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cduluk

Rx400H Overhead Console + Led Project *pics*

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Hey everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted so I just wanted to update on a few projects that I’ve completed in the past few weeks. This one involves a complete re-design of the overhead consoles in the Rx400h, the panels that contain the dome lights and switches for Homelink and the sunroof controls etc.

The stock 04-09 Rx330/350/400h overhead consoles utilize halogen bulbs as dome lights, which produce a warm yellow color- which is kind of out dated. For 2006, Lexus used white LED’s (which produce a much more appealing white color) in the GS, ES and IS, and I thought it might be a fun project to convert the Rx consoles to use these LED units. <_<

I first looked at the overhead consoles from the IS and ES to get donor parts, but found that the LED’s were too dim. I then looked at the ones from the GS overhead consoles, which were surprisingly a bit brighter.

I purchased an extra set of overhead consoles (both front and rear) from an RX on eBay to work on, as I could keep the ones in my car while the project was in progress. I also purchased a used pair from a GS to gather the LED parts from.

Here are the factory RX consoles. Notice the 2 yellow LED’s that illuminate the shifter area, and the yellowish hue to the dome lights. :blink:

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And here are the overhead consoles from the GS.

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Then the project began! Unfortunately I didn’t think take any pictures along the way, so here’s a set of rough diagrams to give you an “idea” of how I did it.

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After this was complete, I filled any gaps, then primed, and painted the entire panel. I used a few various colors from Krylon: flat white, flat black, green, red, orange and blue. After a little experimentation to get the right shade of gray (my RX has a gray roof liner) I put some in my airbrush and painted the panel, then applied a final “mist” coat to give the panel that “plastic” look. You honestly CAN’T tell that it’s not OEM.

And after the panel was painted, I painted the Homelink buttons black (again, by hand) and replaced those 2 yellow LED’s (that illuminate the shifter panel) to blue as it matches everything else in my car now. I did however have to “angle” the LED’s forward more as that slider switch assembly was now on a different angle as I moved it up a little. Now, the LED’s shine in the same place they did previously. And I also made that little “DOOR, ON, OFF” tab so you can see which slider switch position is which.

And then I had to wire everything up, which proved to be a great challenge. The hardest part was moving the “plug” that connects the console to the wiring in the car. The way it’s position now, it didn’t leave enough room! So I had to make wire extensions, which took some time- but it was well worth it.

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And the last step was installation. The RX console is attached to the roof by 4 screws; 2 in the drawer area, and 2 behind the clear plastic piece. Since I no longer had that clear plastic piece, I had to eliminate the 2 screws towards the front of the console (closest to the Homelink button side). I had to remove 2 brackets in the roof of the car, and made a tab extending out from the console so it would “catch” the roof and keep it tight.

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And after this was complete, glued in place the black LED panel piece (into its bezel which was now part of the RX console). Presto!

And I did the same for the rear passenger overhead console using parts from the GS rear console piece…. However I was able to keep the original mounting clips. I did have to replace the LED’s themselves as the GS unit had yellow tinted plastic over 3mm white LED’s. I bought (8x) 10mm white LED’s from radio shack and used them instead. They’re brighter and look better.

So here are some pictures!

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And at night:

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I know it may seem like a lot of work, but i like the end result. It definitely classes up the interior of the Rx really well.

So enjoy and please comment! :)

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Another great job! :cheers: Looks like it should have came that way...

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Thanks guys!

If it were an easy project i would definitely make a few to sell, but it's very time consuming and at the moment (with school) i wouldn't be able to do it. :wacko:

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hi cduluk,

Can u teach me how to paint those buttons with words? ur help is much appreciated. thanks. :)

Cheers!

Lawrence

It's pretty easy to do, you just need a steady hand, some toothpicks, scissors (to sharpen the toothpicks to a point), some black acrylic paint (comes in a little bottle at most craft stores, such as Michael's...) and some Krylon "Flat Clear" spray paint.

For the moonroof control buttons, I didn't have to paint the "letters" actually, as they were already on the buttons. The buttons had the white lettering (same as you see) but the buttons themselves were tan. I just painted "around" the lettering with the black paint using the toothpick as a paintbrush. Then after it was heat dried, i sanded the painted areas smooth (to eliminate bumps) and applied a few thin (NEVER spray it on thick) coats of the Krylon flat clear which hardens the finish and adds protection from wear. I also did the same for the Homelink garage door buttons.

And for the little strip that reads "DOOR/OFF/ON", i just cut out the little piece from the Rx's factory clear plastic lens which contained this lettering, and painted around the lettering the same way i did with the moonroof buttons. I sanded it thin and glued it to the panel.

And for the rear seat passenger dome light, i had to cut and move around the pieces with the lettering and glued them together so they'd be in the right order. Then sanded, and painted the same way as the others.

I REALLY wish i took pics along the way as they would have been more useful.. It's hard to explain how to do it without pics. :unsure:

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