|How To Install LED Lights In Instrument Cluster|
First and for most, I would like to clarify a few questions I have been
asked. The gauge cluster and HVAC controls you will see in the following
pictures or the first pictures are not aftermarket, not reverse-glo, not
special edition or anything else. My gauge cluster and HVAC controls are
the ones that were installed in my car from the factory.
What you will need
For 1999 - 2004 Mustangs you need 74-xHP3. The "x" denotes a color code so for example if you order green it'll say 74-GHP3.
MAKE SURE YOU UNPLUG THE NEGATIVE BATTERY CABLE FROM THE NEGATIVE BATTERY TERMINAL!
OK, so lets get started!
Tilt the cluster by bringing the bottom out first. (like you would be putting the gauge faces pointing upwards)
Remove the black connector that is connected into the back of the cluster. Carefully pull it straight back and out.
Notice the white connector on the opposite end of the gauge cluster. Just like the black connector, remove the white connector the same way. Carefully pull straight back and out.
Once the two connectors are unplugged from the back of the cluster, carefully pull the cluster out. (It helps if you have the wheel tilted as low as it can go). From there, flip the cluster over and notice the 5 black TWIST style sockets. Untwisting the black sockets to the left will unlock them and allow you to pull them straight out.
Notice MY already installed LED.
To replace the bulbs with your new LED's, simply pull the stock bulb out and replace with the LED. Put all the sockets back into the holes and get ready to reinstall the cluster!
So CONGRATS, we are halfway done with the swap! See, its not so bad right!?
REINSTALLATION of the Cluster
Start by re-inserting the white connector the the back of the gauge cluster. Do not force it in, it will go in if you have it aligned right. It will require a bit of pressure but not 100% strength lol.
Then go to the opposite side of the cluster and reinsert the black connector. Rules are the same as the white connector.
Reinsert the Cluster with the gauge faces pointing upwards again and slide the bottom up and back to insert the cluster in its original position.
ATTENTION! I would now suggest that you reconnect the negative battery cable to ensure your newly installed LED's are all working! Once you verify they are all on and in working condition, go back and DISCONNECT your negative battery cable.
Screw in the 4 T-15 Torx headed bolts to hold the cluster in place (be careful not to drop the bolts behind the cluster, you may not get them back!)
ATTENTION! Don't forget about the HEADLIGHT KNOB! I've done this and reinstalled everything and its annoying to think your done and then notice your missing a headlight knob! Go ahead and pull out the headlight knobs shaft to the ON position and THEN install the gauge clusters bezel.
Reinstall your Headlight Knob with your 2 mm Allen/Hex wrench or simply push your stock knob back on (i remember having to adjust the retaining clip inside the knob when I had mine so you may have to play with it)
Reinstall the two T-15 Torx headed bolts into the clusters bezel and vwalah! or walah! or.... you get the point.
So, we have no completed the gauge cluster LED swap! If you are continuing on and doing the HVAC control LED swap, now is a great time to have a coke or a beer ;)
LED HVAC CONTROLS SWAP
Here we start with a stock HVAC control head unit. If you have a DVD player, make sure you fold the face down before unplugging the negative battery cable.
Here I undid my shifter knob so I can remove the shifters bezel and boot.
Once the shifter bezel and boot is taken off of the main console, unplug the cigarette lighter.
Continuing, unscrew the two T-15 Torx headed screws securing the bezel.
After taking out your stereo's head unit, take your extensions as well as your 8mm (i believe that's what I used) socket and socket wrench.
Unscrew the 8mm headed bolt that secure the bezel in place inside of the dash. (It is directly behind the stereo head unit. Follow the long black plastic piece)
YAY! Our bezel can now come off after a few pulls around the perimeter of the bezel! Like the gauge cluster bezel, be careful not to break it! The bezel will be stubborn but should come out with a bit of strength!
Here is the long black piece attached to the bezel and the hole that the 8mm screw goes in.
After the bezel is removed and carefully set down to avoid scratches, take your T-15 Torx screw driver and unscrew the four bolts holding the HVAC controls in place.
