight screws is not necessary if you choose to skip it.
  • Once you pull the body away, the circuit board we'll actually be working with is still attached to the face. Remove all of the screws [Fig 21], pull the volume and tuning knobs from the front of the unit and the board will fall right out.

Gauge Cluster
  • After pulling back the door trim remove the two screws holding in the lower dash piece [Fig 22] and pull it off.
  • While you have this piece handy, now is a good time to pull off the mirror and cargo light switches [Fig 23]. Pull the wiring harness off of the back of these controls and use your small slotted driver to carefully pop loose the release tabs on the top and bottom.
  • On the pillar, pop open the tabs to reveal the two bolts holding the handle in place and remove bolts [Fig 24].
  • Ensure that all tabs are released on the pillar (double check between the door and the dash) and the entire unit will pull straight out [Fig 25].
  • Remove all three screws holding the upper dash in place [Fig 26]. With the pillar removed this should easily pull straight up toward the windshield and out.
  • Remove the four screws holding the cluster in place [Fig 27] and remove the wiring harness from the back of the gauges.
  • While we are still outside, now is a good time to mark the gauges, if you choose to do so. Pop the tabs along the edge of the gauges [Fig 28] and place some masking tape where the gauges will rest. I marked where the needles sat completely at rest, and then I also plugged the unit back into the truck, started it up, and once everything mellowed out I made a mark where they were at that point as well [Fig 29]. Note: Make sure that if you use this method, you run the truck in similar conditions! If your original mark was made after a day of shopping and the engine is still cooling down, the mark would not be the same for an engine that has been sitting in the garage all day while you solder LEDs to the dash. Secondary Note: I am paranoid, so I not only marked the needles, but I also used the "gauge reset" built into the truck after reinstalling everything and used the 'real-time' function on my OBD II Scan Tool to ensure everything was reading and reporting on the dash correctly. If you are curious about the reset function I will post a link at the end of this tutorial.

Lower Dash Switches
  • Pretty straight-forward here, I did take the time to remove the two screws (shown in red) [Fig 30] so that I could pull the lower section forward and have more room to work. In order to remove the right-hand screw I had to pull the lower part of the dash on the passenger side, if you don't feel like pulling all of that, these switches can be removed without taking out those two screws, I just found releasing the tabs much easier this way. All of the switches had one tab on top and a matching tab below, except for the 4wd selector...that had three tabs spaced evenly around the dial. Just release the wire connector and pull the switches to take inside [Fig 31].


· Premium Member
711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
It Begins
Seeing as we are already outside, and the truck is already torn apart, now would be a grand time to take care of the two lights that we can't bring inside to work on, the gear selector and the key ring illumination. Both of these will be using the Superflux 4-Chip LEDs that you acquired. You can get away with a different setup (multiple basic 5mm LEDs, solder in resistors etc...) but do yourself a favor and order the pre-wired Superflux's worth it for how easy they make it and the light output is so much better.

Key Ring Illumination
  • The light will be going into the thick part of the white housing [Fig 32]. My pictures will not match up exactly with the instructions, as I made a mistake and had to redo this lighting...but the end result is the same. Unscrew the existing bulb from the back of the housing and disconnect the wire. We will be taking this mini-harness [Fig 33] and creating our own with the LED.
  • Snip the wires and hook the negative and positive leads to the LED [Fig 34]. This is where I messed up and had to redo my work. The Superflux LED is larger than the original bulb, so the best option is to open up that white housing, thread the wire through hole (thread from the front out of the back) and then connect everything together. To open the white housing so that you can feed the light through the front...very carefully pull the black ring [Fig 32] forward and the white housing will pull right off, you can then open it up and feed the wires through. Once that is complete you'll want to plug the new harness in and test that the light is working [Fig 35].
  • Reattach everything, tie the wires out of the way and test once again [Fig 36].

