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just an average Joe
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Already have added blue LEDs to the switches
and now I have replaced the white light in the gear selector with a blue LED (same ones I used in the switches)
The blue matches the switches with the only difference being that the switches are like clear bulbs and the gear selector is diffused like a "soft white" bulb.

You can definitely tell the difference between the existing aqua and the new blue. The light from the LED will dim/brighten right along with the other lights.

I built another LED & resistor in the same way I did for the switches. In addition, I wrapped each lead in electrical tape and then bundled them together. I also soldered wire to the leads so that I could splice into the power and ground with a scotch lock. I cut a new hole in the side of the plastic "reflector" to receive the LED. I did this because in testing I found that in order to evenly distribute the light I could not have the LED pointed up from the existing hole (only has a 30 degree viewing angle).


I spliced in (Yellow wire is + and White wire is ground) and cut the power lead to the existing light. I was just going to leave it but there was a lot of light bleeding out of the gaps between the "well documented cheap plastic".

Hopefully modifying the other light sources will go as smoothly. :confused:
 

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just an average Joe
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Radio presents a different situation.

The plastic that diffuses the light is clear maybe a light smoke gray.




There are (10) yellow-white bulbs with bluish colored sleeves.


I have removed the original lights off the radio. I gently pried them off. They aren't held on by much. Then I put electrical tape over the attachment points so that I don't short anything with the LED arrays I am making.

To replace the (10) bulbs I am going to use two sets of 2 LEDs in series and 2 sets of 3 LEDs in series.

Here is the finished lighting, now I just need to finish the wiring.






I had to modify the radio faceplate to get it all to fit. I had to trim down a couple places as well as drill holes for the wires to exit because the circuit board doesn't have any clearance between it and the face plate.
Here is a sketch of the routing and modifications to the faceplate.

Blue dots are where the LEDs will be at.
Red is the wire route. Inside the faceplate you are going to want the wire to be as thin as possible so that it doesn't interfere with the rubber piece that the buttons push against.
Green is where you need holes. They are in the top and bottom of the faceplate just a little away from the front (not seen because they are covered by the trim bezel.
Yellow is where you need to modify some plastic. I used an exacto knife to trim down the high spots (dark grey areas) so that the rubber piece would be as flush as possible.



For the power, I tapped into the same circuit that the gear selector uses.
 

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Unofficial OU Blingmobile
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1,060 Posts
I have the blue LED's in the dome lights so as soon as you get this all figured out you're going to be coming to do the rest of my lights, right?
 

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3,438 Posts
Damn Joe... wish I could be there to help you out. I love these types of projects.

Hey... when you have a problem with light leaking out and such, remember that "foam" is your friend! You can stic foam around the joints where the light is coming through.
 

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The Custom Guy
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688 Posts
Hey are those simple 9mm LEDs? When doing the gauge cluster, you should look into the LED strips with 9mm LEDs on it. They can run around the outside of the cluster and light the area well. Theres a link at hidplanet.com that I will find for you of other people doing what you are doing. It has a lot of information on LEDs and such.
 

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just an average Joe
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3,284 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Hey are those simple 9mm LEDs? When doing the gauge cluster, you should look into the LED strips with 9mm LEDs on it. They can run around the outside of the cluster and light the area well. Theres a link at hidplanet.com that I will find for you of other people doing what you are doing. It has a lot of information on LEDs and such.
They are 3mm. Definitely need to be that small for the radio.
Have not planned to do anything to the gauge cluster except to add a filter to change the aqua odometer area.

Guys, I am sorry that I did not take pictures of the final routing inside the radio. I was just happy to get it to work. Once I get something to change the radio display I will take pictures.

Only real pain left is trying to get the A/C cluster apart to change it.
 

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Looks really great, Joe. Looks like you are very meticulous with the work you do. How much time do you think you have into the project. Looks very much well worth the time and effort. Not that I would want to do it, but just curious, do you think this could be something done in red?
 

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just an average Joe
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3,284 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
2 out of 3 parts changed and all back together:


Looks really great, Joe. Looks like you are very meticulous with the work you do. How much time do you think you have into the project. Looks very much well worth the time and effort. Not that I would want to do it, but just curious, do you think this could be something done in red?
Thanks Ken. Too many hours. I spent basically 8 today on the radio. Although I didn't work straight through. I might have spent 1 on the gear selector. Dozens of hours pondering, planning, and cursing the A/C control design. The time consuming part is the soldering of all the little joints. There were a lot with the radio. Then trying to get it all back together with all of the buttons operational wasn't easy either.

Red is tricky. It would work for the radio since the lens is clear/smokey gray. The gear selector and A/C controls use bluish filters. A guy on the caliber forum did switch his gear selector to red but he had to careful remove the blue lens from behind the letters.
 

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in the gear shifter, what kind of light was in there already? LED? cant we just replace the bulb instead of adding resistors and stuff.
 

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just an average Joe
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Discussion Starter #10
It was a standard incandescent bulb. The only LED has been in the window switch.

Yes, you could just replace the bulb assuming you find something that will work.
 

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The led stuff looks good, too much work for me. On my '93 Civic I merely put covers over the bulbs to change the color. You can get different sizes, I mostly used covers that autometer sells for their gauges. Just look around Jegs or Summit.

Sorry, can't post links yet for some reason.
 

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just an average Joe
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3,284 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Alright, the A/C controls are still not done but I now have the radio and odometer LCDs blue by using a color filter.

The picture makes the LEDs and screen appear to be identical but the colors are not exactly the same. It was as close as I could get.


The check engine and low tire pressure warning lights are now orange instead of that yellowish color.

I got the filter from a local stage lighting company.
It is a Rosco roscolux filter #357 Royal Lavender: In order to get the aqua out and leave just the blue I needed a filter with a wavelength transmission peak near 470Nm and a steep drop off as it approaches aqua, green, and yellow. A purple color seems odd but it lets the blue through and keeps the rest out.

The only issue with it is that the filter lets through only 50% of the blue light so it is pretty dark. The odometer can be read in full sunlight but the radio cannot. The fact that the radio screen on the faceplate is a fairly dark grey is what causes the difference between the odometer and radio. Removing the piece and replacing it with a clear lens doesn't appear feasible. The grey lens appears to be glued/molded to the faceplate.


To get the filter into the odometer, I took the clear plastic lens off (bottom), next off is the gray trim rings (middle), and finally there is a black thin plastic sheet that is the screen. I slid the filter under the black plastic and electrical taped it down. There are deep compartments with LEDs (the tiny board mounted kind like what is used on the driver side window switch) for each of the non odometer LCD areas.
 

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just an average Joe
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3,284 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
A/C controls do come apart. :banana:

Thanks to caliberforumz.com member holychao who reassured me that the knobs do pull off, they are just on there really tight. I used a pair of locking pliers and pulled really hard.





I need to get some more LEDs to finish the project.

LED layout on back of A/C controls.
 

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just an average Joe
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3,284 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
It is FINISHED!!!!!




Got my second shipment of LEDs from superbrightleds.com Friday... added the 4 I needed to use and now I can enjoy. :banana:
 

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Premium Member
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186 Posts
I love the blue lights. I have sort of an obsession with blue lights and hate the green lights in the patriot. Great job, would definately pay you well to work on mine if you lived close.
 

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Sorry to dig up an old thread

What is the bulb type/size for the bulbs behind the HVAC cluster.
My left-most bulb is out on the HVAC panel.

Is it the same size as the one for the one under the shifter bezel (37)?

[D]
 
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