Jump to content


'92 Es300 - Needles And Lighting


eli2k
 Share

Recommended Posts

I browsed the forums a bit, and the outlook doesn't seem very good.

Most of the needles in the dashboard have burned out. I haven't seen a clear fix for this, except manually installing some neon lights in there, which does not look easy.

Is the backlighting on the radio/AC screens easy to fix? I've seen the hit-it-a-bit solution. But what if that does not work? Is replacing the bulb (I think?) easy enough?

Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The lights are a really common problem on the ES300. I have been lucky and my lights haven't gone yet, although a very small portion of my speedometer needle is burned out. I try to preserve the lights by keeping them pretty dim unless it is really sunny outside.

I don't know how to fix them, but I would be interested in knowing too, as I am sure that I will run into the same problem sometime soon.

Regards,

Bryan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope this helps , Lower the steering wheel to it's lowest position and disconnect the neg battery cable . There are 2 screw covers on the upper bezel that have to be pryed down , remove the screws [ phillips head ] pull the bezel off and disconnect the connector that is on the lower right side , Now there are 4 screws that hold the cluster 2 on top and 2 on the bottom remove them and then disconnect the 3 connectors on the back top [ use a small screwdriver to push down on the clips on the top center of each connector ] now remove the cluster and place it on a soft surface so you don't scratch the faceplate and remove the back cover and the circuit plate [ there are 4 screws behind the gas and temp guages and 1 each behind the speedo and tach ] carefully pull the circuit plate off [ there are small long posts that are behind the speedo and tach that are sensative and need to be put back together very carefully ] at this point all of the bulb sockets are exposed , they come out with a 1/4 turn and the bulbs pull straight out , all the bulbs can be replaced with the same bulb.....EIKO #8640 . when replacing the bulbs pry out the contacts a bit on the bulb itself as to insure positive contact and you will never have to bang on your dash or deal with flicker .I have done this with great success on my wifes 93 es [ 92-96 same procedure ]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the information. So it costs a bit of money (the needles). Plus, I'm afraid to do this on my own, unless there is some ultra-detailed guide. What is so sensitive about those 'long posts' you mentioned, dcfish?

Any comments for the lighting on the stereo/clock/AC screen?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you guys need more info on this topic I have more pix that i cannot post [ too big etc... ] dabaysidejill01@att.net and I will send all info that I have available . I can give you guys giudelines on balancing the needles . I also have a cluster for interim use [ 92-96 ES300 ] If you need to send yours out . I hope this helps .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK , Here is the deal on the long posts on the meter case , the posts are what sends the reading to your visual signal to the charachter plate [ which is what you see in the drivers seat ] these posts can be pulled out [ ever so slightly or pushed in ever so slightly to adjust to the circuit plate insulated contacts [ they are square and silver with pressure contacts inside of them ] DO NOT BEND THESE WHEN REPLACING THE CIRCUIT PLATE ] This isn't as bad as it seems but one has to be very aware and alert from start to finish .IT IS YOUR LEXUS , I can walk you through the process via e-mail and send any and all pix that you may need [ although this will take time and is well worth it .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

bdgonkersgoed , there are no aftermarket needles available , you send in your current cluster , they are reworked and then your cluster gets sent back to you , that is why I have a interim cluster on hand. I have been through the ENTIRE PROCESS OF REPLACING EVERY LIT OBJECT ON A 92-96 ES300 CLUSTER ,I have most of it memorized and the rest on film or on digital .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can drive your es without the cluster but you must keep your gas full and follow traffic to be safe If you want the interim cluster e-mail me and I will send it to you , maybe you want to buy it ? priced right , will sell at my cost + shipping .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:cheers: great forum. my instrument lights just started going out (speedo first and partial on the others). searching all over the web after getting no where with the dealer and just installed an ultraviolet system from www.image-racing.com and it looks great, especially for $39.95 . i just saw a website for needle sales at www.lextech.org. both of these beat the $1300.00 that the dealer wanted (i saved enough for a month long road trip)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

great forum. my instrument lights just started going out (speedo first and partial on the others). searching all over the web after getting no where with the dealer and just installed an ultraviolet system from www.image-racing.com and it looks great, especially for $39.95 . i just saw a website for needle sales at www.lextech.org. both of these beat the $1300.00 that the dealer wanted (i saved enough for a month long road trip)

