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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > e9x "M3" White Gauge Cluster



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e90TiAg335i's Avatar e9x "M3" White Gauge Cluster
e90TiAg335i
03-18-2011
As always, perform at YOUR own rick. You can easily damage your cluster and have to replace it. About a $1k mistake.

Tools needed:

T-10 torx
T-9 torx
Small flat head screwdriver
tweezers or small pliers
soldering iron
card - to...
  #44  
By gdkalyanapu on 10-13-2011, 02:17 PM
Cool Loooking white lights cluster
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  #45  
By gdkalyanapu on 10-13-2011, 02:18 PM
Good work. I wish if there is a way around hvac and cd player too.
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  #46  
By zshortyz on 11-30-2011, 11:07 PM
how did you get it to show your speed digitally?
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  #47  
By dy62180 on 12-01-2011, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zshortyz View Post
how did you get it to show your speed digitally?
You have to get it coded.
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  #48  
By dy62180 on 12-01-2011, 01:23 AM
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First off, thanks op for the DIY! Was easy to do following your steps.

The only issue I have is the LEDs do not look as bright as I imagined it. I bought the same LEDs as op as well as the ones yakev recommended on the first page n they both seemed to have the same light output. After some research it seems avago brands are known to be bright so I just placed an order. Hope these are brighter. I'll post comparison pics as soon as they come in.
Don't get me wrong even though I'm disappointed with the light output I still prefer it over the stock ambers. Hopefully the avago brand are brighter.


Edit. I was wrong in saying yakev's led's emitted the same light output as op. I re-tested them side by side and yakev's brand was brighter. My bad, lol!!
So here's a comparison with ops brand on left and yakev on right. Again its all personal preference, some like it brighter and some don't.
Attached Images
 
Last edited by dy62180; 12-04-2011 at 11:52 PM.
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  #49  
By e90TiAg335i on 12-01-2011, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveyoo62180 View Post
First off, thanks op for the DIY! Was easy to do following your steps.

The only issue I have is the LEDs do not look as bright as I imagined it. I bought the same LEDs as op as well as the ones yakev recommended on the first page n they both seemed to have the same light output. After some research it seems avago brands are known to be bright so I just placed an order. Hope these are brighter. I'll post comparison pics as soon as they come in.
Don't get me wrong even though I'm disappointed with the light output I still prefer it over the stock ambers. Hopefully the avago brand are brighter.
Thanks for th ecompliment. I tried to make it as easy to follow as possible. I actually don't run mine anywhere near full brightness. But then my windows are pretty dark along with the windshield and black interior. Please do post a comparison and I hope they are as bright as you want!
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  #50  
By e90TiAg335i on 12-01-2011, 01:55 AM
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I've also found that using Night Shades red does a pretty good job on the needles. I have to do a little more work on them yet, but I'll post some pics when there done.
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  #51  
By dy62180 on 12-01-2011, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90TiAg335i View Post
Thanks for th ecompliment. I tried to make it as easy to follow as possible. I actually don't run mine anywhere near full brightness. But then my windows are pretty dark along with the windshield and black interior. Please do post a comparison and I hope they are as bright as you want!
Yeah, It's really just personal preference. For me I like the light to be as bright as possible.
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  #52  
By babux10 on 01-13-2012, 08:32 PM
Hello congratulations for the excellent editing!! I wanted to know how do I get the blue LCD panel.
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  #53  
By e90TiAg335i on 01-13-2012, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babux10 View Post
Hello congratulations for the excellent editing!! I wanted to know how do I get the blue LCD panel.
Just use white LEDs behind it. It has a natural blue tint to it.
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  #54  
By theblotted on 01-14-2012, 03:20 AM
Daveyoo62180,

just curious, is yakev's brand as bright as stock? or darker?
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  #55  
By e90TiAg335i on 01-15-2012, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblotted View Post
Daveyoo62180,

just curious, is yakev's brand as bright as stock? or darker?
I'd say brighter.
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  #56  
By vomheimlin on 02-02-2012, 09:52 PM
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Looks great!
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  #57  
By yakev724 on 02-07-2012, 11:54 PM
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Some photos of brightness (LEDs from my link on 1st page). Plenty bright when turned up imo



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  #58  
By makkan00 on 03-16-2012, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakev724 View Post
Some photos of brightness (LEDs from my link on 1st page). Plenty bright when turned up imo



Yakev, do you mind me asking, why did you keep your central lcd orange and rest of the panel was converted to white LED?

