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e9x "M3" White Gauge Cluster
Published by e90TiAg335i
03-18-2011
e9x "M3" White Gauge Cluster

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 protect gauge face
something flat to pry up the gauge needles
sharpie or transparent paint for painting needles
tape - to mask off part of needles
multimeter with diode check function
12 LEDs for just the gauges, 18 LEDs for the lcd. PLCC-2 1210 3528 LEDs

[IMG][/IMG]
End result.

Lets get started!
[IMG][/IMG]
Remove the 2 T-10 torq screws.

[IMG][/IMG]
Lift up the top of the dash and pull down and out on the cluster. It should come out pretty easy.

[IMG][/IMG]
Push down on the center tab and pull the lever all the way down to the cluster until it clicks and the plug will release.

[IMG][/IMG]
Remove the 4 T-9 torx screws from the back.

[IMG][/IMG]
Using flat screwdriver or fingers, release the 8 clips around the cluster.

[IMG][/IMG]
Lift off the front of the cluster. Now you have 2 pieces.

[IMG][/IMG]
Using a card and something flat, pry off the needles. Bee sure to keep even pressur on both sides of the needle base. Also be sure no to damage the gauge face.

[IMG][/IMG]
Gauge without the needles.

[IMG][/IMG]
On the back, there are 4 tabs at the corners of the plug connector holding the rear cover to the gauge cluster. See next pic also. You'll have to push each of these in while applying pressure between the circuit board and the rear cover to seperate.

[IMG][/IMG]
4 tabs holding rear cover to gauge cluster.

[IMG][/IMG]
Back of the circuit board. You'll need to release the 4 white clips to remove the front of the cluster from the circuit board.

[IMG][/IMG]
Front of the circuit board.

[IMG][/IMG]
The LEDs I replaced are all circled in red. I found it easier to heat one side of the led while using a pick to pry up on the led. Then heat the other side while pulling up on the led with tweezers to remove.
IMPORTANT!!!!! Be sure to mark the + side of the led so the new ones are installed properly or they WILL NOT WORK!!!. I used the multimeter to check each one and placed a small dot, with a fine point sharpie, on the board next to the + side.

[IMG][/IMG]
All the LEDs removed. Note the small black dots everywhere!

[IMG][/IMG]
Gauge in car showing all leds functional.

[IMG][/IMG]
Needles taped off for painting. I used a blue sharpie on these and another set. Not really happy with this for coloring. Looking for better alternantives. You can also try leaving them white and paint later if needed.

[IMG][/IMG]
Needles "sharpied". After several attempts, just not up to my expectation. Color is uneven. Your milage may vary!

Installation is reverse. Place everything back together EXCEPT for the front bezel. Connect the cluster to the car and hit the start button 1 time. Give it a couple seconds then push the needles back on. Everything should be at it lowest setting. Shut car off and disconnect gauge again. Put cluster back together then reinstall into car. You're done and enjoy your "new" gauges!!!
__________________

JB4, DP, VMR V710, Sonic Tuning S1 coilovers, Hybrid Ovations, Soundsplinter 10" and Zapco DC Ref amps
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  #1  
By e90TiAg335i on 03-18-2011, 09:23 AM
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place holder 1
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  #2  
By e90TiAg335i on 03-18-2011, 09:24 AM
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place holder 2
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  #3  
By lpphreakx06 on 03-18-2011, 10:51 AM
Wow, that looks good!
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  #4  
By Amlethae on 03-30-2011, 09:23 PM
Did you put blue LED's behind the LCD panel or did you put white ones that came out blue-ish looking? Awesome work btw!
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  #5  
By yakev724 on 03-30-2011, 09:53 PM
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Another "popular" option is to install M3 surround rings into the face of the cluster.

