Did my gauges in LED - Chevy Cobalt SS Forum : Chevrolet Cobalt SS Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Did my gauges in LED

Man on the 05 Dodges there is some work that has to be done if you want simple clean LED dash lighting. Before the 05s all you had to do was simply pull the bulb out of the socket and replace it with a LED. But with the 05s and newer they made the damn bulb and socket all one piece. So the choices were A) spend more money and time trying to find older sockets (dealership doesn't carry them anymore) or B) use some simple basic soldering skills and do a FREEBIE mod to the existing SOB sockets. Here's what I did...

First thing you need to do is get those pesky bulbs out of their sockets. To do this correctly you need to relase the connector tabs from the socket base. To do this you'll need a pick tool or similar tool. Simply pry to wedge the tools head down in between the inside of the tab and the slot. This will cause the connector tab to loosen itself from its original wedged grip slot.




After you have successfully loosened the tabs, gently pull the bulb out. As it comes out it should come out witrh the tabs intact and look like so...




Now all you need from that bulb is of course the connector tabs. These tabs are what give power to the LED from the cluster panels circuit board via metal contact. One side is postitive the other is negative. That doesn't matter but I'm just noting it. Anyways, remove the tabs by twisting them off the wire. They will break right apart so don't worry, just twist . You'll have these and thats all you want. Discard the bulb now if you wish.




Next grab you some strands of good qualtiy wire. You'll need two strands for both positive and negative contacts from the LED. Braid or twist the wire so that its not a bunch of single strands and will make for a better connection all twisted together like so....




Ok, now onto the LED. You'll notice it has two leads coming from the bottom of it. Do one lead at the time to keep it easy work space. Simply twist your braided or twisted wires onto one of the leads of the LED.




Now comes the fun part. Solder! Well, I like to solder so its fun for me anyways . Simply begin to solder the twisted wire onto the LED lead so you'll have a nice solid connection like so....





Repeat the same steps to the other lead now....




Ok now you have both leads soldered securely. Now its time to solder them to the tabs. First you'll need to slide the tabs back down into the socket. They slide right down in their own slot like so....




Now grab your LED and make the wires you just soldered on, make them go up each side of the LED like so...





Now slide your LED into the socekt. You might notice it will be kinda snug from the solder being on there. Thats a good thing because you want it snug since these LEDs don't fit snug unless you solder them in . Make both stands come out along side the tabs on each side. Warp them under or over the connector tabs. Your preference. It should look like this now...



Zoomed in view of one side....
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ok, now all you have to do is solder the strands of wire onto and around the connector tabs like so...


Zoomed in view...




And thats it folks. Trim off any ecess wire and your all good to go. Took me maybe 10 minutes to solder these. Nothing to this so don't be worried if your one of the 05 folks and want some LEDs in your dash but don't want to hassle with going all over town trying to find older socekts.






Oh and just a cool front pic of what the new super star blue LEDs look like. Pretty cool huh?
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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Wow looks really good man.



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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 07:35 PM
 
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I did that with my old cougar, a VERY time consuming process.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercury
I did that with my old cougar, a VERY time consuming process.
Luckily it wasn't for me. Took me about 5 minutes per each LED to solder up onto the socket.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87camaroPA
Wow looks really good man.

danka!
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 11:20 PM
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That looks crazy good, man. If I only had the patience and skills....


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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2006, 12:23 AM
 
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Jesus that is a lot of work but looks tits bro
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2006, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninja44
Jesus that is a lot of work but looks tits bro

Actually its not all that much work. I just took bunches of pics to make the process go easy and understandable for the next guy....
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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Has anyone tried this on the cobalt yet? If it's not too dificult I would try it cause it looks awesome.
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