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Carbon Meet Amber
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To start this process I read through BeeCee's write-up, (http://www.nissanclub.com/forums/f-q-1993-2001/266657-leds-pics-guide-update-f-q.html) and WyrmMaster's as well, (http://www.nissanclub.com/forums/f-q-1993-2001/135779-led-dashlights-w-pics.html). I'll be the first to admit I hate electrical work and am horrible at soldering so I wanted to use LEDs bulbs where ever possible.

So for those of you that wish to upgrade to LED lighting in your 00-01 Altima or simply want to change the back lighting here is the definitive upgrade thread. If you own a 98-99 Altima the gauge cluster is different and is backlit by size 194 bulbs, the HVAC however is exactly the same. Everything described in this thread was purchased from www.superbrightleds.com and everything is plug and play. I started this project because I wanted everything on my dash to match and since I already had a blue LED radar detector and a blue head unit the logical step was to change over the gauge cluster and HVAC to blue.
I am offering this as a guide and only that. If you run into an issue you may try and contact me through www.nissanclub.com/forums and I will attempt to help you as best I can, but I am not responsible in any way shape or form if something goes wrong. As always when working with electrical components disconnect your battery while working on it. If you don’t you will most likely blow a fuse or two, but if the circuit is damaged before the fuse blows, well then, good luck.
So now that the legal jargon is out of the way here it goes. The tools needed to complete this project are. . .
-small flathead screwdriver/butter knife
-Philips head screwdriver
-various LED’s
-mini blade fuses (although not required, if you blow a fuse it is nice to have them on hand)
That’s it. These pieces are not very technically involved, but always use caution when modifying your car in any way shape or form. No soldering is involved and no modifications of circuits are required. The first piece we will change out are the HVAC controls. For this part you will need,
-3 NEO-4 wedge bulbs in the color of your choice ( http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/index.cgi?action=DispPage&Page2Disp=/specs/NEO.htm )
-Philips head screwdriver
-flathead screwdriver
The NEO-4 wedge bulbs fit perfectly and there are minimal hot spots. The hot spots that are there are faint and not to noticeable. Install was cake. If you've installed an aftermarket radio then you're halfway there. Disassemble the dash as you would for the HU and then there are 4 screws staring you in the face. Remove those and then push the HVAC back and then angle it out. Once out there are 3 OBD-II clips and a mechanical line. Be VERY careful with the line. The line is what changes your vents over from hot to cold. Unclip the 3 harnesses and unhook the line and the HVAC controls are now free. There are 2 Philips head screws on the back that need to be removed. Once they are removed take a small flat head and gently pry off the black slider piece on the front of the HVAC. Once that is off the HVAC will be in two pieces and you will now have easier access to the NEO-wedge bulbs. It may be possible to replace the bulbs with the HVAC still intact because you can see the bulbs, but to get them out and replace them may be a pain in the ass that way. Once the bulbs are in re-attach the 3 harnesses and check to make sure the polarity is right. If a bulb does not light up try turning it 180 degrees. Once you have confirmed that all 3 light up re-attach the mechanical line and re-install the HVAC controls, the HU, and surrounding dash trim. Congratulations, you've just changed out the HVAC bulbs! One thing I did notice was that the OEM bulbs have a blue cap over them similar to a light bulb condom but when they were turned on they were white. So I dunno, I just found that intriguing.


I did not change it, simply because I have it covered by a shift boot, but in order to change out the gear selector light simply pop off the shifter shroud then remove the gear selector cover. Pull out the old bulb and replace it with your LED. It is a size 194 bulb.