They can be purchased here for $20. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...K%3AMEWNX%3AIT

They are VERY difficult to install cleanly.
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  #6  
By e90TiAg335i on 03-31-2011, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amlethae View Post
Did you put blue LED's behind the LCD panel or did you put white ones that came out blue-ish looking? Awesome work btw!
No blue LEDs. They are all a super bright white like the rest of the cluster. You'll notice that the lettering in the lcd is white. The blue hue is from the lcd panel itself. I was hoping the radio and hvac lcds were the same but they use an orange diffuser. Trying to find a good diffuser to make them match the cluster. Then ALL of the amber leds in the car will be white!
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  #7  
By xtommy93x on 04-02-2011, 11:36 PM
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Can u pls post these pictures again??
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  #8  
By e90TiAg335i on 04-03-2011, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xtommy93x View Post
Can u pls post these pictures again??
Post which pictures again?
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  #9  
By gtenedio on 04-04-2011, 09:38 PM
awesome DIY...will be trying this with a yellow or purple sharpie
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  #10  
By StolenEVO on 04-08-2011, 02:04 PM
ill be doing this next week. Do you have a better pic, without the flash that will show where you marked the pos side of the cluster...i dont have a multimeter, and would rather save the $, than buy one.
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  #11  
By e90TiAg335i on 04-08-2011, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StolenEVO View Post
ill be doing this next week. Do you have a better pic, without the flash that will show where you marked the pos side of the cluster...i dont have a multimeter, and would rather save the $, than buy one.
Sorry but that's the only pic I have. You can use a cheap $10 DVM. Also, the side of the led with the corner missing, or recessed, is the - side. Hope that helps!
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  #12  
By BlkNWhite on 04-13-2011, 02:07 AM
that is really nice. although the orange is origional butim tempted to change mine now, lol nice work
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  #13  
By cmattone93 on 04-13-2011, 01:17 PM
i want to do this... what typeof bulbs/ what is the bulb numbers aka leds needed to do this?!
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  #14  
By e90TiAg335i on 04-13-2011, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmattone93 View Post
i want to do this... what typeof bulbs/ what is the bulb numbers aka leds needed to do this?!
Very first post just above the first pic...
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  #15  
By cmattone93 on 04-14-2011, 08:52 AM
awesome, where did u get your leds from though? sorry for being a pain in the ass, i just dont want to mess up and have to spend a grand for a new cluster!
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  #16  
By e90TiAg335i on 04-14-2011, 02:27 PM
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HERE
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmattone93 View Post
awesome, where did u get your leds from though? sorry for being a pain in the ass, i just dont want to mess up and have to spend a grand for a new cluster!
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  #17  
By yakev724 on 04-15-2011, 12:44 AM
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These are also good. Delivered to my door in 11 days after paying. Work perfectly.
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  #18  
By cmattone93 on 04-15-2011, 08:07 AM
You did all the soldering urself with no problems? Ive never used a soldering iron before so idt ima do this one lmao, bump for an awesome thread, anyone who does this lemme know
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  #19  
By e90TiAg335i on 04-15-2011, 03:48 PM
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Yep, everything was done by me. Really isn't hard at all! Just take your time.
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  #20  
By k3m0-330i on 04-28-2011, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90TiAg335i View Post
No blue LEDs. They are all a super bright white like the rest of the cluster. You'll notice that the lettering in the lcd is white. The blue hue is from the lcd panel itself. I was hoping the radio and hvac lcds were the same but they use an orange diffuser. Trying to find a good diffuser to make them match the cluster. Then ALL of the amber leds in the car will be white!
so wait did u put blue leds or no.. i just ordered the leds now so ill have them buy monday..
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  #21  
By e90TiAg335i on 04-28-2011, 04:01 PM
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Nope, they're all white. The lcd panel just has a blue hue to it. I also swapped the leds out on Single-t's hvac. Just changed out the diffuser on it from amber to white a couple days ago and it has a blue hue also. Looks awsome though! At some point I'll find the time to complete his car and get some more info and pics up.
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