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2000 2.5RS STM
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108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not seen a lot of mods done to these. I wanted a new cluster, but did not want to spend the money right now with my all ready expensive build. So, I made this. I painted the bezel a nice subtle charcoal color. I did not want this to be ricey at all, but more OEM quality, so I gave it a matte clear finish. I think the result came out very nice. To add to it, I hate the OEM color and lighting. But I feel LED can be over the top. So, I did what many have and removed the tinting and colored it with a sharpie. Looks awesome! Sorry, the pictures are not the best.

Original color with samples underneath:



Results:









 

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needs more cowbell
95L, 07 2.5i, R6
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9,316 Posts
Very nice, so you just sanded the tint off the back of the plastic and colored the back? Does it look splotchy or is it really even? I need to do something with my jdm gauges, the tinting makes them look a little splotchy because I installed them in a usdm housing so the lighting is uneven. :( Maybe I'll go back to the red if they will look that good.
 

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2000 2.5RS STM
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108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I used acetone, and brake cleaner. Acetone is faster, but eats the plastic super fast! Brake cleaner is more tame. It is really even with incandescent, L.E.Ds would make it easy to see steaks because they are so bright, and with the tinting removed, I feel they are unbearable.
 

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needs more cowbell
95L, 07 2.5i, R6
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9,316 Posts
So did you just rub off the tint on the back of the plastic, around the outside where the numbers are? Was it difficult to get around the edges of the mechanical part of the gauges?
 

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2000 2.5RS STM
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108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I just rubbed it off from the back side. If I can find a picture of the process, I will post it in a few. And yes, it was a little difficult to get around a couple of them. RPMs was cake, speedo the kmh was really hard to get to, you can remove the reset trip button thing and then pull the two black screws out in the front. This allows you to rotate the actual cluster and get to the hard to reach areas. Fuel and Temp were also a bitch, but if you bend it a little of get in it with a feeler gauge (what I used) it is manageable.
 

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Premium Member
2005 Legacy GT, 1977 Jeep CJ7
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1,222 Posts
Looks good...go to a junk yard and find a legacy gt...take the red needles off of the cluster and put them on yours..easy "JDM" upgrade
 

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2000 2.5RS STM
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108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, that would be cool, but I really like the white, it looks nice lit up. Being white they show up really nice. I did think about painting the needles as well.
 

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Wannabe JDM GF4
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1,719 Posts
I was actually gonna to make a thread about this, I need a new cluster and wanted to mod it. Anyone have painted faces or anything?

The legacy needles are a cool idea anyone have a daytime pic?
 

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964 Posts
Doing white LEDs behind the cluster really does bring out the cluster and make it look unique. Here are white leds behind a RS cluster I did (I know it's not a 93-97 cluster but it gives you and idea):





And finally the red I did behind a 94 cluster:

 

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needs more cowbell
95L, 07 2.5i, R6
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9,316 Posts
So you guys just used magic markers? I wonder if using red lens tape or spray painting would do as well or better? I definately want to do mine seeing how bright those are. What about sanding the ink off then using red bulbs?
 

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2000 2.5RS STM
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108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks nice guys. I just do not like how bright they are. And I do not wanna solder on resisters. My girlfriend has blue ones in her jeep. They are sweet, but stupid bright.
 

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Premium Member
97 L, 13 WRX
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1,537 Posts
I would like to see what it looks like with some diffuser film between the light and gauge. It just seems like it isn't distributing the light evenly when you remove that coating on the gauge.
 

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2000 2.5RS STM
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108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah something like that would be ideal. The coating that is originally on there has a pattern to it, and that does make the light distribute more evenly. But, from the factory it's not even the best distribution. I noticed my RS cluster is like that. In person, this cluster actually does look pretty even. It is really hard to see variation. LED tend to exaggerate the poor distribution and bad place menu of the factory bulbs.
 

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It depends on how you disperse the light. LEDs are a different beast and need to be dealt with accordingly. It's not 360 degree light like a regular bulb.
Yeah something like that would be ideal. The coating that is originally on there has a pattern to it, and that does make the light distribute more evenly. But, from the factory it's not even the best distribution. I noticed my RS cluster is like that. In person, this cluster actually does look pretty even. It is really hard to see variation. LED tend to exaggerate the poor distribution and bad place menu of the factory bulbs.
 

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2000 2.5RS STM
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108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Unless you buy 360 degree dist. LEDs like my girlfriends. You have to look at the patterns on the websites for coverage. Hers do not have hotspots. But that is besides the point, completely different clusters and techniques that I am trying to show.
 
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