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#2209720 - 01/10/08 08:48 AM How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change
Buzzbomb Offline
Sr Member


Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 1196
Loc: Bryan, Ohio, USA
Below is a brief how-to on changing your Si gauge cluster color. This is meant as a companion to the Changing Climate Control Colors on Civics by: Neo Noodle, which goes into more detail on LED wiring, resistor selections and voltage requirements.

Disclaimer:
This how-to is not for beginners, this mod is not reversible and you have a very good possibility of ruining something. You also need to have some experience soldering. This mod should not be rushed. I did this mod while my car was in storage over the winter and I took my time. Now on to the how-to.

Begin by removing and disassembling your gauge cluster. I'm not going to go into how to do this as there are many resources out there that outline this procedure. Anyways, if you can't do this first step without directions and pictures, then you shouldn't do this mod anyway.

The first thing I did was remove the colored backing on the gauge faces. Behind the black lies orange coloring that needs to be removed for the alternate color to show through. The best thing for this is an automotive paint reducer. You can find this at an automotive paint supply store. I used DuPont 7175S Basemaker. I tried using nail polish remover but it was just way too slow. The reducer works very fast and did not melt the plastic.

Originally I removed the area under the redline protion , but when I tested it, it didn't light up evenly. So I painted over it.(which didn't affect anything because that area never lit up anyway)





Next are the LEDs. When I first did this mod, I used standard LED's. A couple years later, I started seeing what is called "Inverted" LED's. If you're looking at a profile, the top is squared off instead of rounded. They also have a small inverted cone on the top.



These are MUCH MUCH better than the standard LED's as they actually disperse the light in all directions vs. concentrated in one direction like that standard LED's (I would suggest using the inverted type in the climate control also)

(Since I didn't want to completely redo my cluster, I took out my Dremel and cut off the tops of my round LED's. It produced the same results as the inverted ones. So if you already have rounded LED's here's a cheap solution.)

I created chains of LED's to sit behind each gauge. I pointed the LED's down as to try and keep "hot spots" from forming and have more even light dispersion.





I then wrapped each chain in blue saran wrap to help further the light dispersion, however I do not believe this to be a requirement.



Power and ground wires were fished through the back using holes where the bulbs used to be and tied together. Tap into the stock wiring harness for power. The ground go to the back of the cluster itself. Find a screw with a (-) sign next to it.



I removed all light bulbs EXCEPT for the two that are on the top of the cluster that illuminate down onto the gauges. This helps keep the gauge needles lit at night.

Test, re-test, then test again to make sure all LED's are working and you have even light distribution throughout the cluster. Reassemble the cluster and test again. Install and go.



Interesting Note:

When I first started the project, I thought that the blue LED's would mix with the red of the "Si" logo and red tabs on the gas and temp sides to make a purple color. So I tested this before going any further. Oddly enough, this didn’t happen. The “Si” logo and red tabs glowed red just fine. This made it much easier to do since I could use all blue LED's instead of two colors.


Edited by Buzzbomb (02/23/08 07:19 PM)
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#2214036 - 01/11/08 10:26 AM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: Buzzbomb]
jellydoughnutt Offline
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Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 3488
buzz ive always loved your how-to's and this is no different. another one on the list of shit i need to do, thanks man!
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#2215449 - 01/11/08 03:55 PM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: jellydoughnutt]
kyden Offline
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Registered: 12/20/99
Posts: 15406
Loc: Providence, RI
btw the original link is broken.
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#2217172 - 01/12/08 08:32 AM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: kyden]
Buzzbomb Offline
Sr Member


Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 1196
Loc: Bryan, Ohio, USA
 Originally Posted By: jellydoughnutt
buzz ive always loved your how-to's and this is no different. another one on the list of shit i need to do, thanks man!


Thanks, much appreciated.

 Originally Posted By: kyden
btw the original link is broken.


Fixed
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#2474355 - 03/25/08 11:17 PM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: Buzzbomb]
NCSkylineR33 Offline
Newbie


Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 74
Loc: Hubert, NC
that is some nice work, props!
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#2642496 - 05/15/08 05:39 PM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: NCSkylineR33]
EM1 Buckeye Offline
Newbie


Registered: 05/11/08
Posts: 18
Very nice man, I was just wondering exactly how long it took you to do?
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#2672739 - 05/27/08 07:48 AM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: EM1 Buckeye]
Buzzbomb Offline
Sr Member


Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 1196
Loc: Bryan, Ohio, USA
 Originally Posted By: EM1 Buckeye
Very nice man, I was just wondering exactly how long it took you to do?


It's hard to say really. I did it over the winter while my car was in storage. I took a couple hours here and there or whenever I had some free time. A lot of time was spent just thinking how I was going to it.

If I had to guess, at least 8 hours.
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#3390199 - 01/14/09 07:19 PM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: Buzzbomb]
Japanman2009 Offline
Newbie


Registered: 01/14/09
Posts: 49
Nice where did you get the LEDs?
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#3552821 - 03/11/09 09:12 AM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: Japanman2009]
Buzzbomb Offline
Sr Member


Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 1196
Loc: Bryan, Ohio, USA
 Originally Posted By: Japanman2009
Nice where did you get the LEDs?


I got mine from eBay.
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#3553394 - 03/11/09 11:55 AM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: Buzzbomb]
furball Offline
The GC Asian
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Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 8502
Loc: Toronto, ON
Do the LEDs dim/brighten up like normal, using the dimmer knob? Or do they stay a consistent brightness?
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#3557036 - 03/12/09 11:25 AM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: furball]
Buzzbomb Offline
Sr Member


Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 1196
Loc: Bryan, Ohio, USA
 Originally Posted By: FurBall
Do the LEDs dim/brighten up like normal, using the dimmer knob? Or do they stay a consistent brightness?


You know, I don't know off the top of my head. I never mess with the brightness. I would imagine it would since I tapped into the wire for the gauge lights. When I get the car out of storage, I'll have to check.
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#3773103 - 05/28/09 10:40 AM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: Buzzbomb]
CivicRacerExR Offline
Post Master Sr


Registered: 11/05/99
Posts: 8856
Loc: Landisville, PA, USA
wow that is nice. I did the original remove the paint from the backs of all the numbers and had the hotspots (back in 2001), hated it so much I got new ones. So purchased all new gauges and just removed the Si \:\)
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#9213813 - 12/20/17 06:24 AM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: CivicRacerExR]
xiaozheng6666 Offline
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2017-12-20 xiaozheng6666
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#9235987 - 01/21/18 09:18 PM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: xiaozheng6666]
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#9319840 - 05/11/18 02:24 AM Re: How-To: 99-00 Si Gauge Cluster Color Change [Re: Anonymous]
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