DISCLAIMER - I am not responsible for any problems (cluster failures, HVAC failures, shortages, electrical issues, personal harm to you or anyone else, etc...) from YOU attempting to do this LED swap. MY HOW TO article is to simply guide you through the process and help those that are unsure. I assume no responsibility if anything were to go wrong. However, I am responsible for all POSITIVE outcomes. =] This swap is very simple, just need basic knowledge and tools. You have been warned! If you wish to proceed, please continue, be safe and have fun!
By: Trey - "TxCobrA98"
There are 80 comments
December 01, 2013 - 06:45 PM
I have a 95 stang and was wondering are the bulbs he suggests the correct ones to use on my model?Anyone done this to the 95?Anyone have any pics?What color does it light up green or blue?
May 04, 2013 - 03:17 PM
Subject: Bulb size for 2002 dash cluster.
This writeup was very detailed but i ran into the same problem as others regarding the bulb size for the dash lights.
The bulbs mentioned in the original writeup work fine for the climate control.
Here are some after shots.
August 29, 2013 - 06:09 PM
Subject: Found a more simple way
I was bored and changed out the stock bulbs for LED bulbs in my 2003 GT and noticed with the HVAC controls I pulled the knobs off, removed the plastic lenses and sanded the green tint away to see if it made a difference, Hands down it made a huge improvement. It lights up much brighter. I plan to remove the HVAC face and sand off the green tint so it gives it a more crisp look then a dull blue or green color.
March 13, 2013 - 04:56 PM
Subject: LED's Don't fit
I read through all of this & thought Great!! No prob. To bad that bulb Suggested is to large to fit in the hole for the bulb. I have even had this happen before w/ LED's & didn't even think about it?? The width of the bulb & the hole size do not match.......So I had to notch out 1 side of each hole to get the bulbs in. The dash lights are Much easier than the AC controls. If the AC controls are out it would be Very easy.
October 09, 2012 - 09:09 PM
Subject: 1997 Gt ford mustang
Will this same procedure apply to my 1997 Mustang
January 02, 2013 - 09:55 AM
I just used this process on my 99 GT. Get the 74 leds for your 97, they should be same as mine.
Thanks for the write up OP.
September 05, 2012 - 06:49 PM
Everything worked fine on the climate control lights, but when I got to the gauge cluster I encountered a problem. The sockets aren't the right size. The new bulb is about exactly two times too big. Do you know what the new size is? I am doing this to a 2000 Mustang GT
August 27, 2012 - 10:49 PM
Subject: want red
I'm installing red LEDs to the gauge cluster and HVAC and wanted to know if i installed them does that mean they would appear purple in color? Is there any way I can remove the film so they look red?
February 24, 2013 - 02:00 AM
After putting ur red led's did it turn out 2 be red 4 da hvac ????Im askin cuz i want 2 do this 2 my 2002 mustang but not sure of how da results would bleeped out.
June 22, 2012 - 09:47 AM
Subject: What year model?
What year model mustang are you installing these on? Also, will the WLED-x5 fit in a 1999 mustang?
April 27, 2012 - 05:14 AM
Subject: your gauges
Where did you get your white back gauges? Is it just a face or is it the whole unit.
May 07, 2012 - 11:00 AM
those are the stock gauges from a 96-98 cobra
March 26, 2012 - 11:15 PM
Can't wait to do this on mine!! ordered my lights 2 days ago should be here soon!
March 22, 2012 - 02:03 PM
i have been searching ever where for this tutorial, great job man very helpful
March 02, 2012 - 05:46 PM
Subject: Blue Film
Where do you buy the blue film at? I can not find it anywhere.
December 29, 2011 - 03:15 PM
hey guys i have 2002 ford mustang v6 and wan to ask watch bulbs would fit in my gauge?????
March 02, 2012 - 05:50 PM
Here is what the writer recommends.
December 15, 2011 - 03:05 AM
Man I got these put in my 97 cobra and everything assembled but NONE lit up!! Anyone have any experience with this??
