Sierra instrumentation illumination led modification

This page shows you an example how to mod Ford Sierra’s instrumentation illumination with the blue leds. First I bought 5mm blue leds and 470ohm resistors from Bebek. You can calculate resistor values by yourself easily with LedCalc. There are six lightbulbs at Sierra’s speedo, temp, fuel gauge, etc. instrument cluster.

Here you can see ready cutted leds and resistors:

As you probably can see I sanded the top of the leds to divide the light better. If you don’t sand the top of the leds rough you will probably get nasty bright spots to your instrumentation illumination. Here are a couple of images about the manufacturing process:

Please remember to cool down the leds before you put the power on… Leds are very sensitive to too much heat and they will dim very fast if powered up while they are too hot. Also remember to connect plus and minus sides correctly because the leds won’t lit up if +/- are not correctly connected. Leds are able to whitstand short tests with incorrect +/- connections, but it is recommended to avoid this.

Here is the end result:

As you can see there are some brighter spots and dimmer spots… I’ll try to smooth the light somehow later, but let’s see. It could be a good idea to mount the leds deeper inside the plastic holders, but I haven’t yet tested this.

It seems also a littlebit dimmer than original lightning, but it is still bright enough. The problem with the brightness is probably related to the green color filters at the back of the instrumentation backgrounds. Sadly it seems that those color filters cannot be removed without damaging the background panels.

However this project will continue with the following illumination modifications: push buttons, clock, cigarette lighter, etc.. I will modify all the light sources with leds, so later we will see how I succeed…



UPDATE 23.12.2008

I removed the square shaped green color filters from speedometers mileage display: (filters still in place at this image)

After that I also grinded the top of the leds flat (sorry, but I don’t have a picture of the flattened leds at the moment). After these modifications the end result is:

A little better than earlier, but still some work to do… Luckily I have some ideas to try. 🙂

Here are two pictures of unmodified instrumentation cluster: