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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have successfully replaced all of the incandescent bulbs in my switches using LED's. I was able to resistor and mount high intensity green LED's in the OEM bulb holder with only minor modifications. The benefit of using LED's are too many to list, but the fact that they have a 10+ year service life was reason enough for me to do this. Anyhow, I am tempted to sell kits with the necessary components to do this mod at minimal cost. I will also offer different color LED's, I personally am going to blue and red as to mimic the cool VW dashes in the newer cars. I am also working on replacement radio, shifter, and dash LED’s. I just wanted to get a feel for whom, if anyone would be interested in a product such as this. I estimate that the “switch” kit will sell for around $30.00 and contain enough pre-resistored green LED’s, and other supplies to relamp all switches in the 850 series cars. At the moment the labor and bulb sockets are up to you to supply. I am seeking the vendor of the OEM socket to see if I can get the pieces at a reasonable price, but for now I have to recycle. The job took me about 2 hours to complete once I had the recipe in hand. I can get the following colors of LED dies: Blue, red, cool white, yellow, brilliant green, lime green, orange, and sadly enough IR. I am open to suggestion and ideas, so please let me know. Thanks for your time. Prospero.
 

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What's IR? I'd be curious to see what they look like. I don't know, part of me would want to keep it green to keep the Volvoness, but on my red R, red lights or red and white like Audi would be pretty cool, and I've actually gotten to like the red/ white or red/blue setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
George, the IR is infared, like a remote control would use. Sort of a joke in a way but practical if you use night vision goggles while driving <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/biggrin.gif"> With all silly stuff aside, I am attempting to do the VW blue and red look in my 850. For now I have done all of my switches in green as a proof of concept test. As such, the results are great. I expect to have my red and blue LED dies in by later next week. I am going to make a trip to 355 Volvo and pick up a bunch of lamp holders for the switches and begin making the reds and blues. I have a few different designs in place and still perfecting the manufacturing process. The methods used now are forcing me to drill out 75% of the bulb holder to allow room for the resistor. I have converted to surface mount 0805's which makes things easier to build, but I still have to drill out a portion of the solid area within the lamp holder. This process can be skipped by doing several different things, one of which includes placing a resistor in-line with the illumination power to each switch. Even better is to have my LED vendor make the die package including a built in thick film resistor. I am waiting for my samples now. Assuming the mfg. can keep the prices down, the reduced labor in the bulb socket will make up for the added material cost. Anyhow, I will be sure to keep you posted as I make progress. Also, if you are interested, I can arrange to have some samples sent your way in exchange for an endorcement or review, but only if it meets your expectations. I refuse to ask someone to endorce something that is not worthy of it. I can have red to your door by mid next week assuming I can get the bulb holders. Please let me know, I am excited about this idea.
 

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Hey Prospero, no rush. Here's the deal. I'd like to see your car and see how it looks, so let me know when you have the blue and red done and maybe you and I can meet up over the next couple of weeks before the holiday. I'm not going to do it before the new year, but keep an eye open this week. We are launching our first project car based on my 854 R, and I'm starting to do research on where we want to go with it. That'd be kind of a cool mod and I'm curious about it, but I'd like to see what it looks like first. Whether I do it or not, I'm sure we could review, show pics etc. -George
 

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Hey Prospero, btw, if you want to branch that out, I bet there's a lot of potential for such a conversion kit (especially for blue and red) for older VWs. VW owners would really dig it, and the same goes for the new red/white setup into older Audis.-George
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
George, everything sounds good to me. I will go all the way with the red/blue retrofit on my 850 soon. Still waiting om my vendor to get the necessary goodies for me though. I love the idea about the VWs and Audis, I will jump on that once done with the Volvo's. Thanks for the input and I look forward to showing you the finished product.
 

