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Optitron Dashboard


yannick
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I've already asked this question on the Avensis discussion area, but since many models might be similar, here it is again:

I've tried to change the colour of my optitron dashboard, but once I got the instrument cluster out it seemed like a sealed unit with no way of accessing the innards, specifically the lights (or LEDs or whatever...). I have pics that I could post if anyone needs to see what the back looks like.

Has anyone any experience in changing the lighting on an optitron dashboard? The Avensis is orange, which is about the only thing I don't like in the whole car. I would prefer blue or green (or white as is apparently the case in the 'Rolla).

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Yannick

The Optitron dashboards on Toyota's use surface mount LED's whilst Lexus uses Cold Cathode Tubes (In all cases except IS200/Altezza).

It is not difficult to replace the orange surface mount LED's for a different colour. You would need to de-solder the original LED's using a 15w Soldering Iron and some de-soldering braid. If you use more than 15w on a Soldering Iron you risk damaging the circuit board. You will have to also make a note of the orientation of each LED before you remove them, since LED's are polarised and must be soldered the right way to work (unlike bulbs).

I have not seen the new Avensis cluster and so cannot comment. If it is VDO (like the older Avensis) then it is likely that you will need to remove needles, I can assist you here. It would help if you could post up some pictures of the board, then I can tell you more.

For LEDs check these links out;

http://www.smtled.com/

http://www.optoloco.com/

http://www.superbrightleds.com/

Also check out this link for conversion on a 2000 Celica, this will be of great interest to you.

http://www.everythingcelica.com/ubbthreads...apsed_2__1.html

Nad

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Thanks for the info. :thumbsup: I'll check out the links.

From what I can see you definitely need to remove the needles before being able to get inside the unit, which is one of the reasons that I didn't really feel like digging any farther until I got some advice.

Below is a snapshot of the back of the instrument cluster:

103_0315c.sized.jpg

The four white squares are the back of the needle axles. There are clips around the edge of the PCB that I could undo to remove the front (printed) part of the cluster, but to do that the needles must first be removed.

Anyway, I'll check out your links and get back to you on this one. If you need more specific pictures I can do them at the w/e (I don't have time during the week :( )

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Hi Nad,

OK, I've looked at your links, and as you said, the last one was particularly interesting. It's a bit daunting, but I think that I'll give it a go. I'm probably going to have to take the dash apart again to check out the number of LEDs, and I'll see if I can find out their brightness / wattage / whatever. As I don't have a garage, it'll have to wait a wee while (I'd rather not leave the car in the street with the dash in peices!)

When I do the exploratory dismantling I'll take some more piccies. But I'll need any advice that you can give me for the needles.

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Yannick

It looks like a VDO manufactured cluster to me, and it is using stepper motors for the needles like the older Avensis.

I would get yourself the LEDs before you attempt to remove needles, saves doing it more than once.

Before you remove the cluster, I would take an accurate note of the needle rest positions (with ignition off) or better still - a photo of each dial face and its needle rest position. This will be critical when it comes to replacing the needles back onto the motors.

NOTE: Do not switch ignition on whilst the cluster is not plugged into the vehicle, or you may find that the Air-Bag/ABS lights flash on the cluster when it is replaced.

These stepper motors have a locking position near the dial rest position, and it is met when the needle moves anti-clockwise. If you look you will notice that the dial faces do not have pins for the needles to rest on like some clusters.

Get some rubber gloves on (surgeons) like the mechanics like to use and remove the front glass cover etc... until you have full access to the dial faces and needles.

To remove the needles, twist them ANTI-clockwise whilst gently lifting, they will twist right around (360) a few times until they free. Continue with the rest until all needles have been removed. Do not worry if any of the needles come off with the steel motor shaft, they will go back into the motor without a problem.

You should now be able to seperate the PCB (circuit board) from the dial faces and cluster housing.

When it comes to re-inserting the needles, simply push them on half way only near the resting position, with the cluster still only partly assembled, plug back into vehicle (without key in ignition) and you should hear the motors whirring and the needles should adjust to their resting places. Check the needle resting positions against your notes/photos and adjust them by twisting anti-clockwise, disconnect and re-connect the cluster again to make the motors go to rest positions again. Keep doing this until all needles are spot on.

Once all aligned properly, remove the cluster and push the needles all the way in, but not too hard otherwise they will rub against the dial faces (use card here to assist). Now again replace cluster in vehicle and re-check needle positions, re-adjust again if you need to (No need to pull needles this time, just twist anti-clockwise).

When you are happy with the needles rest positions, remove the cluster, re-assemble and replace!

It may seem a bit long winded, but its quite straight forward really.

For interest, I can see that the Eprom 93c56 which contains the mileage is on the back of the PCB (small 8 pin chip).

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One long reply deserves another:

It looks like a VDO manufactured cluster to me, and it is using stepper motors for the needles like the older Avensis.

Could be, I can't remember what is marked on the PCB. But everything you say in your description seems to match.

I would get yourself the LEDs before you attempt to remove needles, saves doing it more than once.

Yes, but I need to know how many and of what type so that I can buy them... Unless you can tell me where to find this info... such as a wiring diagram?

Before you remove the cluster, I would take an accurate note of the needle rest positions (with ignition off) or better still - a photo of each dial face and its needle rest position.  This will be critical when it comes to replacing the needles back onto the motors.

Good idea :yes:

NOTE: Do not switch ignition on whilst the cluster is not plugged into the vehicle, or you may find that the Air-Bag/ABS lights flash on the cluster when it is replaced.

Whoops! :eek: I didn't know that when I undid the dashboard last time! Luckily I didn't turn the ingition on

Get some rubber gloves on (surgeons) like the mechanics like to use and remove the front glass cover etc...

What's with the rubber gloves? :eek: :D :P :P

It may seem a bit long winded, but its quite straight forward really. 

No, it sounds OK. You've covered the process very clearly :thumbsup:

For interest, I can see that the Eprom 93c56 which contains the mileage is on the back of the PCB (small 8 pin chip).

So that's the bit that I unsolder for a while to avoid having the milage recorded? :P

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It's occurred to me that the LCDs for the aircon, radio, & trip computer may be lit by the same type of LEDs. Also maybe the lights in the steering wheel and under the switchgear. I suppose the ashtray could be lit that way as well... oh, and in the door armrests too...

That's a lot of lights! :eek:

Anyone have any idea on this? I haven't tried to undo the centre console or the steering wheel yet :(

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  • 7 years later...

Hi buddy,

Just a quick one, how did you get on with changing the leds? How they come out? Reason for me asking is I was going to get a friend of mine who works with circuit boards to do mine for me. If you could kindly post some images that would be fantastic...

Thanks dude

Yaseen

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  • 1 year later...

So I'll dig up this old thread

Has anyone done this after all? Any pictures

What wonders me is what type of SMD LEDs are used there, i think they are 0603 but could someone confirm?

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