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Old 03-17-2012, 09:41 PM   #211
anglwngss
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Sounds like it's going to look great!

Have you ever painted the needles before? I'm interested in doing that, but have never tried and kind of afraid to mess those up!
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:28 AM   #212
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Not yet, but I'm confident that I can do it. It won't be hard to start over a couple times if I do mess up, 2000 grit is pretty gentle. Only the bottom of the small needles are painted and the bottom and top of the large needles. (<edit: corrected)
My "special" paint was supposed to be delivered yesterday but it wasn't, so hopefully it'll be here tomorrow and I can finish that up after work.

'sides, you have it easy. Your needles only have the tip painted but mine are lit all the way through the center cap. :P

Last edited by ALLTRBO; 03-20-2012 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:52 PM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALLTRBO View Post
Not yet, but I'm confident that I can do it. It won't be hard to start over a couple times if I do mess up, 2000 grit is pretty gentle. Only the bottom of the large needles are painted and the bottom and top of the smaller needles.
My "special" paint was supposed to be delivered yesterday but it wasn't, so hopefully it'll be here tomorrow and I can finish that up after work.

'sides, you have it easy. Your needles only have the tip painted but mine are lit all the way through the center cap. :P
For your center ring that is red no matter what, maybe try scraping it off from the back side of the gauge face....that's how you convert older vehicles to leds, you just scrape off the nasty green film and then it becomes whatever color you put behind it, and there should be 2 leds for the smaller inner rings...

Also, painting the needles are easy, use a fine brush or q-tip, and you don't need sandpaper, you can scrape the paint of with a razor blade, then use an led flashlight to make sure its all off, and also once you put the new paint on, which may take a couple coats, use the led flashlight to make sure there are no voids in the paint...

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Old 03-19-2012, 07:01 PM   #214
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Those will be cool looking when you get done! I can't wait to see
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:42 AM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creektrack View Post
For your center ring that is red no matter what, maybe try scraping it off from the back side of the gauge face....that's how you convert older vehicles to leds, you just scrape off the nasty green film and then it becomes whatever color you put behind it, and there should be 2 leds for the smaller inner rings...

Also, painting the needles are easy, use a fine brush or q-tip, and you don't need sandpaper, you can scrape the paint of with a razor blade, then use an led flashlight to make sure its all off, and also once you put the new paint on, which may take a couple coats, use the led flashlight to make sure there are no voids in the paint...
Thanks for the advice. I didn't want to un-glue the faces from the plastic so finding out if I could scrape off the red didn't go past one look at the backside. Not sure if that's possible, though. I do like my blue 'rings' a lot, it looks good during the day and no light shows through at night, exactly what I prefer.
I did change the LED's for those rings from red to blue (yes, there are two for each), I wanted to see if it would change the red rings to purple (at night). It didn't make any discernible difference, oddly enough. I just left them that way, it doesn't matter now.

As for the needles... sigh...

I got my paint in yesterday but it won't work for this purpose so I reverted back to the store-bought 'special' I bought previously.
I'm not done but I am climbing my way up the needle-painting learning curve, heh.

1) I was backwards in my last post... The ('12) large needles are painted on top and bottom and the small needles are only painted on the bottom (which is the way it's usually done, bottom only). It looks like they did that because the large needles protrude right through the centers and they had to paint it on the topside to diffuse the light properly in that area.
2) The large needles don't need to be sanded or scraped, the red-orange paint will come off with isopropyl alcohol.
3) The original white paint on the base of the needles which helps diffuse the light will also come off with isopropyl alcohol.
4) When the needles have been sanded before figuring out that they don't need to be sanded, the color will not show through properly unless the surfaces are polished glass-like smooth again.
5) The small needles on the main cluster have to be taken apart fully, meaning destroying the 'mushroomed plastic' bits that hold the needle to the cap, to remove all of the re-orange paint (I haven't touched those yet)
6) The paint on the 4-gauge pack needles will not come off with isopropyl alcohol.
7) Pent-up frustration subsides a bit with a glass of tasty wine.

