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Old September 21st, 2006, 08:25 PM   #1
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Clear Gauge Needles

So I took out my EL gauges and did the blue led mod. I cleared out the needles by taking the orange paint off with rubbing alcohol so the blue light would illuminate the needles as well. It works for the most part but the needle isnt as bright as I'd like. The blue kinda fades out toward the middle of the needle.

Anybody else had this problem? What I'm thinkin about doin is applying some blue interior paint on the needles with a q-tip or maybe some blue nail polish. I'm hoping that would result in the needle looking blue the whole way through. I was even thinking on putting purple on the needles to make them stand out from the blue numbers on the gauge but I probably won't since there's no other purple going on in my car.

Any body know if this theory of mine works? Or am I wasting my time? I don't wanna crack these gauges open again if this isn't gonna work. As I'm sure you know, its a real pain in the arse getting that stuff out
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 01:07 PM   #2
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u need to have some kinda backgound for the blue to show....


u cant simply sine light though something clear n expect it to show blendedly
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 01:19 PM   #3
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I figured it wouldn't be perfectly even, but I thought it would be better than it is now. Thats why I'm contemplating using nail polish or interior paint to give the light a surface to spread across.

I wanted to know if anybody knows what works before I trial and error it. I have to open my guages anyway to try and solve my LED turn signal problem so I wanted to handle this at the same time. I figure I could do the nail polish thing and then take it off with nail polish remover if it doesn't work out. I'm not sure about how easy/clean it would be to get off the interior paint.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 01:44 PM   #4
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Got pics?
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 01:57 PM   #5
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Unfortnately no. I am lacking in the digital camera department

Here's the pic from the site I bought the kit from. Their speedometer nedle looks how I want mine to look, but the tach needle in the pic is how all mine look.


Here's the daytime pic (also from the site)

Last edited by 00accord44; September 22nd, 2006 at 01:59 PM..
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 02:30 PM   #6
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use a dremel and a very high grit poslishing wheel and make the top "cloudy" so it looks slightly sanded that way the light will hit it and not just go straight through to the end of the needle... dont dremel too much and start from the tip of the needle and work your way in, just make it uniformly sanded, if you dont have a dremel you can do it by hand with a high grit sand paper...

the light isnt showing up because it doesnt have paint to catch it and illuminate th needle, its basicly a fiber optic stick...
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 04:58 PM   #7
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^ So shouldn't the blue nail polish idea work? Seems it would be sufficient enough to reflect the light.

I'm always hesitant to use any force on the needles (as in pressing down to sand them) since they are so sensetive and I'm sure getting them fixed or replaced will cost major $$$. Thanks for the idea though. I might try to sand it and be gentle

Or I wonder if I could do a slightly lower grit and still do the nail polish on top to even out the finish a bit. Hmmmm
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 11:46 AM   #8
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I got the same problem when I cleared my needles after I have done hyperwhite conversion. I shouldn't have rubbed the needle too much with the nail polish.
If you be careful enough, only the first coat (blue filter) comes off. Well, blue nail polish wouldn't be such a good idea cuz it will just completely block the light. The only thing I have thought of was to sand it down with high grit sandpaper. I haven't done it yet. Let me kno if u've done it.
If u want freaking bright needles (they call them flaming needles in Korea) I will try to find the DIY and post it for ya. Basically they place chip leds below the needles.
pm me if u want to see them.
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 05:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver6gen
use a dremel and a very high grit poslishing wheel and make the top "cloudy" so it looks slightly sanded that way the light will hit it and not just go straight through to the end of the needle... dont dremel too much and start from the tip of the needle and work your way in, just make it uniformly sanded, if you dont have a dremel you can do it by hand with a high grit sand paper...

the light isnt showing up because it doesnt have paint to catch it and illuminate th needle, its basicly a fiber optic stick...
the blue nail polish wont work, sanding is better, but don't use a dremel, do it by hand, use the finest grit you can get (check you local hobby shop,) sand the entire back of the needle, and the top ( 1/2 inch) do this very lightly, if you do it even the the needle will have a foggy look to it, and there wont be any scratch marks, when the light is going through it it should look like a minny glow stick. like the bright ones in your pic. good like let me know how it goes.

if you do decide to paint the back of it use a baby blue (or any blue thats a lighter shade that the led) and make sure its flat, not a gloss....trust me the gloss will mess up the look, it wont glow like you want, i wouldn't use nail polish, most are glossy or enamel. try finding model paint (wal-mart or any hobby shop)

sand paper and paint is cheap so $$$ shouldn't be a problem.
good luck

Last edited by disiple_jg; September 23rd, 2006 at 05:34 PM.. Reason: miss type
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 05:37 PM   #10
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oh yea, make sure the paint says flat ....... (insert color) or it wont be flat!
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 06:24 PM   #11
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I think I already know the answer to this question but are the needles removable to make this process easier? I tried giving them a lil tug when I was taking off the old gauges but I didn't wanna force it. I don't really see how I could paint the backs of the needles without removing them first.

