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R Gauge Install...(photo intensive)

18403 Views 51 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Mika
Once I realized that the R cluster (from a 2004) won't function in the T5 (2001), I wasn't going to waste a perfectly good cluster. Last night I decided that I was going to swap out the parts from the R cluster into the T5 and see what happens. From what I know, the only other person to do this was S60Evolve from Sweden. This install is not complete but the majority of the work is done. I still need to change out the LED's from the yellowish colored ones to brighter white ones, or possible blue. I have not decided yet. On to the pics and descriptions!

1) A side by side comparison of the clusters.

2) The outer bezel and plastic cover are all held by clips around the cluster. Just use a screwdriver to carefully pry them loose.

3) Once the shrouds are removed, this is what the clusters look like inside. Still look pretty much the same.

4) In order to remove the gauge faces, the needles need to be taken off. Be careful with this step as the guage face itself can be scratched by whatever tool you use. I chose a fork.

5) With the needles off, 2 screws hold the face of the gauge on. When removed, the faces can be removed from the cluster.

6) When the front of the face is removed this is the piece behind it (T5 shown). The center part that looks like an orange square is wrapped in extremely thin copper wire.

7) These are the R gauge faces installed in the T5 cluster.

8) This part of the R shroud needs to be cut away before clipping it back into the T5 cluster. I broke a clip trying to get it to fit before I realized that this piece was keeping the two from fitting together flushly.
On the R cluster, this just acts as a channel for the upper lighting wires.

9) With the shroud installed.

10) With the plastic shield installed.

11) The lights on top of the cluster. I have yet to figure out how to power these, which is where I need someones help that is good with wiring.

12) This is the connector that comes off of the lights. I am assuming it just needs a 12 V power source but I am unsure of what I need to do to ground it or if any relays will be needed.

13) This is when I first reinstalled the cluster and tested the lights. Everything works, but the lights are more of a yellowish than white. Due to the nature of the bulbs, there is a HUGE bright spot in the cluster and I am unsure of how to remedy that without major work. I think once I get the front illumination working it will not show as bad as it is right now. S60Evolve had the same issue, except he used blue LED's instead of white. I am unsure of which ones I will try.

14) The needles need to be adjusted. WHen I was driving they weren't reading quite right, so I think I may have pushed them down a little too far. I will check it out when I take it apart again this weekend.

15) Quick day shot I just took while at work...kind of dark but they look nice.

16) Just a quick shot while I was out there of the aluminum mesh door blades that I put in last week.

So this is where I stand right now. I am going to order some bulbs today to replace the stock lighting. I need help with the wiring of the top lights if anyone has any experience with wiring and can help me out, I would be very grateful. So comment/criticize/flame away. Thanks for checking this out! http://********************/smile/emthup.gif


Modified by S60Driven at 8:37 AM 7-12-2006
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Re: R Gauge Install...(photo intensive) (phuz)

Hah, I was waiting for someone to make that remark...mmmm fuel guage.

Yeah, I know the pics are a little large but I wanted to be able to show detail in some pics. I will have to check out that program. I am on a Mac at work, so I just used p-shop to resize.
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Re: (phuz)

Quote, originally posted by phuz »
you could still output a file size of 800x600 for about 1/3 the size of what they are now...and very easy to use through windows shell (right click)

so as of right now, your gauges are dark at nighttime?

Ok, fixed the pics so they are smaller. Should load faster now.

For now the gauges are dark at night. Hopefully only until this weekend when I can get the top lights wired up.
Re: (Copeland)

Hahaha! Thanks! My girlfriend and I recently moved into a new place together so we aquired remotes for 4 tv's, 2 DVD players, 2 cable boxes, and also two Universal remotes that neither of us programmed. Gotta get on that.
Re: (soledoc)

I didn't realize how rare that interior was until I just did a search on it. Wow, that's pretty impressive. When I saw the car at the dealership I fell in love with it, and one of the major things I loved was the interior. Thanks for the heads up!
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Re: R Gauge Install...(photo intensive) (Mika)

Might be the same guy. I thought he was from Sweden but that was second hand info. The one I have seen is a black 2001 S60 T5 has all Evolve and S60R parts.
Re: (Mika)

Wow, how the hell did he get the turbo pressure to read on the display? I know that on my Corrado there was a few tricks to get the display to read RPM's and some other random stuff...little factory secrets...
Re: (volvere)

Quote, originally posted by volvere »
Do you already have those top lights working?
Back here in Scandinavia we have done some of those R gauge modifications. In my car I took the power to the top lights straight from the backlight ground where the bulb is mounted. I also replaced the original backlight bulbs by white LEDs and those gauges really look good. Here's the picture:

No I haven't yet. I am still working on it. I am purchasing the white LED's already. But I am not sure I understand what you connected the top lights to? Do you have any pics of the exact wiring you did, or could you draw a diagram to explain it a little better. That would be a HUGE help! Thanks!

Re: (volvere)

Quote, originally posted by volvere »
Well, I'll try explain it a little, unfortunately english is not my first language. I have this picture, but it's not very good one:

The backlight bulbs have those black and blue holders which are attached to the base (or ground). The base has metal connectors for power. I just joined the wires by soldering to the metal connectors.

I hope this helps you.

That is perfect! Thanks a lot! I am going to work on this tonight!!!!
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Re: (S60Driven)

Woo Hoo!

Finally...I have power to the the top LED's! I took pics but I will upload them tomorrow at work. I still need to get the white LED's to replace the amber looking horrors that are in the back...but the hard part is over! The R gauge install is 90% done!!!!

