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Old 02-06-2020, 12:17 AM   #1
Zeebins
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1997 SL2
Default 95-99 Factory Radio w/EQ LED light Upgrade

The lights lights on my radio had been starting to get kind of dim for a while now. It never really bothered me until I changed the HVAC bulbs to leds. The difference in brightness between them didn't look all that great to me. I knew that it was just mini incandescent bulbs lighting up the buttons, so I wanted to try changing those to leds too. I figured I'd make a post about it too since I don't think anyone else has before. I couldn't find anything anyway.

To get To the bulbs, The radio has to be pretty much completely taken apart.

There is two 3/8 hex screws holding the bracket on both sides.


The back plate comes off next. It is held on by 9 phillips head screws.


The top cover is held on by 4 metal tabs. A thin screwdriver works well to pry them off.


With the top cover off, you can get to the cassette/CD player. There is 2 phillips head screws and 2 ¼ hex screws that hold the cassette player down. The two connectors ban be removed by pulling up on the wires.


With the Cassette or CD player out of the way, the two connectors going to the face plate can come out. They're circled in orange below.


The face plate is held on by 6 tabs. 2 on the top and bottom and 1 on either side. Make sure to remove the nobs and EQ sliders before taking the face plate off. Just pull up on them to remove.


With the face plate separate from the radio, the board can be removed. It's held on by 6 T6 screws.


Make sure you don't loose these little pegs in the plastic defuser under the board. Without them the track/seek buttons wont work.

You don't have to disassemble any further than the board, but now is a good time to clean all the buttons well.

With the board out, you can see the bulbs that are going to be replaced. I'm not sure why all the bulbs have a blue diffuser over them. It only seems to make them dimmer.


The bulbs have to be desolderd to get them off. This is only my second time soldering so I had a hard time getting the bulbs off. It did get easier as I did more so this part probably won't be too bad if you have more experience than I do. I also had a hard time trying to figure out what led to buy to replace them. I'm still not sure if I bought the right one, but they work so that's good enough for me.


Soldering the new bulbs in was a lot easier than getting the old ones out. Something you have to keep in mind with leds though is that polarity matters. As far as I can tell, there is no way of telling what side is positive and what is negative. I already did this once on a spare radio and just guessed putting them in. They happened to be in the right way so I copied that to this one.
Here is the polarity if anyone else does this.


1/2 image limit...

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Old 02-06-2020, 12:18 AM   #2
Zeebins
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1997 SL2
Default Re: 95-99 Factory Radio w/EQ LED light Upgrade

My soldering defiantly isn't the best, but I gave all the bulbs a tug and none came loose.


With the new leds in, the radio can be put back together. Assembly is reverse of disassembly.

The radio looks a lot better at night now. First pic is before, second is after.



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https://imgur.com/a/0Z2cOHk

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Old 02-06-2020, 05:07 AM   #3
Gerheardt
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1995 SL2
Default Re: 95-99 Factory Radio w/EQ LED light Upgrade

Looks good and efficient. I'll never have to do that because i never keep any non usb radio, but i can understood the idea behind it. I could have tried it in my 88 Camry to keep the oem radio that looked like one with the dash and other buttons.

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Old 02-06-2020, 09:16 PM   #4
Zeebins
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1997 SL2
Default Re: 95-99 Factory Radio w/EQ LED light Upgrade

I forgot to link what bulbs I bought. I used these 3mm 12v LEDs from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074SL9N29..._HOlpEbS91RR21

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Old 02-07-2020, 02:12 AM   #5
98_Gold_Uranus
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Default Re: 95-99 Factory Radio w/EQ LED light Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
I forgot to link what bulbs I bought. I used these 3mm 12v LEDs from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074SL9N29..._HOlpEbS91RR21
Interesting. As long as I've been fiddling around with electronics, I've never seen straight up 12v bare LED's like that. But then again I've never really looked lol. I've just always assumed you would need a resistor in line.

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Old 02-07-2020, 07:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: 95-99 Factory Radio w/EQ LED light Upgrade

If you read the description, they incorporated a resistor into the package. Clever!

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Old 02-07-2020, 10:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: 95-99 Factory Radio w/EQ LED light Upgrade

Nice! Looks awesome. I just had mine apart to solder in a 3.5 audio cable. It's a bit distorted so either the cable is bad or my soldering sucks, so I'm gonna swap cables and see if it gets better.





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File Type: jpg 20200128_195322.jpg (170.5 KB, 33 views)

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Last edited by ErikTande; 02-07-2020 at 10:46 AM..

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Old 02-07-2020, 03:42 PM   #8
fdryer
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Default Re: 95-99 Factory Radio w/EQ LED light Upgrade

Excellent show and tell! Only the second time soldering? Other than spotting one of the two solder joints shown as partially filled, you're doing fine. Some keys to soldering small circuits; use only rosin core solder made for electronics and clean the soldering tip often, usually just before soldering to prevent oxidized lead from fouling up soldering and making an easy task difficult. Right after cleaning the soldering tip, re-tin it with fresh solder. When a clean tip accepts fresh solder, it will flow like water onto the tip and be shiny. A dull look is oxidized lead and needs to be cleaned off for fresh solder. Rosin in the center of lead solder flows over bare wires and joints to prevent oxidation interfering with solder flow, covering bare wires and solder joints. Rosin cooks and shows as brown residue after cooling but solder is kept shiny from oxidizing as soldering flows onto joints like water. The water flow effect is what you're looking for while soldering. Fresh solder flows easily. If too much solder is applied, a solder sucker (over size spring loaded syringe made to suck hot solder away from wires/joints), copper braid or rubber bulb with a heat resistant tip will suck solder away. Circuit holes can be opened using these methods. If the circuit board is small enough to handle, heating the holes then tapping the board against a hard surface can force hot solder away (experience).

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Old 02-07-2020, 04:59 PM   #9
Zeebins
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1997 SL2
Default Re: 95-99 Factory Radio w/EQ LED light Upgrade

Thanks for the tips, fdryer!

I definitely didn’t clean the soldering tip as much as I should have been. I was probably fighting it being dirty while getting the bulbs out. I did use lead solder for the new LEDs. I think remember reading somewhere that it was easier to work with. I do plan on adding a Bluetooth receiver module inside the radio as well soon. I shouldn’t have to desolder anything but I may if I make a mistake, lol

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Old 02-07-2020, 06:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: 95-99 Factory Radio w/EQ LED light Upgrade

Zee --


Bro - you win the "attention to detail" award for the year......


I'm nominating you for the decade....



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