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  1. #1
    Saab Fan DustinS's Avatar
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    28 Jun 2012
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    Springfield, MO
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    Saab(s)
    '84 900S - '85 900 Turbo (3DR) - '85 900 Turbo (4D) - '02 9-5 Aero - '89 900 Turbo (Vert)
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    Gauge Needle Color Change

    I really don't like the orange needles in the stock gauge cluster and saw a DIY on changing the Cluster lights on a mini cooper S the other day, thought why not. Not having ever seen it been done on a 9-5/9-3/NG900 before, figured I would take it slow and see how the cluster comes apart before I jump head first ;ol;


    Here are some pictures.














    Note the fact there are no bulb holders of any kind, as you can't change the bulbs in a 9-5 cluster.


    This is where it gets fun:






    MAKE SURE YOUR HANDS ARE EXTREMELY CLEAN OR YOU WEAR GLOVES!!


    I didn't and my fingers left behind some marks on the gauge faces, I haven't been able to get it off yet, so for now it has to stay ;oops:


    The needles just pull straight up, just make sure to pry using the base and not the orange part, it will snap. Use your fingers or something extremely soft, the black that is used on the backing scratches very easy.


    You will want the get many pictures of where the needles point in the off position, or mark it some other way. You just want to be able to put them back on in the correct position. Then pull up.


    I wasn't able to get too good a picture of the LED's that are currently used, I think the Odometer is soldered in place, but it holds the Tachometer side of the cluster attached to the casing. To further take the cluster apart, and actually change the LED's I am going to have to desolder the odometer.


    But There are two LED's for the Main needle. I would figure 30 small LED's to make sure you have enough. I am trying to find the correct LED's to replace them with, after I find them, I will venture in to sanding/scratching the orange paint of the needles and painting them white. Then Solder in white LED's in place of the current orange ones.


    Edit: Think I am going to go with these.
    3528 Surface Mount PLCC-2 SMT LEDs

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  2. #2
    Saab Fan DustinS's Avatar
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    28 Jun 2012
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    Saab(s)
    '84 900S - '85 900 Turbo (3DR) - '85 900 Turbo (4D) - '02 9-5 Aero - '89 900 Turbo (Vert)
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    Semi-Finished Product. I need to paint the needles white. I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked, but it was getting dark and was suppose to thunderstorm really bad.


    On to the Pictures!








    Sanded with 600 Grit sandpaper.

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  3. #3
    Saab Fan DustinS's Avatar
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    '84 900S - '85 900 Turbo (3DR) - '85 900 Turbo (4D) - '02 9-5 Aero - '89 900 Turbo (Vert)
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    Playing around, I need to sand and polish the clear gauge lense


    You will have to de-solder the odometer. It was easy and straight forward using some soldering wick. after that was undone, it came apart super easy. Then it just took time to un-solder the old amber ones, always double checking You are replacing the right one, also checking after each one to make sure it is still working. Then put back together. Make sure you solder the odometer back on! Any questions, please ask!

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  4. #4
    Ivan
    Saab Enthusiast
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    16 Jan 2012
    Location
    London, Canada
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    2003 9-5 Aero Sedan (R.I.P.), 2006 9-5 2.3T Sport, 2008 9-3 Aero SC
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    Looks good. I'd love to do this, but I can just see myself messing something up. Maybe if my dash lights start to go out, I'll do it.

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  5. #5
    Saab Fan DustinS's Avatar
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    28 Jun 2012
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    Saab(s)
    '84 900S - '85 900 Turbo (3DR) - '85 900 Turbo (4D) - '02 9-5 Aero - '89 900 Turbo (Vert)
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    Hopefully your dash lights never go out. Due to them being LED's they should outlast the car, if they don't. You have a major issue.

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  6. #6
    The Norwegian Rognmoe's Avatar
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    21 Sep 2011
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    Denver/metro Colorado
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    Gauge Needle Color Change

    Very cool!

    On the fingerprints left on the gauge faces, maybe try using a sunglass lens cleaning cloth. I've noticed those help get fingerprints off of most things. Maybe give the cloth a little spritz with the lens spray if they give you trouble. That seems to work on most things I've tried it on.

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  7. #7
    Saab Fan DustinS's Avatar
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    28 Jun 2012
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    '84 900S - '85 900 Turbo (3DR) - '85 900 Turbo (4D) - '02 9-5 Aero - '89 900 Turbo (Vert)
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    Sorry for bringing this from the dead, but thanks for the tip. I still need to get back in and paint the needles white. I will try that tip next time I am in there.

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  8. #8
    Saab Fan DustinS's Avatar
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    28 Jun 2012
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    Springfield, MO
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    Saab(s)
    '84 900S - '85 900 Turbo (3DR) - '85 900 Turbo (4D) - '02 9-5 Aero - '89 900 Turbo (Vert)
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    Local Pick-N-Pull has an '04, while I was there grabbing some parts, I decided to grab the cluster for a test. You can kinda tell iin the photo, but the number are clear. I know in my '02 they have a green gel cover, making them light up green. Using the '04 gauge face, I should be able to make the numbers white, and the needle any color I would like. I am thinking white numbers and green needle. I am not sure yet. More pictures:



    Same layout as my '02 except for the 1-5 gear indicator for the auto-manual option.



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