Gear Shifter
  • Again, I thought it would be more fun to make things harder for myself so the images will not match exactly with the instructions. First, (if you have an automatic transmission) slide the silver collar down, pull the pin and slide off the handle [Fig 37].
  • Pop out the cup holders and face piece around the shifter [Fig 38].
  • Using a small slotted driver, release the tabs holding on the shift cover [Fig 39] and pull the entire piece off (you'll note, mine stays on, because apparently I love a challenge).
  • Under this piece you'll find a white diffuser [Fig 40]. This does help spread the light, but as you can see from the reverse side, it also adds a yellow hue to the light, so I pulled it off. This helps the light be a little brighter and keeps it blue.
  • You should be able to see through the letters and numbers now [Fig 41]. Mine only look blue already because of the dome light above.
  • You'll see the light bulb at the very back (towards the back of the truck) of the clear plastic piece, my fingers couldn't get in there, so I used a pair of needle-nosed pliers to turn it and pull it out [Fig 42]. Snip these wires and hook the negative and positive leads to another Superflux LED. You may have to test these wires as they were the same color on mine (...don't forget you will have to have the lights on to test the wires.) Note: The 'negative' or 'ground' in this case is the variable to adjust the light intensity, so your positive line will be a constant 12v, and the 'ground' will range in volts based on where the dial on the dash is.
  • Once wired in and tested I used a tiny dab of epoxy to hold the light at just the right angle (you want it facing slightly forward to direct the light across all of the letters) and then when everything was dry I noticed a little light leaking through, so I used a small piece of electrical tape to block the light [Fig 43] and then resembled everything.

LED Soldering Refresher
  • You're going to be doing this quite a few times, so you may as well get into the rhythm. First I highly recommend testing the existing LED [Fig 44] so you are 100% you know what it's orientation is.
  • Apply heat to the solder (alternating sides quickly, you want to try to melt both sides simultaneously) to remove the old LED. Typically the LED will just pop off, but on the occasional removal I would have to use a small object to apply a bit of sideways pressure [Fig 45] to the LED until it slid off of the contact points. Note: You can see that I am using an Exacto Knife in the image. This is because I am reckless and stupid. I came very close to damaging the boards a couple times when the LED released and the blade slid across the board. Don't be like me, use something that will not damage your equipment.
  • Clean up and prep the area where you are about to apply the LED. I usually quickly remelted the area to ensure there was no leftover debris, applied a little more solder to the area [Fig 46] and melted it again so I was left with a nice smooth little solder patch that was ready to accept a new LED.
  • Grab the new LED with your tweezers and hover it over the solder. Remember: you want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Melt one side of solder and set the LED in place. When it cools enough to grab the LED, let go of it and melt the solder on the other side until it grabs. Repeating your 'removal' process alternate quickly melting both sides until the LED 'falls' into place. This will work best if you avoid bumping the LED and only melt the solder as quickly as you can. In a few cases I found it easier to use the tip of the tweezers to gently push down on the LED [Fig 47] until it floated into place. You want to attempt to have both sides melted at one point so you don't risk stressing the joint on either side which could cause failure of the LED.
  • Test the new LED [Fig 48] to ensure it is still working and that the orientation is correct. If you removed the old LED before you had a chance to test proper orientation, remember that typically on the circuit board you can find a symbol [Fig 1] that will tell you the correct orientation. I would not rely on this if you can avoid it, as I found a couple locations where this symbol wasn't present.

