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Custom Dodge Ram Interior and Exterior Lighting HID - HALO - LED LIGHTING - UNDERBODY LIGHTING - TINTED/SMOKED/PAINTED TAILS - ETC.


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  #1  
Old 10-11-2013, 01:01 PM
simonmw75 simonmw75 is offline
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Default Change the LED color of your OEM radio

So, after reading Scotty85ís write-up for changing the color of your controls, I decided to embark on the journey. I took a close look at my dash at night and realized that the pale green didnít go well with the blue LCD screen of the OEM radio, or the color of the gauge cluster. So, blue it was. However, Scotty85 didnít have to tackle an OEM radio. So I did. And here is how.

Most of the pictures and directions came off of a page I found on how to disassemble an REN radio, for which I have. The page address is http://www.allpar.com/stereo/MyGIG-REN/ for the full disassembly instruction. All I needed to do is get to the circuit boards behind the buttons. So the instructions below only include how to do that, not everything else on the website page. For an REN, youíll need 12 of the 2.2mm x 1.4mm LEDs. I found them on the mouser website, and didnít have to go to digikey.

2.2mm x 1.4mm LEDs http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=AA2214QBS/Dvirtualkey60400000virtualkey604-AA2214QBS/D

After starting the whole LED project, I realized that I might need replacement LEDís in the future, just in case my solder job was inadequate. So, I bought extras to have just in case one day one goes out. Donít want to worry about potential mismatched colors in a few years.

Start by removing your radio from your vehicle. You will need a Torx T-8 screwdriver to do anything inside this deck.

Here's a look at the back panel. Red arrows indicate two of the four screws that hold the DVD drive to the top cover. Remove the two screws that have the red arrows. Ignore the blue arrows; you donít need to remove them.
DSCF4201[1].jpg
This is the top panel. Remove the two screws with the red arrows.
DSCF4202[1].jpg
Once you take those out, the whole panel swivels up and back as an assembly. It wasnít exactly easy, but with a little help from a small flat tip screw driver, it eventually swiveled. The two halves are still connected by the ribbon cable with the red arrows. You do not need to disconnect these. And you shouldnít try. These cables are anywhere from $30 to $40 dollars to replace (I think), so donít mess with them, but be careful.
DSCF4220[1].jpg
The next picture has two blue arrows. These are not pointing to screws that need to come out yet, they are showing you that you need to pull the sides of the radio outward to ďunhookĒ the radios face plate. Remove the screw that the red arrow is pointing to. The two ribbon cables to the right and left of the red arrow need to be disconnected. They just pull out, so wiggle with care, and donít just try to yank them off. Once you do this, the whole faceplate assembly unclips and hinges downward.
DSCF4235[1].jpg
Below, the faceplate has been removed and is ready to be dismantled.
DSCF4236[1].jpg
The two red arrows below show the clips holding the cable to the back of the face plate assembly. Just slide the cable up and out.
DSCF4241[1].jpg
Next, pull the screen down and out. It is fairly easy to do with just your fingers.
It is very easy to remove the LCD from here - just retract the pins as shown in the inset. Mind the ribbon cable, so the connector doesn't get caught as you pull it through the access hole.
DSCF4243[1].jpg
If you manipulate the LCD on an angle, as shown below. This will give you just enough clearance to pull the LCD out. Be gentle, so you don't mark up the plastic.
DSCF4246[1].jpg
Below is another shot of the backside, again showing the retracted pins.
DSCF4248[1].jpg
Observe the blue arrow. Unplug that connector so you can remove the faceplate loading mechanism. Now, remove all the yellow arrowed screws and remove that loading mechanism. The red arrows indicate the screws that hold the metal to the plastic.
DSCF4249[1].jpg
The mechanism hinges out of the face like as shown below. Watch the springs on the ends - they are loaded by the metal tabs on either side, and you will have to put them back the way you found them. When I did it, each one shot in opposite directions.
DSCF4250[1].jpg
A close-up of one of the springs. They're not hard to figure out, just don't lose them.
DSCF4252[1].jpg
Remove the screws holding the metal panel in place, and remove the metal panel. Now you can access the two circuit boards on either side. Both boards are held down by screws with a blue coating on them. Remove the screws and both boards come out. Be careful when removing the ribbon cable with the boards. It is held in place by plastic circles pushed over the posts. I didnít bother disconnecting the ribbon cable from the boards when changing the LEDís. Didnít want to potentially break something if I didnít have to.


Iíll mention this now. There are two LEDís soldered to the ribbon cable on the other side of those two dark orange ďearsĒ, circled in green. Donít forget them.
DSCF4253[1].jpg
Below is one of the boards. For the REN, it has four LEDís. The other side had six LEDís. One for each button, and two for the volume knob.
DSCF4258[1].jpg
Reassembly is the reverse. I havenít reassembled yet, cuz I ran out of LEDs. I ordered them for the whole project before I knew exactly how many I needed. Didnít think the radio would need so many.
As far as the rest of the truck, Iíll add some insight on how the project is going.
For the drivers side window switch assembly, I found it to be a huge pain in the ass to remove the button assembly (yellow circle) to get to those two LEDís buried in the middle of the button assembly. That assembly is held on by like 22 pins soldered through the board. What made it easier to put back on was using a drill to clean out each hole prior to trying to push the thing back onto the board. Just donít use a drill bit that makes the holes bigger.
pcb-3[1].jpg
For the AC controls, the below picture is deceiving. What you donít really see is the depth of the two LEDs inside the silver and black circle. My solder pencil was not skinny enough to do the work without occasionally touching the black inner circle which is plastic and melted on contact. If you do that, you need to smooth out any damage; otherwise your controls will not operate smoothly. I actually ground my solder tip down to shape it like a hook, so I could ďscoopĒ out the old LEDs.
stack-6[1].jpg
Well, thatís it. I hope this post helps those of you doing this conversion. It really does look nice when itís done. Iíve been testing each circuit board before reassembly. Then I reassemble and reinstall into the truck. I want to thank Scotty85 again for starting his original thread.


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Old 10-11-2013, 05:27 PM
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Nice job! Reps for the detailed write up.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:17 PM
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woww, nice write up!
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:44 AM
simonmw75 simonmw75 is offline
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Thanks guys. I'm almost done with the whole truck, and love how it looks. One day i'm gonna figure out how to get to the LEDs in the side mirror puddle lamps. I had one replaced due to water in-leakage, and now the two sides don't match. One is the nice light blue that came from the factory, and the other is the replacement which seems like a pale yellow. Gross.

I also figured out how to change the LED that shines down onto the center console. I noticed that some people in the forum said that it was a "proprietary" light for Dodge. And by the looks of it, they were right. But it can be done. I'll post pics and instructions soon.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:26 PM
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Reps for having the balls to crack open the radio. I wonder if the RHR is similar? How many LEDs do you need total for the radio?
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:55 PM
simonmw75 simonmw75 is offline
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For an REN, i needed 12 LED's. But buy extra in case you burn one up or you need them a few years from now.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:20 PM
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You sir, are a brave man for busting the radio open for the led change. That is some commitment, and an excellent job. Great write up.
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