The next pieces that I replaced were the overhead dome light, the overhead map lights, and the vanity lights. With these bulbs polarity does not matter. So if once installed they don’t light up check your connections and check for a blown fuse. For this part you will need,
-flathead screwdriver
-Philips head screwdriver
-5 3022-4 festoon LED’s ( http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/index.cgi?action=DispPage&Page2Disp=/specs/festoon_3022-xx.htm )
-2 RL-4410 festoon LED’s (http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/index.cgi?action=DispPage&category=CAR&Page2Disp=/specs/RL4410-xHP9.htm )
The LED festoon for the dome light is p/n 3022-x4 and goes in without a hitch. It fits perfectly, locks right into place and stays there, which is more than I can say for some of the LED replacements that I've read about. I'm talking about the ones that supposedly fit but you have to bend the bracket or squeeze it to make the bulb stay in. In order to replace this bulb insert your flathead into the slot on the cover and gently pry it open. When installing the LED make sure to point the LED’s down to achieve the best output possible. Once you’ve replaced the bulb and tested it the cover just pops back on.
The vanity lights are replaced in much the same way. The p/n is the same as the dome light. Open your visors, gently pop out the vanity light covers and replace them with your LED festoon bulbs. You may have to use a little force to make the bulb stay in as the LED bulb has slightly wider ends than its OEM counterpart. Once again make sure the LED’s are pointing outwards.
To replace the map lights you have two options. The p/n for this is RL-4410. If you have small hands you may be able to pop off the covers with a small flathead and finagle the old bulb out and the new LED in. But if you’re like me with big hands, well, the whole shroud has to come down. To remove it there is a self retaining plastic screw in the sunglass holder part and two clips in the rear. Once the screw is out the whole unit comes down with a firm tug. When positioning your hands in between the shroud and the headliner be careful not to cut your fingers and position them towards the back where the clips are. Once removed you will see the 2 festoon bulbs staring back at you, gently remove them and place them aside. Grab your 2 replacement LED’s and insert them into the brackets. You may have to bend the bracket slightly to ensure solid contact on each end of the bulb. Polarity does not matter with these. When installing these make sure the LED's are facing the reflecting piece. Otherwise the end result will not be as bright or well dispersed. You may be able to replace these bulbs by simply removing the plastic covers and pulling out the old bulb. I was unable to so I pulled the whole cover off.




The final piece that I did was the gauge cluster. To replace these you will need,
-Philips head screwdriver
-stubby Philips head screwdriver (Once again, not required but desirable.)
-flathead screwdriver
-needle nose pliers (Again, not required but they will make life easier.)
-4 74 LED’s (http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/index.cgi?action=DispPage&Page2Disp=/specs/74-x.html )
I only replaced just the backlit illumination for the cluster when I did this. However it is possible to replace all the warning lights as well. The illumination bulbs are size 74 and the warning lights are size 24. So, first tilt your steering wheel all the way down to give yourself a little more room to work. Now there are 2 Philips head screws visible from the top of the cluster shroud. When removing these be sure to apply a lot of force with your screwdriver to make sure you do not strip the heads. It took me a good 15 minutes of fighting with the left hand one to get it out. If you have access to a stubby Philips head I would recommend using it for the left side because the turn signal stalk gets in the way and is a nuisance. Once the two screws are out place them somewhere where they won't get lost. I used the little pocket in the driver’s door to hold all of my screws from this part of the project. Now I took a flat head screwdriver and started working my war from right to left around the right side of the shroud. Once that started to pop out I started to work my way around the left hand side. Once the whole shroud was free I had to wiggle it back and forth to unplug the 3 harnesses. The 3 harnesses are as follows, 1 for the security light, 1 for the rear defogger, and 1 for the hazard button. I used the flat head to make removal of the clips easier. Once all the clips are detached I started to bend and wiggle the dash piece out. It is possible to get the shroud out with the steering column intact. It just takes time and patience. Once that popped out I placed it on the passenger seat away from where I would be working. Now there are 4 Philips head screws staring back at you around the edge of the cluster. Removal of these is straight forward, just be careful not to drop them. Once they were removed I placed them with the other 2 that were removed earlier. All 6 screws you have removed are the same size so there is no need to keep them separated. Once all 4 are removed you can now pull the cluster towards yourself being very careful with the odometer reset pin and the 2 harnesses. Unclip the 2 harnesses and turn the cluster over. Now you're looking for the bulbs that say ILL next to them. There are 5 total. I only replaced 4 of them. The 5th is the illumination for the odometer. To remove the bulbs from their holders I wrapped the bulb in paper towel and gently pulled with a pair of needle nose pliers. Once all 4 were done I plugged the harnesses back in and checked to make sure all 4 lit up. These are polarity sensitive so if at first they do not light turn the bulb 180 degrees and try again. Re-installation was the reverse of removal. When reinstalling the dash piece take your time and do not force it. It only bends so much.

