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anglwngss 08-01-2011 02:24 AM

DIY Change LEDs in Speed/Tach Gauge
Let me start off by saying that here I use the phrase.. I changed the LEDs. I really sent the board to someone else (Creektrack) and he changed the LEDs for me. It's just an easier phrase for me to use. If you want to contact him, his name is Chris and his email is He has done other LED swaps for me and is fabulous!

First use a plastic pry tool, or strong fingers, loosen the gauge bezel starting with the top piece.

Loosen all around the sides. The bottom is attached to a plastic piece on top of the steering wheel.



There are 4 screws that hold the plastic gauge piece to the dash.


Remove the cable from the back of the gauge.


Gently pry up on the black plastic tabs. They are all around the gauges.



More plastic tabs, on both sides.




Turn this over. There are three very small tabs on both the left and right side.
Use a tiny flat screwdriver to slide the tabs over so you can remove the surrounds.
These are the small surrounds that hold on the border/surrounds around the smaller temperature and gas needles.
Once the surrounds are off, you might be able to use your fingers and pry up on the needles to remove them.
You might also be able to take off the large needles here as well. I actually took them off in the next step, though because I didn’t think about doing it this way.
Even, if you don’t remove the needles this way, you still need to remove the surrounds in order to replace the needles.


There are several white tabs surrounding the circuit board. The four in the middle hold on the screen and may not need to be removed depending on your goal here.
The first time I removed this board the needles were all still attached and I used a plastic pry tool to gently pry the circuit board from the white plastic back. If you do it this way, be firm, yet gentle.


This is the back side.

This is the front.



There were a total of 5 side LEDs used to light up the screen, but I was never able to find the real replacement LEDs for these. Instead, 5 PLCC-2 LEDs from Oznium were placed on their sides.







I didn’t change all the LEDs on the circuit board.
In addition to the LEDs under the screen, I only changed the blue ones to green and the red ones surrounding the needles to white.


I used 22 (19 on the circuit board & 5 for the DIC screen) of the PLCC-2 green LEDs and 6 of the PLCC-2 white LEDs. You can get them at Oznium or Garage1217







To replace, follow everything in reverse. The only additional note is that when reinstalling the needles, line them up with the beginning line on the left. ie. Line up the speedometer and tachometer needles with the line on the zero. For the cold/hot needle, line it up with the line on the C. For the fuel gauge, line the needle up with the line on the E.

Synerbee 08-01-2011 02:29 AM

Looks good I think Ill try your method of sending it to someone else too

LA_Ghost 08-01-2011 02:58 AM

What was the purpose of the white led's?

anglwngss 08-01-2011 03:03 AM

I think the red LEDs make the needles more.. of a darker red, where the white lightens them up a bit. I wasn't brave enough to try to figure out how to color the needles, but if I had, I would've changed them green as well.

Synerbee 08-01-2011 03:09 AM

Is there a way to change them to blue to have some contrast or change the warning lights to blue

anglwngss 08-01-2011 03:23 AM

4 Attachment(s)
I didn't try to change the white/red LEDs around the needles to another color to see what it would look like, so I'm not sure what the end result would be.

You can definitely change any of the warning light LEDs, too. I just chose to leave them alone.

Here's how most of the LEDs light up when it was stock.

BrandonB956 08-01-2011 03:26 AM

I can't tell , are the numbers green also along with the middle screen ?

Can you give us more info on who did this for you .

I need this =0

anglwngss 08-01-2011 03:47 AM

The numbers, the lines surrounding the numbers (on both sides), the small MPH, the cold/hot gauge, the RPM x1000, (the halo LED is green already) and the fuel gauge is all green. The middle screen is also green.

I'll PM you the name and email of the person who did this for me. I've emailed him to ask permission to post it. He was/is fabulous! He has also changed the LEDs in the 4 pack, the switches on the steering wheel and the window control switches on the doors. He currently has the headlight knob switch and the switch for the HUD.

Edit: Added contact information for Chris in first post.

creektrack 08-01-2011 10:44 AM

Just to clarify...the board is set up for plcc4s which I think are for another cluster that they offer that you can change the color with a push of a button? Not too sure, but all of the leds were actually replaced with plcc2s instead...there was a lot of trial and error with this cluster, but it came out good in the end...

If you want to change the needle color, take the needle off and using a razor blade, scrape off the paint on the back of the needle and the repaint it with an acrylic craft paint, but you have to do a good even job or you will see the "brush strokes" when its lit...

