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  #1  
Old 12-05-2009, 01:48 PM
NOLArat NOLArat is offline
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Default How To: Change the Green Color on your Temperature Control (Picture Heavy)

Step 1) Remove the 2 7mm screws that hold your stereo surround in and pull that baby out.

You don't HAVE to pull the wires from everything but it certainly makes things easier. If you do, completely remove the bezel with stereo and set it aside.





Step 2) Remove the 4 7mm screws that hold the HVAC controls (2 on each side) and remove the wires that connect it.

You should now be able to bring the plastic piece inside to work where it's warm (or cool).



Step 3) Get something small and flat (like a small flathead screwdriver) or improvise like I did and slowly pry the tabs over the white hook things.

You only have to do the top 4 and then the bottom 4 slide off. (I did this before removing the knobs but you can remove the knobs first if you want.)





Step 4) Once all 4 tabs are loose, remove the knobs

Simply grab them one by one and and pull straight out. You might have to pull really hard but they'll come off.



Step 5) Now that the knobs are off the front part will just pull right off.

Inside you'll see 2 pieces. One is a clear plastic part that helps disperse the light evenly. The other is a thin plastic sheet that has green paint on it. This is what makes the green color. You can see in the pictures below that the only permanent colored part is the Blue/Green temp settings. I'm sure with enough finesse you can sand that off but I left it.







Step 6) Pop the plastic piece out of the dials

If you want to change the green from the actual dials, there's another part that you need to take care of. Place the dial on your work area and then get something small and flat and push down on the white indicator. With a small bit of force, it pops out and slides down. Simply remove the plastic dial and you'll have the plastic indicator sitting there. Now I did two of these HVAC controls and one had clear plastic indicators with green/white paint on the tip and then I had these. They're actually green tinted plastic dials with white paint on the tip. Either way it goes, your next step is the same.







Step 7) Get some fine sandpaper (I used 320 grit) and go outside (unless you don't mind getting a bunch of fine green dust in your house)






Step 8) OPTIONAL STEP: Sand the green sheet

The sheet with the green paint on it is actually unnecessary. If you want to revert back to stock in the future, put this sheet somewhere safe. I decided to sand this sheet because I figured it would help spread the light out evenly. Anyway, this sheet has two sides. One side is rough, the other side is smooth. The side with the paint is the smooth side. You want to sand that green paint off so get started.











Step 9) Sand the paint off the plastic dial pieces

If you wanted to do the dials as well, sand the white paint off the tips. I found it easiest to put the sandpaper on a flat surface and then just scrape the dials up and down on it. You're going to remove some of the plastic but it really doesn't matter. It'll still show the light properly.





Step 10) When done, you can wash up and bring everything inside.

Step 11) Get a plastic sheet to paint

Now the other guide on cardomain says to paint the inside plastic which I didn't like. I might want to change the color to red one day or a different shade of blue. I don't like making 100% permanent choices because I change my mind often. So instead I chose to do this. I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased a sheet of clear plastic. I found it in the framing section by the drafting/tracing stuff.





Step 12) Now you want to get the once green plastic sheet that you sanded and trace the outline onto the plastic sheet.

I cut a rectangle off the sheet because that is easier to work with and then traced the shape I want to cut. It doesn't have to be perfect or pretty. It just has to fit properly.





Step 13) Cut the sheet out and test fit.

You may have to trim here and there to get it perfect. Once it fits perfectly, draw two vertical lines to separate the 3 dials. The middle area is your DO NOT CROSS line. If you cross that line you go into the blue/red temperature area and you'll end up mixing colors and it won't look right.







Step 14) Make the plastic piece the color you want the lights to glow.

At first I took the easy way out and used a sharpie. It didn't come out that great. The blue was a different shade than the temperature control blue and made it look weird. I decided to try and color over the blue part of the temperature control to see if I could make it match and it just made the blue there really dark.







I went back to Hobby Lobby and picked up some transparent blue paint. I tried to find some that would match the temperature control blue. I ended up getting some Transparent Createx Airbrush Colors paint in the Brite Blue shade. It's meant for airbrushing T-Shirts but the guy there said it would work on plastic.







I also picked up some small paint brushes and tried painting the plastic. I had trouble with the paint sticking to the plastic so I just blobbed it on. Again I was being lazy and it came out looking like poo.





Finally I decided to go get some more sandpaper in the 60 grit fashion and roughed up the plastic a good bit. With the scratches all in the plastic, the paint stuck great. I sanded both sides of the plastic and did 2 coats per side. I also painted the tips of the little plastic pieces from the dials and also painted some of the side to try and make the light more blue then green.













