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I have edited this on the 12th April 2007

Hey everyone,

I have almost completed my LED interior upgrade in my 1996 JZS147 Aristo, including the dash cluster and the interior lights. I haven't tackled the gear selector or radio/heater controls as yet but I may soon as I am getting a bit addicted to to it! :lol:

I am planning on posting a more detailed step by step 'how to' including photos if anyone is interested.

Here is just a quick outline for now. Please bare in mind, this is based on a JDM Aristo install and Australian globe numbers etc. It is a guide and I hold no resposibility should anything go wrong if you go ahead and try it.

As I didn't want to do any soldering and I knew the new LED type lights were available anyway, I went in search of the right replacement LED's.

LED's require resistors to work in this application but specially manufactured automotive LED's are available that have the resistors built-in!

Finding the right ones is the hardest part, but I have done all the hard work for you.

The dash consists of basically 3 types of globe holders. There are a total of 32 globes I think. (I'll check later when I post some pics). Toyota have even colour coded the 3 types of holders to make life easier. The holders are black, (smaler ones, mainly warning lights), grey, (slightly bigger and are used for the gear selector on the dash) and green ( which are the ones used to illuminate the dash in general). What was not easy was tracking down the right LED sizes as it seems that different parts of the world call the different sizes different names. To make things more complicated, 2 of the types required are very similar and are both really known as 'T5' size. I was able to get these from my local Autobarn store but could not find them in a shop anywhere else. The 2 brands available at my local Autobarn were Monza and APC. The Monza ones were slightly smaller and the APC ones in my case, were actually stated T10 on the backing card but were actually T5's but only ever so slightly bigger than the Monza T5! Both these globes fitted into either the grey or black holders although I did find that the APC brand was better fit on the grey and the Monza on the black. These issues are what I am talking about and why it has taken 4 weekends to get it right! If you happen to find another brand, I would recommend taking a globe with you to check the size and also measure the size if you are searching the net. Trust me, it is hard to find the right ones on the net if you don't have the measurments!

Also, while I think about it, don't be suckered into someone charging huge amounts of money to do it for you. If you have the right LED's, it should ony take about 2 hours max to do the job. I used mainly red and green ones to suit the various warning lights and gear inicators etc. The advice here is, if it is a red dash light use a red LED, if it green, for the inticators for example, use a green one. There are a couple of orange ones as well including the engine check light etc. ( I will detail this when I do the big article.)

You may even wish to skip replacing the warning lights etc and start by replacing the main instument 'background lights'.

The main instrument 'background lights are actually called T6.5's and here lies the hard part. The only place I was able to find the right size LED was on E-bay from a supplier in Hong Kong. You need to have a Pay Pal account to purchase the LED's, but the items arrived safe and sound within just a few working days. Be aware that I have read that these are also called '74' globes. The LED is a weird looking thing with 3 LED's attached to a base. They only just fit and are available in brilliant xeon white or spark blue. I chose the white, but I would be interested if someone tries the blue! My Mistsubishi 380 has a spark blue dash and I love it! You need to buy 9 and they are priced in pairs for about $4-. Postage is reletivly cheap as well, but they are small globes and next to nothing in weight. I would only recommend, at this point in time buying these main globes from this E-Bay store at this stage as I can say that without a doubt, they work on my car!

You need to look for the lights that say something like "2pcs T5 T6.5 3 Power LED (Xenon White) Dash Wedge Bulb".

Here is the link to his store.

http://stores.ebay.com.au/warden-jp2002_W0...Q3aFQ3aSTQQtZkm

The other issue is, that unlike standard globes, LED's only work one way, so if you put it all back together and find that they don't work you will most likely have them in the wrong way and will have to turn them around. FYI, I never worked out a system using a multimeter, I just used trial and error.

Be very careful with the holders as alot of mine were very fragile due the many years of heat generated by the globes. They are all OK, however, I almost completely damaged one at one stage as it did start to fall apart. The globes seem to be quite tight in the holders. They do come out. I used a pair of small multi-grip pliers to pull the original globes out and this seemed to work fine as long as I was gentle enough not to squish the globe. Believe it or not, use the pliers on the globe and not the holder! hold the holder with your fingers.

