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Old 06-03-2009, 10:06 AM   #1
sam o nela
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Default G1 Legend Reverse Glow Gauges Install

G1 Legend Indiglo, Reverse Glow, EL Gauges DIY Install

This DIY will show you the instructions (often NOT included with the kits) on how to install a set of Reverse Glow gauges into your G1 Legend…my Legend is an 87 L Sedan so my gauges are a different design than the 88+ Legends. Although I am pretty sure that this procedure will also work for those cars even with the minor cosmetic changes made over the years. I’d also like to mention that this DIY is NOT for the faint of heart! If you are a beginning DIY’er or don’t yet feel comfortable about you skills, this one MAY NOT be for you…the reason being that it requires you to deal with some very delicate/calibrated parts of the gauge cluster, as well as some simple splicing and drilling in order to wire these things up…so please keep in mind that if you don’t feel confident, you might want to leave this one to a professional installer…we won’t think any less of you my friend!!

Materials Needed:
~New gauge faces (Speedo, Tach, Fuel/Temp) and associated equipment (Power supply with wired 12v/ground wires)
~Phillips Screwdriver
~3M Super 77 Multipurpose Spray Adhesive
~Red Sharpie Permanent Marker
~12 volt tester light
~Electrical tape
~Cordless Drill
~“Eye” connector
~Double-sided tape (if needed)
~24-48 hours of downtime for your car

First things first…move into the driver’s seat and remove the Gauge Pod by removing the four screws securing it into place—two above the plastic window, one under the Sunroof Controls, and one under the Radio Controls…

Don’t forget to undo the two wiring harnesses on either side of the pod as well—one white and one red (its easy to yank those hard enough to damage them if they aren’t disconnected first)

Now remove the four screws securing the Gauge Cluster…

GENTLY tilting the Cluster forward, disconnect the three harnesses (two small yellow, and one large white) and Speedometer cable…

When you are sure that all is disconnected, gently remove cluster from its seat…

Gauge Faces Install

Now with the Cluster on a suitable working space, begin to take the cluster apart…remove these four screws and mounting brackets, undo the large light bulb that reaches over to the back of the cluster, pull off the rubber knob that resets the Trip Meter, and undo these four snap tabs on the top and bottom of the cluster….you may now remove the black surround with the plastic window as well as the black bezel….

With the gauges now exposed, test out how you are going to put on the gauges…I will try to explain, but only real experience can show you how…I will use the Tachometer as an example…the speedometer is the same procedure….

You must first bend the new face like a taco so as to get the needle hole over the needle…BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK THE NEEDLE….

Now slide the needle through the hole until it stops…the part of the reverse glow face that is UNDER the needle must be pushed down flat against the black face and pushed until it goes UNDER the needle’s seat…in doing this, the TOP part of the reverse glow face should now be able to clear the end of the needle…once it clears, you may now center it and line it up to match with the corresponding numbers behind it…

ALSO, if your tachometer or speedometer are thrown off by your wrestling with the faces (i.e. the needles fall below zero) simply move the needle all the way to the right and let it go to see where it now this until it sets back to its original place on the ZERO mark…

The Gas and Temp Gauges are a little bit different…simply turn both needles to point straight down, and you may now slide the Gauge face over them in the same fashion as the other two…AGAIN, BE CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK OR DISLODGE THE NEEDLES…

With your faces now test fitted, we must now route the wires…I ended up drilling a small hole under the Tachometer where there was nothing being utilized in this space (later model clusters may differ)…make the hole just large enough for the face connectors to be able to pass through…

With all of these things now setup, you may now start prepping the gauges for the spray adhesive. Place a regular piece of tape over the needles, over the Odometer and Trip Meter numbers on the Speedo, and over the “Door Open” indicator on the gas/temp gauges…this will protect these mechanical parts from the intense spray adhesive…also cover everything up EXCEPT for the face about to be sprayed (kinda like masking things off before you paint). Use whatever you’d like, newspapers, rags, plastic wrap, whatever you can, but make sure everything around the face is protected like the inside of the cluster, the top circuit board, your work space, etc…

