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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 6,007
ECelica Admin
isaac Aug 7, 7:39am - #18708 
2001 Absolutely Red Toyota Celica GT
ECelica Admin
2001 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 6,007
Los Angeles, CA
Gauge Cluster, Backlight - How To Change Color

How To Make Your Dash Panel Blue
(or any other color you can get the LEDs for!)

Tools Required:
-Philips screwdriver long
-Philips screwdriver short
-Jewelers screwdriver flat small
-Soldering iron with needle bit
-Thinnest solder you can find
-Balls of iron

Parts Required:
can be found here...

Notes before you start:
-Dont moan at me if you bugger your dash.
-This will invalidate any warranty on your dash unit.
-All electronic circuits can be damaged by static electricity, make sure you use an earthing strap when working on this board. (Not that I did as I am a right bandit!)
-The LCD unit is fragile take great care when removing it.

Right, now for the fun bit...

Removing the dash unit:

1. Undo the screw on the underside of the steering column cowl.

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Steering Cowl Screw Underside

2. Undo the screws front the left and right hand sides of the steering column cowl. These are at the front and are probably obscured by the steering wheel, you will need to turn it in one direction and then the other to reveal the screws.

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Steering Cowl Screw Left

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Steering Cowl Screw Right

3. The bottom part of the cowling should now be removed followed by the top part, this will take a bit of wiggling about as the steering wheel should really be removed to do this, but thats just too much effort.

4. Undo the two screws from the top of the dash panel front cowl.

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Dash Panel Front Cowl Screws

5. The dash cowl will now unclip and come off really easy.

6. Undo the three screws holding the dash unit in place.

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Dash Unit Top Screw

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Dash Unit Left Screw

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Dash Unit Right Screw

7. Ease the unit out of its hole. There are cables attached to this so dont try and rip it out. Unplug the two connectors from the back. To remove press on the bits marked with red blobs below and pull gently. DO NOT PULL THE WIRES.

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Dash Panel Connector Cables

You now have one dash unit in your hands.

8. Remove all the brass screws from the rear of the unit.

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Dash Panel Rear Screws

9. Lift the circuit board out of the unit. Note that as stated earlier, electronic circuits are easily damaged by static electricity, if you dont take precautions you may kill the board.

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Dash Panel Circuit Board

Now its time to start replacing LEDs, if you are just doing the LCD then skip forward to point 12.

The technique for removing LEDs like these is simple. Using the soldering iron, heat the solder on one side of the LED, whilst the solder is melted use the jewelers screwdriver to lift the LED up at the same end. This should be done gently as (a) you might need the LED at a later date, (b) you dont really want to damage that board.

Once this is done the other end of the LED solder can be heated, the LED can then be lifted off easily.

To Solder in the new Led, I found it easier to put a small blob of solder on one of the circuit board pads, then position the LED terminal on top of this and heat the solder, as soon as it is melted remove the soldering iron and then solder the other end of the LED.

This job is very fiddly and will require patience and a steady hand. If you havent used a soldering iron before, try practicing on something else first, soldering bits of wire together is good practice.

Once you have replaced one LED test the unit out by plugging the connectors back in and switching the ignition on, if it lights up all well and good. If not you have either put it on the wrong way round, they are polarized, or you have overheated it and fried the light.

10. Replace left hand side (speed) LEDs, there are four in total.

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Left Side (speed) LEDs

11. Replace center (rev counter) LEDs, there are six in total.

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Centr (rev counter) LEDs

If you are changing the color of your LCD then carry on to step 12, otherwise skip to step 15.

12. To remove the LCD, you will need to release the four clips holding it to the board and push up gently. I found it easier to release the two clips on the outer edge and apply pressure to that end of the LCD unit, once it started to move the other two clips could then be released and the unit lifted out.

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LCD unit mounting points

13. Replace the LEDs under the LCD area.

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LCD panel LEDs

14. Test unit by plugging the two connectors back in and switching on the ignition, ensure that all LEDs light as expected, any faulty or missing ones will cause dark spots on the display.

15.Reassemble dash unit in reverse order. Note that when refitting LCD it is important that all the pins are correctly inserted, both in the right holes and fully in. Also ensure that all mounting points are clipped in, both on the main board and in the LCD carrier itself. Also make sure that your grubby finger marks are removed from the LCD screen.
All done.

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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 3
New Member
Cellyentropy Aug 5, 2:36pm - #18710 

New Member
2000 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 3
I do not have any LED's yet, but was planning on buying some from somewhere and then having a body shop or toyota place install them. Do you have any recommendations on where to get good blue LED's?
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