1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Dial colour change.. HOW TO!

Discussion in 'Audi S4/A4/A4 Cab (B7 Chassis)' started by unikarl, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. unikarl
    Offline

    unikarl Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Apr 4, 2011]
    I've changed the colour of my dials again so I thought I'd do a write up for those of you who are brave/stupid enough to have a go!

    I've decided to do my digits in red and change my needles to white to make it look oem+. You can pretty much go for any colour you like as long as you can find the LED's. I use Farnel to get mine.

    First thing you need to do before anything else is take a picture of how your dials are now.

    Step one...Remove the dials...

    Pull off the blanking plate that sits between the buttons on the front of your clocks. This will reveal two T20 torx screws. Undo these then pull or push the dials out. Its sometimes easier to remove the fuse box cover and push them out from the back.

    Step two... Stripping the dials down!

    Lay the dials on a soft surface on their front. This will reveal 4 T10 screws. Undo these and the back cover will come off...

    [​IMG]

    Next you need to remove the front. Just unclip the tabs around the screen...

    [​IMG]

    You will now see 4 sets of blue wires. All these need unplugging then the dials will drop out..

    [​IMG]

    The two smaller dials will be left in place. These simply pop out using a screwdriver...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now the needles need to be removed. I've found the best way to do this is to use two teaspoons opposite each other. Place these under the base of the needle and push down gently...

    [​IMG]

    After a bit of gentle persualsion the needles will come away so that you can now remove the dial covers. This will reveal a white plastic section that also needs removing. Undo the two metal clips over the LCD displays at the bottom of the clocks (leave the centre display alone) then prize out the connecting tabs and it will come away from the circuit board. You should now have something looking like this..

    [​IMG]

    There are 5 LED's for each of the larger dials and just one for each of the smaller that need replacing. Each LED is a PLCC2 and is a nice easy unit to work with.

    You can see the LED's that have been changed illuminated here..

    [​IMG]

    Step 3... Soldering!

    Each LED has a small notch out of the corner. Its best to mark up where the notch is using a marker pen so you don't get your new ones the wrong way round. De solder the old LED and then re solder in your new LED ONE AT A TIME. This way you have much less chance of getting any the wrong way round. Use tweezers to hold the LED in position as they are far too small to be accurate using your fingers.

    [​IMG]

    To chech you have done the job properly, its best to plug your dials back into the car and test before fitting everything back together. I have also changed my needles to white. I can do a seperate write up on that if anybody is interested.

    [​IMG]

    Step 4... put it back together.

    Once you have soldered in all your new LED's and tested you need to put it all back together. Remember the picture you took at the start. This is where that comes in handy. Look at where your needles used to rest and resit them in the same position. Re clip and screw everything back together. Put the dials back in the car and wait for the dark to arrive!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Ads

    Ads

    [Sep 19, 2014]

  3. sidibear
    Offline

    sidibear Looking for Zombies !! Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    442
    [Apr 5, 2011]
    Good write up, well done and thank you. I might attempt this myself now you made it look so easy.

    Mind you, my solidering looks like bird **** so I may need to practise first !
    #2
  4. Triple.O.G
    Offline

    Triple.O.G Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    1,115
    Likes Received:
    3
    [Apr 6, 2011]
    What made you change back from blue mate? red suits yours better cos everything else is red.
    #3
  5. Macdoon
    Online

    Macdoon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,623
    Likes Received:
    302
    [Apr 6, 2011]
    Good job mate, love the white needles

    Mac
    #4
  6. benjie
    Offline

    benjie Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    101
    [May 11, 2011]
    I did this mod on my B6 last weekend and I can honestly say it looks amazing! I went for blue scales & red dials... like VW - loved the cluster on my MkIV Golf!
    Only difference to the write up was the connector on my DIS, I think because I have a colour screen. Also, worth noting that the bits of metal holding on the date/time LCD's need to go back on nice and firmly, otherwise the LCD displays a bit dodgily!

    Thanks for the excellent write up Karl!
    #5
  7. unikarl
    Offline

    unikarl Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    2
    [May 15, 2011]
    Glad the write up camein useful mate.

    Get some pics up when you can won't you.
    #6
  8. benjie
    Offline

    benjie Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    101
    [May 16, 2011]
    Here we go... Really like it!

    [​IMG]
    #7
  9. marktdisport
    Offline

    marktdisport Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,195
    Likes Received:
    15
    [Sep 29, 2012]
    Ever since buying my car my led for the temp needle doesn't work !! You've made it look a doddle shame my skills of soldering are non existent.... You fancy doing mine m8...
    #8
  10. Rodwell
    Offline

    Rodwell New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Sep 30, 2012]
    What type of LEDs do you use?
    and where can i get some from? im guessing 12 for the backlights and 4 or 8 for the needles?
    cheers
    Chris
    #9
  11. jjmurphy21187
    Offline

    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    42
    [Oct 1, 2012]
    Nice write up!