High Power for comparison:


Thank you to all that supplied any knowledge you had about this and to those that supported me while doing this. I hope this has been informative and it helps anyone who wishes to try and replace their interior lighting. When doing this project I used the standard power. There was another member ( F1rsTxLas7 )doing this at the same time that used the high power bulbs and liked them a lot more. Good luck to all who perform this mod and happy modding!
 

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For the climate control you HAVE to get LED's (the ones I mentioned and pictured in the FAQ), and you have to solder them. Basically exactly how I broke in down in the FAQ thread, is exactly what you have to do as far as the climate control goes.



And in the cluster its all 168 wedge bulbs.
 

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The instrument panel in my '99 uses four 158 wedge-base bulbs for the instruments. The warning lights all use a smaller wedge-base bulb that I think were 25s, but may be 37s. You'll be able to figure it out if you pull the cluster.

The bulbs are in plastic holders that you'll need to twist left to remove, and then just pull the bulbs straight out of the holder.

Any wedge-base LED replacement will work for the 158s, as they are usually meant to replace any wedge-base bulb with a 3-digit code(158, 168, 194, etc.). Not sure if you're wanting to play around with the 25s.

The gear selector bulb is a 194.
 

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Carbon Meet Amber
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
For the climate control you HAVE to get LED's (the ones I mentioned and pictured in the FAQ), and you have to solder them. Basically exactly how I broke in down in the FAQ thread, is exactly what you have to do as far as the climate control goes.



And in the cluster its all 168 wedge bulbs.
For the climate control I'm only looking to replace those 3 bulbs you have circled in red. I'm not looking to completely break it down and have blue everything. So do I still need the LED's? Do you know how many bulbs I would need for the cluster? This is the end result I want to achieve. These are pics from a buddy of mines 4th gen Max.





And yes I want to do the window switches as well. BeeCee did you do your window switches?

EDIT: Reading pwns me. So I need 4 wedge bulbs for the cluster.
 

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july notm winner!
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we dont have lights in our window switches :wall:

and your not going to get it to be ALL blue...the needle's are a redish/orangish color...
 

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Carbon Meet Amber
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Discussion Starter #7
we dont have lights in our window switches :wall:

and your not going to get it to be ALL blue...the needle's are a redish/orangish color...
Mmmm, I want the needles to stay red. And actually we do have 1 led in the drivers switch. :p
 

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july notm winner!
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i have NEVER seen an led in my window switch....NEVER...in the 5 year's ive owned this car....ive always wanted to put one in but havent gotten that far...
 

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Carbon Meet Amber
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Discussion Starter #9
i have NEVER seen an led in my window switch....NEVER...in the 5 year's ive owned this car....ive always wanted to put one in but havent gotten that far...
Then maybe it's because my switch is aftermarket. But on the drivers window switch it has AUTO written on it and at night it lights up with the parking/driving lights.
 

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july notm winner!
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mine doesnt do that....now mine does say auto and have these little white "cutoutish letter's" like their supposed to be lit up but ive never seen it...

my master window switch cover is broke so i might play with it after i get another one from pullapart....
 

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Carbon Meet Amber
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Discussion Starter #11
mine doesnt do that....now mine does say auto and have these little white "cutoutish letter's" like their supposed to be lit up but ive never seen it...

my master window switch cover is broke so i might play with it after i get another one from pullapart....
Mmmm, the original one I had didn't light up and when it was replaced it now does.
 

