Home > TrailBlazer, Envoy, 9-7x, Ascender, Rainer, & Bravada > Appearance > LED Mod Thread

LED Mod Thread

  1. Time to make this place feel a lil more homely :biggrin: Alright boys and girls, time to show off your stuff!

    LED Eyebrows

    Items used:

    • Pair of 2' side emitting LED strips from Oznium.com
    • Add a fuse (and some wiring)

    One of the first LED mods I did to my truck. Shown here is version 3.0 which looked the best IMO

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    I used an add a fuse plugged into fuse 22 in the front fuse block to run the eyebrows as DRLs

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    Here's a couple of shots during indoor testing to check the light output after dark.

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    And some night shots after being installed.

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    I did have to remove these after a few months, the same issue with versions 1 and 2 sprang up with these, where (I assume) a solder joint broke. I did not know anything about soldering at the time, so I didn't attempt to fix them myself.

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  2. Items used:

    • 5mm blue 1600mcd, 90 degree viewing angle, straw hat LEDs
    • 470 ohm 1/4W resistors

    Those of us with manual HVAC controls that need/want to replace bulbs all want to avoid doing THIS!!

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    I came up with an alternative that may be useful so I thought I'd share. The idea of heating the tabs to soften them up to make removal easier seemed logical. Using a heat gun didn't work, as the first pic was my result. The idea of heating the metal slider directly, so the heat was applied to the inside of the tab seemed like a better idea, as the whole tab wouldn't have to melt first. My solution was this. Pulled out the etching bit from my Dremel kit, and bore out a section on the inside of the tab down to the slider.

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    Once the metal was exposed, put my soldering iron to it for a few seconds while gently pulling on the tab with my fingers. I could feel it slowly start to slip, and then it slipped right off with ease. Much better feeling than hearing the snap of the slider breaking.

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    Hopefully you can see them clear enough, but there are tiny teeth on the tips of the sliders that keep the tabs on. THIS is why many of us have broken them on our attempts.

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    One thing I found out when my replacement arrived today and I tested it, 2 of the bulbs were already out. When I tried to test those spots for polarity, the contacts on the board were actually dead giving no voltage. So I ran some jumper wires from good contacts to the dead ones.

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    LEDs all mounted up

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    The tabs slip back onto the sliders, and you can probably feel the teeth catch their grip. I considered using a dab of silicone, but turns out it won't be needed. After putting everything back together, you can barely tell any cutting was done to the tabs unless you're looking for it.

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  3. Items used:

    • 5mm blue 1600mcd, 90 degree viewing angle, straw hat LEDs
    • 470 ohm 1/4W resistors

    Putting this one out there in case anyone else with a GMT370 needs a reference. The rear unit pops out without much effort or tools. The white cover on back is held on by clips.

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    A closer look at the backside of the circuit board, you can see there are 2 bulbs screwed in, in housings similar to the ones found in the DDM and PDM, but a bit larger.

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    In order to get access to the front side of the circuit board, the 3 knobs on the front have to be pulled off. I used a thin flathead screwdriver on mine, and left small scratches on the surface of the unit. Thankfully they are covered up when the knobs are put back in. After pulling the knobs off, use a 10mm socket to remove the nuts that hold the inner switches to the front panel.

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    Now we can see the switches and front side of the circuit board where the lights are mounted. I was a bit surprised that only 2 bulbs were used to light up the whole display, but there is a generous amount of room between the circuit board and the front of the panel so the light can spread nicely.

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    I considered reusing the light bulb housings but after a closer look, the leads for the bulbs are soldered onto a clip-like structure that wraps around the sides of the bulb sockets to make contact with the board. So I opted to solder the LEDs directly to the contacts instead. The + leads are marked with a red dot.

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    I couldn't decide right away how many LEDs I wanted to put in there since there's so much room. In the end, I decided to go with just 2, having 1 in each original place. If I want to add more later, it wouldn't be difficult. I set them back a bit, so they are almost flush with the circuit board and not "raised" like the stock ones are to allow for as much light spread as possible and no hot spots.

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    Test fit without the knobs first.

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    Added the knobs, was a bit disappointed that the indicator lines on the knobs didn't catch enough light to illuminate, so there may be the addition of 3 LEDs to this setup in the future.