Door and general switches
  • On the driver door controls we will be soldering in new 3mm LEDs...the other three doors all use the 1206 LEDs [Fig 49].
  • As usual, I highly recommend testing each LED you take out (for polarity) and then making sure the new LED works and is in the same orientation after you solder it in [Fig 50]. Remember, the LED will not be as bright when testing it as it is in the vehicle.
  • For the 3mm LEDs, I flipped the board over and melted the solder and slowly worked out the old LED. Once the old one was removed, just line up the leads on the new LED and re-melt the solder until it pops through the board. Once they are seated in place, position them as they were before (most of the LEDs appear to be 'sitting', slightly bent at a couple angles so the light lines up with the switch) [Fig 51].
  • Test, test and retest. Save yourself the headache. After every few LEDs you solder in take them out to the truck, plug them in and make sure everything works [Fig 52].
  • To open each of the switches (mirror controls, cargo light, heated seats, rear differential lock, traction control etc...) there are two clips [Fig 53], just use a slotted driver to release the tabs and pull the inside parts out of the housing. Do this gently as a few of these switches have 'floating' parts similar to the door rocker switches [Fig 12] and you don't want to lose those parts.
  • For the 4wd controls, there are similar tabs to release the housing [Fig 54].
  • When you pop off the front of the dial, keep an eye on the insides [Fig 55] as there is a ball bearing and a spring inside. If you are not careful these parts will come shooting out and you may almost lose them under your a non-specific example.
  • All of the switches as simple 1206 LED swaps, the heated seat switches each have one 1206 LED and one 3528 PLCC-2 LED...and as you can see the 4wd controls have five 1206 LEDs [Fig 56].


· Premium Member
711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It Continues
Now we start tackling some of the bigger items. The good news is they are all in one piece, so it is less to worry about, the bad news is there are many more LEDs for each piece, and in some cases...they are not easy to get to.

Gauge Cluster
  • As suggested by another user (who I would thank but I cannot find the post) I found the best way to pop off the needles was by using a fork. This gives a good even pressure to both sides of the needles and with just a bit of force they pop right off [Fig 57]. Once they are out of the way, the gauge faces just pull right off.
  • To pull out the LCD screens there are two little release tabs you will have to pull back [Fig 58] at the same time you are lifting the glass up. While these are not too delicate, I would recommend a bit of caution when pulling them out, after all they are glass...and very thin pieces of metal. Once you remove the LCD screens and remove the remaining two needles, use the tabs around the edge to pull the backing away from the circuit board.
  • Being a 4wd vehicle, I had 17 LEDs to replace (2wd would have 15). Most people have said that it is 18, however the cluster of 'three LEDs' under the 4wd screen is actually only two LEDs. The object circled in blue [Fig 59] (I believe) is just a regular diode, or a resistor...either way, it does not emit any light nor is it even behind any visible section of the screen.
  • Remember, it is a good idea after every few LEDs to take the cluster out to the truck, plug it in, and make sure everything is still working correctly [Fig 60].
  • If you wish to reverse the polarization of the LCD screens you will need to put new polarizing film on them. If you wish to keep the "light background and dark letters" look, you can skip to the next section, but if you wish to have a "dark background and light letters" look, the first thing you need to do is remove the old film. Start at the corner with a very sharp blade and work your way under the film. Once you get it started it's fairly easy to just pull off [Fig 61].
  • There was still a bit of residue on the screens after I pulled the old film off [Fig 62] so I used a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol to carefully clean off the screens (dirty screen on right, clean screen on left).
  • If you take your film out to the truck and power on the screen (plug in the cluster or the radio that the LCD screen is attached to) you'll notice the screen has nothing on it. When you put the film in front of the screen you will see the lettering appear. Normally the lettering looks dark [Fig 63] but if you turn the film approximately 90 degrees you will see it change [Fig 64]. Note: The exact angle you view the LCD screen at may cause your intended results to vary. My advice is to sit in the driver's seat, put the screen where it normally sits and layout your film that way. This will give you the closest 'real' results. If you decide to do the stereo, I would suggest lining it up so it looks as good as possible from both the driver's and passenger's seat. Once you have it orientated how you want it, mark the sheet, cut it out and use a tiny bit of clear tape to hold the very edge in place. This will be hidden (whether it's in the gauge cluster or the stereo) so don't worry about it being seen...if you tape only the very edge. I went ahead and marked and cut all three screens at this point.

