LED Lights Are The Way To Go
One of my only complaints with the 4Runner is the green lights everywhere on the dash and other backlit areas. This is quite the simple fix. I am borrowing a chart here from the 4Runner group I am a member of and hoping to simplify the thread on there which goes on forever and ever. Below is a chart made by one of the guys there who is nothing short of a genius, yet there are some questions unanswered specifically for my model. Luckily I was able to figure it out and my interior rocks now.
So for my 2000, I purchased 3 – #24 Bulbs which will light up all of the gauges on your dash including the temp gauge and fuel gauge. If however you wish to change out the color of every little bulb on your dash (most of which you rarely ever see), then you purchase additional bulbs for those as well.
I then wanted to change out the bulb for the shifter and the keyring. I was rather simplistic in my needs for customization. A lot of the other guys went ball to the wall with complete renovation and removal of their old bulbs for the LED thing. So that left me purchasing 2 – #74 Bulbs for those two lights as well. Coincidentally, the same bulbs that are used here are also compatible with your license plate lights (food for thought).
Back to the topic at hand: The dash. There are about 12 bolts and screws that will be removed to disassemble the dash to get to the bulb locations and then an additional 4 screws to remove to get the rear plate on the gauge cluster to access the other two main bulbs for the dash. See Below:
Here is the rear view of the dash gauge with the cover removed: The circled items are the main ones to be concerned with.
Once the gauge cluster is removed you can easily change out the bulbs. NOTE: The LED Bulbs ARE directional, so if you install them and nothing lights up just reverse how you put them in and you should be fine. Sucks, but that is just the way it is.
Removal of the dash:
This really is very simple and shouldn’t take more than 25 minutes for the whole job beginning to end. Don’t worry you aren’t going to break anything, just take your time, use common sense and get it over with. The payoff is night and day!
- 10MM Deep socket (seeing a pattern here?)
- 6″ 3/8″ Extension
- 3/8″ Ratchet
- Small Phillips screwdriver
- #2 Phillips screwdriver
Start by removing the four bolts holding the lower dash cover (don’t know what it is actually called, but you’ll get the idea) with the 10MM socket and extension.
Drop the panel down and continue:
At this point you should have access to the key ring cover. Pop it off and move on.
While your here, might as well change out the green bulb for the color of your choice. If you just want to get rid of the green without buying a new bulb, the green coating is a little piece of rubber BS. Just scrape it off with your finger and reinstall the bulb.
The bulb “bracket” twists out counter clockwise
This is one of the few times where you will know if the LED bulb is in correctly because it will light up, if not reverse and done. Put it back and move on to the next step.
Remove the four screws holding the accent piece to your gauge cluster:
Carefully remove this part from the dash….***see note below***
You might be tempted to remove the wiring for the dimmer switch. I did this the first time and for ten minutes thought I had all my bulbs in backwards or that I had a bad batch of bulbs. Turns out if you disconnect this part, you won’t see a damn thing until it is all connected again. Save your self the agony and just leave it where it is and move on.
At this point you have crossed over the hardest part of the entire install. The rest is a piece of cake and in no time you will have new LED dash lights.
Remove the four screws holding your actual dash gauge cluster.
Carefully remove the gauge cluster. It might take a second, but you’ll see how to do it.
There are a series of wiring harnesses (5) to power the gauges in the rear (as to be expected…it doesn’t power by magic) Push down the release tab on each one and pull them out. Don’t worry, they only go in one way and each one has its respective place, you won’t cross them up.
Congratulations! You just pulled your Gauge Cluster out. Let’s wrap this up and move on.
So now you have your gauge cluster in your lap. Remove the four screws as observed by the arrows and remove the cover.
The three yellow arrows are your targets unless you are going full blown LED change. You will need to remove the circuit board (2 screws) to reach the center arrow AND remove two screws for that other circuit board thing on the right to access the third bulb.
These twist out. Pull the old bulb, insert the new one and reassemble ALMOST everything. No use in putting it all back together only to find out a bulb was in backwards. Check your work. Time to see if it paid off. If it did, your gauges will look like this:
I went with white LED’s just because I like the brightness. But i have seen combo colors and others have done just straight blue or red, so it’s really up to you. I have a Red, White & Blue them going on inside my truck, so white made more sense here on the dash.
I also replaced the LED’s in my A/C unit as well as the shifter. I did not mess with the others just because I either don’t use them or rarely see them. If you want further details you can spend time on this thread (CLICK HERE) from the 4runner group which has more tutorials and discussion on the matter. I am just trying to simplify the process and save you the aggravation I went through to accomplish my upgrade.
LED Conversions for Dome Lamp and other interior lighting
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to upgrade all your interior lighting and some for the outer lights CLICK HERE $16, FREE shipping and they work with no problem. As opposed to AutoZone which will nickel; and dime the hell out of your wallet for the same thing.