69vette, what is the UV system you mention all about? I visited the website briefly and it looks pretty cool, but I'm wondering what it consists of and what is involved with the installation. Thanks in advance...M

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lexus Needle Kludge Fix

Page 1 of 5

“Kludge-fix” for Lexus Instrument Panel Needles rev. 5/26/2003

Summary: This fix utilizes fluorescent paint on the tips of the needles and a UV light

source to illuminate them to make an improvement in their visibility when the needles

have “burned-out” from years of use. This fix is considered a “kludge,” because the

improvement is not perfect: the needles’ visibility in bright sunlight is still hampered,

though improved. However, in the shade, cloudy weather, and especially at night, the

improvement is very nice, and the look of the dash, when slightly bathed in a nondistracting

UV glow is quite spectacular, though the photos shown below do not do it

justice.

–Michael O. Tjebben (Michael.Tjebben@icverifex.com), LexusOwnersClub, USA (lexusownersclub.com)

Special thanks to Jim Walker, also of LexusOwnersClub, USA who earlier fixed my

“flickering” display problem, provided me with the 12Vdc connection information, and

inspired me to experiment with fixing the needles.

Supplies needed:

· Fluorescent paint, usually available at most hobby or craft stores. I used redorange.

· One 12” cold-cathode 12Vdc UV light with inverter of the type used by PC

Gamers to modify their computer cases to “show off their hardware.” I used the

model (p/n: 296200) from compusa.com. (Just type “cathode” in the search box

and hit “go” – the results may show “black” for “UV”.)

· Two 4” wires able to handle, at most, about 500mA.

· Solder and soldering iron, Phillips-head screwdriver.

· Black Electrical Tape

· Optional: aluminum tape (used for taping HVAC ducts). Can usually be

purchased in the USA at homedepot.com or lowes.com and is probably available

at many hardware stores. Used to reflect more UV back towards the display.

Lexus Needle Kludge Fix

Page 2 of 5

Instructions:

Remove the instrument cluster from the Lexus following the Lexus repair manual or the

instructions given by Jim Walker. You will need to disassemble enough to get to the

back of the main power supply board for the instrument cluster.

To the back of the main circuit board, solder wires of about 4-inches-length to pins 1 and

6 of the white connector, at the back of the circuit board as shown in the figures below:

Note that the positive terminal for the 12Vdc is on pin 1 the connector, and the ground on

pin 6 as shown in the figure immediately below:

Lexus Needle Kludge Fix

Page 3 of 5

Optionally, tape a length of the aluminum tape to the bottom of the display. Remove the

backing of the adhesive on the supports of the cold cathode tube and mount the tube near

the front of the display, but leave enough space to mount the inverter (which also has

sticky-tape) to the left of the tube. Do not block the view of the temperature display.

Route the white wires of the inverter to the far left of the inverter, and the red and white

to the front and over the edge of the display.

Paint the tips of all four needles with some fluorescent paint. I used red-orange.

Lexus Needle Kludge Fix

Page 4 of 5

Apply some black electrical tape to the inside bottom edge of the clear display cover as

shown in the following figure. Lay enough tape in parallel so that when the clear cover is

placed back over the display, it will just block your view of the UV lamp. Do not tape

any wider (higher) than this, or you will obscure the Temperature, Odometer, and “idiot

lights.” You may tape closer to the ends of the clear piece than I did shown below for

better looks.

Then, optionally, lay one or more pieces of aluminum tape over the black to serve to

reflect the UV light back towards the display. Why put the black electrical tape first? It

looks better when viewed through the clear display when everything is reassembled. DO

temporarily put the clear cover back on the instrument panel and look at it to make sure

you can see the lights, temperature display, and odometer at the bottom before you

permanently assemble everything! It is MUCH easier to make adjustments NOW, before

you get everything put back together and in the car!

Cut the molex (standard PC power) connector from the set of wires supplied with the

inverter, but leave the small white plug for future ease in assembling/disassembling.

Solder the other ends of the wires to extend the power connections that were soldered as

shown in the very first figure above. Be certain to solder the red wire to the positive wire

and the black to the ground wire. Tape the wires so that they are “out-of-the-way.”

Lexus Needle Kludge Fix

Page 5 of 5

Reassemble everything and replace the entire unit into the car, following the instructions

in the Lexus repair manual, or those given by Jim Walker.

