Chevy SSR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is there any way to turn on the gauge backlighting without switching on the exterior lights? I definitely have trouble seeing the speedo in dim daylight and wondered if there was a way?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
A lot of the newer cars have backlighting on all the time. Just wondered if I could add a relay or wiring to keep the backlighting on all the time?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
518 Posts
Yes, you can. I did that very thing to mine for the same reason you are looking to do it...hard to see at times during the day. I used a double pull, double throw relay in order to turn them fully on with the ignition during daylight, but return them to normal dimmable operation at night. Even then, during daytime, the gauges can be hard to see. I took it a couple of steps further and added LED ribbon lights around the entire inside perimeter of the gauge housing and also made LED light rings that I mounted on top of the stepper motors to further illuminate the gauge needles.
Many folks change their gauge faces and/or needles to a different color, making them easier to see. I wanted to keep the black gauge face, so I chose to go a different route.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
518 Posts
Here are pics of the LEDs I mounted on the stepper motors to illuminate the needles. I am traveling and don’t have pics with me of the LED ribbon lighting, or pics of the gauges during the daytime. I can post those in a few days if you’re interested.
570790
570791
 

·
Super Road Rocket Pilot
Joined
·
5,852 Posts
Yes, you can. I did that very thing to mine for the same reason you are looking to do it...hard to see at times during the day. I used a double pull, double throw relay in order to turn them fully on with the ignition during daylight, but return them to normal dimmable operation at night. Even then, during daytime, the gauges can be hard to see. I took it a couple of steps further and added LED ribbon lights around the entire inside perimeter of the gauge housing and also made LED light rings that I mounted on top of the stepper motors to further illuminate the gauge needles.
Many folks change their gauge faces and/or needles to a different color, making them easier to see. I wanted to keep the black gauge face, so I chose to go a different route.
Yowsa, nice work TruckNRod! I did not think there would be clearance around that area that would allow the installation of the LEDs like that. Any reason you did not swap out the blue OEM lights to LED first? I use a 3 led board to replace the OEMs when I do faceplate swaps and also coloriize the OEM needles from white to orange, I wonder how much different this is compared to those changes? I would imagine this is quite a bit brighter but just for the center needle area???.

When you get back home another picture of the gauge installed during daytime operation would be cool (y)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
518 Posts
Any reason you did not swap out the blue OEM lights to LED first? I use a 3 led board to replace the OEMs when I do faceplate swaps and also coloriize the OEM needles from white to orange, I wonder how much different this is compared to those changes? I would imagine this is quite a bit brighter but just for the center needle area???.
Dragon,
When driving at night, I like to have the instrument cluster very dim. Experimentation showed me that all other switch/button OE illumination would probably be dimmed completely out if I replaced the OE bulbs with LEDs in the gauge cluster and had them dimmed way down.
The LED ribbon I used around the inside perimeter of the gauge housing is green. The rings I made for the stepper motors are red LEDs. I also repainted my OE needles red.

The gauge face backlighting now glows green and needles glow red in daylight, and switch back to OE dimmable backlighting when the headlights are on.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
518 Posts
I wonder how much different this is compared to those changes? I would imagine this is quite a bit brighter but just for the center needle area???.

When you get back home another picture of the gauge installed during daytime operation would be cool (y)
I found a couple of “not-so-great” pics showing “night” and “day” gauge lighting. Zoom in a bit on the gauge cluster to see the difference. The brighter green is “day” lighting. For some reason the needles are washed out in the “day” picture...they actually glow as red as the needles in the three-gauge dash pod.
I’ll post better ones in a few days when back home.
570800
570801
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Yowsa, nice work TruckNRod! I did not think there would be clearance around that area that would allow the installation of the LEDs like that. Any reason you did not swap out the blue OEM lights to LED first? I use a 3 led board to replace the OEMs when I do faceplate swaps and also coloriize the OEM needles from white to orange, I wonder how much different this is compared to those changes? I would imagine this is quite a bit brighter but just for the center needle area???.

When you get back home another picture of the gauge installed during daytime operation would be cool (y)
Thanks for the information and pictures. Looks like a great installation. I get nervous when pulling a dash apart to do mods like this but with previous experience shared by people like you, it makes it much easier to accomplish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I found a couple of “not-so-great” pics showing “night” and “day” gauge lighting. Zoom in a bit on the gauge cluster to see the difference. The brighter green is “day” lighting. For some reason the needles are washed out in the “day” picture...they actually glow as red as the needles in the three-gauge dash pod.
I’ll post better ones in a few days when back home. View attachment 570800 View attachment 570801
Love the changes you have made to your interior. Really one of a kind!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,543 Posts
Changing the face plate to white with red needles helps greatly with daytime viewing.
I changed my bulbs to blue LEDs and as stated above they don't dim down enough for night before going black, With the LED's dimmed down as much as they can the other lights inside and the DIC are to dim to read and they still create "hot spots" of light on the gauge face.
I am experimenting with a frosted plastic shield to mount behind the face plate to disperse the led light better and soften it up. I have a spare gauge unit to experiment with.
greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I don't have trouble seeing mine, changed many faceplates to white w/red needles.

Other colors available.

Dicktator
Who sells the other colors and how difficult is it change them? I have nightmares about previous dashboard removals in other cars I have owned.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
518 Posts
U.S. Speedo makes and sells the faceplates and needles. Many after-market vendors sell them, including E-Bay...usually in the $110-120 range...needles around $65.
Pretty easy install...Dictator has the process documented in his “how-to” library.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
U.S. Speedo makes and sells the faceplates and needles. Many after-market vendors sell them, including E-Bay...usually in the $110-120 range...needles around $65.
Pretty easy install...Dictator has the process documented in his “how-to” library.
Thanks for the info. Probably others already know how to do this but I have only owned my 05 R since August. There is a wealth of information here that is freely shared and greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I am hoping there are overlays made for 6 speed too. My preliminary search has shown only auto versions?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
518 Posts
Unfortunately, US Speedo doesn’t make a six-speed face plate. A properly sized sticker, appliqué, etc., could be placed over the shift indicator window.
I looked into having a six-speed face plate made, but it was too expensive for me.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top