I always had a color scheme in mind when I was building the car, and it didn’t involve the oem orange lighting. I wanted a blue/white interior lighting which means I had to either replace things or modify them. It ended up being a mixture of both in order to keep that stock looking appearance I wanted.
As noted in a previous post I had already modified the main gauge cluster. This involved custom building LED glow needles for the speedo, tach and fuel gauges. Basically the main gauge cluster is disassembled completely. Behind the gauge face is a clear plexiglass diffuser that is used to spread the light of the older bulbs lighting the main gauge. The areas where the needles come through are opened enough to glue in some smd led’s. These are then wired together with resistors and tapped into the cluster wiring circuit n the printed circuit board. The gauge needles themselves have an orange backing that needs to be sanded off. Once gone the backs of the needles needed to be painted white to diffuse the light properly. Then the entire assembly is put back together with the new black faces EL glow gauge faces. You now have a blue on “somewhat” white gauges that is very easy to read in both day and night.
I finished off the gauges in the car by installing three more gauges below the stereo in the center console. Again I wanted blue gauges for the car and I wanted something that was extremely easily readable as my eyesight is not the best. Digital readout gauges looked to be the best option and I ended up going with Prosport Evo Digital gauges. I was not looking to break the bank buying gauges for the car and these were right on price point.
As everyone says they are not the most accurate things every, but honestly that doesn’t really matter to me. once you understand how you car runs and reacts you should be able to look at your gauges and see if something is normal or not normal. So what does it matter that the oil pressure is 3-4 psi off of what it should be or if the coolant temp is off 10 degrees. You figure out your normal ranges and monitor that. most cars anymore don’t even have gauges and most people don’t even know the normal operating temps in certain conditions, or normal oil pressures at various RPM’s. So no point in all that data staring you in the face is you don’t even understand what your looking at.
The triple gauge cluster in the dash I replaced with the same gauges, oil pressure, coolant temp and then boost. For the lower gauge cluster below the stereo I went with fuel pressure, voltage and EGT. The EGT I have connected to the rear manifold before the turbo. I choose this since the engine is boosted 10:1 compression and the rear can sometime run leaner so I wanted to make sure the rear EGT’s stayed good. I also have an AEM wideband in the driver side pillar. Since it is only available in red and I watched it enough, the pillar was the best place for it to sit.
Lastly came the task of getting all of the stock orange lighting removed from various things like switches and buttons. For these items it came down to carefully disassembling each part, removing the bulb and orange diffuser and wiring in blue leds and resistors. Some of these were easy as the switch assemblies had pcb boards you could modify to get the leds in place. Some took some custom work and ingenuity. The passenger switched were one as they don’t come lighted from the factory even though the switch toggles has the spots for the lights to shine out. It may just be that the driver and passenger toggle itself is the saem and used on both sides.
I also updated the door courtesy lights by replacing the stock red covers with the clear white ones used in the rear hatch area and adding in LED bulbs, the footwell lights were also updated to white LED along with the overhead map lights. For the door lights I actually found these boards with 24 smd lights on them and used them so the door lights are super bright now.
Linked to the right so you can get them yourself. They include the festoon bulb connector needed for the door light connections.
Here is a video I took after completing the install showing the opening ceremony on the gauges and what they looked like. My only complaint with them was during the day in the really bright sun the gauges were almost impossible to read. They were just not bright enough during the daytime to be seen. They were easily visible during the day though. The outer lens also had a lot of glare meaning they didn’t add an anti glare coating to them to prevent those types of issues.
And lastly a nice panoramic type shot showing the interior with just the footwell lights on. It makes for a great looking photo but also shows how bright just two leds alone are and and how well they light up the car.