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Old 06-04-2011, 10:02 PM   #1
Phempa
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LED Gauge Cluster - 1990's Hondas

Had a couple requests for this DIY.

This will work in most of your Hondas, but things like the cluster removal procedure, bulb quantity, and even bulb sizes may vary by vehicle.

To verify your gauge cluster bulb type, check you vehicle at the following site:
http://www.sylvania.com/ConsumerProd...lacementGuide/

It will most likely be the bottom listing, labeled "Instrument-general". My Del Sol take 74 type bulbs.

The key is to get good bulbs with multiple diodes arranged in a way that they disperse light in a spherical manner.
This is important if you want to avoid visual "hot spots" in the lighting.
I went with 7 of these. They contain 3 radial-mounted SMD's on each bulb. From SuperBrightLEDs.com:

6 colors available, $3.49 ea.



Follow your Haynes or Chiltons manual for instructions to remove your instrument cluster.

Here is the Del Sol cluster removed:




In the Del Sol, remove these 7 bulbs by twisting.



The other bulbs are for the instrument signals, and should not be replaced with LED's. Doing so makes them act strange (some lights stay on constantly when replaced with an LED).

There will be a glass bulb in each plastic holder that you must remove. You will be reusing these plastic bulb holders.
If you lose or break one, you can get a replacement from the same site you got the LED's, link.
They come with a standard LED for $1.79, but I suggest removing that bulb that comes with it, and use the same type of bulb that you used in all the others, for color and brightness consistency.

Insert the new LED you got from SuperBrightLEDs.com into the plastic holder. Like so:



Reinstall the bulbs as you removed them, and test by plugging in all connectors and turning on your lights.

Now, you WILL initially be disappointed, as half of the lights will appear to not work.... don't worry!
These LED's will only work if installed with the polarity correct.
Unfortunately, the only way to do this is by trial-and-error.
Take note of the area that seems dull, take that LED out and flip it around.
Do this until the gauges glow evenly.

Reinstall cluster and surround carefully!

I've done this to two of my Honda's. The quality of the final product greatly relies on the design of the gauge cluster. My accord looked MUCH better than the Del Sol, mostly because the Accord gauges are lit by both the rear and above.

'94 Del Sol:



'91 Accord:



Thinking of changing the Del Sol gauges to ultra-white, which should make the redline area red again. Will update if I do!
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:43 AM   #2
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Thanks for the info! Just got myself a new project for the week now!
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:12 AM   #3
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i likey
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:31 AM   #4
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ya very good idea, you have multiple color leds or is it just the one,
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:58 PM   #5
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Freakin sweet!
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
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amber for JDM status LOL
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:42 AM   #7
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great write up i want to do this .
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:13 PM   #8
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that looks like it would be fun to do

my lights are kinda going out if i do it ill post up pics
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:26 AM   #9
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shit.. i'm doing mine!!! shit looks clean
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:55 AM   #10
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how long did it take to do this bro? nice work
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:20 PM   #11
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If you've removed your cluster before it'll take ten mins, i did it on my girls hatch pretty easy, nice write up op
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:58 PM   #12
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Just ordered my set of LED bulbs to bring life to my CRX cluster. I'll take before and after shots to show the difference it makes once they get here.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:12 PM   #13
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guess imma do this.. but what about for the climate control ?
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rOkaZ View Post
guess imma do this.. but what about for the climate control ?
Depends on the car, but it's a similar procedure. Replace existing bulbs with LED's of the same size.

However, from what I hear, it's not too easy to remove the climate control in most Hondas. The temperature control is usually connected to a cable that physically pulls on a mechanism.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:09 PM   #15
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ordered mine today should have em by end of week
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:15 PM   #16
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Got the LED's in the mail today, can't put them in until tomorrow since I left my camera at work and want to take pics of the process.
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:14 PM   #17
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Well I installed them but I'm not 100% thrilled with it. It sucks for those of us with different bulb types because it's hard to perfectly match the color shade. In the CRX I have 3 different bulb sizes; 194's, 74's and a 24. I ordered them all on the same website and tried to match up the bulb model or style (whatever you want to call it) between the sizes. What I mean is they didn't have say the Matrix for example in all 3 different sizes, they might have a Matrix 2 for one of the sizes and a Supernova Matrix for another. It's close but not perfect, which will most likely bug me. I also ordered some LED's to try and get the needles to light up red but they ended up a weak red/pinkish shade, so I nixed that idea. I ordered them from Autolumination.com since superbrightLED's didn't seem to have the 24 size, they are all the Super White color. Anyways, here are some pics:

Back of cluster (brown bulb holders are the cluster lights on the CRX, there are 6 altogether)



These are the little bulbs on top that light the front of the gauge faces that I ended up not using



Before (Old and Busted)


After (New Hotness)
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:41 PM   #18
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Looks great in the pic, but I can understand your frustration about the color differences. Trial and error with different bulb types/brands is the only sure way to get it right. Luckily, the bulbs aren't very expensive

Good job!
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:23 AM   #19
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I don't know about them being cheap, altogether it was $60 shipped. Kinda pricey in my book, so I was expecting better.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trujdm View Post
I don't know about them being cheap, altogether it was $60 shipped. Kinda pricey in my book, so I was expecting better.
hmm, well, the ones with radial-mounted SMD's (surface-mount diodes) should all have been consistent in color.

If you mismatched typed of diodes (conventional LED alongside SMD's) I can see why there would be a difference.
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:41 AM   #21
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There used to be a DIY on CB7Tuner that showed how to retro fit light up needles and do all custom LED's but it was fairly complicated and would probably take a few days to do....
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:09 PM   #22
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anybody have any idea how many I need for a 92-95 civic?
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:46 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trujdm View Post
I don't know about them being cheap, altogether it was $60 shipped. Kinda pricey in my book, so I was expecting better.
how many bulbs did you use for the crx cluster??
i wanna do this to mine but i need to know how many to order of each bulb type..

thanks
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:18 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drhonda09 View Post
how many bulbs did you use for the crx cluster??
i wanna do this to mine but i need to know how many to order of each bulb type..

thanks
3 - 194's
2 - 74's
1 - 24

My CRX is an 88, not sure if these numbers change for the 90-91 cluster.
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Old 06-29-2011, 03:20 AM   #25
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Little tip. Dont waste your time on EBAY bulbs mine worked for a month or two before they lost connection
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:43 AM   #26
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just did my cluster, forgot to take a before pick but here are the results... i like em

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Old 07-01-2011, 07:26 PM   #27
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i did this to mine a long time ago with the climate control but i need to get different led's with more then one like your using to even it out

shitty pic, you get the idea


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Old 07-02-2011, 03:52 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trujdm View Post
Before (Old and Busted)


After (New Hotness)
How did you get more gas without moving?
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:08 PM   #29
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I have a gasoline generator in my tank. It creates it's own fuel when the motor isn't running. Duh! (That or I farted a couple times in the car while doing the install)
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:00 PM   #30
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one question, does the dimmer still work with these LED bulbs?? just curious
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