Step 15) Put everything back together

When you're done painting that plastic sheet, put it in first. If you decided to sand the green plastic sheet put the now clear plastic sheet over it. Then put the clear plastic light disperser thingy on top of the rest and snap it all back together.



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  #2  
Old 12-05-2009, 01:49 PM
NOLArat NOLArat is offline
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Step 16) Test it out

I have a mini maglite that also acts as a "candle" if you completely remove the cap. I used this to put in each hole and took two different pictures to show the enclosure completely back together as it would look in my truck.





Here's the two halves photoshopped together



If you were curious this is what the sharpie one looks like (two halves photoshopped together)



Step 17) Hook everything back up in your truck and you're done!

I don't have any pictures yet of my truck back together but will do so after 5 when it gets dark.

Let me know if you have any questions

(Had to split it up into 2 parts because of the 10,000 word limit per post)
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2009, 01:54 PM
RangerJustin RangerJustin is offline
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This is a for sure do for me. Thanks for posting up!
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2009, 02:42 PM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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Here's an OEM looking alternative.... 95-97 HVAC knobs. They illuminate blue.

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  #5  
Old 12-05-2009, 03:07 PM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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I meant to add this to the above post, but editing isn't allowed in teh how-to section...


You can find those blue indicator knobs in 95-97 Rangers, Explorers, Taurus(idk specific years) and their Mercury/Mazda counterparts.




About 4 years ago, I did the same exact thing you did in your how-to. Used a transparency with a sharpie. Didn't work out too well. Then redid it using transparent glass paint. But over some time the paint peeled up off the sheet. Wasn't satisfied. So, I went without the color film and threw in 194 LED's and aimed them.






Later down the road(2 years ago), I popped that front cover off, filled those indicator spots with blue transparent glass paint and redid my LED's. You can do this method with the stock bulbs and it'll last alot longer. And you can do some color change like in my pics above.




Just trying to show the other ways of doing it from someone who's done it on the long term. Good luck to anyone who chooses to do it!!
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2009, 03:10 PM
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May have to give this a shot but in red
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2009, 03:43 PM
RangerNDog RangerNDog is offline
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Great write up. Next time I head to the JY I am going to pick me up a spare set of HVAC controls and play around.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2009, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerNDog View Post
Great write up. Next time I head to the JY I am going to pick me up a spare set of HVAC controls and play around.
Let me know if you go and find some
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2009, 07:13 PM
NOLArat NOLArat is offline
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thanks guys. the blue didn't turn out as blue as i wanted it. i'm going to make a run to pep boys tomorrow and see if they have blue LEDs that will fit the 194 bulbs. if not i'll have to go to radio shack and grab some LEDs and resistors and see what i can do to make it more blue instead of teal.

thanks for the info fx4. i didn't have that glass paint that everyone usually uses so i just went with what was local. in hindsight i should have probably ordered the glass paint online when i ordered the HVAC controls. oh well. i mostly just wanted to document in photos how easy this is because i was kind of intimidated before starting with it (so intimidated i didn't want to mess with my only controls and ordered a spare to play with)

here's some pics to show how it's not as blue as the rest of my stuff, so i still need to work on that plastic sheet or something...



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  #10  
Old 12-05-2009, 07:22 PM
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The blue sharpie turned out pretty good

The problem with plug in LED's is they don't have a very good light pattern
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2009, 07:28 PM
mcpink mcpink is offline
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Very detailed write up, NOLArat! I'll have to give it a go soon.
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2009, 09:08 PM
Fx4wannabe01 Fx4wannabe01 is offline
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^^Inverted 194 LED's work GREAT in that location. That setup is actually BETTER than my 9 5mm led setup. I soldered the leads of the 194 to the ribbin base so that I was able to aim. Plus, my HVAC stuff had #74 bulbs and not 194's.

I used the glasspaint I found at a local craft store. Michaels or Craft Warehouse or even Joanne's. Like $5 for a thing of like 8 colors. The packaging looks like watercolors from grade school. haha.
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2009, 11:47 PM
NCLivingBrit NCLivingBrit is offline
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Have you considered using acetate sheet? Unlike paint the colour is in the material, so it won't peel and they're pretty durable.

http://www.misterart.com/g420/Grafix...etate-Film.htm

We used to use acetate sheet and film for coloured lighting effects with flashguns too, you get a much cleaner colour with the acetate than painted glass or plastic.
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2009, 10:00 PM
FoMoCo FoMoCo is offline
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for anyone interested in have a second set of blue knobs from an explorer
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  #15  
Old 01-02-2010, 03:10 PM
DrIftKi7Vg DrIftKi7Vg is offline
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Where can you get the stuff at to do this project?
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