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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I have my car back. Plan for this weekend is to take the Climate Control and Stereo front Panel Apart and see if I can change the colour. Interestingly enough, the ZC escapes here in Aus have Line In on the Panel, but it doesnt go anywhere.

I pulled the head unit out today, and the Line Ins are on the back of the deck : just two plain old RCA's.
The Stereo is made by Panasonic, and appears to be modular (Front panel, Rear Deck). My Deck is the 6 stack MP3 changer, and it also has CD Changer control (and then a set of CDC-In RCA's as well).

There are good options for expansion here!. Now to think about where to put the Aux in in the car.

Photos, as well as news how I go later on.

Of course, I have a backup plan. The Aus ZC (2006) escapes have silver trim, the Mazda Tributes Black (Piano - ergh). But the Escapes have Blue Back-Lighting (Ergh) while the tributes have Amber. If I cant make the escape Amber, Im going to bolt the tribute bits in instead using the escape trim panels.

I did have a really good look for the Aux power connector : on the BA/ZA/ZB escapes, there was an Aux power connector in the dash. Not on the ZC. The Aux power in the Boot is still there though.

Updates later on if Im awake ;)
 

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Hello Nigel! :) :happy: :welcome: :hi: Hope you don't mind this enquiry. Which state of australia do you reside in? I am only being inquisitive. But if you regard privacy and security as an issue, there is no requirement for specifics.

My dear old mum, has a different perception of me being inquisitive. :lol: Her comments are basically " Inquisitive? Yeah sure! I know you. It's more like you just enjoy being a nosy old fart ,and having a good sticky beak." :roll: :whistle: :whistle: :confused: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Argh!. Beaten.

Ive changed the colour of the Fog Light Switch, the 4x4 switch, and ive disassembled the Stereo Facia and the Climate Facia.

But theres no way to change the filters in the LCD. And *nothing* beats blue. Grrr.

I may settle for amber lighting of the switches yet, and just have the displays blue. I really did want to change the lot over though.

Does anyone on here have an 06 tribute that wants to convert to Blue Stereo and Climate?

Nigel
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Im in QLD. The answer to Why oh Why is : Because something had to be done.

The BA/ZA/ZB escapes had green backlighting, consistently through the car.

The ZC has Green on the doors, fog switch, 4x4 switch, a little amber on the dash and shifter, and blue most other places.

And that blue - is iridescent. Its really hard to deal with after 500km at night. So Id love to tone it down.

I think I have an answer for the dash... but that may actually be a complete new print on film which the guys on Fordmods here in Aus have been doing for quite some time for the E-Series Falcons. Then I can have almost any colour I want.

Do any US escapes have any other colour other than green for the Cluster LCD? - Green sucks!.

I may even look at adapting a Mazda CX7 or 3 or 6 LCD as they are LED backlit for colour

Cheers

Nigel
 

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Queensland. Thank you Nigel and EscapeDtroy. Message received and understood. :) I like the blue backlighting in my escape. The needles for speedometer, tacho, fuel and temperature gauge are in red. I can adjust brightness via the dimmer control.

It sort of irks me, that ford left out dimmer adjustment, for the radio hi-fi / CD control panel display. At night it is a little bit too dominant. I can not dim it. When i am parked somewhere at night, half my cabin has this quite obvious blue glow. That's how bright the radio panel is. :shock:

It's not as though it is a big panel display. Bloody heck! Ford are a pain, for not having it as dimmer capable. I tolerate the situation,because i am used to it. That amber shade you are considering should be a nice effect.

What you mentioned about green, in car dashboards has been relevant for me. Yes, i had enough previous cars with the green backlights. It became quite tedious and bland. I suppose this is why i enjoy, the blue backlight theme in my escape. Just wish that ford could have engineered, the radio/cd display as dimmer adjustable. It is quite intense at night. Sort of like a blue neon that radio panel.

