My needles are out as well and its a pain to see at night..your idea is VERY good..never thought of that! i would like to change my lights in mine and make them blue...if you got any instuctions or the pictures showing how to take the dash apart to access that that would be GREAT im about afraid to even mess with it but it doesnt sound that bad to take apart..Thanks!
here are some photo with and without smokey shield, I have found out that it works best during the daytime, I can see the needles, night little better, daytime lots better. instructions: extend steering wheel all the way out, remove 2 screws in top of outer shield, ones with little covers on them. Grab hold of whole cover along the bottom portion each side where your dash light and od/clock etc area, give good upward and out at once pull. They are just snap clips at bottom of whole cluster. Pull dash forward and disconnect your plugs on each side. You will have 5 or 6 screws running the top of dash and 3 on bottom, far right, middle and far left. This will remove smokey shield. Nothing tough at all, once you do it, it will take no more 5 mins to remove again, real quick after you learn how it is put together. If you use the Fotolum vinyl, cut thin strips, tried larger, they were too heavy for needles. Hope this helps, just very inexpensive way to fix problem, not like the lighted needles, but for the cost, lots better.