December 15, 2011 - 03:03 AM
Subject: DOESNT WORK
I'm sure these will work, but none are lighting up at all for me on my 97 Cobra. Any ideas?!?!???!
October 19, 2011 - 11:59 PM
where did u get the ford cover for the mach 460 cd player? looking to take it out but no clue where to buy a cover from ....
October 18, 2011 - 12:40 PM
Subject: RED LED?!
Alright that is freakin amazing and WAY simpilar than i thought it would be.
September 25, 2011 - 02:36 AM
Subject: 99 mustang cobra svt
Hey guys i have a 99 mustang cobra svt I'm trying to change the light bulbs to L.E.D.s right now my instrument cluster gauge look's green but its hard to see at night what L.E.D.s light bulbs would i need i want to make my instrument cluster gauge look Blue ..Thank you
August 23, 2011 - 10:29 PM
Subject: shift light?
is it possible to change the shifter lights since there also green like the hvac and cluster. i want to change out all the lights to get blue but i dont want to have the shifter lights P,R,N,D,2,1 to be green still. any one know how to do this?
August 29, 2011 - 04:00 AM
you have to take out the entire console to get to it. i replaced mine with a regular non LED ultrabright bulb from autozone but it didnt do much difference i plan on trying the LEDs. but yeah i had to remove the entire console to get to the indicator light. once removed just feel beneath the indicator and it should just twist out...
and does anyone happen to know if the shifter tells you what gear youre in like is there a color indicator in there cuz i just bought my 96 mustang gt and wasnt sure i just feel for the 3rd click. idk if the guy broke it or what cuz there is a cracked piece on it. id love to know so i can know if its fixable or not.... thanks!! and do i have to replace all the bulbs in there cuz all my interior lights seem kinda dim compared to others ive been in or what can i do to fix it? im uncertain on what to do.... when i got it i was told it got a new battery
August 20, 2011 - 04:41 PM
Subject: Actually, he's wrong...
Some stuff he's wrong about, and some stuff he doesn't show.
August 24, 2011 - 08:47 AM
Subject: Actually your wrong
The green tint is only on 01-04...the 99-00 cluster has no tint. I have done 30+ of these mods and its always been the case. As far as the rest of your post, great job on the "how-to". It will be very helpful to those with the tint.
December 07, 2011 - 10:54 PM
actually your wrong, the tint is blue, but when the ugly yellow bulbs come on and mix with the blue tint it turns green.
August 11, 2011 - 09:57 PM
Subject: Red color?
as the subject says, i want my guages red. how will i be able to do that?
December 11, 2011 - 08:37 PM
you need to take the cluster apart and take the black plates off the motor housing and scratch off the blueish green coating and then install red leds in the cluster. now be sure to mark where your arrows are pointing before you take them off so when you put it back together the gauges are true and equal
July 28, 2011 - 11:02 PM
Subject: Translucent tinted tape or plastic masking
If you find there are bulbs that cannot be replaced a translucent colored material may do the trick..
May 08, 2011 - 02:57 PM
Subject: led's on fox cluster
I was pretty excited to try this on my fox body. i figured since the sn95 has a blue film that gives off a green hue from the standard bulb, that it was probably the same for my fox because the stock gauges light up green. So i bought a bunch of these LED's for the job. I did the whole swap only to be disgusted to still have that ugly green light. Note for you fox body guys that wanna try this. Save your money because our gauge clusters have a green film so these LED's won't do s
February 20, 2011 - 03:01 PM
Well, it's that time of the year agin... changing the bulbs behind the cluster again. Had to order another batch of 7 as the HVAC is long dead and it's still too cold to go aout and spend the time on that one. Dash takes all of 10 minutes to do. Love the look but it's getting annoying. Still not ready to go back to regular bulbs though.
May 05, 2011 - 03:44 PM
Subject: Jesse: "Again"?
So Jesse... you've done this before and had your LED's die on you? How long do they last, just a year? The incandescent bulbs behind my gauges have lasted 20+ years, would hate to have LEDs fail so quickly.