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You still need the LED bulbs I used to do the 3 small bulbs in the climate control. I didn't do the little green vent control buttons, so exactly what you need, and need to do is what is broken down in my FAQ thread.


And yes, your switch lights up because its aftermarket.

My stock one didn't light up, but when I recently replaced it with a new one from Autozone, it now has the light.

And I haven't converted the switch, yet.
 

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Carbon Meet Amber
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Discussion Starter #13
You still need the LED bulbs I used to do the 3 small bulbs in the cluster. I didn't do the little green vent control buttons, so exactly what you need, and need to do is what is broken down in my FAQ thread.


And yes, your switch lights up because its aftermarket.

My stock one didn't light up, but when I recently replaced it with a new one from Autozone, it now has the light.

And I haven't converted the switch, yet.
Forgive me for my ignorance, but why can't we just replace the climate control bulbs with an LED bulb? To me this looks like your standard wedge bulb.
 

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That was also what I gathered from WyrmMaster's guide when I first read it, so I disassembled my master switch expecting to find some burnt out bulb I didn't know about. Nada.

The 'AUTO' lettering on the driver's door switch didn't even appear to be transparent when I removed the switch. I emailed WyrmMaster about how he did it last year, but no response.

He did state explicitly:

Once you have the circuit board out changing the bulb is the same drill as the previous 20 some bulbs have been.
EDIT: Nevermind, beat me to it.
 

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Carbon Meet Amber
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Discussion Starter #16
That pic is a close up and huge, that's why you are getting that idea. Its NOT a wedge bulb.


That bulb is about half the size of your finger nail.


Once again Stanza lol, you NEED to use the bulbs that I used and pictured in the FAQ thread.
Ok, I didn't know if you just used LED's like WyrmMaster, hence the questions, lol.

So total I'm gonna need 4 LED bulbs for my gauge cluster since I'm not touching the warning lights and 4 5mm LED's and 4 560 Ohm resistor's for my climate controls and the window switch?
 

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Ok, I didn't know if you just used LED's like WyrmMaster, hence the questions, lol.
Lol, its cool. I thought the FAQ made that obvious tho...








:wall:

Lol

So total I'm gonna need 4 LED bulbs for my gauge cluster since I'm not touching the warning lights and 4 5mm LED's and 4 560 Ohm resistor's for my climate controls and the window switch?
Well first, make sure you get all of the following from...


SUPER BRIGHT LEDS - LED Lights & Accessories


You will need 4 LED 194 wedge bulbs for the cluster. Get the ONE LED bulbs, not the bulbs with four LEDs.


You will need 3 LEDs for the climate control, but I would get 4 to be safe.

For the climate control 5mm LEDs get part #: RL5-B12120 (5mm LED 1200 LUMINOUS INTENSITY)

As for the resistors you need, I will send you a good amount of them (like 12 or more, and you only need 6) for 5 bucks to your door.


And I don't know what to use for the window switch, since I haven't done it yet.
 

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Carbon Meet Amber
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Discussion Starter #18
Lol, its cool. I thought the FAQ made that obvious tho...








:wall:

Lol



Well first, make sure you get all of the following from...


SUPER BRIGHT LEDS - LED Lights & Accessories


You will need 4 LED 194 wedge bulbs for the cluster. Get the ONE LED bulbs, not the bulbs with four LEDs.


You will need 3 LEDs for the climate control, but I would get 4 to be safe.

For the climate control 5mm LEDs get part #: RL5-B12120 (5mm LED 1200 LUMINOUS INTENSITY)

As for the resistors you need, I will send you a good amount of them (like 12 or more, and you only need 6) for 5 bucks to your door.


And I don't know what to use for the window switch, since I haven't done it yet.
Yea, well when I first read it through I wasn't to awake so shoot me. I believe the LED in the window switch is the same as the others going by WyrmMaster's write-up. And just because I was curious I e-mailed superbrightleds.com and asked about the climate control bulbs. I recieved an e-mail less than an hour later directing me towards the newo wedge bulbs (NeoWedge series LED Lamp Specifications). Now I just need to figure out which one to use. I'm not trying to dis you BeeCee, just exploring a different way of doing this.
 

