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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if there's an easy way to change the color of the light bulbs that illuminate the instrument cluster.

After removing the cluster, I see a ton of small bulbs that are in removable "Toshiba V2" housings (or something like that).

Is there a simple way to make these say, blue?
Or replace them with LEDs?

Also, does anyone know where to find these housings / replacement bulbs (other than my neighborhood honda dealer)?
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

How-to on changing instrument bulbs here.

I found colored incandescent ($0.99 ea.) and LED ($2.50 ea.) #74s here.

The new bulbs are the same size as stock, and they pop right into the quarter-twist mounts. The factory bulbs can be tough to pull out.



 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

Wow that looks real slick...do the bulbs light up a true red or somewhat orange? Can't wait to see your usual thoroughly detailed how to on replacing these bulbs.:)
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

Genom said:
do the bulbs light up a true red or somewhat orange?
True red. Haven't tried it out at night yet, but there was definitely no orange tint visible in the dark garage.

Accessing and replacing the bulbs was amazingly easy. Thanks Honda!

Unlike many E owners, I'm satisfied with the visibility of the gauges in daylight. I also prefer the gauge lights super dim when driving on a dark road, and the minimum setting just wasn't low enough.

I didn't replace the two bulbs that backlight the odometer with red because I was afraid it would be too dim. If the odo is too bright at night, I'll probably buy two yellow bulbs for that purpose. I bought an amber for the brights-on icon and was going to simply remove the bulb for the CRUISE CONTROL message, but it turns out those aren't accessible without taking the instrument cluster apart, and then who knows what kind of bulb they use. [EDIT: LED.] So I'm staying with the gray window film (brights) and rubylith tape (cruise) for the time being.

Also, I didn't see an unused "low washer fluid" imprint on the gauges (as discussed in this thread), so anyone doing a retrofit would have to get a Canadian instrument cluster, which I assume has kph on the outside and mph on the inside. So we might have to wait for the next Generation for Honda to give us a low-fluid warning in the U.S.
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

looks like you've went with red as well. i just had mine stained red with stained glass paint. Yes and don't we all just love Honda for making so easy for us to replace the bulbs. There's one thing that you won't be seeing in other manufacturers. Thanks Honda.
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

ramblerdan said:
OK, the answer is yes! The new bulbs are the same size as stock, and they pop right into the quarter-twist mounts. The factory bulbs can be tough to pull out. Will produce a how-to, but in the meantime here are a couple of pix.



Thanks dude!!! Looks good!! Hey never bothered to look at how to get to intrument bulbs but, Is it really easy to get to?
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

elemento said:
Thanks dude!!! Looks good!! Hey never bothered to look at how to get to intrument bulbs but, Is it really easy to get to?
Very very easy. Open driver's side door and you'll see a small panel to the left of the instrument panel. This panel will pop right open. Next take a philips screwdriver and remove the screw holding the instrument trim in place. Then after you do so, lower the steering wheel so that it doesn't get in the way. Starting from the left where the screw was, hold tightly and pull towards your body. After that just grab underneath the trim and pull again and it will pop out. Next step is to remove the four screws holding the gauges in place. There are one on each side to the left and right and two at the top. After removal, pull the top of the gauges towards you and remove the two cables that send information and electricity. (Note: I have also noticed that the annoying door open alarm comes from the instrument gauges and that the smaller connector sends information for that and have yet to figure out which wire sends the current for that **** bell). On the back side there are nine sockets. Turn each one counterclockwise and pull out. And there you have it. For installation, just do the reverse of removal.
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

is there any benefit geting the incadescent over the LEDs? Should the LED's be plug and play too? thanks!

also...and this may sound like a really really stupid question, but you need to disconnect the (-) side of the car battery when doing this, right?
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

M1 1I 1K 1E said:
is there any benefit geting the incadescent over the LEDs? Should the LED's be plug and play too? thanks!

also...and this may sound like a really really stupid question, but you need to disconnect the (-) side of the car battery when doing this, right?
Benefits: there is less work that needs to be done. With LEDs you have to do somewhat of an extensive modification to the bulb itself to get it to work. With the incandescent bulbs, there is less work that needs to be done and you can if you wish just coat it with any color stain glass paint to get your own custom color.

