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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok so nothing on here on changing the color so i will get pics here when i get done this weekend with mine it dont look bad there are 8 surface mount leds in the cluster that u have to change to get them to change color i am doing my dash and door switches this weekend ill try to get pics and a how to up asap unless i missed one on here somewhere
 

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What color are your new LEDs for the switches? If they're not white, blue, blue-green, or green (the 525nm green, not the 555-565nm green), you may need to change resistors as well. These LEDs have higher voltage (around 3.2-4V) and higher efficiency than LEDs with other colors. Red, orange, amber, yellow, and 555-565nm green LEDs operate at around 2-2.4V, and they're not as efficient, so if you replace the factory aqua LEDs (which is a blue LED with a phosphor that emits some white light) with any of the R/O/Y/G LEDs, they'll be VERY dim with the resistors already in the switches.

As far as the gauges go, you have red markings on the front of the gauge faces and "ice blue" paint on the inside of the gauge faces, so you can't really change the white factory LEDs to any other color. LEDs emit light in very narrow bands of color, so a blue LED under the red markings really won't show through. You can't remove the red markings on the gauge faces, since those markings are printed on the front.

You can always sand away the white gradient paint and the ice blue color underneath, then spray the inside of the gauge faces with another color, but then you'll run into another problem -- "hot spots". The factory white paint on the inside of the gauge faces has a fine printed pattern that makes the brightness of all of the markings look even from the front by being "thicker" near the LEDs and "thinner" further away from them. Without that gradient pattern, your large gauges will have three obviously brighter areas, and the two smaller gauges will be bright in the center and dimmer at the edges. Trust me, it won't look good.

The only way to change the color on the gauges is to remove the white gradient paint and ice blue paint, spray the new color (I like to use DupliColor "Metalcast", which is a transparent-color, lacquer-based paint that will chemically bond to plastic, preventing chipping) on the inside of the gauge faces, then spray a light coat of a milky-white paint such as Design Master's "White Wash", which is also lacquer-based. This white paint lets a LOT of light through, but it also acts as "trap" for light so that light shows through the front evenly. Then, the tough part -- you need to have a circuit board with an array of LEDs arranged under each gauge. I've done a lot of work on this for the Edge.



Here's the result:



You'll also need to get power from the cluster board. This involves removing the factory LEDs and their resistors, shorting the resistor pads and all but one of each series LED, then taking the power from the last (or only) LED pad. My gauge boards have a total of 39 white LEDs, in 13 sets of 3. Each set has a 470-ohm resistor, so each set draws about 5mA. The entire set of boards draws about 65-70mA, which is about what Ford's five factory LEDs drew before I disconnected them.

Here's a thread for one of the 2005-2007 gauge clusters I've changed. It's not the same as the 2008+ cluster, but this should give you some idea of what's involved.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1361#p28487

Please let me know what kind of LEDs you're going to use. I can save you from a lot of trial-and-error work and headaches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i have a friend who only does medical grade lighting so no trial and error for this project lol and my gauge face has no pigment but clear the surface mount leds produce a blue/white light changing them all with an exact equivelant 4 post led but in green 3v set up soldered directly back to where the factory one was and as for the switches they are also going green. also with the board there are 8 total that need to be changed to change gauge color this has no normal led they are chip types and all mounted to the board which is the size of the entire cluster..

and yours looks great :thumb:
 

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Thanks! Interesting about the aqua cluster LEDs...

So you're using the 525nm green LEDs? You won't need to change resistors then, unless you want the door lock or power window switches to be brighter.

The cluster LEDs are in packages called PLCC4. Which ones are you using? Your red markings will probably be noticeably dimmer than they were with the aqua LEDs.

If you want the brightest PLCC4 green LEDs for the cluster, get these:

http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSea ... -2687-1-ND

These are insanely bright, and they won't draw any more current than the ones Ford uses. They're even made by the same manufacturer (Osram).

I think that in my next Ford (or other new car), I'm going to use 505nm blue-green LEDs for all of the controls. These are the same color as "green" LED traffic signals, and they're the brightest of all LEDs (as far as efficiency goes). They're more expensive, but they look SOOO good.
 

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tpcmngr said:
you keep saying red asuming u mean the needles and if thats the case they have thier own chip leds i will try to get pics up tonite of what the board looks like
I replaced those as well (with brighter Osram PLCC4 LEDs). No, I meant the red markings on the tach, speedometer, and smaller gauges (empty, hot, over 6K RPM), but now that I look at some of the newer E/M/T clusters, some of them don't even have those markings colored red anymore.

Anyway, if you have any red markings on the gauge faces, light from green LEDs will (probably) barely show through.

Please post pics when you're done. It should look awesome with your new headliner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ok this is to show some what of what was done they turned out great will do better detail and more pics tommorow :happy:

AS IT GOES the red are 4 the needles the green are the new and the blue are factory.
To change factory colors in all door switches all you have to do is change the 3mm led in them
To change the cluster color you need 4 prong led chips i used the superbrightleds.com pirahna chip in 3mm they are a little to big so u have to shave the opening in the back of the cluster but they work and very well i might add my buddy does my led work and he is determining a price if anyone would want this done as for a how to im gonna try to get that up tommorow with more pics :party:

 

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:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ok so as for a how to
1st Step it to pull the cluster out of the dash u have pop clips the dimmer wiring 4 screws and the wiring to the cluster itself

2nd Once out there are 2 screws in the top of this and 10 clips as u can see i broke 2 because i didnt relize the screws were there please take them out first lol

3rd There is a flimsy plastic cover that needs to come off the board on the back after u get that off there are a mess of little plastic clips that hold the board on to the gauge faces DO NOT try to pull the board with out taking the needles off first. Note there are nothing but the clips holding that board in place


4th After you have pulled the board it should look something like this u have 3 on each side under where your big gauges are and u have 1 for each little gauge. there is a notch on the corner of every led that shows where the negative is on that specific led chip.


if you go to install bigger chips these are the holes you need to carve out be sure u do not lose the diffuser in these holes or the light will not put out as evenly

this is the finished product set in place be aware that with out the dimmer switch hooked up they are set on around 1/2 to 3/4 brightness they are brighter than this at night now that i have them installed i will try to get a pic with them at full brightness

:pics:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ok i no thats a shotty how to but its tha best i can do i dont understand the led circuit board talk and if it needs to be moved then can someone send me a link on where it gets moved to plz and thank you
 
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