If anyone has any questions feel free to contact me...

anglwngss 08-01-2011 01:51 PM

Thanks for the fix, Chris. I've updated my original post. :)

JDrake1987 08-11-2011 05:59 PM

I changed out the lights all by myself! :D It was rather fun! I'll post pictures at night.

However I ran into a snag and I'm talking to creektrack right now about it. I broke my tachometer needle or the motor itself. It no longer functions properly x.x IS there a place I can buy a replacement? Or is there a way to open that baby up and find out if I can fix it myself?

As you can tell the Tach is at 3x1000 RPM. I set it there just so when I glance down it "looks" like it's working. Until I find a way to fix it it'll stay that way.

anglwngss 08-11-2011 06:12 PM

Hm.. I'm not sure, I never took the motors off of the circuit board.

Does it work if you have the needle only on the circuit board, without putting everything back together? I'll check around on the internet tonight and see if I can find someone/place who might sell the parts for you.

Can you be more specific as to how the needle is not functioning properly?

JDrake1987 08-11-2011 06:15 PM

Nah, nothing works at all. I also notice that it gives very easily. The other 3 needles won't budge when I push them gently but the tach just goes like its not anchered. I think the teeth on the gear inside the motor broke

Also when startingthe car up the needles go from starting positino all the way to their end position then back but the tach just stays and the motor gives no movement. The needle is fine but the motor isn't

It's not a BIG deal as I drive an automatic so I don't really need the tachometer as bad as I would of if I was in a standard. I can get by for awhile without it working. It'll just annoy me till I get it fixed. I'm 100% positive I need a new motor.

anglwngss 08-11-2011 06:20 PM

Damn.. What did you do when you took it off? lol

JDrake1987 08-11-2011 06:23 PM

I think when I took it off I twisted it the wrong way? That's the only thing I can think of.

anglwngss 08-11-2011 06:25 PM

Could be. I really don't know, though. I just pulled the back off the the needles popped off. It took a lot of prying though and I was hoping I wouldn't break one of them.

What color did you change the LEDs to?

JDrake1987 08-11-2011 06:26 PM


Yeah I was hoping for the same thing you were. Guess my luck ran out! :D

Later tonight I'm going to dismantle it all again and try to work with the motor, maybe or I'll wait till Sunday.

anglwngss 08-11-2011 06:31 PM

Well, the good thing is.. You CAN drive without the whole gauge thing installed. Since I can't change my own LEDs, I had a few days of driving without it. I got gas every four or so days and downloaded a speedometer app for my phone.. Oh, the days..

JDrake1987 08-11-2011 06:40 PM

Well I updated my first post with a picture of it. I'm going to work on it again on Sunday. I'm to tired today lol.

Ivan @ Southwest Speed 08-11-2011 06:55 PM

Great DIY..... :)

I'm still waiting on some different faces to come out.....a la Dale Jr Gauges.

anglwngss 08-11-2011 07:03 PM


Originally Posted by JDrake1987 (Post 3603988)
Well I updated my first post with a picture of it. I'm going to work on it again on Sunday. I'm to tired today lol.

Looks good, hard to tell it's orange, but I imagine it look fabulous in person!! :)

When you open it back up, look at the led for the cold/hot under the speedometer. In the pic, it looks dark, but that may just be me.

anglwngss 08-11-2011 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by Ivan @ Southwest Speed (Post 3604052)
Great DIY..... :)

I'm still waiting on some different faces to come out.....a la Dale Jr Gauges.

Thanks! Different faces would be awesome, I'm just impatient on some things, lol

JDrake1987 08-11-2011 07:18 PM

Okay this is the guts of the motor. I tried fixing it but I have no idea how it works anyway. The gear that turns the motor is attached to nothing... soo yeah I'm clueless. It could use magnetic force for all I know.

I'm going to leave the motor off and just wait to buy a new one hopefully >.>

anglwngss 08-11-2011 08:36 PM

You may want to start another thread, so that maybe someone who knows something about these little motors can help. Otherwise, all they'll see is the DIY for the LEDs and might not come in to see.

JDrake1987 08-11-2011 08:45 PM

I would if it was succssfull. I cannot get the motor to work. For all I know the board could of short circuited but everything else right now works save for a light I accidentally messed up. I could of also broke the motor even more when I opened it due to being a little forceful. Ordering a new pcl tonight.

I called chevy and they're getting me the price on a new instrument panel and a motor. That way if the motor I buy fails then I'll have to get a new instrument panel.

*prepares to bend over* I hope it doesn't cost to much x.x!!

The lady over the phone said if I took it apart then the warranty is void on that particular area?

It's a learning experience and I'm enjoying it :D

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