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Old 01-22-2011, 11:01 PM   #1
1badgmc
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88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

This topic is now an FAQ-"88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod"


Just thought I'd share the results of one of today's projects...


Last edited by 1badgmc; 02-27-2011 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:44 AM   #2
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88-94 LED Cluster mod

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Originally Posted by Mr79C10 View Post
Looks great, Fill us in on how ya did it.
I didn't take any pictures of the actual removal of the cluster from the truck, but I'll go ahead and give the steps for those who might be interested.

- There are 4 T15 Torx screws holding the dash bezel on. Remove those and you can pull the bezel out. If you have an automatic, you'll probably want to put the shifter in Low 1 to get it out of the way. My truck is a 5-speed, so I don't have to bother with it.

- Once you get the bezel loose, unplug the headlight and dimmer switches.

- Remove the bezel and set it aside.

- Remove the 4 7mm screws holding the HVAC controller.

- Remove the 3 7mm screws holding the radio (or the pocket in my case).

- You don't have to remove these items, but they need to be loose so you can access some of the screws holding the cluster.

- The cluster has 4 7mm screws holding it on. Remove them.

- You can now remove the clear plastic shield and set it aside.

- The cluster is ready to come out. Just pull on it and it will slide out.

- So now you are here...


- There are 10 T15 Torx screws holding the individual gauges to the panel; 4 for the speedometer and 3 on each side for the smaller gauges. Remove them...


- The gauges are plugged into the board, but they are now ready to just pull out. The speedometer comes out first...


- Then the 2 top gauges can come out...


- And now the bottom 2 can come out. Once they're out, you can see the 5 bulbs that provide the main cluster lighting...


- Pull those bulbs out and plug in your LEDs. I used the WLED-HP5s from Super Bright LEDs...


- After installing your LEDs and before you put the cluster back together, go back to the truck and install the cluster and then plug in the headlight switch. Turn them on to make sure all of your LEDs are lit up. The LEDs are polarity sensitive, so if one doesn't light up, unplug it and turn it around and then it should work.

NOTE: For blue or green LEDs, you are now ready to start putting everything back together. If you want red, white or amber and want the colors to show purely, you'll need to trim the green from the back of the gauges. This is what it looks like...

I would suggest a Dremel or other similar hobby tool to carefully trim it off. Don't go too crazy, though, as the edges are needed to hold the gauges together and to mount them to the board.

- Now reverse the process to put everything back together and enjoy your new nighttime look...



Last edited by 1badgmc; 02-27-2011 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:44 PM   #3
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The LEDs were $5.95 each. There are 5 of them. There are less expensive alternatives, but I wanted the high power SMD LEDs for mine, so I spent the money for them.
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Originally Posted by jb1016 View Post
Looks great, and the pics make it look easy.
It really is pretty simple. Due to having to actually dig into the cluster and pull the gauges out, it's not quite as simple as the same job on a '96-'98 cluster, but it is a very basic job.

I kept waiting around for someone on some forums to give proper info on how to do the job on the moonie gauges, but it never happened. Plenty of people were doing the work on '91-'94 needle clusters and trying to apply that same information to the moonies, but that's just not the case. I had a little extra money for some LEDs and the truck isn't leaving the garage anytime soon, so I figured I'd tear into it and figure it out for myself.

Last edited by N2TRUX; 02-27-2011 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:22 PM   #4
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Re: 88-91 LED Cluster mod

This topic is now an FAQ-"88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod"
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:28 PM   #5
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

Hey chaps, I am new to this forum and I must say I love it. It has been very helpful so far.

Thanks 1badgmc for this mod it is fantastic and easy to do with the instructions given.

I have just received my LEDs and installed them.....I also replaced the one high beam lamp as well as the 5 dash lamps, all with blue. I am getting the dimmer to work too, not very defined but it is working.

Q: How do I know if the oil pressure gauge is working??? I think it is not, after putting the dash back in. Has any one else come across this??

If you would like to see my pictures please click -
http://lukegoleman.blogspot.com

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Old 03-03-2011, 08:10 PM   #6
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airdinamic View Post
Hey chaps, I am new to this forum and I must say I love it. It has been very helpful so far.

Thanks 1badgmc for this mod it is fantastic and easy to do with the instructions given.

I have just received my LEDs and installed them.....I also replaced the one high beam lamp as well as the 5 dash lamps, all with blue. I am getting the dimmer to work too, not very defined but it is working.

Q: How do I know if the oil pressure gauge is working??? I think it is not, after putting the dash back in. Has any one else come across this??