Rockford Fosgate Stereo
  • 24 1206 LEDs on the face of the unit [Fig 65]. Remove, clean, solder repeat.
  • The LCD is lit up using bulbs on either side [Fig 66]. Changing the color on these would be a bit of a challenge, and the rest of this section is dedicated to that challenge. If you have an aftermarket head unit or are not changing your stereo, skip to the next section.
  • To get the metal shroud off of the screen there are four bent metal fingers (red) and one solder point (blue) on the back of the board [Fig 67]. Use small pliers to bend the fingers so they will pass through the slots and then melt the solder to pull the shroud off. You may have to turn up the heat on your iron if you have the ability to.
  • Once the metal cover was removed I spent a good hour removing the plastic light-box. I ended up cutting off the part that surrounded the metal pins and sliding the box out from under the screen. Note: If you decide that you are going to follow in my footsteps, take great care to not break the glass or metal pins on the screen. I was as cautious as I could be and at the very end I jumped the gun and pulled the box too hard. It was at this point I heard a light 'crack' and now the top line of my "FM/AM" indicator no longer works. Take your time! Once the box was removed I had to come up with a way to illuminate it...hopefully without spending any more cash. I went through 6 different ideas before coming up with a solution I was satisfied with. The first thing I did was line the bottom and sides of the box with some left-over LED strip I had laying around [Fig 68] and soldered the power lines in place.
  • I then took some rigid foam and cut a piece [Fig 69] to fit into the slot. I played around with a selection of layers using slightly opaque white plastic, the original diffuser, rigid clear plastic and some standard paper [Fig 70] until I found one that gave me a nice even coverage.
  • I then put all of the layers in, slid the light-box back behind the screen, added my new polarizing film and covered the entire setup with the metal cover [Fig 71]. Make sure you solder the pin back to the board and bend the four fingers back into place as well. I also soldered the power lines to the original light bulbs' power connections but the max voltage was around seven, and I needed twelve to properly illuminate the screen. I ended up tapping into the lines at the back of the stereo for dimmer, illumination and ground to make everything work properly (full light during the day, and dimmable light at night with the lights on...see video for example).
  • Then of course, the results of testing everything out [Fig 72].

HVAC Controls
  • If you are still following along at home, and you are planning on going down this path, I am going to apologize now. I am sincerely sorry for what you are about to endure. The first thing you need to do is pull off the casing, this is simply a handful of torx screws on the back of the case [Fig 73].
  • To change the color of the dials you will need to pull out the inside of them. This is accomplished by removing a single screw on the back of the board [Fig 74] and the the center piece just falls out.
  • The next step is not necessary, but with the torture you are about to endure...I would say it's a safe measure to remove as many obstacles as possible. Pull up on the silver ring [Fig 75] and it will pop out along with the orange plastic indicator.
  • There are 14 typical LEDs (red) on the front of the unit. For every button there is an LED that lights up when the button is pressed, and another one that illuminates the button's image. Inside the dials, pure hell. Ten LEDs (blue...six on the left, four on the right) [Fig 76] await you in the pits of despair. Unless you want to take the time to completely un-solder, dismantle and tear apart both dials, the only way to change these LEDs is to use tweezers and the soldering iron to play the worst game of operation ever. You know, you touch the sides and his nose lights up red and he buzzes? Yeah, except here, if you touch the sides you risk melting them, and instead of working a quarter inch below the surface, it's almost two inches deep. My apologies, but if I got through it, so can you, I promise.
  • I can already guarantee you will be doing a lot of testing and praying until you see all of those lights [Fig 77] showing up with your new color. Note: On the right side dial, the upper right LED should stay red and the upper two left LEDs should stay blue if you want the temperature gauge to still show as blue for cold and red for hot.

Alright, go reassemble everything in the exact opposite manner in which you took everything apart. In the meantime I will get the final post ready and get some pictures for you (of my truck, you have to take your own pictures).

· Premium Member
711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Alright, let's wrap this up, do a small Q&A and get some pictures out there...