May 05, 2011 - 04:07 PM
Subject: Yup, again
Yeah, I'm getting about a year out of each set. I even contacted the place I got them from and they were a little less than useful. They told me that I seem to be the only one they've heard of. I've seen other posts on different forums about the same problem though and I verified that it is not all the same seller. Seems to be a Mustang issue. Luck of the draw I guess. But like I said, the look behind the dash cannot be beat. I won't go bak to regular bulbs. Instrument console takes 10 minutes to do. Center console is a tad longer because of that bolt at the back but the mod is so worth it.
May 09, 2011 - 12:04 AM
And, as a quick update, one behind the gauges just started flickering again today. Don't know what's wrong but my car seems to eat these bulbs on a regular basis. And the time between swapping seem to be shortening.
February 06, 2011 - 03:29 PM
Subject: 2004 mustang
I have a 2004 mustang 3.9liter V6.. What size led will i need. I allready no i need to file out the green lens. And i want a dark blue color?
February 03, 2011 - 11:33 AM
If the 2001 cobra supposedly has a green film behind the cluster. Would it be safe to say if I use a yellow led I'll achieve dark blue? Also, if that's so would it match the HVAC color?
February 10, 2011 - 12:16 PM
yellow and green dont make blue. i am sorry. yelow and blue make green
January 31, 2011 - 10:57 PM
Subject: 2001 cobra
December 04, 2010 - 10:26 PM
What part numbers did you use for the led's in your gauges on the pillar?
November 12, 2010 - 06:17 PM
Quick Question ?... Where did you get that Cap under your radio ? The cover that says FORD under your radio !!!
November 18, 2010 - 10:11 AM
Subject: Re: Hey
That's custom built with a Ford Oval Emblem off eBay
November 10, 2010 - 06:18 AM
Subject: i have a 2003 gt got a ?
I have a 03 gt and I want the red led's for the gauges but I don't know how to fim out the green tint can anybody tell me how?
November 18, 2010 - 10:06 AM
Subject: Re: i have a 2003 gt got a ?
You may have to grind it away
October 08, 2010 - 01:17 PM
great how to..i envy people like you!!! thx
September 17, 2010 - 11:15 PM
Subject: Important:: Color of Bulbs and Color of Lenses
You might want to know that if a lense color is blue you should use a blue bulb. Same goes for brake lights. Use red bulbs for red lenses. A colored lense is attempting to filter out everything but that color. So if you really want BLUE, use blue bulbs even though the lense tint is blue. I know it sounds counterintuitive...
August 19, 2010 - 07:27 PM
Subject: red blubs
I have a 2002 v6 mustang, will the red 74-redHP3 work with the green backing flim on the guage? Or will it make some sort of off yellow or orange color? GREAT HOW TO BTW!!!!!!!!
May 10, 2010 - 01:38 PM
ok, confirmed. i have 03 gt and bought the super bright white LEDs size 74. they fit BUT the glow was still green. so those of us with 03's at least have to file the green film out then purchase blue leds.
hope this helped
May 03, 2010 - 06:02 PM
Subject: 2001 mustang v6
i have an 01 v6 and im wondering what bulb sizes i will need. im thinking its 5 of the x5hp3 and 2 of the 74... am i correct? also i want my dash to be blue... what color of film do i have?
April 20, 2010 - 07:35 PM
ok, so on the 99-04, i can purchase the white led and the glow will still be blue? or do we have to get the blue leds?
March 13, 2010 - 06:59 PM
Subject: 99-04 cars
I've got a 99 GT and purchased 7 of the 74-CWHP3 LEDs. Just as a heads up they worked just fine for the Gauges but they are TOO SMALL for the HVAC bulb holders. The LEDs that you use for the HVAC are the same as the ones used in the install guide above (WLED-x5), this was the case in my 99 so I assume this applies to all 99-04 cars. Hope this helps!
March 13, 2010 - 08:30 PM
Thanks for the information!
March 19, 2012 - 07:12 PM
Subject: LED hvac
so how many bulbs does the HVAC take? AND ON 99-04 THE hvac are the bigger size than the gauge cluster bulbs?
