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      11-17-2012, 01:00 AM   #1
MuNkY6913
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2009 135i  [4.00]
DIY: blue LED's in instrument cluster.

I've been wanting to do this for a really long time now. I've got a lot of people saying it wont look good. I'm really glad i did it. and this is how i did it.

i ordered 3528 SMD LED's of ebay - 20 peice- $2.99
i ordered white face gauges of ebay - $23.99
i had a local sign shop print out stickers of the m power symbol and 135i badge.

this is how the gauge faces turned out.
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to remove the cluster there is 2 screws above the cluster.
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after you have those out just pull on the cluster and it will come out towards you. remove the cable from the back of the cluster. and now you have the unit free. on the back of the cluster there is 6 tabs that is holding the black housing around the cluster together. there is also a sticker that needs to be peeled back.
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place this piece aside for now.
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now you have to remove the back black portion of the housing. or you can leave it on, its up to you. i took it off.
there are 4 tabs around the receptacle for the plug in the back.
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just use a small screw driver to press those tabs to release the housing.
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now follow this video to remove the needles
http://www.bimmian.com/M-Style-Red-N...r-E91-3-Series



once those are off release the 4 white tabs holding the circuit board to the faces.Name:  white tabs.jpg
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you also have to disconnect the ribbon by pulling out on the black tab and the ribbon slides out.
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you can now set this piece aside. or if you were wanting to put on the white faces now would be the time to do it. just follow directions that come with the faces.
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these are the LED's. i had a friend that is really good with soldering and he really helped me do this right. there is solder on both sides of the LED and all you have to do is melt each side and pull the LED off with tweezers or something small to grab them. and then solder the new ones on. there is a corner that is missing on the LED's so make sure that it lines up the same as the old ones.
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after you get the new LED's on the board, re install the parts in reverse order.
re installing the needles is a pain in the a.

this is what it looks light with lights off.
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and this is with lights on.
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and this is from sitting in the seat.
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i'm really happy with the outcome and i cant wait to tear apart the steering wheel and door handles and everywhere else there is a orange LED and replace it. time for everyone to tell me how much they hate it but i like it and i doubt i'll run into someone with the same look, even minus the blue LED's. i like it being unique. thanks for looking!
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      11-17-2012, 01:15 AM   #2
WhiteTgr135i
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Hm, unique. I would love to do this but with red needles + minus the blue. Nice DIY. Nice to see something different.
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      11-17-2012, 02:54 AM   #3
litebulb
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Not to fond of blue, I really like our stock red. But major props for the work you put in, definitely unique.
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      11-17-2012, 03:01 AM   #4
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i used to really hate our orange colour, but after a 2 years its finally grown on me. blue looks a little hard to see in the day perhaps?
otherwise, looks ace.
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      11-17-2012, 06:28 AM   #5
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2009 128i  [3.48]
nice results mann, I would do this too, but I had blue everything in my integra. The orange is a nice change for me. Rocking blue is definitely awesome though!
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      11-17-2012, 09:00 AM   #6
MuNkY6913
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2009 135i  [4.00]
Thanks guys. This is my first car I've had that has had blue anything in it. Haven't had the lights on yet during the day but I wouldn't imagine I would really need them to show up real well. I like sticking with the blue theme. It goes well with the car. I think red needles would look out of place. And it's the same color as my radar. Once I get the other LEDs changed over I think it will fit a lot better as well.
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      11-17-2012, 11:59 AM   #7
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Not for me, but props!
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      11-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #8
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Had those in my honda civic when I was 18...lol

I guess we all get the "tuning bug" at one point or the other in our lives!
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      11-23-2012, 07:20 PM   #9
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First time postin on this site and I must say that is so sick I can't wait to do it to mine that looks awesome I love blue
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      11-24-2012, 01:49 AM   #10
MuNkY6913
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2009 135i  [4.00]
Thanks! Glad you like it.
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      11-24-2012, 10:58 AM   #11
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The blue seems to be too harsh on the eyes... And it clashes with the rest of the lighting which is orange-red.

