After getting bored of the same look of my drive, a Proton Gen 2, I decided to replace the boring lighting of the interior dashboard. The meter cluster, switch panels and also the radio. But I will be providing the meter guide at this moment. As the other parts has been completed and I did not take any photos.
Before starting right away, PLEASE FINISH READING the whole post while using some imagination, before you get to work! It will help to get some basic idea what you will be encountering soon. :) Also i do believe you all have your own source of LED for this project. I recommend using SMD type of led for this. I have tested with normal leds, and the effect is not as cool as the SMD type.
1 : We must at first remove the meter paneling from the meter. Lower your steering all the way to the lowest. Then remove the two screws as indicated in the photo below.
*Please note your water temperature, your fuel gauge before your start. Very important to check if its accurate after the project.
The paneling can be remove by gently tugging from the top towards you. Then the hard part comes. Pull the bottom of the of the paneling towards you. You can slide your fingers along the paneling just above the gap where your steering made.(After lowering the steering) Use your finger to assist in pushing out the paneling.
2: Once you have the paneling out, put it aside which will not be needed until the DIY is done. Without the paneling, now you can see there is 4 screws which are holding your meter in place. Remove the 4 screws as indicated.
With your right hand, pull the right side of the meter towards you. Take a peek behind the meter, you will see a wire socket. Use a torchlight if it is too dark for you. Press the tip, and pull the lock/latch towards the door.(Right hand side) You might need help from a small screw driver or test pen to press the tip. Slide out the meter once the wire has been unlocked.
Note: You might have to adjust the meter in order to take it out. Some force might be needed somewhere. Don't worry as it wont break anything.
3: Now with the meter in hand, lets head over to your favorite workbench. You will need the following items to work with.
*Please use your imagination for the images of the tools.*
:Solder and paste.
:Tweezers. (To hold and remove the leds)
4: Look all around the meter. Remove the clips holding the front face of the meter. Just pry it with a small screw driver.
5: After removing the case, you will now have a semi naked meter board. You have to remove all the front face items before you can remove the plastic sheet.
Removing these needles can be tricky. Very hard and tricky. But once you get used to it, you will know its very easy actually. First remove the two rings at the fuel and temperature gauge. Turn it anti-clockwise and remove it upwards. Now to remove the needles. Using your thumb and forefinger(like pinching style), pinch the black round base of the needle, and pull firmly, yet straight up. DO NOT BEND IT ELSEWHERE. Keep it as straight and as firm as possible. Please also do not press on the meter face!
Broken needle.(not reversible)
Black cover separated with needle.(Possible stick back with elephant glue)
Broken motor.(not reversible. You will know you have a broken motor when you feel the shaft is loose, and the meter does not work when refitted)
Damaged sheet. (not reversible. You have to bear with a ugly meter face)
If you still find difficulty in removing it, you have two options now:
1: Give up and refit everything and ask help from a professional.
2: Refer to the below for another step. (Risky though)
Lift up the sheet at either side, take a look just beneath the needle.(Not too high incase you folded the sheet, you will damaged it.) You will see a white thing, that is the motor. Now get a bigger and stronger standard tip screwdriver. Slot it between the motor, and the sheet. Slowly twist the screwdriver while you pinch out the needle with the other hand. If its too tight still, do not proceed. You will damage the sheet. Give up. Find a professional.
After the needles have been removed, remove the plastic sheets. Please note the exit and entrance of the sheets. You will get it.
6: Congratulations of removing of the needles and the sheets. Lets proceed to the next step. Remove the 4 screws as indicated.
Then remove the meter base covering.(Black) Pry the border of the covering and it will come out. Turn to the back of the meter board.
Slightly push the lock to remove the metal piece. Don't overdo it, as you will break the metal. Just enough to remove. *Becareful! Do not let the screen to fall out of place.
*Photo of the metal out from the board*
7. Now that the metal bracket is out, turn back over the meter, and remove the white plastic covering. Becareful as the bottom of the plastic is two rubber. Do not let it fall out of place. This will make your display distorted.
The board now is ready for the led replacement. The picture below shows the led that needs to be replaced. Its optional to replace the display led and also the two leds at each motor. I replaced all of them to white, except for the indicators. Those are left original.
Once the led has been replaced, you can start to put back everything in place except the needles, and also the cover obviously. Before you put it in, you can test at your car to see if all the led lights up. Dont worry of messing up the motors. Once you turn ignition on and off, the motors will be back to parking.
Needle adjustment. I assumed you have tested the meter at your car and the led is running fine now. Align the needles to the lowest of each gauge. Example for the RPM, put the needle right on top of the last line. Repeat for all of it. Then with the back of a screw driver, slowly pound the needle in. It does not need to be hard, just some soft pounding. Make sure it does not go all the way towards the face of the meter. Else it will stucked! Leave some gap for it.*Useful for reflection of the led too!*
Then put it back in the car and start the car. If you feel the needles are off, you can adjust it with the ignition OFF! If its over the line, you can just push it to the left side until desired location. If its too bottom, you can either push 1 cm towards the right, and push it back to the left side.
Test everything again before you put back the cover and replace the meter in its dashboard. It takes some skill to put back the meter into the dashboard, but i believe you can do it since its just the last step! Happy DIY-ing and good luck!
*A finished work*
Leave me a message if you need any help!