Also, what do you mean by sanding the top 1/2 inch? Should I only sand a half inch from the tip to draw the light through?

Thanks for all the help fellas
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 06:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00accord44
I think I already know the answer to this question but are the needles removable to make this process easier? I tried giving them a lil tug when I was taking off the old gauges but I didn't wanna force it. I don't really see how I could paint the backs of the needles without removing them first.

Also, what do you mean by sanding the top 1/2 inch? Should I only sand a half inch from the tip to draw the light through?

Thanks for all the help fellas
sorry don't know why i put in 1/2 inch, miss type, and i didn't mean just the back (really tired sorry again) sand the whole thing, try to keep the pressure even. but yes it will draw the light up it.

if you would like to test it, take any peice of clear plastic(a piece roughly the same size as your needle in this case), sand it like i said, close an led around the end to direct it up it (kinda like it is in the gauge cluster) does that answer your ?'in ?
i'll be on a while or pm me if you need any help!! g-luck
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 08:32 PM   #13
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why don't you get a fine tipped white paint pen and just paint the back side of the needle white? that'll reflect the blue LED.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 12:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VietNinjaJ30A1
why don't you get a fine tipped white paint pen and just paint the back side of the needle white? that'll reflect the blue LED.
But that brings me back to the problem of getting at the underside of the needles. If anybody knows for sure that they are removable then I'm all for it.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 02:08 AM   #15
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Since I got pm, here's few pics from Korean DIY site.
It requires soldering the chip leds on the circuit board.
One of the main reason why I didn't attempt to do it.
The other reason is that since the leds are place pretty close to
the motors(?) that moves needles, it might result mis-reading on the speedometer and etc. They are making products that makes the jobs
easier, but still too complicated for me, and too much risk of messing it up.
Anyways, here it goes.



And if u become professional like this guy...
u can make this kinda **** to happen...



Pretty sweet huh?

Anyways...
I got upto the part where my gauge is really white...
but the needles are not so bright...
Well... I became so lazy, I don't wanna touch it anymore...
I might do something about it sooner or later, cuz my gauge has been like
this for quite a while...
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Old September 24th, 2006, 02:16 AM   #16
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Oh...forgot to add...
If u r asking whether needles come of from the gauge, they do.
If u r asking whether needles can be disassembled (clear plastic part and Black holder), they can be. I was able to do it. However, u gotta take a great risk of breaking needle. I was just crazy enough to try at that point of time.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #17
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damn those gauges look sick. wow. how do speedometer lights up. isnt there a lights on top of gauge cluster that shines onto speedometer to make things light up?
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Old September 24th, 2006, 10:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfshock
Oh...forgot to add...
If u r asking whether needles come of from the gauge, they do.
If u r asking whether needles can be disassembled (clear plastic part and Black holder), they can be. I was able to do it. However, u gotta take a great risk of breaking needle. I was just crazy enough to try at that point of time.
So does it involve just pulling up with even pressure? I definitely wanna take the main hub off of the panel but I don't really need to take the clear part off the base. I'll try it with my engine temp gauge first. If I have to break a needle, I'd rather break that one

Quote:
Originally Posted by sy272004
damn those gauges look sick. wow. how do speedometer lights up. isnt there a lights on top of gauge cluster that shines onto speedometer to make things light up?
There are lights in the top of the gauge pod but they are just for auxiliary light. The bulbs that illuminate the numbers and needles are behind the panel. If you take out the whole pod, you can see all the different ports they are supposed to go in.

Last edited by 00accord44; September 24th, 2006 at 10:55 AM..
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Old September 24th, 2006, 11:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00accord44
So does it involve just pulling up with even pressure? I definitely wanna take the main hub off of the panel but I don't really need to take the clear part off the base. I'll try it with my engine temp gauge first. If I have to break a needle, I'd rather break that one


There are lights in the top of the gauge pod but they are just for auxiliary light. The bulbs that illuminate the numbers and needles are behind the panel. If you take out the whole pod, you can see all the different ports they are supposed to go in.

are other black dots are the lights for warning lights and shift lights? if yes can they be changed too. and another question, is it safe to unhook that cluster, like none information gona get reset or lights coming on after installing it back on? anybody tried to put uv or other color bulbs as auxiliary lights?
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Old September 24th, 2006, 12:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sy272004
are other black dots are the lights for warning lights and shift lights? if yes can they be changed too. and another question, is it safe to unhook that cluster, like none information gona get reset or lights coming on after installing it back on? anybody tried to put uv or other color bulbs as auxiliary lights?
Yeah. The other black areas hold the ABS light, seatbelt light, CEL, etc...