To each their own.
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      11-24-2012, 11:00 AM   #12
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I like the white gauges but not the blue leds, i think it is just not OEm enough. I think The oem orange color over the white faces would be sportier. Ah and sorry but those stickers just don't look good, car is not M and the 135i sticker doesn't even have OEM font type. Other that the white color of the gauges the cluster looks chavy.
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      11-24-2012, 06:30 PM   #13
MuNkY6913
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Planning on eventually going the same blue through out the cabin. Your right its not and m. So I guess I should take everything else of that has an m on it. Door sills, steering wheel, rims. Doesn't have to be an m_ to have the m somewhere. And it's not supposed to look OEM. Obviously they don't come like that. This is something that I did myself that makes my car fit me better. The lighting isn't harsh at all. Even looking from orange to the blue it's not harsh. And while I'm driving I don't even see the other orange lights in the cabin. All I see is the dash. So it works out really well. I like it. Good thing it's in my car.
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      11-24-2012, 11:30 PM   #14
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looks cool, id choose this any day over our stock cluster but id choose the 1m cluster over this. very nice diy though, good job.
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      11-24-2012, 11:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuNkY6913 View Post
Planning on eventually going the same blue through out the cabin. Your right its not and m. So I guess I should take everything else of that has an m on it. Door sills, steering wheel, rims. Doesn't have to be an m_ to have the m somewhere. And it's not supposed to look OEM. Obviously they don't come like that. This is something that I did myself that makes my car fit me better. The lighting isn't harsh at all. Even looking from orange to the blue it's not harsh. And while I'm driving I don't even see the other orange lights in the cabin. All I see is the dash. So it works out really well. I like it. Good thing it's in my car.
Looks good we want pics when all is blue
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      11-25-2012, 12:47 AM   #16
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Nice DIY
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      11-26-2012, 08:07 PM   #17
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2011 BMW 128i  [3.75]
Did you manage to convert the rest of the cabin to blue? I'm thinking of doing mine white to match my alpine white look. I think it will reflect nicely with my piano black interior. I already found some white LEDs. Just waiting to see how the rest of your cabin will look!
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      11-26-2012, 11:27 PM   #18
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Aesthetic issues aside, which you know about, great job overall. If your'e going to do it this is the right way to do it. And thanks for putting the time into a write-up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuNkY6913 View Post
i had a friend that is really good with soldering and he really helped me do this right.
This is where you are lucky! I'm decent w/ soldering but not sure I'd want to even try it. Really gotta have the right tools for the small stuff.
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      11-27-2012, 05:23 AM   #19
MuNkY6913
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I haven't yet done anymore in the cabin. Bought a couple hundred dollar beater car so I'm putting time and money into that at the moment so I can get the 1er in the garage as soon as possible an out of the winter weather. Your right I was real lucky with having that friend. He had the small iron tips that really helped. Once I get more LEDs ill take alot of pics and maybe a video on how we did the LEDs. Got really excited and nervous doing the cluster so I forgot to take pictures most of the time. I managed to remember to snap a few as everything went back together. I have a bunch of the white LEDs, I was thinking of doing it in white at first but I'm glad I went with the blue. I think the white would look awesome in your alpine white. I'll keep this updated as I do more. Hopefully within the next few weeks.
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      11-27-2012, 05:33 AM   #20
MuNkY6913
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2009 135i  [4.00]
There's a thread of someone willing to do it for you for a price in the for sale section. He has the already blue cluster for sale. He has pics of all the other stuff turned blue as well.
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      11-27-2012, 01:49 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MuNkY6913
There's a thread of someone willing to do it for you for a price in the for sale section. He has the already blue cluster for sale. He has pics of all the other stuff turned blue as well.
Yeah I just saw that yesterday! He did everything but the radio
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      11-27-2012, 06:44 PM   #22
MuNkY6913
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He also did the radio. It might be later in the thread or a different. I asked him and he did do it. I'm gonna try it.
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