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    After successful tests, put everything back together, and see how it looks in the truck.

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  4. Items Used

    • 5mm blue 1600mcd, 90 degree viewing angle, straw hat LEDs
    • 470 ohm 1/4W resistors

    My truck didn't come with the Homelink and memo modules installed, but after finding some from a junked GMT, it was time to add them. After figuring out the correct wiring assignments to make them work, it was time to put some LEDs in them.

    Here's the Homelink and Memo modules broken down.

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    Solder on some LEDs and resistors, and give them a quick test to make sure I didn't goof.
    I actually did the first time, hooked up all the LEDs backwards polarity, as I had my power supply leads backwards :duh: Didn't catch it until I had EVERYTHING closed back up and ready to reinstall in the truck. Something told me to test them with my power supply on the harness to see them both light up.

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    And here's the final result before mounting back where it belongs.

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  5. Some other interior mods

    Items Used
    • 5mm blue 1600mcd, 90 degree viewing angle, straw hat LEDs
    • 470 ohm 1/4W resistors


    Rear Wiper Switch

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    LWB Driver's rear HVAC Control

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    Driver's Door panel

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    Passenger Door panel

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    Rear Window Switch

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    At the time I did my doors, there were a number of write ups already published, so I did not take any in-process pics.
     
  6. Items used:

    • 5mm blue 5000mcd, 120 degree viewing angle, flat top LEDs
    • 470 ohm 1/4W resistors

    I had adding a DIC cluster on my list for some time before I actually did this mod, and I found a deal on a used Ebay cluster that I had to jump on. This turned out to be much more of an adventure than I planned, so here’s the story with some pics.

    Started off by collecting all the goodies I’d need. GM 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) and testing the lights.

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

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

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

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    I found a deal I couldn't pass up on an 02 DIC cluster, 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:

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

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    Umm, that's a standard cluster!! 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 JimmyJam), and ordered some blue LED backlit momentary buttons.:thumbsup:

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    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.

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    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.

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    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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    LEDs installed!

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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. 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 connectors 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.

    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.

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    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. :biggrin:

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    A last minute check in the truck to make sure everything worked properly prior to getting the mileage programmed and this mod adventure is complete!

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    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!

    Here's the final install.

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  7. 5mm blue flat top LEDs, wired up groups of 3 in series, in parallel sets, with a 1/8W resistor at the head of each parallel group. :thumbsup:

    1st Row: 63 LEDs per light
    22ohm (7 groups), 20ohm (8 groups), 27ohm (6 groups)

    2nd Row: 63 LEDs per light
    22ohm (7 groups), 20ohm (8 groups), 27ohm (6 groups)

    3rd Row: 36 LEDs per light
    51ohm (3 groups), 39ohm (4 groups), 39ohm (4 groups),150ohm (1 group)

    Cargo: 60 LEDs
    5x 39ohm (4 groups)

    Grand Total: 384!! :woohoo:

    Getting started lacing up and soldering the LEDs for the cargo section

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    1st row layout test... Somehow, my initial design didn't work at all, clearance issues underneath, so I had to improvise by slanting one section. In hindsight, I wish I had done that with the others too, coulda fit MORE!! :duh:

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    Cargo light test fit

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    3rd row lights, test fit

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    2nd row lights, test fit

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    1st row lights, test fit

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    Out with the old, in with the new...

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    1st row installed

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    2nd row installed

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    Shot from the rear of the truck with the lift gate glass open. Clipped off the cargo light, but you get the idea

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    Perimeter lighting activated, through tinted windows. :cool:

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  8. When you hooked up your LED 'eyebrow' lights (like the ones you see on Audi's), did you also do the DRL killer as well? I notice your headlights aren't on, and I wasn't sure if it was because the TB was in park and the DRLs only come on in drive, or if you had disabled them.:undecided: Awesome mods all round, by the way.:thumbsup:
     
  9. Thanks man. Yeah, I did the DRL killer in the rear fuse block for my HIDs, so only the eyebrows would be on during the day. Fuse 22 ties into the ignition, so they would be on anytime the key was turned, instead of depending on the transmission state. Made me :biggrin: every time I parked in front of a glass front building :cool:
     
  10. I got my LED's today, and it was simple plug and play for the front and middle row, however I couldnt for the life of me get the cargo light out.