Now, do each face one at a time. Spray the black face first with a good single coat of the spray adhesive so there is a nice layer of adhesive on the face (not too thick, but not to thin either, the black face should look frost white from the spray). Do the same on the BACK of the new White Gauge face SEPARATELY…allow them both to sit for about a minute so they may tack…now this part is why you practiced putting the faces on a few times already!! You must now quickly put the face on in the fashion you did earlier while NOT allowing it to bond until you have centered the hole and lined up the numbers and marks accordingly…once everything’s all lined up and centered, press on it and hold it so that it may bond permanently…now do the other two faces ONE at a time with the same procedure (don’t forget to remove the protective tape from the Odometer and Trip Meter number after applying the adhesive and BEFORE you put the white face on, and remove the tape from the needles when you’re done as well)...remember to TAKE YOUR TIME it’s not a race lol…Now let the cluster sit overnight at room temperature to allow the adhesive to cure properly…I apologize for not having any pics for these steps but there were no good ones due to the flash and poor lighting….but you get the idea right!?

Now once all of the faces are installed and cured, we will start tying things up…of course the first thing you may notice is that the gauge faces are now white with white needles!! Well we will get to that momentarily. First off we have to neatly run the wires through the hole that you drilled yesterday. One at a time, run the wires through the hole, then, tie them down with a strong piece of tape so that they do not get in the way of the black gauge bezel.

Now those White Needles! Go out and buy a regular old bright RED sharpie/permanent marker (or any color you’d like I guess but I think red sure compliments the best!). Now place a piece of scratch paper underneath, and color the white needle in several even coats allowing each to dry before applying the next. Don’t worry this will not weigh them down.

Once that’s all done, put the Gauge cluster back together and BOOM you’re done with this part!! Now on to wiring this thing up!

Continued on next post
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:07 AM   #2
sam o nela
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Wiring up the Gauges

Don’t let the wiring part of this DIY scare you off…even someone with very limited wiring skills can do this one…

First you have your power supply/inverter (I will call it the inverter) with a Positive (12v) and Negative (Ground) wire. Remember that large White Harness Connector from behind the Cluster (just over the speedometer cable)? Well the second to the last wire on that harness (Red/Black) is the wire that sends power to the cluster with the parking lights and headlights on. You will be splicing into this one. DO NOT tap into the last wire (Red) that is next to the one you ARE using!! This controls the dimmer switch and not only will it not work correctly with you gauge faces, BUT on some faces it will SCREW THEM UP BAD…ask my cousin how he knows this!! Anyhow after tapping into the correct wire, find a temporary ground and test that power is being supplied with the 12v tester.

Now you need to find a suitable ground for the Inverter. I found a simple, out of the way place right here under the speedometer cable. I simply drilled a small hole, thoroughly cleaned off the paint with a wire brush, and used a machine screw and washer to secure the ground wire with an “eye” connector. Once again, turn on the parking lights and test that the Inverter is getting 12 volts with the tester.

I found that the inverter fits perfectly and can be mounted below the Red Harness on the right hand side of the cluster pod…mine came with double sided tape already on it but if yours doesn’t have it, use the stronger, permanent foam kind…

My gauges came wired up to a simple, flat, ON/OFF button. I mounted it under the steering column completely out of sight through the hole under the gauge cluster that goes the top of the plastic column cover…again using the supplied double-sided foam tape…

If everything seems good, you may now bring in your cluster, connect the three gauge face plugs to their connectors on the inverter, (but don’t put the whole cluster back in yet if the wire length will allow it…mine would comfortably reach as far as the center console in front of the headunit) turn on the parking lights, and hit the gauges’ ON button (if equipped)…if they come on…SWEET!! Put the rest back together and your all done!! If they don’t, check your ground wire or the 12v splice…but like I said the wiring’s way simple and it should come on first try!! Enjoy!!


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