Now, you should have improved visibility of the needle tips as shown in the following

figures (which don’t do the fix justice!). Note that this “kludge-fix” is not perfect – you

will not see great improvement in bright sunlight, but under most other conditions, it’ll

help. At night, however, the display is best and looks pretty cool, especially bathed in a

non-distracting UV glow. I have tested my fix with a hand-held GPS to make sure that

this paint-method does not alter the speed reading more than 1 mph. It appears, at worst

case, that I am actually traveling 1mph faster than my instruments are reading, but that is

only speculating, because it usually looks dead-on!

With the backlighting turned completely down: HOW ABOUT THIS ??? B) B) B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are two types of needles offered. Waterfall and SMD.

Waterfall was a name given to the needles that use a single led to fire them rather than multiple SMD's (surface mount diodes). In the traditional needle, 18 SMD's were used to light the needle. they ran all the way up the inside face of the needle and pointed directly into the face. This made for a needle that was very brilliant, but unfortunately the needle was made completely of plastic. Over time the severe heat dries the plastic out and it becomes brittle. This process starts to seperate the needle inside and the end result is a flickering or dead needle.

This has been eliminated with the aluminum SMD from Lextech Lighting. The needle is hand made using solid aluminum. There are no machines involved in any needle builds at all. Each needle is hand crafted and burn tested for top quality control. It is the equivalent of mom's apple pie, you can only get it one place.

The waterfall needle fires from the base using a single ultra high output LED. It is aimed towards the tip, and a custom hand carved backing is assembled to keep the light inside the needle. These needles are called waterfall because they are super brilliant at the base and taper off towards the tip slightly. This effect has been dubbed the waterfall effect.

Waterfall needles DO NOT fade to black at the tips. They simply have less output at the far end than they begin with. The reason why this does not appear in most photo's is because it is insignificant enough to not show up with a camera. On some ES needles the plastic is thicker and may cause a more significant drop towards the tip, but we always try and ensure it never fades to black.

Waterfall needles for the ES come in Yellow only due to the brown tinted face of the ES needle. They are $99.

SMD needles come in Red or Amber and can be purchased directly from us for $199.95.

What we do is simply gut the needles and install and calibrate the new one's into the cluster. What you can see is only a plastic cover and the needle itself is under that cover. The yellow waterfall needles are custom built using high output led's and then calibrated to your cluster, as well as a voltage change is made to accomodate the needles. The red SMD needles are built using 138 SMD's rather than led's. They are then installed into the old covers and calibrated to the cluster, no voltage changes are made.

The SMD's pack heat into the needle, which is why the old needles fail. The old one's however are plastic, and the new ones are aluminum. while this in itself is a major plus, you cannot deny there will still be massive heat. The SMD's heat up most when the car is at idle since no airflow moves beneath the needle as it sits still. To counteract this, the SMD's are built with a voltage regulation system that cuts them off at idle. Since there is no good reason for anyone to be sitting in their car staring at them idling, this proves to be an effective method for suring the overheating problem of SMD's, which was the one thing Lexus overlooked when they originally built them.

The overall biggest difference betwen the yellow waterfalls and the red SMD's is that the waterfalls tend to fade out slightly at the tip, hence the name waterfall. The SMD's are solid all the way. The fade is not extremely bad, and each needle is different, but i have rarely if ever see the tip go actually black. it is just a fade effect towards the extreme end of the needle.

SOME MORE INFO !!!

post-7-1086530292.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

i know it's kind of late but there are some more options. You can make your own needle at a much cheeper cost. Take your old needle and take out the SMD strip. Go to the nearest electronics/radio scack and buy an LED (light emitting diode) for around 2 dolars Atach it to the head of the needle facing the tip. This is the exact same thing lextech does. It workes just as well. I did it for my old sc400.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i know it's kind of late but there are some more options. You can make your own needle at a much cheeper cost. Take your old needle and take out the SMD strip. Go to the nearest electronics/radio scack and buy an LED (light emitting diode) for around 2 dolars Atach it to the head of the needle facing the tip. This is the exact same thing lextech does. It workes just as well. I did it for my old sc400.

Sorry brother, you are wrong. LLS does nothing of the sort, but i have noticed you making special attention to anything related to us and your "$2" fixes in every post about illumination lately. . good info is good info, incorrect info is bad info.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...

Forums


News


Membership