Be very carefull when undoing the cluster as well as I would hate to have to replace anything other than the globes! Except for my next point.

OK, I also took the opportunity to remove that stupidly anoying reverse beeper from the cluster!!!! I hope I am not alone here is saying that I think this is one of the most anoying sounds of all time! It is located on the main board and can easily be uncliped and chucked in the bin! It is a small grey circular plastic beeper, not much smaller than a 5 cent piece. It is on the main cluster board in the top left hand corner.

Here is a handy hint.

The third wiring loom from the left, is the one for the main dash lights. If you want to check to see if you have the LED's in the right way, simply pop the board you have to remove back on, pop a couple of screws back in and plug the 2 conectors back in and plug in the loom. Turn your ignition on and check. This will save you from having to put all the screws back and undo them again etc 4 or 5 times!

Now, I have cheated and I have included a link which explains how to remove and install your cluster.

http://www.luxurymods.com/tutorial7.htm

I cannot believe the difference it has made. The dash has gone from a very dated and ordinary yellowish colour to a bright modern clean white. Trust me, you won't be disapointed.

Also, I changed the glovebox with a white LED T5. Make sure you turn your headlights or parkers on before you check the glovebox! The light is only active with the lights on. I replaced the passenger and driver side foot wells with white T5's too. The front and rear door lights use the bigger T10's. I found that these were easy to get in Autobarn. (Not to be confused with the incorrectly labeled APC T5's mentioned above.) There are also a few to choose from at the E-Bay store. Take em out and measure them up! I again used white ones, but I guess feel free to experiment. Oh and don't forget the boot!

Be carefull when replacing the rear interior lights. I lost the clip on both sides. If it does happen to you, I used a small strip of Gaffa tape and this seems OK for the time being. Toyota use metal clips on the side closest the the rear screen. Both of mine seemed to drop inside the cavity never to be seen again.

Remember, Perform this mod at your own risk although most of it is reasonably easy to do if you are patient and careful!

Cheers,

Chris

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  • 3 weeks later...

Very helpful writeup :D

I need to replace my dash lights before the car can be complied as one side of the dash kind of flickers a bit. Figured I may as well upgrade the lights at the same time. Problem is, I'm going to have to get the compliance place to take the dash out, do it at home, then take it back and test it. This could take a while. Would be much easier if they were open on the weekend. :(

I have a question though, is there any reason you used the wide angle LED's instead of the actual 74 globe replacement LED's (2pcs 74 37 Instrument Panel LED Bulbs(Xenon Blue/White)) that are available from the same store? I was thinking about getting them as they are a direct replacement supposedly, but I should probably also just get the ones you did because we know they work.

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Greennick,

I got these ones as each of these globes, (all 9 of them actually),cover a wide range of the dash. For example, one globe lights up 1, 2 and 3 of the tacho and the x1000 sign on the bottom. If you use a standard LED, most of them a re prpbably too directional and don't have the same coverage as a conventional light globe.

I did not mention that I have changed my mind a bit on some of the other LED's that I replaced such as the "D" green light. I may even swap that back as I am finding it too bright at night.

I would recommend, especially in your case going for the dash ones as mentioned for the time being and then stuffing around from then on in once you have sorted out the car etc. Make sure you replace all of these ones as it looks pretty stupid with half your dash white and the other half a yellowy colour. Good Luck.

Apart from that, everything else I am pleased about. I especially love the LED's in the doors.

Chris

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Hey Chris,

Was thinking about going for the blue ones. As I don't have my car in front of me, I was wondering what you think it would look like if I replaced the 9 dash illumination lights with blue LED's, but left all the others as standard for the time being. Would that look stupid? I think with all the other colours in the dash, it may look a little off. I think the white one may be the better bet, however a lot of the newer cars now have blue dashes and they look good.

Cheers,

Nick

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Nick,

Hehehe! I really did think about it as my new company car, a Mitsubishi 380 Platinum has a blue dash. It does really look really cool, but as you say, every other light in the car is blue as well. I kinda went for the white to be safe. It just depends on if you were game enought blow $20- or so if it didn't look good. I think it would look good in the Aristo if the heater controls were blue as well, or at least an aftermarket stereo with blue lights. Now there's a thought. :unsure:

Chris

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