March 11, 2010 - 01:49 AM
Subject: 99 GT
I did this mod to my 99 GT and the 74 bulbs worked for the main lights, but I want to swap out the O/D light, the wheel spin light, the turn signal lights, and if possible the color of the odometer because they are still green. and the main 6 gauges are blue. For the TC button, fog lights, and rear defrost, i busted open the switches and removed the blue shield on the bulbs so that they are all orangish white and not green, but I just need the bulb size for the smaller indicator lights in the 99 and ups gauge. Does anyone know what I am talking about? The lights the light up the parking brake, theft, abs, O/D wheelspin, engine coolant, service engine, etc. What size bulbs are those? If someone can answer this, you are the man!
March 13, 2010 - 04:41 PM
Subject: Dimmer question
Donny, did the dimmer work on your 99 after the LED switch?
March 10, 2010 - 03:02 PM
I have a 1999 Mustang Cobra and I was wondering if the dashboard dimmer worked with the 74-BHP3 bulbs. Should I install white or blue bulbs????
March 06, 2010 - 07:03 PM
Subject: great how to
instructions were great everything went in ok. i have one problem. the left side of my gauge cluster doesnt light up and it is not the bulb since i tried switching the bulbs in and out as well as the whole socket set up. Any sugestions on what the problem is or how i can fix it? i think its the board its self. please email me if you can help me. firstname.lastname@example.org
March 10, 2010 - 12:55 AM
Did you try switching the direction you placed the LEDs into your cluster? If you don't allign the positive/negative terminal of the bulb with the corresponding positive/negative terminal of your cluster then it won't illuminate.
February 02, 2010 - 08:57 PM
I tell you this was a great write up. I have order my LED's and I hope to see them turn out as great as yours. I have a 98 Cobra and man it just sucks trying to see the gauge at night. I can not wait. I will post some pix if I can. thank you so much for your time and effort. Also, is the HVAC worth the work. It straight look like some time maybe a couple of beers and I will be good.
January 11, 2010 - 09:54 AM
Subject: Film color
Nice write up, but I read somewhere that the 00-04 Mustang gauge film is green not blue and that you would have to dremel the green film off and replace it with blue film in order to get blue lights. Is this true? I would like to do this, but don't want to go into that much work.
September 23, 2010 - 12:54 AM
Yeah bro it's true u have to file off the green flim on those
September 02, 2009 - 01:12 AM
Subject: 99-04 MUSTANG BULB SIZE
Hey guys wassup. I saw that some guys were commenting on what size bulb they need for a 99 Cobra, 00 GT, and 04 GT. Well Im here to tell you. I have a 2003 Mustang GT and I saw that you guys said the bulb that the man above was posting for his 98 cobra wasnt working in the 99-04 mustangs. The reason why is because our (99-04) clusters are electrically controlled theirs (94-98) are mechanically controlled.
Anyways the bulb size for a 99-04 mustang is a 74-GHP3 you can get it from the above website that he posted. Your bulb size may not have a "G" in it mine has it because I ordered bulbs that were green so for example if you order blue bulbs for your car it'll say 74-BHP3.
HOPE THIS HELPS!!
September 08, 2010 - 07:51 PM
Subject: red lighting
i hav a 02 v6 and i wnt to make the backlight red on the gauges and ac unit how do i get the light red and where cn i buy the bulb?
August 14, 2009 - 08:03 PM
Super write up. Ordered the bulbs of e-bay and going to tackle this as soon as they arrive.