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Yea, well when I first read it through I wasn't to awake so shoot me. I believe the LED in the window switch is the same as the others going by WyrmMaster's write-up. And just because I was curious I e-mailed superbrightleds.com and asked about the climate control bulbs. I recieved an e-mail less than an hour later directing me towards the newo wedge bulbs (NeoWedge series LED Lamp Specifications). Now I just need to figure out which one to use. I'm not trying to dis you BeeCee, just exploring a different way of doing this.
LOL, you ain't dissing me bro.


It's completely up to you what you want to do, I'm just trying to help you of course. It don't care if you do it my way, or solder some house bulbs into the climate control. Whatever you want to do, is on you, it's your car. All I can do is try to help the best I can, especially since I have obviously done this already.

I'm steering you in the direction of a proven way that obviously works, and is already completely broken down and documented for you on how to do it. Might be just me, but I like going about things in a fashion that I already know has been proven to work. I did it more than 2 years ago, and knock on wood, to this day everything is still exactly the same as the day I did it, works completely fine, never had a problem.

I e-mailed WyrmMaster before I did anything, and he told me about superbrightleds.com. I believe I posted what his response was to me in my FAQ thread.

And I also contacted SUPER BRIGHT LEDS - LED Lights & Accessories before buying anything. They basically told me they had no clue what would work for the climate control, it was up to me what I wanted to try, and they wouldn't be responsible if they don't work or something goes wrong. So I basically just had to wing it, and do it my own way.

But the NeoWedges you just linked didn't exist when I did it, and that DEFINITELY looks like the same type of bulb that comes out of the climate control, as you can see by refering back to the pic from my FAQ you posted earlier.

I think they would work, if I were to do it again, I would give those NEOWedges a try!

I'm pretty sure the one you would want to use would be NEO3-x, but it is a possiblity it could be the NEO4-x. It's kind of hard to tell from their pictures.

So yea, I'm here if you need help with anything, all I can do is try to guide you in the right direction, if you find another way that will work for you better or w.e, Kudos :)
 

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Carbon Meet Amber
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Discussion Starter #20
LOL, you ain't dissing me bro.


It's completely up to you what you want to do, I'm just trying to help you of course. It don't care if you do it my way, or solder some house bulbs into the climate control. Whatever you want to do, is on you, it's your car. All I can do is try to help the best I can, especially since I have obviously done this already.

I'm steering you in the direction of a proven way that obviously works, and is already completely broken down and documented for you on how to do it. Might be just me, but I like going about things in a fashion that I already know has been proven to work. I did it more than 2 years ago, and knock on wood, to this day everything is still exactly the same as the day I did it, works completely fine, never had a problem.

I e-mailed WyrmMaster before I did anything, and he told me about superbrightleds.com. I believe I posted what his response was to me in my FAQ thread.

And I also contacted SUPER BRIGHT LEDS - LED Lights & Accessories before buying anything. They basically told me they had no clue what would work for the climate control, it was up to me what I wanted to try, and they wouldn't be responsible if they don't work or something goes wrong. So I basically just had to wing it, and do it my own way.

But the NeoWedges you just linked didn't exist when I did it, and that DEFINITELY looks like the same type of bulb that comes out of the climate control, as you can see by refering back to the pic from my FAQ you posted earlier.

I think they would work, if I were to do it again, I would give those NEOWedges a try!

I'm pretty sure the one you would want to use would be NEO3-x, but it is a possiblity it could be the NEO4-x. It's kind of hard to tell from their pictures.

So yea, I'm here if you need help with anything, all I can do is try to guide you in the right direction, if you find another way that will work for you better or w.e, Kudos :)
Thanks for the positive feedback.

Do you happen to have any of the old twist-locks still? If you do could you measure the diameter of the base for me? As far as I can tell the only difference between the NEO3 and NEO4 is the size of the housing itself.
 
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