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http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/48334-dash-lights-mod.html



I was bored the other day, so I decided to add some lights to my dash--the dark place with all the switches. The whole project was under $6.00 and took about 2 hours to complete.
Here is a list of needed materials:
LEDs-I went with yellow ones (they are actually orange). Cost: $2.79 for two.

Resistor-LEDs are rated at 2.1V, they would burn if connected straight to 12V. Cost: $0.99 for a pack of five.

LED holders-not necessary, but makes for a clean install. Cost: $1.49.

Other supplies: shrink tubbing, solder wire, soldering iron, wire, drill, 1/4" drill bit, fine sand paper.


First problem was to make the light from the LED evenly spread. I did that by "sanding" LEDs with fine sand paper. On the left is untouched LED, on the right is the one after sanding:


Why would I do that? Well, look here. Original LED:


"improved" LED:


and side-by-side:


First, the resistor needs to be attached to the + side (the longer one)

Since LEDs will be connected in series, only one resistor is needed.

Next, I drilled two 1/4" holes in the underside of center console:


One more hole was needed to pass the wire through:


Few pics of LEDs in place:


(penny is a size-reference tool :) )

I wanted LEDs to operate same as dash lights (on with headlights, off without). One way of doing it is to connect new LEDs to existing LEDs (i.e. backlighting of rear defrost switch). Most likely, I would go that route, if I had to do it again, but I didn't think about it until later. Instead, I chose to connect new LEDs here:


another angle:


From there it was a piece of cake:


To hold wires from shifting, I used some silicone:


So, here is "before":


and after:




LEDs are not visible from normal seating position. They provide a nice, soft glow and the color is almost an exact match. FJ definitely needs more interior lights...
 
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