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AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes? 

 

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 Post subject: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:11 am 
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Tip to start with, how to remove an AU cluster: to get it out I tried gently prising it then trying to get my fingers behind it, but that didn't work too well... I could see that I was mainly pulling on the plastic cover rather than the cluster itself. I then removed the door rubber from the frame, pulled out the semi circular panel from the side of the dash, and removed the vents right next to it (push them from the rear, then pull them out from the front). If you have small enough hands you may be able to reach in and push the cluster directly, but I have big fumblies so I used a pair of right angle needle pliers to hook around the back and pull it the right side forward slightly. That resulted in enough coming out that I could grab the front and work it out fairly easily.

Now to my question... the cluster has both brown and black globe holders. What's the difference between these? I presume one is brighter? I have a couple of blown globes (can't see the speedo at night, I've been using my GPS :D ) so I figured I may as well convert the cluster to LED illumination while it's out. The LEDs are a dropin replacement for the globe but unfortunately I only have 10... I count 11 holders. :evil: :| It's frustrating to come this far and discover I'm one short (ordered off ebay so another set would take at least 10 days), and that I may need different types anyway.

Image

7 brown, 4 black. (The two at centre bottom I guess are LEDs to illuminate the LCD... they're not the same type of holder)

Anyone know the difference?

Looking at the cluster it seems that all or most of the replaceable globes are probably used for illumination, and the status lamps are internal LED?
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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:23 am 
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Following up... I grabbed a multimeter and found that all of the brown globes are all wired up together (eg < 1 ohm resistance between the contact of two separate globes), but the black are each separate. I would guess that means brown is for illumination, and black is for individual warning lamps. (There's still too many status indicators compared to globes, there must be some internal)

For now I'll leave the black ones alone, I don't want to find out the hard way that a warning circuit doesn't work properly when there's an LED rather than a globe connected.

I'm also guessing at polarity, I'll have to wait until it's darker to figure out which LEDs need to be rotated and reseated. :D
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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:10 pm 
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Talking to myself here but posting so this may help someone else. Another tip: you only need to plug in the smallest plug (top left on the photo above, top right when the cluster is facing you in "install" position) in order to see the illumination. This makes easy to swing out the cluster so you can view it from the rear and see which LEDs aren't working. I thought I was going to have to judge it from the front which would have been much harder.

I didn't bother worrying about polarity or marking anything, I just put them in and then rotated the 3 that didn't work.

The result looks pretty good, there's a couple of "hot spots" if you peer really closely, but apart from that it's not really noticeable. The colour is a cool blue-white. I'm glad I went for white LEDs rather than blue, since the white ones tend to have a blueish tint anyway.

I no longer have to go back into the house at night because I've forgotten the GPS. I'll have to get used to looking at the cluster again, rather than the GPS unit above it! :D

Oh, and one last thing, the brown globes that I removed are greyed over and looking quite burnt; the black ones are perfectly clear. They're not used for illumination.
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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:31 pm 
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Image

Image

The LEDs were purchased from ebay seller virtualvillage-au-alpha, "10 x White LED Dashboard Speedo Light Bulbs T5 286." $6.99 + $4.99 P&P
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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Thanks Rowan for this guide, I have toyed with this idea myself, might wait until I have more time to spare :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:08 pm 
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Papa Smurf wrote:
Thanks Rowan for this guide, I have toyed with this idea myself, might wait until I have more time to spare :wink:


I took a long time because I was being careful and needed to do some research and make some decisions, but if I was to do it again it would probably take 45 mins max. If you have an ebay account then $12 for 10 new LEDs delivered is peanuts...

BTW, I think the cluster must have some sort of blue filter to negate the yellowish output of the incandescent globe and make it appear more white. The light leaking from the rear of the cluster is white, but I went for a drive tonight and the front output looks quite blue. Even my wife (who doesn't usually give a hoot about cars) was impressed. :D

I've colour corrected the pic, my camera probably saw too much blue and compensated. It looks more like this:

Image
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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Still a great job. My XR6 should look eally good with those lil devils :)
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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:05 pm 
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Well I ordered a blue set of 10 for my AUII today. Thanks for posting up info about it.

 

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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:30 pm 
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AUII.Denim wrote:
Well I ordered a blue set of 10 for my AUII today. Thanks for posting up info about it.


Just be aware that if you put in blue LEDs the output will be *super* blue, because of the blue incandescent filter. (Assuming your backlighting is normally white)

You might also want to experiment with rough sanding the top of the LED to try to disperse the light a bit better and reduce the "hotspot" effect. I've sanded one but I haven't bothered to pull out the cluster again to fit it.
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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:35 pm 
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rowan194 wrote:
AUII.Denim wrote:
Well I ordered a blue set of 10 for my AUII today. Thanks for posting up info about it.


Just be aware that if you put in blue LEDs the output will be *super* blue, because of the blue incandescent filter. (Assuming your backlighting is normally white)

You might also want to experiment with rough sanding the top of the LED to try to disperse the light a bit better and reduce the "hotspot" effect. I've sanded one but I haven't bothered to pull out the cluster again to fit it.



Im hoping for *super* blue :). Will match my H/U and a few other things when im done with it. Will post up pics when they arrive and are installed. When you fit the sanded led can you let me know how much it helped. Someone on here put in a small neon in their cluster to help illumination and eliminate 'hot spots' IIRC....

 

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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:43 pm 
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AUII.Denim wrote:
When you fit the sanded led can you let me know how much it helped. Someone on here put in a small neon in their cluster to help illumination and eliminate 'hot spots' IIRC....


You're probably more likely to pull out your cluster before I do, and you'll have 3 spare LEDs, so you can try yourself and tell me. :P :)
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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:01 am 
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rowan194 wrote:
AUII.Denim wrote:
When you fit the sanded led can you let me know how much it helped. Someone on here put in a small neon in their cluster to help illumination and eliminate 'hot spots' IIRC....


You're probably more likely to pull out your cluster before I do, and you'll have 3 spare LEDs, so you can try yourself and tell me. :P :)


Well mine arrived today, but its 3am and im working 11 hours split between two jobs today so probably wont get anything started till saturday. Will post pics when i source a digital camera and have them installed

 

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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:52 pm 
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rowan194 - did you find that the LED bulbs illuminated the cluster brighter ??

I have bought white SMD type LED for my AU cluster but am yet to install it. I am hoping the SMD type LEDs will illumate the cluster better than the factory bulbs.

 

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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:21 am 
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partie wrote:
rowan194 - did you find that the LED bulbs illuminated the cluster brighter ??

I have bought white SMD type LED for my AU cluster but am yet to install it. I am hoping the SMD type LEDs will illumate the cluster better than the factory bulbs.


Hmmm not really sure to be honest, I reinstalled them during the day (in a closed garage) and was fiddling with the dimmer, so I couldn't tell you...

Try replacing one or two globes to start with and see what happens. :)
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 Post subject: Re: AU3 mont cluster LED conv - diff b/w black and brown globes?
Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:25 pm 
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12 month bump...

Despite my previous recommendation I strongly urge you to NOT BUY the LEDs from virtualvillage on ebay. Out of 7 that I replaced there are only 2 (yes two) that stay on; the others are either completely dead or flickering on and off. I'm actually now worse off than when I had the original incandescent globes. LEDs are supposed to have a half life measured in years, these ones have been powered on for a few hundred hours max, so they're either crap or they've been overdriven due to the wrong resistor value.

And it's just my luck that Jaycar only has five T5 globes... I need 7...
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