Q: What about those last two LEDs? You know, the orange indicator lights on the HVAC controls?
A: Sadly, the last two LEDs are going to stay orange. The indicator LEDs are actually built into the turn dials and without some major dismantling they are only accessible through a hole that is only slightly larger than the LED itself, and even if you replace the LED, the indicator is still brilliant you would have to replace both. I experimented with a colored plastic cover for the indicator to at least 'fake' a color change and got some interesting results. Unfortunately the orange is just too intense in most cases. My next step is to make a mold of the indicator piece and using hot-glue or something attempt to make a semi-clear replacement with a little coloring mixed in to see if I can get it to come out green or something. For now, it will remain the one orange illumination item in my truck.

Q: I went the same route and pulled the airbag wires, how do I reset the fault?
A: If you follow the steps at this post you can reset that in about 30 seconds. Simply:
  1. Switch the key from "off" to "on"
  2. Watch the airbag light on the dash, when it flickers off, switch the key back to "off"
  3. Count five seconds (one Mississippi...two Mississippi...) and turn the key back to "on"
  4. Repeats steps 1-3 until you have cycled three times
  5. When you turn the key to "on" for the fourth time, you will notice that after the airbag light blinks off, it begins blinking in a very slow manner
  6. Turn the key "off", wait a couple seconds (timing isn't as important here) and turn the key back "on", the light should stay off now
  7. If need be (the light continues to blink) repeat the steps again to clear it out
Q: You mentioned resetting the gauges, how?
A: While the key is off, hold the reset/illumination button in. While still holding it, switch they key to the "on" position. After a few seconds you'll the the screen blink and "test" will come up, let go of the button at that point. You'll watch the gauges freak out for a few moments and then clear up. That should get stuff reset for you. For the record, what is happening is that the gauges are trying to find their "low" point...and then once they have all gone as low as they can go, they find their "high" point. So the bottom line, is you want every single needle to 'spasm' at the lowest point simultaneously and then all of the needles to shot to their own "high" spot. If any of them fail to do so repeat the test again until they all reset correctly.

Q: How to you 'turn on' every single dash light?
A: The same way you reset the needles, but when "test" appears on the screen, let the button go and press it until "bulb" appears.

Q: Will you _______ for me?
A: Message me. Seriously. I will require you dismantle and reassemble your own parts, but if you are nervous there is always a price/way for the job to get done. If you are nearby and/or willing to buy all the LEDs and mail the parts you want modded to me...let's talk.

Q: What do the gauges look like during the day?
A: This seems to be a common question. In direct sunlight they look almost black with white lettering. In shade you can see the blue, but they are still very readable. And when everything is shut off, they look like blank black screens.

Q: Are the LEDs really that small?
A: Yes.

Q: Don't you have some before and after pictures?
A: Yes.

...and of course...the fallen...

Video of the dimming in action can be found here...poor camera work, but just trying to show that everything still works.

A big thanks to so many people on this forum for filling in some of the gaps and questions I had most of which were thanks to @959frontier and his many helpful posts, or the handful of people that posted in this threads. I will try to correct any spelling and grammatical errors I can find. Until then...WHEW!

· Registered
694 Posts
Wow awesome job!!! Your truck looks amazing. Glad you found some of that info useful!

· Registered
318 Posts
I talked to you about this in another thread and finally got around to looking at your write up, all I can say is, nice work!
A lot more involved than my Wrangler, it's was just twist out the factory bulbs and twist in the LED's. LOL

· Premium Member
711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you! I do miss the simplicity of older vehicles. Some of which you could stand in the engine compartment to work on the motor there was so much room. Bulbs vs many little things made so much more complicated by technology.

· Premium Member
711 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's about where I sat for two weeks before I pulled the plug and ordered the parts. Then I sat on the parts for another week or so before deciding to go for it. If you take your time, really not that difficult, just gotta pay attention to little details and triple check your work as you go.

· Registered
99 Posts
LORD....I want.
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