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Old 09-15-2009, 12:14 AM   #1
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DIY: ABL Color Change

Well with all the people that are adding ABL to there dash boards and that GM has the blue lamps on backorder and some requesting yellow and other colors I thought I would try to figure out a decent way of doing this and for cheap. You can do all of this for less than $5 for both sides of the doors and dash.

So this is just to change the color of your ABL, this will only work with changing the color of the Dash and Door ABL and not the lighting behind the gauge cluster. Sorry I do not want damage my Gauge Cluster to figure out how to change the color.

This is what it looks like, (Yellow and Pink)




Required Items:

Tools:
Soldering Iron
Wire Strippers
Wire Cutters
Lighter or Heat Gun

Items Needed
LED
Resistor
Heat Shrink Tubing
ACDelco PT146 Adapter or other Quick connect connector
Light Tube (If you do not have it)



Steps

Clip the Positive/long of the LED lead leaving 1/4" of wire left do the same with both sides of the resistor

Solder the resistor to the posite/cliped side of the LED

Next solder the Connector to the Risistor/LED. MAKE SURE that you do not reverse the Polarity or it will not work. Positive should be the side the resistor is on and the other lead will be negative. Also go ahead and clip the negative leave to a 1/4" before soldering

Go ahead and pop some heat shrink tubing or electrical tape around both leads and then put another over those for extra security.

Finally if needed connect the light tube and LED with some heat shrink tubing and install.



Before I forget depending on what color LED's you will be installing you need a particular resistor to keep it at 12v here is a list!!!!

470 Ohms Blue, Green, White, & Pink
560 Ohms Red, Yellow & Orange


ENJOY.....
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:16 AM   #2
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I was just asking others today on a different thread ..what does a blue light look like on an orange dash panel??? ... is it bighter??....does it still look blue??? Sorry I cant tell but what color is your panel?? I see its stiil yellow & pink with your mod.

Something new to think about & maybe try
Thanks
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:40 AM   #3
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EXCELLENT writeup Teccboxx..... And for those who are ordering the acrylic 5mm rods from Digikey, you can locate a local vendor and buy it there like I did at $0.10 ft

http://www.johnstonplastics.com/con_montreal.htm
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:48 PM   #4
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love this thread, great work guys
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:49 PM   #5
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Techbox, i noticed you got the bottom of the dash pieces to light up as well, did you need to sand that as well or did that just come about after your abl work?
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
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Teccboxx- A friend of min and I were talking- I'm a camro nut and she is a mod nut-- she also works at a parts store. My camaro is not here yet - so I am not quite sure what type of connector we need to plug into the car..... But we were brain storming and came up with something we think will work and no solidering required- what do you think?: (hope I can explain it ok- its easier when you are looking at the parts)

They have connectors (with a long wire) that will just plug into a led light and also connectors (with a long wire) that will plug into the camaro's port. ( there are 3 different ones that we think will plug into the camaro's port- we just need help on which exact one- male female- etc.- or if you have a pic. she could get it from there.)

Could you just buy one of each of those connectors and an LED in the color you wanted and cut the 2 wires and splice them together plug into the car and the led? then attach with the tape like you did?


We really feel like it would work and it's alot easier than soldering- if I could figure our what connector I need for the camaro's slot- I could try it out on my sister's camaro in the next few weeks when I see her again
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Hi, long time lurker, first time poster. I am a tech at a Chevy dealer. I own a 2LT and am also very interested in making this work. I have found a connector part # that will plug into the side of the dash. It is AC Delco # PT146 or GM # 12085535 list price is about $27.00. Hope this pic works.
Hear you go
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:49 PM   #8
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Thank You! Will get started on this tomorrow- Will let you know how it goes! What is your opinion 2SSRS? You think this could work?
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:37 PM   #9
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Hey nessa131, yup the exact plug that 2ssrs is listed up top. Only reason I suggested using a different connector is price. The ACdelco connector needed for the Camaro is $15 a piece. Your other option is you can buy some t-tap connectors and bypass the ACdelco connector. they look like these:



Then instead of doing the soldering and heat shrink tubing you can get them already made for a buck and some change here:

http://www.oznium.com/prewired-leds

Using this method you can do it dirt cheap, no soldering, and still have the ability to keep the factory wiring without splicing.

What ever you do is make sure you wire in the resistor or the led will not work properly.

Good luck. Hope to see what you come up with,
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTCAM View Post
I was just asking others today on a different thread ..what does a blue light look like on an orange dash panel??? ... is it bighter??....does it still look blue??? Sorry I cant tell but what color is your panel?? I see its stiil yellow & pink with your mod.

Something new to think about & maybe try
Thanks
Went and picked up some orange and red leds on the way home. Will try to get them hooked up tonight!!