And the battery issue, no need to. No question is stupid so don't you worry. :grin:
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

how many LEDs/incandescent bulbs will be needed to swap out of the instrument cluster? And anybody have size suggestions for the AC and shifter lights?
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

thanks soopa element, this guy recommends disconnecting the battery, but i'm not sure if anyone else really follows that too closely.... http://www.cardomain.com/ride/807962/3

...that should also help you out too screw aero b/c it tells you how to do the climate controls and it tells size and how many!
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

M1 1I 1K 1E said:
thanks soopa element, this guy recommends disconnecting the battery, but i'm not sure if anyone else really follows that too closely.... http://www.cardomain.com/ride/807962/3

...that should also help you out too screw aero b/c it tells you how to do the climate controls and it tells size and how many!
Also, he removes the whole center panel, but if you have the right tools, there are four screws holding the AC unit in place (two on the top and two on the bottom). Removing these screws should allow you to remove just the unit and not the whole panel. I will try to get back to you once I finish eating dinner right now and try it myself. I love being the guinea pig. :D:D:D:D
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

Ok, so I didn't happen to have the right tools last night. Well the result... Chris on cars domain states that you have to put your car in neutral and then unplug the battery. No need to. I ended up just taking off the whole center panel. Take a flat head screwdriver covered with a soft cloth of some sort to not damage the panel and then pry open the bottom part first. Next pry open the top part and lift upwards. You should be able to take it off without too much trouble. Remove the back cover of the AC control unit. There are four screws holding it in place. Two on top and two on bottom. After removing the screws, there are four latches? that hold it in place. Again take a flathead screwdriver and pop it open. Next lift up the the circuit board that is on top and you'll see six bulbs. Three on top and bottom with the bottom ones being smaller and shorter. The only that I believe is possible with these is just painting them with stain glass paint or replacing them with LEDs. I decided to take the easy route and go with stain glass paint. Installation is the reverse. Have fun. Oh and just a reminder, I take no responsibility for your actions. :grin: Your mistakes, your lessons. :roll:
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

soopa element said:
I have also noticed that the annoying door open alarm comes from the instrument gauges and that the smaller connector sends information for that and have yet to figure out which wire sends the current for that **** bell.
Soopa, see this how-to. It's easier to tap a switch into the wire at the Q connector than behind the gauges, I think.

soopa element said:
On the back side there are nine sockets.
Note that the instrument light bulbs are the same, but the odometer bulbs are different. According to the 2003-04 Service Manual, the instrument bulbs (part 1095662) are 1.2 watts; the odo bulbs (part 1095663) are 2 watts. All are the No. 74 base style.
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

OK, assuming the 03-04 service manual is correct, and the instrument bulbs are 1.2 watts and the odometer bulbs are 2 watts, replacing the odo bulbs with leftover clear instrument bulbs should make the odo considerably dimmer, with no danger to the circuit. OTOH if someone merely wants to change the odometer's color, that will require finding a colored 2 watt #74 bulb, which could be more difficult.

Now ... it makes sense that the odometer LCD backlight would require a brighter bulb than the instrument lights, because LCDs are light hogs; most of the light is blocked.

Incidentally, all the other indicators (check engine, etc.) are LEDs, and it doesn't look like they're accessible or replaceable.
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

Thanks soops and Rambler,
I just installed my bulbs and for anyone thinking of getting blue they may want to rethink that....The blue is very faint and light....I reordered red bulbs like Soops and Rambler because I think that may be the only dark strong color...Just wanted to let anybody know thinking of getting any other color...but this is just IMO....thanks guys...
 

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Re: Instrument cluster light bulb color change

elemento said:
I was planning on taking some pics. I will try to get some up by tomorrow...Blue is nice but, sort of dim and it's better not to change the odometer bulbs...
Okay just took em here it is...
 

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