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Old 10-16-2015, 01:47 PM   #1
cme1st2302
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default Tips/Trick for LED Instrument Cluster & HVAC Upgrade

Just wanted to give a little tip for anyone who is planning on doing the LED upgrade for the Instrument Cluster & HVAC Controls that will make it much easier (If you don't mind doing a little soldering). I read a few posts that said that when they went to put the B8.4D bulbs (correct size btw) in that they had to bend the contacts to make them work most of the time. I too had to play with them a little to get them to work but most of them snapped when trying to put them in. I figured the easiest thing to do was to use the sockets that were in the gauge in the first place since I know that they already work great and the materials are a little more robust. Here's how to do it.

First I snapped the incandescent bulbs out of the sockets. Next thing to do was to remove the LED's from the bulbs that I purchased. The ones that I purchased were a little square LED module on top of a tiny round PCB which I found out has a tiny resistor on the bottom side as well (see attachment). The easiest thing to do is just hold the soldering iron one of the leads and push it down to break the connection. Once that side is done you can grab onto the LED and hit the other connection to pull it off. All you have to do is solder them onto the sockets that you pulled out to replace with LED's. I was having trouble getting the solder to stick to the contacts on the sockets until I used a flux and it worked instantly. I would also recommend marking the negative side of the socket once they are soldered on. To see which is the negative side look for the little notch on the one side of the LED chip (see red arrow in attachment). To remove the LED's from the old sockets and replace them on the others took about 30 seconds per light.

I hope this helps someone out and saves them a lot of time and frustration. If you have any questions just post here and I will do my best to help.

Chris
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File Type: jpg B8-HP-led-car-bulb-store-2.jpg (89.7 KB, 57 views)

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Last edited by cme1st2302; 10-16-2015 at 01:53 PM..

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Old 01-25-2016, 11:09 AM   #2
04RDLN
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2004 VUE Red Line
Default Re: Tips/Trick for LED Instrument Cluster & HVAC Upgrade

I did the led change on the gauge cluster I think it looks awesome and breathes a little new life in to my Vue. I did have to play with the connectors to get all the lights to work correctly.
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Old 02-23-2016, 03:27 PM   #3
cme1st2302
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Default Re: Tips/Trick for LED Instrument Cluster & HVAC Upgrade

Looks great in the all red. I wish mine had the gauge needles that lit up like yours did.

Chris

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Old 05-06-2016, 11:43 PM   #4
Chaz9496
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2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2003 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: Tips/Trick for LED Instrument Cluster & HVAC Upgrade

These are pretty much worthless. I just got mine today from superbrightLED's and come to find out they have the same problem. The bulbs just fall out of the sockets more or less. It's a wonder they haven't corrected this problem. I'm sure they've received some complaints by now. I don't even see a reason to try and mess with them, it's not worth going thru the trouble to make them work. The only one that worked half way was the dome light and it even stays slightly lit in door mode, you have to turn it off to completely get to go out. Even the Walmart LED I bought does that. It was even printed on the package 561 but was a "Push In" not the correct one for an L Series. Oh well, Maybe another company sells these that have the correct sockets. What a disappointment.

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Old 05-18-2016, 11:37 AM   #5
Bismarck318
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Default Re: Tips/Trick for LED Instrument Cluster & HVAC Upgrade

Isn't the Lamp that illuminates the red needles (05 & up) an LED from the factory anyway?

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Old 05-23-2016, 09:28 PM   #6
e-satty
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2007 VUE 2.4L
2000 SC1
Default Re: Tips/Trick for LED Instrument Cluster & HVAC Upgrade

I need to replace the instrument cluster lights. Only 70K on the VUe and part of it has burned out.

Superbrightleds will replace or refund the defective bulbs. Note there is a disclaimer for their vehicle bulb finder. Also these are $2 Chinese made/mounted diodes. So I figure they cost $.25 each to make. In comparison, an unmounted diode from Microcenter is $2. So you might get what you pay for, though unlikely.

I also found on my previous Saturn, SC1, that the problem was the metal clip was loose in the high mount center brake light. So no bulb would work until I pinched the metal contacts enough to contact the bulb. With this in mind, I would not be surprised if the instrument panel bulb is good and the mount/wiring is bad.

I will find out when I take the dash apart

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Old 07-07-2016, 11:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tips/Trick for LED Instrument Cluster & HVAC Upgrade

When I installed my leds it was a lot of trail and error I would replace the bulbs and check that they turn on before putting any screws back into the cluster. Some of the bulbs needed to be adjusted to fit in to the cluster correctly. I did break a few making the adjustments.

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