October 10, 2009 - 08:45 PM
hey i thought you could change the Mach 460 lights, but you cant, so i just went ahead and bought a Kenwood CD player with the blue lights so it would match, i took the 460 radio and CD player apart and there is no way to change the lights they are actually on the main circuit board..hope this helps
July 15, 2009 - 08:51 PM
Great write up but i am having a bit of a problem, i purchased the same bulbs you have and ran into a problem, the bulbs in mine are smaller, i have a 2000 GT would the Cobra's be different? do you think the 74-xHP Wedge Base LED Bulbs will work instead of the ones you have? thanks
August 27, 2009 - 07:46 PM
They work on my 2002 GT. I ordered the 74-xHP in blue, and it came out almost an aqua color, but definitely an improvement if you're looking for blue. I don't know if using white would've made a difference, but when the result after blue lights is aqua, it's safe to assume the gauges in our mustangs have a somewhat greenish tint. Mine don't light as bright as Mike's but definitely do the job.
August 27, 2009 - 07:48 PM
Also forgot to mention, the Wedges he recommends work on the A/C knobs, and my dimmer worked until i changed my gauges, but after that swap, the dimmer stopped working
June 07, 2009 - 11:11 PM
Subject: 99 Cobra Bulbs?
First off great write up. I purchased the WLED-B5 (194) wedge base bulbs. When I removed my instrument cluster gauge I realized the bulbs seemed bigger and would not wedge into the socket base. Do you know what bulbs I need? Thank you in advance.
May 08, 2009 - 09:09 PM
Subject: Color LED
What color LED is that??? Looks great!!!!!!!!
April 29, 2009 - 02:10 AM
Subject: custom CD delete plate???
I noticed you have exactly what I am looking for to cover up the lower din slot. If I may be so bold as to ask, where did u purchase this from? Or if you custom fabricated it. I basically am looking to find a site where I can purchase that type of plate, because a pocket replacement doesn't really float my boat. Thanks!!!
P.S. The LED lighting is an awesome customization!!!
April 20, 2009 - 10:29 AM
Subject: Bulb sizes?
Hey, this is a great write up, I've been trying to do this myself for a while, I ordered some 194/168 bulbs, but when I took the gauge cluster off I found the bulbs on my 2004 GT are smaller ones then the 194/168. Do you know by any chance what other size bulbs Ford might have put in? Thanks.
April 15, 2009 - 11:35 PM
Subject: what white?
Did you use Cool white Natural white or wram white?
April 10, 2009 - 05:33 PM
Thank you for a well explained walk-through. The pics were an excellent aide as well. I stumbled across this site while searching for a clear plastic bezel for my 94 GT and thought that this would be neat to try. I wish I had done it sooner. The outcome is amazing.
March 02, 2010 - 12:27 PM
Just a quick update. Almost one year later and I'm changing the bulbs. Don't know if they were a bad batch but they've been flickering for a while and now half the cluster is dead. Bought them from the mentioned supplier and I'm buyig from them again. Just order spares if you do buy from them. They've messed up both times and not shipped the correct amount. First order was missing two, second time one.
April 09, 2009 - 02:39 AM
Subject: Looks Great!
Does the factory dimmer still dim these?
April 12, 2009 - 11:47 AM
Subject: Re: Factory dimmer
Yes the factory dimmer will still work
April 09, 2009 - 01:15 AM
Subject: BOTTOM STEREO INSERT
VERY INTERESTED IN YOUR BOTTOM STEREO INSERT. Please tell me where you got it or how you made it I don't want a compartment there email is dcbmxer02athotmail.com looking for inserts for that all over please email me!!!
April 08, 2009 - 06:41 PM
AWESOME ARTICLE DUDE THANK YOU I SHALL BE DOING THIS IN THE NEAR FUTURE! my real goal was to get red glow but the blue film impregnated into the cluster makes it hard without going aftermarket but thank you it looks amazing!
January 09, 2009 - 12:48 AM
Subject: One question....
I want to start off by saying THANK YOU for your detailed explanation in swapping out the LED lights. My cluster is looking better than ever before. The only thing left is to color my needles Red. However, I am also in the process of installing my aftermarket radio and I have customized it to go where the AC controls used to be which is right under the vents. I then moved my controls to the bottom. However, I now have an opening and I noticed you had a cover for that (Where you had the FORD logo). If you don't mind me asking, where were you able to get the cover because I have been having a hard time finding one. Everyone has the tray but that just doesn't do it for me. Please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank You.
A big Fan.
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