Electrical – Dashboard Lights Replaced with LEDs

What this guide covers:

How to access and change the lights inside the dashboard instrument panel cluster with LEDs.

What you will need:

  • 3x 194 / 168 size LED bulbs for the main lights on the dash instrument cluster (whatever color you like)
  • 10mm socket
  • Philips head screwdriver

Optional:

If you want to replace the other instrument panel lights you can get the following:

  • 1x blue 194 / 168 size LED (high beam)
  • 2x green 194 / 168 size LED (turn signals)
  • 4x red 74 size LED (cooling fan, charging, brake, and seat belt)
  • 1x amber 74 size LED (check engine)

Service Manual Information

Diagram:

Diagram of Instrument Panel
Diagram of Instrument Panel

Helpful Forum Post Information

Light Bulb Sizes

Instrument Panel Light Sizes
Instrument Panel Light Sizes

Location of Lights and What They Mean

Dash Light Information

My Steps

  1. Purchase three 194 / 168 size LEDs you want to use (I bought mine from superbrightleds.com):
    Super Bright LEDs Box
    Super Bright LEDs Box

    194 Size White LED Wedge Lights
    194 Size White LED Wedge Lights
  2. Remove the phillips head screws around the dashboard panels:
    Front of Dash
    Front of Dash
    Bottom Left of Dash
    Bottom Left of Dash
    Bottom Right of Dash
    Bottom Right of Dash
    Inside Right of Dash
    Inside Right of Dash
    Inside Left of Dash
    Inside Left of Dash

    Top of Dash
    Top of Dash
  3. Remove the dash hood:
    Dash Hood Removed
    Dash Hood Removed
    Dash Hood Top
    Dash Hood Top

    Dash Hood Bottom
    Dash Hood Bottom
  4. Unscrew the two 10mm nuts and remove the metal frame under the dash hood:
    Dash Metal Frame
    Dash Metal Frame
    Removal of Metal Hood
    Removal of Metal Hood

    Metal Hood Removed
    Metal Hood Removed
  5. Unclip all electrical connectors from the dash bezel:
    Electrical Connectors Right
    Electrical Connectors Right
    Electrical Connectors Left
    Electrical Connectors Left
    Electrical Connectors Inside Right
    Electrical Connectors Inside Right
    Electrical Connectors Inside Left
    Electrical Connectors Inside Left
    Connector Removal
    Connector Removal

    Slot for Door Ajar Light
    Slot for Door Ajar Light
  6. Remove Bezel:
    Dash Bezel Removed
    Dash Bezel Removed
    Back of Bezel Connectors Left
    Back of Bezel Connectors Left

    Back of Bezel Connectors Right
    Back of Bezel Connectors Right
  7. Remove screws / bolts all around the instrument cluster:
    Instrument Panel Front
    Instrument Panel Front
    Instrument Panel Right
    Instrument Panel Right
    Instrument Panel Top
    Instrument Panel Top

    Instrument Panel Left
    Instrument Panel Left
  8. Disconnect two electrical connectors (push tab and pull) on the left, one electrical connector on the right, and then lift the instrument panel and disconnect the speedometer cable (squeeze):
    Instrument Panel Connectors Left
    Instrument Panel Connectors Left
    Instrument Panel Connector Right
    Instrument Panel Connector Right
    Instrument Panel Connector Right Removed
    Instrument Panel Connector Right Removed
    Instrument Panel Connector Left Removed
    Instrument Panel Connector Left Removed
    Dash Lifted Up
    Dash Lifted Up
    Speedometer cable
    Speedometer cable

    Speedometer Cable Connector
    Speedometer Cable Connector
  9. Remove the instrument panel from the dashboard:
    Instrument Panel Removed
    Instrument Panel Removed

    Connectors Behind Instrument Panel
    Connectors Behind Instrument Panel
  10. Remove the three green light holders along the middle of the instrument panel (twist and pull out):
    Instrument Panel Back
    Instrument Panel Back
    Instrument Panel Light Socket
    Instrument Panel Light Socket
    Instrument Panel Light Holder
    Instrument Panel Light Holder
    Instrument Panel Light Holder Side
    Instrument Panel Light Holder Side

     

  11. Remove the light bulb from its holder:

    Instrument Panel Light Holder with Light Removed
    Instrument Panel Light Holder with Light Removed
  12. Insert the new LED (the one I bought is not polarity sensitive — meaning you don’t have to know which way it needs to be inserted in order for it to work) in the light holder housing.
  13. Put the light holders back in place.
  14. Put everything back in the reverse order of the steps above.
  15. Turn on your lights and see how awesome it looks:
    Instrument Panel Lights Before
    Instrument Panel Lights Before

    Instrument Panel Lights After (White LEDs)
    Instrument Panel Lights After (White LEDs)

Other Thoughts:

I went with white LEDs because I figured they would be the easiest to read and the nicest to look at, but you can feel free to use whatever color you want. Here is an example using green for more of a stock feeling:

Green Dash Lights
Green Dash Lights

One comment

  1. Your video was quite helpful I appreciate it very much I have another question for you obviously you know quite a bit about MR2 I’m looking for the rubber strips that are in front of the headlight I have a 1986 MR2 and I cannot find any replacement strips any advice to any suppliers or anywhere I might find these items

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