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Please post a picture of the blue dash after it is done!! I am very interested in this upgrade too...provided that it doesn't come out looking like a boy-racer dash... <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/biggrin.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually I am going for the '77 Trans-Am look. Anyone know where I can get the funky swirly fake jewel looking sticker stuff that Pontiac used on those sweet little babes? Just kidding, it is painful thinking about that era. Man, that was an ugly time for cars. (Most of them, that is.) I will be sure and post pictures of my dash once completed. I am still waiting on my vendor to send the sample units at this time. I figure a couple more weeks before I am ready to sell complete packages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Finally got my prototypes from my vendor/ manufacturer. I plan on installing the LED's by next week. Thus far, the pieces that I have are all green LED's, used to cut costs by 50% compared to blue, for the proof of concept testing. I will have to make a few changes to the design, as some of the requirements can not be met with the current technology. I still do fully expect to have a working kit for sale before summer. Just thought that I would keep everyone who cares up to date.
 

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Hey Prospero, keep us updated. I have a friend with an A3 Jetta who is chomping at the bit to see how this turns out and how blue and red would look in his own car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
George, which do you think would look better in the 850's, a blue bulb behind the auto shifter or a red one? So far I am gearing the first kit to have all red buttons and switches. The dash, trip computer, and stereo display in blue. This should be real close to the VW look. I just can not remember how VW did the shift indicator though. How would you do it?
 

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They are red BTW. Let me know when you have it fitted. I'm very curious and would like to meet up to see it, and my friend with the VW lives in DC and I'm sure would also like to see it.<P>Prospero, if you can figure out a kit for owners of older VWs to upgrade to blue/red you could be sitting on a gold mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I will make a kit for VW's as well. I just want to do the Volvo first since I have it in front of me to work with.
 

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What a stroke of dumb luck! I'm a VW Vortex member (sister site) who was just poking around the Swedespeed site hoping to find some pics of a P1800 when I stumbled across this string. I currently have half the dash of my '97 Jetta GT on my floorboards to gain access to the dash lights. No one makes red bulbs so I was thinking of using red LEDs. No electrical background so I wasn't sure how to get them to work, most are less than 3 volts and what's that conversion for milli-amps to watts again???<P>Prospero, please find my e-mail in my profile and keep me informed of your status. I would definitely retrofit my car w/red with alittle help from you. Need an endorsement from a VW owner? I'm your man. As for other VW owners...I can only second what George said...G O L D M I N E <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/biggrin.gif"><P>
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
T.D.<BR>I would love to help you with the red LED thing...what is the forward voltage and the MAh rating for the LED's you are using? Odds are you will need a 600 ohm resistor, 1/4 watt size will work bit is a space hog. I use 0603 SMT resistors as they are too small to get in the way. Thanks for the endorsement offer, I will give you a call when the time comes. If you have a digital camera, snap off a few pics of the VW bulbs and I may be able to set you up with some custom fit and SUPER BRIGHT LEDs that will blow everything else under the sun out of the water. BTW, how many bulbs are in the dash for backlighting?
 

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Prospero, my buddy with the A3 is here in DC if you want a few hours looking over his car. Actually, I have one that is FS right now in my garage as well, but I won't be modding it anymore before I sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would love to. When and where?
 

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Prospero,<P>Pictures, pictures, please! I want to see what your 850 looks like in blue! Can you also do the guages in blue as well? How hard would it be to just do the guages in blue? Thanks!<P>-Drew
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As of yet I have not done the guages. So far I have only done a few of the switches in green. I am still perfecting the design before I go to blue LED's as they cost much more than green. I will be doing my car to mock the VW Jetta's dash and lighting. All buttons and switches will be in RED and the backlight for the stereo, dash board, and trip computer will be blue. I will make several different colors once I have a solid design. Sorry, but I do not have pictures yet. I am working directly with a LED manufacturer and turnaround time is a bit long since they are not local. I can make a kit right now, but it will require soldering the LED's directly to the dash and switches. For some this is okay, but I am making the kit to be a direct replacement fot the normal bulbs. If you are handy with a soldering iron and such, I will be happy to help you if you do not want to wait for the twist on bases. I am still a few weeks away from having a complete kit in my own car. Thanks for showing an interest, things will be moving along better soon.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tango Delta:<BR><B>...just poking around the Swedespeed site hoping to find some pics of a P1800...</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Check out these sites:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.volvonet.org/tpc/gal_old.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.volvonet.org/tpc/gal_old.html</A> <BR> <A HREF="http://www.volvoworld.com/1800/photo.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.volvoworld.com/1800/photo.htm</A> <P>
 
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