Many many many thanks to Jim Lill for his help in this project. He walked me through so much and in the process I learned alot more than I expected to from this. Thanks Jim!

And thanks to Volvere for the pics and suggestions. Definitely saved me a few steps of trial and error!

Pics tomorrow (or in 7 hours when I wake up) !!!

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Re: (S60Driven)

Ok here are the pics as promised...slightly late...sorry.

Here are the two wires that come off the LED cluster. I cut the connector off and connected the wires to the base where the bulb twists into.

I simply put the wires under the bulb holder and twisted it in and it holds fine. That way I am not stuck soldering anything thus making it permanent (even though I bought a soldering iron and practiced soldering just in case!).

Milo gives this project his crotch grab seal of approval. http://********************/smile/emthup.gif

Lit up for the first time...

I removed two of the bulbs that were creating two annoying bright spots in the cluster. When I replace all the lights with LED's I will see what I need to do to cut down on the bright spots and evenly spread the light.

That's all for now! The hard part is done and like I said, I am about 90% through this. I am going to order the correct LED's this week and once I am back from vacation in a couple weeks I will get going on phase two of this install.

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Re: (RainyS60R)

Quote, originally posted by RainyS60R »

Let me know how things go with the LEDs. On the stock R, I have a slightly dim spot near 90mph. "R Kelly" told me he had the same issue with his R. When you have the pod apart, would you take a look at the gauges to see if there is something there that hinders diffusion of the white light? Also, I have uneven lighting on the two displays (odo and clock). One is brighter than the other. In your removal process have you seen how these displays are illuminated?

How does it feel to be the resident expert when it comes to the R gauge cluster? http://********************/smile/emthup.gif

- Tryg

Hahaha, I am far from an expert. I asked alot of questions and learned a ton from Jim Lill as I was tearing this thing apart. The one idea that I can come up with as for the dim spot is simply that one of the LED's that lights the guages from the front is directly in front of the 90 mph mark. This would give the illusion that it is dim at that point. Same thing with my needles. When the guages were not front lit, they were really bright, now they appear dim since the top lights work now. I am going to try and remedy this with the white LED's as opposed to the bulbs that are there now. The LED's that are in your R cluster are completely different than what I will be using. You have what are known as SMD LED's (surface mount device LED). They are extremely small but very bright.

The LED to the far right is the same that is in your R cluster. They solder directly to the circuit board and produce a bluish white light. In my T5 cluster, I am currently utilizing the stock incandescent bulbs, but will have to switch over to a T1 1/2 type LED which will replace those bulbs and has a wide viewing angle so it will act somewhat like a normal bulb. LED lights normally only project light forward so in your R cluster what they did was use a clear plastic piece behind the gauge face which was slightly textured to disperse the light evenly around the face. You can see what I am talking about in the picture below. The clear plastic pieces in the rear are from the R cluster.

This is what I have on my T5 cluster.

Unfortunately these two pieces are not compatible so I am stuck with the clear ones.

I am not sure what would cause the dimness between the odo and the clock but when I am in there again I will check it out.

I hope this kind of helped shed some light on the subject (pun completely and shamelessly intended).
The inner workings of these things are so interesting and I am far from done with experimenting. If you need any pics or anything I still have the guts of the R cluster in my house so I can tear it apart at anytime.

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Re: (RainyS60R)

Hey thanks alot guys for all the support/comments. It has been a fun project and is a nice added feature when people get in the car. I picked up my parents last week to go to breakfast and let my dad drive the car back. He loved it and kept saying to my mom, "Wow! Look at those gauges! Diane, did you see these gauges?!?!? Wow! Look at those!"

Haha, gotta love that.

I still have some tweaking to do with the backlighting. When I take a week off of work to just finish all my personal projects, I will work on these.

Need4spd, thanks a ton for the info! That's some good stuff to know, especially when I go back to work on the back lighting project. However, the LEDs I purchased to replace the bulbs have built in resistors, so they are safe to use. Not as bright as the bulbs but look better. I will post some pics in the next couple days.

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Re: (S60 t5er)

Hey everyone...sorry for missing these posts. I haven't been on Swedespeed for a while. Slowly moving back to my VW roots and working on aquiring my next project car. I just got back from H20 International in Ocean City Maryland. We took part in the Dagball Rally and I cruised down with my buddy Dave in his car...(I took this pic of his car from another car on our ride back home yesterday).

We had over 170 cars in the Rally driving down there, and there must have been well over 600 showcars and well over 8000 spectators. I took about 1,000 pictures. Crazy.

So anyway, back on topic, I am glad to see that the writeup helped. I did replace the bulbs with LED's, however, the lights are still not quite as bright as I had hoped. The LED's I needed to get were #74 Wedge Base LED bulbs (ordered from SuperBrightLEDs.com). I did not end up using all of them because of the bright spots which you will end up with in certain areas. I will try and post pics tonight because I haven't taken any since I replaced them. I like the look of it and I get compliments all the time. If I have more time on my hands (yeah right...
) I will see what I can do about getting the light pattern to spread more evenly. I know it's possible but will involve some fab work.

Hope this helps! I will post pics later...

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Re: (855turbo95)

As an update to anyone looking to do this install, I apologize but the site hosting the pictures (hostdub.com) went down about a year and a half ago and the admin for the site just up and vanished. Thousands of peoples images were lost with supposedly no back up being offered. Unfortunately for me, shortly before this happened I had a hard drive failure on the computer that had all the images and they too were lost.

I no longer have the T5 otherwise I would just take new images but if anyone is trying to do this install, feel free to PM me or send me email and I will do my best to walk you through it.

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