Changing Cluster Needle Colours

SpitFire
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:29 am

Changing Cluster Needle Colours

Postby SpitFire » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:40 am

Hi Gents

Well this is my part of changing my '04 Tazz 2E 1300 cluster to a 1600 4A one.

I decided to change my cluster primarily due to the fact that I wanted to see at what RPM the motor is running at - and it feels a bit more interactive to me (believe it or not).

I found a 1600 4A cluster (no oil, temp and fuel) on gumtree - Bought it for R150.00, cleaned it up and installed it - the installation took about 5 hours due to me not knowing about the gearbox cable to loosen up from the engine bay, and the black wire that has to move 1 connection to the right.

If you are going to replace your 1300 cluster - please be sure to h@ck your odometer to the correct value. Fuel and temperature values were left to self regulate (fairly accurate when grounded properly).

After that was done - I found that the dash lights did not work, but not to worry - happy days for me as I could see what I was going/revving at, provided I was driving during the day.

So - I woke up last Sunday morning and I decided to fix this issue, after removing all the plastics and eventually the cluster - I found that I had a crack on the circuit where the lights are suppose to ground, at the connector plug.

I soldered this crack up and tested with the original bulbs - and it worked !!!:

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I decided not to stop there - I left the dash open and was cruising around on my little motard to work and back - I ordered 4 " Blue SMD LED Push-in lights " at R120 (R60 for a pair of 2).

Fitted these guys as I got them and this is what it looked like (I only fitted 2 here):

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I thought the colour of the needles were to monotone in blue - so I decided to change the needle colour:

If you do not use Fluorescent paint - you will get a nice gloss finish - but you will not see your needles at night, which is and was to me - a real let down.

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So I fixed it by getting the right stuff:

* Acetone - To remove original paint.
* Fluorescent Paint / SprayPaint - VERY IMPORTANT !!
* TowelRoll / Toilet paper - Anything disposable.
* Earbuds - Used this to remove excess paint.
* 5mm Paint Brush - Used this to paint the needles.

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How I did it:

1. Note / Mark the fuel and heat gauge levels carefully - you need to return them to the correct position when done.

2. Carefully remove the needles - I used two spoons to get the fulcrum and ease them out.

3. Remove all the white paint at the back of the needle by dipping the paper towel / toilet paper in some acetone and make sure all is off - Might not get right in there as the needles housing might block you - best effort applies here.

4. Dry and clean the needles (They should be see-through)

5. Go outside, Shake the spray can for about 1minute - and then spray into the container (5 seconds should give you more then enough paint).

6. Continue to paint the backside of the needles with the fluorescent paint - try to get it as even as possible (don't worry about getting paint on the side of the needle).

7. Wait about 10minutes for the paint to dry and apply the second coat, then wait about 10 minutes again.

- I tried painting the whole needle - it looks awesome, but the light does not reflect very well.

8. Paint the top bit of the needle, above the housing if you were not able to remove all the paint under the needle (best effort and 2 even coats apply here repeat step 7).

9. Dip your earbud into the acetone and carefully remove the excess paint on the sides of the needles.

10. Hold the Needles under a light of similar source to make sure you got a nice even coat - if not, remove all paint and start again. - AirBubbles will show !

11. Very Carefully, reseat the needles to their original position - If you did step 1 - you will be thanking yourself :)

And then here is the pictures of the look during the day and night:

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Note: I think the light spots were due to the way the light dispersed through the needle Compared to when I just fitted the Blue LED's - I don't notice these light areas at night.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers
SpitFire
SpitFire

'04 Tazz 2E 1.3

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saiGone
Club4AG Expert
Posts: 350
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:42 pm

Re: Changing Cluster Needle Colours

Postby saiGone » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:57 am

Nice write up. what is a Tazz?
Club 4AG member since 05 (Formally SaigonsSon)

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yoshimitsuspeed
Club4AG MASTER
Posts: 2084
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:18 pm
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Re: Changing Cluster Needle Colours

Postby yoshimitsuspeed » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:22 pm

Or you can just keep the needles unpainted and they will glow the same color as the lights you have in there.

I did my car with blue lights at first because I liked the color the best but people kept telling me blue wrecks your night vision. I noticed this a little bit when I went to them but I just kept them as dim as I could. I even blacked the lights out a little with sharpie to get them less bright.
Then one day I decided to try red and I couldn't believe the difference. My ability to focus on the road at night was improved by a very noticeable amount.
If anyone is thinking of doing this I would highly recommend red or green. Both of which are supposed to have the least effect on night vision.

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