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Banned
2005 chevy
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6,469 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It's been a while since I've done any major modding, so you can say I've been long overdue. I usually blame Jimmy, Saze or Decembersend for my mod bug, but this time hatchet669 is at fault here!! :raspberry I've had adding a DIC cluster on my list for some time now, and I found a deal on a used Ebay cluster that I had to jump on and this turned out to be much more of an adventure than I planned, so I figured I'd share.

Started off by collecting all the goodies last month. Radio harness for the pins, and to make a test bench so I didn't have to keep taking my cluster to the truck to check for polarity (LEDs of course :D) and testing the lights.



I didn't want to take a chance of bad stepper motors, so scooped up a set of those too.



Between my handy pick tool and metri pack removal tool, I managed to get the pins out that I needed.



Some blue needles, since that's the theme I'm going with... Just had to eventually get a cluster.



I found a deal I couldn't pass up on an 02 DIC cluster about 3 weeks ago, so I jumped on it. Took the guy a while to ship it to me, but when it got delivered at work, I couldn't wait until I got home, so I ripped the thing open right at my desk. Sure enough, the cockeyed needles were staring me right in the face... :duh:



OK, so good, I didn't waste $30 on those stepper motors... Then I took the face gauges off and saw this!! :eek:



Umm, that ain't right!! :mad: So I emailed the guy back, calmly, and asked him if he had the right one to send me. After a day or so back and forth, turns out they had 2 TBs in their inventory, one with DIC, the other without, and the tags on the parts got switched. He shipped out the correct one later that day. Since I decided I didn't want to spring for a new steering wheel and clock spring, I'd go the route that others did and mount some momentary buttons on the dash.

I got my hands on a spare 4WD switch placeholder (thanks Jimmy), and ordered some blue LED backlit momentary buttons.:thumbsup:



I didn't want to have all the raised stuff behind the buttons, so I ground it down with the trusty dremel, with the intention of smoothing it down and painting it.



Test fitting: They were a lil larger than I expected, but I got them to fit. One of my mounting holes was a bit off, but I'm sure it will be one of those things where I'm the only one who notices.





As discussed in another thread, I wanted the hubs on the needles black, not silver, so I used a paint marker and hooked them up. Came out pretty good.

 

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Banned
2005 chevy
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6,469 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
And you know anything with lights that goes in my truck, needs to have some LEDs in it, or it just ain't right! :yes: :woot:



Then it was time to do a test with my original white faced gauges on the DIC cluster, and ran into a problem. (not pictured) The cutout for the standard face is only big enough to display the standard odometer, nowhere near wide enough for the DIC display. Looking through the backside of the faces, the room is there, but the overlay would need to be modded. I tried wet sanding and using a polishing pad with my dremel to try and get through the adhesive and backing, which for the most part succeeded, but the clear plastic became faded, hazy and warped in some areas. :sadcry:





So I decided to cut the whole section out, buy some clear plastic sheeting, and try NiteShading it so when the display is off, it appears black like normal, but you can still see the display clearly when running.





After that was done, put together a 6 connection weather pack (cheaper than the comparable metri pack connectors) conected up one end to my buttons and went to do a test in the truck.



3 of the 4 buttons lit up properly, while the 4th one flickered and blinked. I was worried I had a bad one, and they came from China :worried: Although I had my stock cluster still plugged in, I pressed the buttons anyway. Moments after I did that, I noticed that even though my parking lights were still on, the lighting for the headlight switch, cluster, HVAC, overhead console etc were all out. Toggled the switch a couple of times, and noticed the doors were still lighting as they should. Crap, blew something... Found the fuse in the back and replaced it. Time to investigate.

Take the control panel back inside, remove the quick connects and test the faulty button on my power supply. Worked fine, so had to be an issue with the connector I was using. Decided to scrap those, and solder everything up, although that would make it much more difficult since there are 2 wire bundles that go to all 4 buttons for the lighting power/ground.

I'm wondering how I backfed the illumination circuit, so I decided to swap the polarity for the LED rings for the hell of it. Guess what? They lit up anyway. Damn false advertising!! Since I was using the 2 ground outputs on the same wire, when I pushed the momentary button it sent current through the light and backfed into the illumination system, popping the fuse. :hissy:

So off to radio shack I went, and picked up a bunch of diodes. Soldered everything up, and gave another test on the bench. Looks promising.