If it bothers me too much, shall make an appointment with an auto-electrician. I am certain he will figure a way around it, via some type of improvisation. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well,enough moaning. I seem to have been reading a pile of great sites, and it looks like I will be able to change the colour of the LCD after all. Actually, I can even invert it. Nice, but too much hard work.

Also - working on a cluster - you can use nail polish remover and a couple of cotton buds to remove the paint you dont want behind the cluster.

My only concern now is repainting it.. and how im going to want that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I gave up waiting, and ripped the dash out again.

Im leaving the dials Blue (yeah, you US folk should all be jealous....) but Ive changed the ODO illumination to Amber. Turned out really well.

Youve all seen how to remove the dash, so I wont cover that. The 06 Escape here has the same dash layout as the 01-04 model in the US.

To change the LCD Illumination Colour, you'll need to remove the Circuit Board from the back of the cluster. That was 5 screws on the back, and then very gentle manipulation to remove the board from the 4 Gauges on the front.

Next I needed to remove the black clip at the top of the LCD. My Apologies for not taking pics - I was without batterys at this point. The Clip undoes using a small screwdriver - a "clip" on each of the bottom (lower) corners (put the small/jewelers driver down where there is a small "hole", and manipulate the white plastic carefully so that the black cover/clip is released). There is also two "retainers" on the Top (Upper) side, about 10mm in. Gently pry the black plastic away from the lcd to release, making sure you dont put pressure on the LCD and damage it.

At this point, the black Clip should come off, and you will have access to the LCD. At the very bottom of the LCD is the Green Opaque Light Disperser/ Filter. Its glued on around the edges - very, very gently use something to pull the Filter away from the LCD (I used a jewelers screwdriver) and then when all 4 sides have been released, gently pull it out.

I replaced the Filter with a combination of Amber Paper, and some White Photographic Paper (like a photo) which helps to disperse the light. The Amber paper is to the bottom, the Photo Paper, then the LCD. Very carefully cut to size (use the original filter as a guide) and then place under the LCD. You can now replace the black clip you removed, and put the rest of the cluster back together carefully.

Results... Below, As well as other shots of the Climate and Stereo on the Escape.

I also modded the 4x4 switch to Amber (Green has no place in this car) as well as the Fog Light Switch (Amber backlight with Amber on indicator)

Cluster after Mod


Stereo and Climate on 06 Aus Escape. Id like to change both of these to Amber. I think I have that figured out just waiting to purchase the 1206 SMD LED's for the change


Shifter - Note the Blue. I think this will change to Amber


Climate Unit out of Car.




Stereo Face Plate Dissasembly..

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Poor, Poor car!.

One of the biggest deficiencies in the ZC escape here is that the Low Beams switch off when the Highs go on. They in fact use pre-05 wiring (Switched Ground).

So - did the adjustment so they stay on.

(Pics to come). Wired the Low Beams switched wire to ground so that they are always on.

I also ran a pair of wires from the Two original wires to the globe, to a Relay. The Relay doesnt switch anything - it just presents a load. This at least lets the dash light illuminate. Its quick, and it works.

Later on I'll investigate doing a "nicer" hack inside the car so that the globe has full brightness.

Pics will come later - but then youve all seen an 05 or later with all the lights on.

Nigel
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So do I ;).

The Stereo backlighting has to change though. I have 2 choices - I have the Amber SMD Led's, or I can put a filter in there. Im thinking the SMD idea for now. The Blue is just waaaay too intense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, got bored on the weekend and finished the job.
First Pic is Original, Second is how its finished up. Clickable links of course
Very happy. I did neglect to take pics of the process though - sorry!





Only the shifter left and Ive ridded myself of the blue. And the one green light left for key illumination.

Nigel
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The Amber is much, much nicer to see at night. Especially from the Climate/Radio. Im a little disapointed how dim the stereo is, but another LE upgrade should take care of that. At least now my (and my wife's) eyes arent burning out 500km into a 950km trip.
 

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Nigel,

hope you are still available. i'm trying to install aux cable on my zc/zd escape but could not manage to remove the fascia. could you shed some light please. the audio and dashboard is the same as yours.

Cheers,
 
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