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How To: Gauge cluster fix-up

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by BlaKK54Speed, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. BlaKK54Speed

    BlaKK54Speed 1/2 ton status

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    ok so i heard about spraying the back of the cluster to make the lighs brighter so i went and bought some paint and tore my cluster out. heres my step by step.

    Remove the dash pad (if you want to it makes it easier to get the gauge cluster out, only a few more screws.)

    undo the cluster from the dash. one wire from the right side that goes to the ash tray, the speedo cable (held in by a retainer clip, supress it to remove the cable it slides right out) one cable with light that goes to the (choke) light, master connecter just left of the speedo cable, and one harness that goes to the clock (right side)

    take the cluster apart, 6 screws. this is what it should look like disassembled.
    [​IMG]

    this is a picture of the backside of the front of your cluster, it reflects the light back onto your gauges from the bulbs.
    [​IMG]

    now i taped the electrical contacts off so that i would not spray paint them.[​IMG] and then i painted the inside of the cluster and the back of the bezel front. here is what it looked like afterward:
    [​IMG]

    here is a pic of just the bezel front
    [​IMG]
    its a much better reflective surface than the light blue original

    now put the gauge cluster back together!!!

    hint: bend the tabs up on the bulb retainers just a tad as to ensure good contact with the board: see pic below
    [​IMG]

    now this is what it should look like assembled (without the plastic cover, i forgot it for the picture)
    [​IMG]

    now put the cluster back into your truck. heres how mine came out:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    now enjoy. there are 12 total blulbs, i had only a few working so i replaced them all while i had it apart!!!
     
  2. BlaKK54Speed

    BlaKK54Speed 1/2 ton status

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    the pics dont do any justice, they look a little washed out in the photo but it does light up evenly and much brighter than before!!!!
     
  3. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Nice!

    You know you can easily remove those electrical contacts by compressing them a bit and popping them out. Then to put them back, bend them back out and pop them back in.


    What brand/kind of spray paint did you use?
     
  4. BlaKK54Speed

    BlaKK54Speed 1/2 ton status

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    just a krylon interior/exterior it was a chrome color
     
  5. COXIE

    COXIE Newbie

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    The paint is setting up on mine now. Figured I would bump this for others to see.
    :D
     
  6. BlaKK54Speed

    BlaKK54Speed 1/2 ton status

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    i like it alot, really helped out on the night time driving
     
  7. camarossguy2

    camarossguy2 1/2 ton status

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    ITs almost in the picture, what is the P/n for the GE bulbs you used?
     
  8. WhiteBurb

    WhiteBurb 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for posting this up. I've never really seen one with the mod, and am definitely adding it to my list of to-do's!
     
  9. Uncle Fester

    Uncle Fester 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for posting this up, I painted the inside of my gauge cover (the metal peice) last night, as well as the inside of the whole guage pod....made a big improvement on the lighting... I used "Plasti-Kote" brand chrome spray paint, got it at wal-mart for 2.98 for a 12oz can. I am accually doing something else a little differant, I am going to take the guage lights out, and mount a "neon string" light to the underside of the guage cover , http://www.neonstring.com/ i didn't get mine here, but same kinda stuff, where it will glow on the guage faces, I also plan to add WHITE guage faces to my dash. Between the three things, should light the dash up nice!:bow: :bow: i will post some pics of my lighting when I get it done.
     
  10. buefchris

    buefchris 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    wow! that really looks nice ! I gotta fix my temp gauge and wiper switch anyway .
     
  11. lak2004

    lak2004 1/2 ton status

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    Definately a great cheap mod! I just did mine tonight and I can actually see how fast I am going before I hit about 55.
     
  12. BlaKK54Speed

    BlaKK54Speed 1/2 ton status

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    they were GE 168 bulbs
     
  13. WhiteBurb

    WhiteBurb 1/2 ton status

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    I painted mine last night and found out it is not a LED light friendly mod. The light is too blue. I'm going to have to swap back over to regular bulbs.
     
  14. BlaKK54Speed

    BlaKK54Speed 1/2 ton status

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    i didnt even know they made leds for these bulbs
     
  15. AuH2O

    AuH2O 1/2 ton status

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    What wattage are those, 4.3W? That's what GM put in from the factory, right? I know some have replaced them with 5W for better visibility, but that runs the risk of melting the plastic, and you'd hardly need it with this great mod anyway. There are 4.3W wedge socket bulbs available from GM/ADC in packages of 10 under the number GM #09425542, I believe those are the right ones?
     
  16. BlaKK54Speed

    BlaKK54Speed 1/2 ton status

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    i dont know, i just went down to wal mart and got some ge 168's that was what was in it before. i wouldnt mess with other bulbs for the fear of messing something up
     

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