Cheers.
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  #59  
By yakev724 on 03-20-2012, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makkan00 View Post
Yakev, do you mind me asking, why did you keep your central lcd orange and rest of the panel was converted to white LED?

Cheers.
Not a fan of the blue LCD look. Looks out of place imo
Last edited by yakev724; 03-20-2012 at 08:00 PM.
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  #60  
By davidmh47 on 03-28-2012, 07:52 PM
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You may have some luck with model paint. Testors model paint makes a transparent blue spray paint. Here's the name of it. Transparent Blue 3 oz Spray Item:1257. They make it in multiple colors and can be found at most hobby shops like Hobby Lobby or Hobby Town USA.
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  #61  
By bennny90 on 04-01-2012, 03:09 PM
mate you are brave!!
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  #62  
By yakev724 on 05-06-2012, 12:40 AM
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NEEDLE UPDATE

Bimmian's got M3-rep needles FS at $30 shipped a set!

http://www.bimmian.com/M-Style-Red-N...W-E90-3-Series

The main issue I see with these is the ugly gloss black covers, though iirc, we can just pop off the matte covers from our stock needles and hopefully be able to reuse them. I'll take some photos and post a mini-review once I get my set in.
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  #63  
By cypis007 on 05-07-2012, 06:18 AM
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Can't wait my friend!
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  #64  
By yakev724 on 05-11-2012, 10:44 PM
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So, the Bimmian M3 needles (available here http://www.bimmian.com/M-Style-Red-N...-E90-3-Series):

After getting them in (in a very timely fashion), they looked pretty good. Solid construction, identical size. I'd give the paint finish and needle form a 9/10 (disregarding the ugly gloss black covers).

I knew I wasn't going to run these with the gloss covers so I used the matte ones from my stock needles. Replacing these takes some work. There are 2 pins which stick out of the covers and run through the clear needles and are lightly melted over the needles to keep them in place. Score the melted part with a small blade, then use the same blade to carefully pry the cover from the needle. Do this for both sets of needles. All pins remained intact with the OEM covers, but some pins broke off the bimmian covers and remained inside the needle channels. I used an appropriately sized drill bit to clear the channels, and replaced the bimmian needles onto the pins of the OEM covers. Finally, I used a soldering iron on low heat to lightly melt the top of the pins over the bimmian needles, exactly as they were fixed originally.

With that taken care of, I was happy with how they looked.

Next I installed them to an OEM M3 cluster board (factory white LEDs) and was disappointed. They lit very dimly compared to OEM M3 needles (see my post earlier in the thread). I think this is due to 3 factors. 1) the light absorbing surface area of the bimmian needles is about 1.5x smaller than OEM (you can see it as the difference between the beginning of the needle and mounting pin in the 4th photo) 2) the plastic used in the bimmian needles isn't as refractive and a smaller portion of light is bent into the needle. 3) the red paint isn't as bright as OEM M3 and/or isn't applied to absorb as much light from the needle.

Also, fitment on the larger needles wasn't great. The channel for the motor pins is too big and they're not tight enough. Not a big deal, you can just use a drop of hot glue or something similar before sliding them on; this will lock them in place and should unstick when you go to pull them off again. Smaller needles fit fine.

I don't mean to bash Bimmian, but from the photo in their listing, it looks just as if they took OEM M3 needles and replaced the covers with their glossy covers. A bit misrepresentative imo. Just compare the last 2 photos and draw your own conclusion.

tl;dr: can't recommend these. don't absorb light like OEM needles and are too dim. you'll get better results from coloring stock needles.


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Last edited by yakev724; 05-11-2012 at 10:58 PM.
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  #65  
By Imperator on 05-12-2012, 12:35 AM
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That's a shame about the Bimmian needles. I have yet to do this mod and really want to but am petrified of damaging my cluster somehow. It all looks easy, provided you have enough heat control from a good soldering iron to work with the emitters.

I still have a set of red needles from a E60 M5 and am hoping they work but am told the posts on the 5-series are slightly larger in diameter than the servos of the E9X cluster. I suppose I could also try the hot glue route if there isn't too much play once fitted.
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