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slidr
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slidr

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2000 Toyota Celica

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Posts: 3,077
Saint Louis, MO
Apr 30, 5:03pm - #168901 
Anyone who has EVER changed their LED's...READ!

Got my cluster apart, and I was amazed by how little solder was showing on the LED's that I have to swap out. I went looking for a finer tip for the iron I have, but no such luck. Here's a few questions I have...

1. Is there any way that I can create a finer tip for the iron? I have the 40 watt version, and I was thinking about wrapping a paper clip around it, and having the end of the clip serve as a soldering tip. Would the clip melt?

2. Any tips that you can share on how you soldered and desoldered the LED's on and off of the board? Just don't wanna mess it up too bad, and everything is sooo small, I was just wondering if anyone who has done this before has any methods that they used to make the process easier.


And yes, I did refer to both of the install guides that there are on this, but none seem to go into detail on soldering tips.


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Tater
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Tater

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2003 Toyota Celica

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Posts: 251
New Orleans
Apr 30, 5:21pm - #168902 
Use an iron like the one in the pic. Its cheap and works great. LINK
Linked Image

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slidr
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slidr

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2000 Toyota Celica

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Posts: 3,077
Saint Louis, MO
Apr 30, 6:35pm - #168903 
Originally Posted by Tater
Use an iron like the one in the pic. Its cheap and works great. LINK
Linked Image
It's pretty much the same kind that I have. I'm just worried because there is perhaps needle point sized solder already on the board that I have to somehow melt, and I'm worried that I'll burn the circuit board.


Aqua Teen Hunger Force...number one in the hood, G
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Rocketman
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Rocketman

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01 Toyota Celica

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Idaho Falls, ID
Apr 30, 7:24pm - #168904 
You won't it is tougher than you think...

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slidr
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slidr

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2000 Toyota Celica

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Saint Louis, MO
Apr 30, 7:33pm - #168905 
Originally Posted by Rocketman
You won't it is tougher than you think...
So it's ok if the iron tip touches the green board? Because I don't see how I can melt the solder already on the board if the tip touches the board itself.


Aqua Teen Hunger Force...number one in the hood, G
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Tater
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Tater

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2003 Toyota Celica

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New Orleans
Apr 30, 7:47pm - #168906 
There is not a single LED on a Celica instrument cluster that cannot be safely unsoldered or soldered using that iron. Just grasp the led with a pair of tweezers and touch the iron to the one side of the LED and gently pull up then do the same to the other side of the LED. It takes a fraction of a second for the LED to release from the board. The same goes for resoldering. Put a small touch of solder on the iron and touch it to the side of the LED that has been correctly orientated on the board. It will solder to the board instantaneously. Keep the iron in contact with the LED just long enough to solder it down and dont go nuts with the solder, as it takes practically none to do the job. It really is a piece of cake. Good luck. thumbsup

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xmangt1
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xmangt1

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2000 Toyota Celica GT

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Chicago, IL
May 1, 12:54am - #168907 
Good explanation Tater. Just one thing Slidr...remember that the SMT LEDs have a polarity(positive & negative). Solder one LED on, then take it to your car & plug in the blue & white connectors to the circuit board, turn on your lights to make sure it lights up. If it doesn't, it might be soldered in reverse. Take it back to your work bench & flip it around. It's very important not to overheat the LED. It'll take about 1 second to melt the solder. My LEDs had a little dot on them closer to one side, so once I got the 1st one to light up I just soldered the rest the same way & whoila!!!!!!!!!! This will also be a perfect time to replace the LED that lights up green when U turn on ur lights & also the LED that lights up green on the driver side power window switch!!!

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slidr
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slidr

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2000 Toyota Celica

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Saint Louis, MO
May 1, 1:26am - #168908 
Thanks for the responses guys. I wasn't aware that you could apply the iron to the actual part of the LED that needs to be soldered down. I thought that I had to apply the iron to the solder underneath, which worried me because so little solder actually showed.


As for what Tater stated about soldering the LED's back on, I thought that you weren't actually supposed to put the solder onto the iron itself?


Aqua Teen Hunger Force...number one in the hood, G
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xmangt1
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xmangt1

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2000 Toyota Celica GT

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Chicago, IL
May 1, 3:21am - #168909 
Best thing is to put a little solder on the pad where the LED goes & then reheat it as you hold down the LED in place with the tweezers as I did. Very easy. Like I said before make sure you don't overheat the LED or the circuit board. Should be pretty easy. I would say to send me the circuit board & LEDs & I'll do it for you but I don't think anyone will do that!

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Tater
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Tater

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2003 Toyota Celica

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New Orleans
May 1, 9:20am - #168910 
Originally Posted by slidr
As for what Tater stated about soldering the LED's back on, I thought that you weren't actually supposed to put the solder onto the iron itself?

It takes so little solder that you are essentially using nothing more than the tinning on the iron to solder them down. Im assuming that you are using the OEM matched LEDs that I recommended and not the microscopic ones that some folks are selling as replacements. If that is the case, I would recommend that you dont put solder on the board before you position the LED as it make holding it in position much easier because there isnt a lump of solder for the LED to rock on. Youll be a pro once youve done a couple. thumbsup
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xmangt1
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xmangt1

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2000 Toyota Celica GT

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Chicago, IL
May 1, 2:26pm - #168911 
That's exactly right. I'm not using the OEM matched ones.

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MxReb0
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MxReb0

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2000 Toyota Celica

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Raleigh & Charlotte, NC
May 2, 10:29am - #168912 
A paperclip would never conduct enough heat, nor stay on properly. You might grind your existing tip down and re-tin it. Tinning is inportaint for solder wetting.


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