Also picked up white, green and blue so I have all the colors on hand to experiment with. Let me know if you want to see something in particular.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teccboxx View Post
Hey nessa131, yup the exact plug that 2ssrs is listed up top. Only reason I suggested using a different connector is price. The ACdelco connector needed for the Camaro is $15 a piece. Your other option is you can buy some t-tap connectors and bypass the ACdelco connector. they look like these:



Then instead of doing the soldering and heat shrink tubing you can get them already made for a buck and some change here:

http://www.oznium.com/prewired-leds

Using this method you can do it dirt cheap, no soldering, and still have the ability to keep the factory wiring without splicing.

What ever you do is make sure you wire in the resistor or the led will not work properly.

Good luck. Hope to see what you come up with,


Sorry for the continued questions- I will be able to hook up and see if they work through the tube- but I won't be able to install in the dash until I get mine-- in mid october! ( my mom is paying for my sister's camaro- must be nice- but she won't let us do anything to it! She flipped when we changed the dome light to blue!)

but- if I hook the end of the led on the tube up with the t-tap connectors - the t tap is what plugs into the camaro slot?
and last question- do you think with this route that the dash ABL will be not as bright , about the same, or brighter than if we used the lights from gm?

thanks again!
Vanessa
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:14 AM   #12
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No problem ask as many questions as you want. That is what is great about this place, so many ideas and always someone with an answer.

The t-taps will attach behind the existing plug or bypass in a way. Then you will connect the led to the taps with some spade connectors. Reason for this is simply cost and nothing more. You can get like four pairs for a couple bucks. Where the ACdelco connector is $15 for one if you search around.

As for the brightness it will be the same if not brighter than the OEM.


Ohh and tell your mom to at least give you a down payment!!
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:15 AM   #13
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Hey Tech, another alternative for peep that aren't as tech savvy is this:

superbrightleds.com

the Panel and Gauge LED bulbs, I have them in my 72 Nova, so I took the light tube and was playing with them and if you but them up it looked pretty nice.

Only reccomending them because you can use a scrap light plug out of a junk yard car, and the LED's are 12v so people who aren't able to solder can toy with them.

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Old 09-18-2009, 07:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teccboxx View Post
Hey nessa131, yup the exact plug that 2ssrs is listed up top. Only reason I suggested using a different connector is price. The ACdelco connector needed for the Camaro is $15 a piece. Your other option is you can buy some t-tap connectors and bypass the ACdelco connector. they look like these:



Then instead of doing the soldering and heat shrink tubing you can get them already made for a buck and some change here:

http://www.oznium.com/prewired-leds

Using this method you can do it dirt cheap, no soldering, and still have the ability to keep the factory wiring without splicing.

What ever you do is make sure you wire in the resistor or the led will not work properly.

Good luck. Hope to see what you come up with,

Do you think that the t tap connectors would plug an EL wire to the ac delco adaptor that plugs into the camaro? and the el wire be able to work without and inverter?
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:34 PM   #15
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Yup you can definatly connect the el to the acdelco adaptor but you can simply use a butt connector instead.

Plus you must have an inverter with the el-wire. You do not need a inverter with a LED although you need a resistor to give it 12v of power.
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:31 PM   #16
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I got my car on Friday and took the piece off on the drivers side to take a look. I had a thought here. Do you suppose the existing holes is where GM initially installed the lights, and just had it reflect up near the top? I would think this is how they did it originally, and also explains why you could see things behind the dash reason we were given.

I always hate to cut holes in my car, and am thinking of a way to use those existing holes.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:18 AM   #17
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Isnt the existing light source for the ambient door lights 12v? If so why need the resistor? You cant just change the color?
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:06 AM   #18
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hey guys- Sorry I disappeared for a while--- got my car and I can't stay out of it! I am spending another day driving it today! But for an update on all of my stuff---

My friend and I were able to get the connectors and everything and get it working- We never could get a color match though- it was always just a little off- and as far as cost goes- the wires were around 8 bucks a piece and you need 2 for each light. so it wasn't cost efficient for us anyway......
I ended up just waiting for the GM lights to come in- use your vin number and you will get them quicker! and paying like 56 bucks for 3!! ouch!
And I did the digikey light tube... turned out great!

as soon as I can get this dumb camera to work with out a flash-- I'll post a pic or 2!!

Thanks for all of your hard work!!!!!!!
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Isnt the existing light source for the ambient door lights 12v? If so why need the resistor? You cant just change the color?
Yes it is 12v but LED'S dont work on 12V 1.5-5v is the norm so look at the LED'S you buy.
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris rs ss View Post
Isnt the existing light source for the ambient door lights 12v? If so why need the resistor? You cant just change the color?
Care to see the inside of one of the GM lamps? I tore mine apart, and it has a resistor installed on it.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:50 PM   #21
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OP do you have the photo's for the above??? I can't get them to show up?
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