Installed the blue needles, and my tinted face plate, and gave that a test as well. No hot spots from using flat head LEDs BTW, so I was quite happy about that. :D



Today, it's time to get the mileage programmed and hook everything up. A last minute check in the truck to make sure everything worked properly and this mod adventure is complete! :woohoo:



Side note, I didn't even realize until after I took the new cluster back out, that I meant to check if the tint job I did was too light/dark. Considering it didn't dawn on me while installing or cycling through the different DIC options, I think I got it just right! :cool:
 

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Registered
2009 chevy trailblazer_lt
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1,349 Posts
looks good, nice job :thumbsup:
tinting looks to be right on.
can't wait to see an installed pic.
 

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Banned
2005 chevy
Joined
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6,469 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I meant to wet sand the tint, since when I held it up to the kitchen light, I could still see some of the paint drops (as small as they were) but since I cant' tell now, gonna leave well enough alone.

Just got home from Carmax and getting my oil changed. When I made my appointment, I told them I needed this done too, and they said OK. I get there, and the guy at the service desk says legally they can't do it, they aren't certified for odometer programming. :ugh: (so what happens if my stock cluster gets damaged **like it did** and I need to get a stock cluster replaced under my extended warranty? :undecided)

There's a guy local in town who I spoke to before, which Carmax recommends, so I'm about to give him a call and see if he can squeeze me in this morning before I head to Orlando. :thumbsup: I will be highly upset if I have to go to the meet tonight and can't have my mod finished!
 

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Registered
2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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230 Posts
I want this mod bad....Real bad Cant seem to be able to find a 07 cluster that I can afford or one thats in Miles.

Great work and love the button choices
 

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Registered
2006 chevy trailblazer_ls
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239 Posts
Looking good! I was wondering what it looked like behind the 4WD place holder and now I know. :tiphat
 

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Banned
2005 chevy
Joined
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6,469 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Just got home from having my cluster programmed. $130 I won't have to spend this weekend :hissy: Since my display had been out for so long, I didn't remember what my approximate mileage was, and had to guess. I guess their equipment couldn't read my current cluster, even though Onstar can for their monthly reports.

After going back through some of my old OnStar reports, I think I overestimated the mileage by a couple thousand miles, but I'm not too concerned. I don't plan on getting rid of the TB if I can help it anyway. :grouphug:

Here's the final install. I put my windshield shade up, but I'll get a night pic tonight.

Carlton: you don't need to find an 07 cluster for this mod to work. The one I got off Ebay was from a 2002 (only way I could afford this too :laugh:), and while they said it wouldn't work, I have proof to the contrary :thumbsup:
 

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2006 chevy trailblazer_ss_ls
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111 Posts
that looks great, buttons are awesome I really need to get around to my cluster but until then Ill just look at yours wishing it was mine lol awesome job!
 

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Registered
2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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50 Posts
Looks really nice If only we could change the colors of the HUD letters and numbers then we would be in heaven.. A Blue HUD would really bring that out!!!! Awesome Job!!!!!:hail::thumbsup:
 

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Banned
2007 chevy trailblazer_ss_1ss
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2,006 Posts
Yea his cluster is awesome!! Annnnnd I got to see it in person since I'm here in florida..pix jus don't do it justice! Awesome mod Carlton!
 

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Banned
2005 chevy
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6,469 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
:thx Guys, I'm pretty happy with this one. I was :D the whole drive home as my whole dash has a nice blue glow to it. I tried to get a night shot when I got home, from the back seat to get a proper perspective of how everything looks but it's pretty blurry still. :cry:

 

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Registered
2006 chevy trailblazer_ss_ls
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111 Posts
:thx Guys, I'm pretty happy with this one. I was :D the whole drive home as my whole dash has a nice blue glow to it. I tried to get a night shot when I got home, from the back seat to get a proper perspective of how everything looks but it's pretty blurry still. :cry:

OH MY JESUS! that's beautiful! You want to make a trip to the midwest and come LED my SS lol
 
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