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  #31  
Old 01-04-2010, 09:37 AM
STL STL is offline
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radio bezel just pulls straight out

gauge clustere is cliped on
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  #32  
Old 01-04-2010, 09:55 AM
bdmsb bdmsb is offline
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STL - I'm sure you're right. I just remember the same problem, thinking that the radio bezel was not coming out. And I remember clips, but they must have been in other parts. The unexpected issue for me was the cable for the gear shift indicator, which prevented release of the instrument cluster, and I was afraid to pull out.
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  #33  
Old 01-04-2010, 10:15 AM
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gear selector just clips in also
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  #34  
Old 01-10-2010, 03:43 PM
Quiz Quiz is offline
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STL...thank you sir...


You've done us all a nice favor with this awesome and clearly labelled how-to. I tore my dash apart this afternoon, and with my laptop in the passenger seat and wireless internet reception in the garage, I followed right along and everything worked great. I probably would not have tackled it without your instructions to guide me, so I owe you a beer.

The gear selector wire scared me, because I couldn't see for sure how it was connected, so I just tipped the gauge cluster forward and I had enough lead in the wires to get to the bulb sockets without removing it completely. Pliers definitely help get those things out of there - They are tight.

All blown bulbs replaced, I can actually see my fuel gauge and speedo at night now (LOL), and everything is buttoned back up without incident. Total time, about 1 hour. Total cuss words, 1...and that was only because I dropped one of the screws and it fell out of the truck and rolled under the Mustang...had to belly crawl on the cold garage floor to get it. LMAO

Thanks again.
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  #35  
Old 01-10-2010, 03:53 PM
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The gear selector is easy to get out if you ever need to do this again

You simply press 2 tabs one on each side and it pulls out then pops back in
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  #36  
Old 01-10-2010, 04:44 PM
bdmsb bdmsb is offline
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I, too, want to thank you for your description of the disassembly. I never would have attempted it otherwise. It was incredibly generous and thorough.
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  #37  
Old 02-01-2010, 08:34 PM
Joe Temus Joe Temus is offline
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Default different color

can you trade out any of the bulbs to a different color? i think it would be sweet to have a instrument cluster that glowed red .... any other mods id have to do to do that?
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  #38  
Old 02-01-2010, 08:58 PM
DrIftKi7Vg DrIftKi7Vg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Temus View Post
can you trade out any of the bulbs to a different color? i think it would be sweet to have a instrument cluster that glowed red .... any other mods id have to do to do that?
You would have to of course take out the cluster. Then take off the plastic cover follow by the gauge faces. Then you would have to sand the green off the back and paint whatever color you choose. If you want red, that's what I'm hearing, you would paint all the numbers and words red and either get red LED for the most red light ever or just white LEDs. I just done mine and will post pictures real soon. Hope this helps.
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  #39  
Old 02-06-2010, 05:56 PM
replacedlights replacedlights is offline
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Thank you for the detailed instructions and photos, without which I would not have attempted this. Getting everything out (on my 2000 Ranger XL) was exactly as described. Once I had the instrument panel out I was surprised that my fingers were not strong enough to turn the black lightbulb holders out - I had to use a pair of pliers. Having gone to this much trouble I swapped out all six bulbs. I took off the clear plastic lens while I was at it (it's attached to the instrument panel with six tork fasteners) and cleaned it off inside and out with glass cleaner and paper towels to get rid of the dead bugs and dust.

I ran into one problem on reassembly. As I was putting the trim piece that fits around the instrument panel back in I accidentally knocked out a couple of metal clips. Then I wondered why two of the three screws that go in at the top of the trim piece wouldn't thread in - turns out those metal clips have a hole in them that is threaded to accept those screws. So I had to take the trim piece out again. The metal clips just slip onto little tabs in the plastic piece above the instrument panel that the trim piece screws up into. Having fixed that problem the rest wasn't too bad. I was a little apprehensive about figuring out which of the three wire harnesses goes into which slot but fortunately they are three different sizes which solves that problem. Getting the instrument panel aligned at the right angle so that it will go back in while also giving yourself enough clearance to plug those wiring harnesses back in is tricky but after several tries I eventually got it.

The other mistake I made which added a lot of time was not having the right tools. I have metric sockets but the smallest I have is 9 mm. So I tried to make do with 7 mm and 8 mm wrenches open on one end and box on the other - big mistake. You really do need sockets to get some of those screws back in. Fortunately I had a cheapo set of small English sockets one of which (I think it was 5/32) was close enough to get 'em in. But do yourself a favor and get 7 mm and 8 mm sockets or nut drivers before you attempt this.

Final cost was $13.35 for 10 194LL bulbs (shipped) plus something like three hours of my time (I'm obviously not the best mechanic in the world).

Last edited by replacedlights; 02-06-2010 at 06:09 PM.
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  #40  
Old 02-07-2010, 07:57 AM
mcpink mcpink is offline
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Not bad fpr $13.35. I checked the dealer a couple of years ago when mine went out and they said it would be about $220 just for the labor. Well worth the cost of the bulbs and a little time on my part to do it myself.
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  #41  
Old 03-27-2010, 12:41 AM
mikewurtz mikewurtz is offline
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Default Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

The only reason I registered for this forum was to take the time to thank STL for such an awesome guide. Thanks for taking the time to make it detailed enough to make the process idiot-proof.

Using your posts I changed out the dash lights in my '99 ranger today. It was so easy and it only took me 40 minutes. I also took your advice and changed all 6 while I was in there. All 6 bulbs only cost me $8.40 at NAPA.

You're the man.

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  #42  
Old 04-12-2010, 03:56 PM
fishmonger6 fishmonger6 is offline
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Default Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

Are ALL the bulbs 194/194LL? Even the ones with beige base (the lights for ABS, seat belt, parking brake, etc.)?
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  #43  
Old 04-12-2010, 04:15 PM
STL STL is offline
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Default Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

the 194LL is the same as the 194 LL means Long Life

Sylvania's website list the following as replacement bulbs

161
1815
194
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  #44  
Old 06-22-2010, 08:02 PM
hecktix hecktix is offline
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Default Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

how do you make a 194 work with the black holder? I have a 05 edge, and my bulbs are so tiny and my owners manual wont even give me a bulb size, just to take it to the dealer...

freaking bs!
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  #45  
Old 06-22-2010, 08:22 PM
DrIftKi7Vg DrIftKi7Vg is offline
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Default Re: Instrument Cluster Bulb Replacement

You have to take the cluster out (hopefully you know how to do it). Now the clusters for the rangers take the 194 bulbs. Just unscrew the black knobs behind the cluster and switch out the bulbs. Trust me and us, the 194 bulbs will fit. So yeah, good luck, any more questions just hit me up.
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