If you would like to see my pictures please click -
http://lukegoleman.blogspot.com

Thanks
Air
yes sir. i believe this happens when the cluster isn't pushed all the way back where it should be. my temp gauge my voltmeter read nothing and my oil pressure reads like a quarter. (i forgot what the numbers are haha)
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:11 PM   #7
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

why are air's leds and 1 bads looking so different. air's have really bad hot spots. sup with that?
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:31 PM   #8
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

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yes sir. i believe this happens when the cluster isn't pushed all the way back where it should be. my temp gauge my voltmeter read nothing and my oil pressure reads like a quarter. (i forgot what the numbers are haha)
Ah well I know what Im doing over the week end.....pulling the dash back out

Thanks
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:39 PM   #9
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

i mean it looks good. but i want to do this same thing. with color blindness i cant see the speedo very well so it would be a plus. it might just be the picture quality. it looks different on the top part of the speedo kinda blurry almost.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:47 PM   #10
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

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i mean it looks good. but i want to do this same thing. with color blindness i cant see the speedo very well so it would be a plus. it might just be the picture quality. it looks different on the top part of the speedo kinda blurry almost.
Well, picture could be bad and also the amber lights could be trowing things off. My gauges are also the earlier ones from 1bad's (I think! Please correct me if i'm wrong)my truck is 88 but the sticker in the back of the cluster was signed off as " OK" in mid 87' ....so this could be causing theifference?!?!?!

May be 1bad can share his thoughts??

Air
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:28 PM   #11
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

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Originally Posted by Airdinamic View Post
Well, picture could be bad and also the amber lights could be trowing things off. My gauges are also the earlier ones from 1bad's (I think! Please correct me if i'm wrong)my truck is 88 but the sticker in the back of the cluster was signed off as " OK" in mid 87' ....so this could be causing theifference?!?!?!

May be 1bad can share his thoughts??

Air
You're right. Your gauges are slightly different with the hash marks or pixels or whatever you want to call them in the moons.

Cameras can play tricks on you depending on the exposure settings of the shot. I can set a camera to take pics of a cluster with hot spots all over the place and make you think that it doesn't have any, but I try to make my shots as honest as possible. When you look at my cluster with the naked eye, there are no hot spots at all. It looks just as good as in my pics. It's really puzzling since you and I both used the same blue HP5s from the same place.

Are your bulbs arranged the same way inside the cluster as mine are? In all the same locations as mine?

Last edited by 1badgmc; 03-03-2011 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:08 PM   #12
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

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Are your bulbs arranged the same way inside the cluster as mine are? In all the same locations as mine?
Yes, same LEDs and the cluster looks identical inside, same arrangement and same 80's color plastic too

Ah well it really makes no difference to me, the color is great and I can now see them well in the dark. I love it, the money was well spent

Thanks for the write up man!
Air

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Old 03-03-2011, 11:43 PM   #13
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

been going back and forth on this for a while, 1bad introduced me to the idea actually. its worth a try i guess. hopefully it turns out ok. but anything is an improvement
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:42 AM   #14
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

so glad you did this, ive been waiting for someone to do it first lol thanks!
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:52 AM   #15
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

I got tired of waiting for someone else to do it first. My truck is sitting in the garage not going anywhere, so I figured I might as well tear into it and see what's up.
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:36 AM   #16
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

to anyone that wwants to try digital gauges. if you live in a colder climate i would say below 0 in winter. and your truck is parked outside. dont buy digital it will freeze and crack rendering it useless. atleast thats my expierence.
edit: 1bad PM me if you have ever had isssues with you heater control. as far as changing from floor to defrost to regular vents.
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:13 AM   #17
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

Thanks for the info!
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:00 PM   #18
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

it says for the pickups.....but will this also work for an 88 chevy s10 blazer?
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:19 PM   #19
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

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it says for the pickups.....but will this also work for an 88 chevy s10 blazer?
I'm sure you can get similar results by replacing the cluster lighting with LEDs in an S10 Blazer, but I've never touched one so I can tell you nothing about the process of actually swapping them out.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:29 PM   #20
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

I did this mod last fall and put blue LEDs in my 89 chevy 1500. I wasn't sure if I would need to trim the green plastic or not, so I bought an extra instrument cluster off of Ebay and trimmed the green on them. Worked great. I don't think I needed to trim them for the blue lights though, so I'm probably going to put my original uncut gauges back in sometime in the next month or so. If anyone is looking for a full set of working gauges that already has the green plastic trimmed, let me know, and I'll keep you in mind. When I trimmed them, I was concerned that I might slip with the dremel tool, so I melted out the unnecessary plastic with a wood burner, nice and slow. It worked quite well.

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Old 06-30-2011, 03:34 PM   #21
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

ok so i just took my dash and it was nothing like that.....i have an 88 s10 blazer and the dash is COMPLETELY different. . But at the same time i took everything out just to see how it works and to make sure im gonna buy the right bulbs.......i put it back together fine...it actually wasnt too hard although for a while none of the gauges worked lol
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:39 PM   #22
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

There's a separate forum for you Dimer's. Your truck isn't going to be the same as ours.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:32 PM   #23
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

but the general concept is. if your gauges stopped working after adding a direct replacement bulb...ya done somethin wrong.
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:34 AM   #24
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

What about changing the colors on the hvac display? Is that possible?
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:10 AM   #25
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Re: 88-91 LED Moonie Cluster mod

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What about changing the colors on the hvac display? Is that possible?
It is, but I haven't bothered with it. I forget what bulbs are required for the button illumination. To change the color of the display, you can buy a sheet of colored plastic and cut it to match.
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