So... still a work in progress.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:17 PM   #216
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anglwngss thanks for the help on the info on where you sent your but I took it on a limb an did it myself...mission accomplished and now gonna take on the cluster...
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:21 PM   #217
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Good job!! I can just barely solder together two wires, so I haven't even tried a little bitty LED!! Lol. Maybe someday, I'll get up enough gumption and try, lol, and hope I don't fry the LED
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #218
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Here are few pics. The blue is actually blue and all perfectly uniform in color, the camera screwed that up. More to explain later, falling asleep.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:08 PM   #219
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That looks really really nice! Did you notice any differences in taking apart the dash between what's in the DIY and your 2012?
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:53 AM   #220
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Thanks! I wouldn't have thought it possible if I hadn't seen this thread.
It's all the same as what's in your DIY. There were a few differences on the board itself from what is in your pics, though, but nothing that changes the way it's done.

The colors of the numbers in these pics is totally whacked out, the numbers are actually as blue as the halos. The DIC display is actually perfectly uniform in color, too. I'll try to get pics with my better camera.
I had to give up my 'special' (glow-in-the-dark) needle paint idea, that paint wouldn't light up well enough when the gauges were lit, though it did glow when everything was off. I tried three different kinds and colors of glow-in-the-dark paint, none worked well. So I just went with normal white. A white Sharpie paint-pen worked great.

The second pic shows the indicator lights that I changed. The green for headlights and white for cruise control never made any sense to me, so I swapped those colors (with new LED's). Much better. The TC-off and stability-off were orange which means "warning!'. Problem is, those are GOOD things to have turned off, so they should be blue instead. Much better.
The fourth pic just shows the glow from the drop-in blue LED dome light. Me likes.

As you can see in the third pic, I Plasti-Dipped the bezel, and it looks much better to me than silver.

The blue covering rings I made for the inner face of the gauges aren't on there because I semi-ruined the face. My sleeping pill had kicked in before I finished up so while I was out of it, I used the rubbing alcohol (which I previously used on the needles) to clean the face instead of water like I would have otherwise done. It made prominent swirl marks in the nice matte finish and they wouldn't come out with anything. At that point it was ruined anyway so I figured it wouldn't hurt to try a matte clearcoat to smooth it out nicely. I tested a small corner of the non-visible part of the faces and it worked great, so I masked it off and sprayed all of both faces. It melted part of the numbers. Otherwise it looks fine, and did cover up the bad swirl marks. So, until I get a replacement cluster to swap my electronics into I figured I'd leave it the way it is so I can drive my car properly again.

Apparently the 2012 gauges are only available on a repairable exchange basis for now, which means I can't do anything about it yet. :bangdesk:
It doesn't look too bad though, I don't notice unless I look closely, and you can't see it at all in these mediocre quality pics. I still want to replace it anyway, and hopefully it won't be too long before the 2012 clusters are available for purchase.
Moral of the story? Certain medications have warnings for a reason.
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Lunesta can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Until you know how this medication will affect you during waking hours, be careful if you drive, operate machinery, pilot an airplane, modify automotive gauge clusters, or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:00 PM   #221
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Even though I KNOW that's not funny.. I'm apologizing in advace, because I'm giggling anyway! Lol..

I do hope the 2012 clusters come out soon, I actually like the look of them better than the 2010/2011s.

Even though the pics do show the numbers as a lighter blue, I can imagine them being a darker color. They still look very nice and sharp in the photos!
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:30 PM   #222
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Here you go anglwngs
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:21 AM   #223
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how about the traction control button/shifter legend for the automatics?
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:26 AM   #224
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for that, I honestly have no clue. Mine's an M6. If I had an auto, though, I wouldn't have any qualms about trying to take it apart and seeing what's in there. Sorry, I couldn't help with that one :(
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