You can change them out with color bulbs but most of them have a red filter so a blue light wouldn't show. You can take the filter out I believe but its really not worth the trouble since those lights are rarely on (hopefully)

Unhooking the cluster doesn't do anything. All that info is saved in the ECU.

You could swap out the two auxiliary bulbs out with colored or black light bulbs, but they're very small wedge bulbs so I'm not sure how much of an effect they'd have. You'd probably be better off installing a small neon tube light and putting it in there.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 02:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00accord44
Yeah. The other black areas hold the ABS light, seatbelt light, CEL, etc...

You can change them out with color bulbs but most of them have a red filter so a blue light wouldn't show. You can take the filter out I believe but its really not worth the trouble since those lights are rarely on (hopefully)

Unhooking the cluster doesn't do anything. All that info is saved in the ECU.

You could swap out the two auxiliary bulbs out with colored or black light bulbs, but they're very small wedge bulbs so I'm not sure how much of an effect they'd have. You'd probably be better off installing a small neon tube light and putting it in there.

do you know if d4, d3, 2,1 shift lights have filters in front of light or its bulb color or some green filter on bulb itself. ?
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Old September 24th, 2006, 03:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sy272004
do you know if d4, d3, 2,1 shift lights have filters in front of light or its bulb color or some green filter on bulb itself. ?
I have manual so I don't know first hand, and from the looks of the pic I posted earlier its hard to tell. There are 5 black areas where it seems there could be a bulb, but the hole is smaller than the rest of the ones where a bulb is used. I dunno. Those bulbs could just be smaller than the rest since the area they're intended to illuminate is so small.

But whether they use individual bulbs or not, I think there is a film in place to change the color. You can usually bet on Honda using clear bulbs in all applications and putting a film in place to change the color when needed. As I think back to all the bulbs I've changed in my car (and I think I've changed pretty much all of em) none were colored. Using clear bulbs is cheaper, lasts longer, and makes for easy non-OEM replacement.

Just from looking at the pics of the blue gauge LED mod and the website I bought it from, it doesn't look like you can change the color of the D1 D2 D3 etc. The P lit up in the pic I posted is still red and I'm pretty sure he would've changed that to blue if it could have easily been done.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00accord44
I have manual so I don't know first hand, and from the looks of the pic I posted earlier its hard to tell. There are 5 black areas where it seems there could be a bulb, but the hole is smaller than the rest of the ones where a bulb is used. I dunno. Those bulbs could just be smaller than the rest since the area they're intended to illuminate is so small.

But whether they use individual bulbs or not, I think there is a film in place to change the color. You can usually bet on Honda using clear bulbs in all applications and putting a film in place to change the color when needed. As I think back to all the bulbs I've changed in my car (and I think I've changed pretty much all of em) none were colored. Using clear bulbs is cheaper, lasts longer, and makes for easy non-OEM replacement.

Just from looking at the pics of the blue gauge LED mod and the website I bought it from, it doesn't look like you can change the color of the D1 D2 D3 etc. The P lit up in the pic I posted is still red and I'm pretty sure he would've changed that to blue if it could have easily been done.
There was a person who changed the color of the D1 D2 D3. I can't remember the name, but try searching.

IF you're trying to change the gauge color to blue, U just need blue LEDs. If u use Hyperwhite LEDs, then the gauge will show dim aqua blue. If u want to make ur gauge to show pure white, it gets complicated. I posted DIY about it long time ago.

Last edited by lfshock; September 24th, 2006 at 04:39 PM..
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Old September 24th, 2006, 06:04 PM   #24
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my shift lights were changed when i had my cluster done by roger...so yeah it's possible...i just didn't change the P and R (left those red)...i believe the bulbs are the same size as the clock so you can use those if you want...i have some bad pics on the left <<<
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Old October 7th, 2006, 08:48 PM   #25
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hi guys

how did you guys get the speedometer to appears in white color instead of the original dull yellow? Is it just change the light buld behind the cluster?

Thanks
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Old October 7th, 2006, 08:58 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyk
hi guys

how did you guys get the speedometer to appears in white color instead of the original dull yellow? Is it just change the light buld behind the cluster?

Thanks
Aren't the numbers white to start with? I haven't had my guages their original color in years so I don't remember. But to answer your question, yes you have to replace the bulbs that illuminate the needles/numbers from behind.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 09:17 PM   #27
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there is a filter that you need to pop out behind the gauge face
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Old October 8th, 2006, 11:25 PM   #28
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I personally just added led's. Only on the speedo though, everything else was fine. You could add leds everywhere though.





The needles are actually more even than in the pic, hard to get a good pic as the white is very bright.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 01:57 AM   #29
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How'd you get the needles to get red like that? >_<

Those.. ARE oem gauges right? o_o
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Old October 24th, 2006, 02:03 AM   #30
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sick man, thats how white i wanted mine, but mine are a really dim white...wanna do a DIY write up?
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