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He's Watching You!
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Discussion Starter #1
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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He's Watching You!
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Discussion Starter #3
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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He's Watching You!
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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)
 

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Suppa Clean 6th Gen
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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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He's Watching You!
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Discussion Starter #7
^ 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 :p

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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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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2-minds lost
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Silver6gen said:
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
 

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He's Watching You!
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Discussion Starter #11
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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2-minds lost
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00accord44 said:
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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4.0L
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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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He's Watching You!
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109 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
VietNinjaJ30A1 said:
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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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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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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He's Watching You!
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
lfshock said:
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

sy272004 said:
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.
 

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EliteCM.net
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5,369 Posts
00accord44 said:
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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He's Watching You!
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Discussion Starter #20
sy272004 said:
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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