Author Topic: HOW TO: Change lights in dials/MFA displays & adding extra LED's - Pic Heavy  (Read 51736 times)

Offline dom

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This guide will show you how to change the colour of the dials and MFA screens, including removing the green film and adding extra LED's.

You will need:
  • T6 Torx Screw Driver
  • 2 x 501t LED's for the dials
  • 2 x 501t LED's for the MFA screens
  • 4 x 5mm LED's (with resistors) for the dials (optional)
  • A selection of screw drivers
  • A drill with 5mm bit
  • Soldering iron with solder
  • Electrical insulation tape (preferably heat shrink stuff)
  • Pliers

First you need to remove the clocks from the car, the first stage of this is to lower the steering column, by pushing the lever on the left of the column down.



The next step is to remove the ABS/Airbag warning lights. First you need to prise the lights off with a flat headed screw driver:



Once you have access, unclip the panel:



This will provide you with access to the headlight switch which also needs to be removed. This can be done by pressing in the clip highlighted below and simply pulling the switch towards you:



Unplug the headlight switch to reveal a screw:



Next move to the other side of the steering wheel and pop off the blank pictured below with a screw driver:



This will again reveal a screw, undo both screws:



Once the screws are undone pull the black plastic surround off, starting at the bottom. You should be left with this:



Either side of the clocks is a screw, both of these need to be undone:





The clocks will then pivot forwards, allowing you access to the plug:



Undo the plug and pull the clocks towards you, they should come right out. They may take a little wiggling to get around the steering wheel, but as you have moved the wheel down it should be easy enough.



Part 2 to come!
« Last Edit: 05 February 2011, 19:51 by dom069 »

Offline dom

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Part 2

With the clocks removed you should be able to see the following with them turned over:



Unclip the black plastic cover to reveal the circuit board:



Here you can see that I already have red LED's for the MFA screens and blue LED's for the clocks:





If all you wish to do is to change the colours of your dials/screens then twist the old lights out and twist the new LED's in. It is worth noting that unlike the standard bulbs, LED's have a positive and negative leg so if it does not work initially, this could be why. Also for the MFA screens to light up properly you need to remove the green film from behind the screens.



The next stage is to remove the circuit board from the clocks, to do this there are a number of torx screws to undo. It is worth noting at this point that the screws can be a bit of a bugger to get in/out. I found it easier to undo the screw a little way with the screw driver and then carefully using pliers to twist it out completely. This saves you mashing up the head of the screw and not being able to put them back in.

There are 8 screws to remove (I had started to remove them prior to this photo)



With the circuit board out you will be left with this:



Next you need to remove the face of the dials from the rest of the unit. Carefully prise the needles away from the dials and the faces should come away (ignore that my faces are cut up, I had to mod them previously to get them to fit into my clocks)



Now I didn't get a pic of the next step :rolleyes:

You need to turn the clocks back over and unscrew the screws that are holding the plastic of the dials into the circuit board. This then reveals the LCD screen:



Lift the screen away from the circuit board and separate it from it's plastic holder. In the holder there are 2 filters, one green and one white, you need to remove the green one and reassemble it all. Clip the plastic holder back onto the circuit board and screw the plastic for the dials back on (I used pliers to do most of this and tightened them fully with the screw driver)

I then took this photo as a comparison so you can see how much of an impact the filter has (excuse the crappy quality, I left the camera in the garage and it was pouring down). It doesn't even look as if the right hand screen is illuminated due to the filter.



Remove the filters from both screens and replace the dials/needles:



If you do not wish to add extra LED's then all you need to do is reassemble the clocks and you are done :smiley:

Part 3 to come!

Offline dom

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Part 3

Ok, here is where the fun begins!

I have an extra 4 UV LED's to wire in, all of which have resistors.

The first step is to solder the resistor to the positive leg of the LED (the longer leg is always positive)



Then insulate the legs, leaving only a small length to solder to the metal strip that runs along the top of the clock unit. (I didn't take a pic specifically of this, but you can see it later on in the guide.)

The next stage is to unclip the white plastic strip from the rest of the clocks, you need to pull the metal pins out of the circuit board as well (no pics but it is obvious what you need to do). It is then worth removing the metal strips from the plastic, you may need to use a small screw driver for this.

Next decide where you want to place the extra LED's, I decided to place all 4 inside the existing 2. I used a 3mm drill bit to make a small hole and then a 5mm bit to enlarge it:



I then placed the LED in to ensure that it fitted and used a spare car battery to check that it worked:



I then did the same for the other 3 LED's and carefully soldered them onto the existing metal strips (you may have to drill a hole in the metal strip as well to allow for the LED. Looking at the clocks from behind the metal strip closest to you is Negative, so the leg without the resistor gets soldered to this strip. I then tested to ensure that they all worked:



Here's a pic to show them all soldered on and the metal strips back on:



Put the plastic strip back onto the clocks:



Replace the black plastic cover:



At this point I used the car battery to check that they all still worked before I put them back into the car:



Once I was happy I put them back into the car and tested them again (excuse the quality of the pics, camera is rubbish in the dark):





Then you just need to screw them back in, replace the plastic cover and screw that back in. Plug both the headlight switch and the ABS/Airbag warning lights in but don't push them back into place until both are plugged in! Replace the plastic blank for the screw on the left and don't forget to put the steering wheel back to the desired height! Reset the time and your done!

Sit back and enjoy your brighter clocks/dials :smiley:

Offline Jimmy Filth

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This is brilliant, can we make it sticky?
7R 5 door.  Limestone Grey.  19" Pretoria's, Leather, DCC, Winter pack, keyless entry, rear camera.

Offline Shady Pioneer

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Very good write up Dom. Congrats on the first (and last  :grin:) sticky.  :kiss:

Offline dom

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Very good write up Dom. Congrats on the first (and last  :grin:) sticky.  :kiss:

Cheers Shady :kiss:

Offline Jimmy Filth

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The problem I came across tonight is that my speedo unit is a different type, that absolutely isn't as easy as that to change  :cry:
7R 5 door.  Limestone Grey.  19" Pretoria's, Leather, DCC, Winter pack, keyless entry, rear camera.

Offline dom

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The problem I came across tonight is that my speedo unit is a different type, that absolutely isn't as easy as that to change  :cry:

What do you mean a different type? The bulbs? or the actual unit itself? I also have another type of clocks in the garage so i'll go and get some pics of them if you like?

Offline Jimmy Filth

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a completely different unit. 
7R 5 door.  Limestone Grey.  19" Pretoria's, Leather, DCC, Winter pack, keyless entry, rear camera.

Offline dom

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a completely different unit. 

Like the one here?