    +1 for the type of LEDs you used as that's a crutial bit of info!
    #10
  12. V6 Quatt
    Offline

    V6 Quatt Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    124
    [Oct 1, 2012]
    yeh let us know what LED's as I have some Ideas possibly go brighter white like the later Audi's

    Hows your V6 jj?? have you done your exhaust yet??
    #11
  13. jjmurphy21187
    Offline

    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    42
    [Oct 1, 2012]
    If I can find any... maybe UV LEDs for the outter dials and then white needles...

    The V6 is sublime :) Not had the exhaust yet, booked in around 20th Oct. 3-4 days worth of fabrication and because it's a DD I need to wait for a week when I dont need the car. Can't decide between 4" and 4.5" slash cut tips at the moment... 4.5" fills the cut-outs nicely but with hardly any gap, 4" is fairly common and I wanted something a bit different. Second guessing the decision to go for the jap-style slash cut (all be it curved to the valance) now and contemplating a 4" inward rolled tip... need to decide soon so the parts/tips cab be ordered!
    #12
  14. benjie
    Offline

    benjie Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    101
    [Oct 1, 2012]
    It was a while ago, but I got them from eBay and the title was "20 x PLCC-2 3528 Blue LED's"

    I've found these and they look the same, though mine were from a UK seller. I believe the 'PLCC-2' is the type you need and the '3528' is the code for colour.
    #13
  15. jjmurphy21187
    Offline

    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    42
    [Oct 2, 2012]
    Did you need to do anything other than change the LEDs to give white dials, as the dials themselves are red when not illuninated...

    With the blue LEDs, did you just replace the first 4 on the rev-counter and leave the 5th red? As the red-line is red already I'm thinking it would display a dodgy purple if you put a blue LED behind it...

    Noticed the LEDs behind the clock/mileage displays... why would an LCD display have LEDs behind it? Can you change the colour of those read outs too?
    #14
  16. jjmurphy21187
    Offline

    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    42
    [Oct 2, 2012]
    Ive just taken my dial cover off to suss out the screws etc... and it looks different? Not sure if it's because it's a cab, newer or older model?? But I can't see any screws and as such am not sure how to remove it? My copy of Elsawin has invalidated itself otherwise I would consult that :mad: but does anyone know how to get my dials off??

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #15
  17. benjie
    Offline

    benjie Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    101
    [Oct 2, 2012]
    Lot's of questions! "I can't remember" is the answer I'm afraid. I followed what Karl did. I de-soldered the white ones and put in the blue ones. I'm not sure about the red section of the rev counter... but I would imagine you are right - I left them alone. I didn't even look into changing the colours of those LCD screens, but that's an interesting idea?!
    #16
  18. benjie
    Offline

    benjie Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    101
    [Oct 2, 2012]
    As for your cluster, look at the pic below. Shine a torch where I have circled it and you'll see a T20 on either side. Undo them, then you need to take the dash end piece off (bit the covers the fuse box) and push the cluster out from behind... there are 2 big wiring harnesses - one on each side of the cluster with a purple handle that lifts up to loosen the connector. The it's ready to be taken out the car... steering wheel down and forward as far as possible. Tilt the bottom of the cluster up to the dials are facing towards the roof and take it out bottom first!

    [​IMG]
    #17
  19. jjmurphy21187
    Offline

    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    42
    [Oct 2, 2012]
    That'll teach me to try it in the dark... :whistle2:
    #18
  20. benjie
    Offline

    benjie Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    101
    [Oct 2, 2012]
    Yeah, but it's not exactly obvious either!
    #19
  21. jjmurphy21187
    Offline

    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    42
    [Oct 7, 2012]
    Went for blue needles in the end!

    [​IMG]
    #20
  22. V6 Quatt
    Offline

    V6 Quatt Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    124
    [Oct 7, 2012]
    Nice, how did you change the needle dials. Want mine white...
    #21
  23. jjmurphy21187
    Offline

    jjmurphy21187 Tiptronic

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    42
    [Oct 7, 2012]
    The back of the needles have a thin layer of red paint, i used a stanley knife to carefully scrape it off. Because it slightly scores the surface they light up but have a translucent effect. If you wanted more of a solid colour you could use nail varnish or similar to paint the back of the needles white (to reflect whatever colour LED you use), or I thought a glitter finish might look a bit different?

    There's 3 LEDs for each needle (rpm & mph) and two for the temp and fuel gauge.

    Stupidly I forgot to take a picture of where my temp/fuel gauges were to start with so they're readings are a bit off now lol. Will have to wait for a day when its up to temp and a full tank and adjust them
    #22

Share This Page