    Can you please explain how you got yours out?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  11. Yeah, the cargo light is a PIA to remove. Here's a couple pics of my spare. On the passenger side, there's a tab on the lens that's latched into the main housing. You've got to pop that loose, then the lens will swing down towards the driver's side allowing you to remove it.

    :duh: For whatever reason the site is attaching the pics backwards, but you can see what part you need to deal with to get it out.
     
  12. Oh man so much good stuff here! And you can do the DIC without replacing the clockspring and steering wheel? Hmm... :undecided:
     
  13. :biggrin: Yeah, I kept having this feeling like this forum was missing something... :lightbulb:

    The whole steering wheel and clockspring was an issue for me, and kept that mod way down on the to-get list, until I was pointed to a couple threads on the OS that explained you only need to connect the 4 pins to a ground through a momentary switch. The newly realized drop in cost, bumped this to the top of the list QUICK!! :yes:

    I'm working on something else at the moment, exterior mod, hope to have it done within the next week. [​IMG]
     
  14. What 4 pins? Maybe a link please? Or heck, post the info here on this site if the original poster of it doesn't mind :biggrin:

    How much does reprogramming the cluster for the correct mileage cost anyway? And after swapping the clusters, how does the dealer know that the mileage you told them is true? :confused:
     
  15. When you have the cluster harness accessible, there will be 4 pins on the top row, right side that are empty. They are pins A8, A9, A10, and A11. The pins from the radio harness are the same kind (and already have wiring crimped in) so you just have to extend them to wherever you are gonna mount your control box. If you have a 4WD switch, you're outta luck mounting yours where I put mine. Attached are some pics from the wiring schematic to tell you which pin controls which function.

    I bought my TB from Carmax, and they would/could not program the mileage for me for legal reasons. Getting the cluster programmed ran me $130 from a local place, DNA Speedometer. They made me sign a document stating the mileage being programmed was an estimate and not 100% accurate. I had goofed on the mileage, since my original cluster had a busted gear shift indicator and odometer was out. It still recorded mileage, as my OnStar reports changed from month to month. But instead of remembering the last mileage reading, I remembered the "next maintenance due at" reading, so I'm about 3000 miles higher than I should be. :redface: No biggie, I don't plan on getting rid of my truck anytime soon anyway....

    DIC Wires.jpg DIC Steering.jpg
     
  16. here is my eyebrows that i did a few months ago, :thankyou: blckshdw for all your help when i was asking all those questions back on the OS


    heres some pictures of them in the dark!
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    the lights are actually white, and match my white hoen headlights pretty well when they are on with them, lets hope i dont get pulled over for them having a blue tint too them!
     
  17. got my eyebrows done this week and some of my interior leds done last week. i only have pics of my eyebrows, but ill have more shortly :thumbsup:

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  18. Where did you get the 'breadboard' for the LEDs? I have a project that requires something like that that I can cut.
     
  19. from the bakery...

    Seriously, you can order it from mouser.com or digikey.com or if there is a Fry's Electronics nearby. Most electronic component shops should have it. I don't think Radio Shack does anymore.
     
  20. I get all my LED project stuff (that I'm assembling myself) from Ebay sellers in China. I got my first PCB for the cargo light, from Radio Shack, but at that price, I figured I could find way cheaper on Ebay. Larry is right, it looks like Radio Shack's online inventory has been cut down big time on the boards they sell. Here's the Ebay listing for the boards I used for the dome lights, since you got 2 boards per package. :thumbsup:

    [EBAY]370448656166[/EBAY]
     
  21. Question, what are the lights that are above the doors? Map lights or Cargo lights?? Also how did you mount the Led Eyebrows to your TB? You kinda skipped that part.
     
  22. Over the doors are usually referred to as dome lights or reading lights. I think I've seen them called map too, since they have the dual function. The map/reading function is a bit more dim compared to when you open the door and they turn on.

    For the eyebrow strips, they come with a strip of double sided 3M tape on the bottom of them. So all you have to do is peel off the backing strip, and stick them in place.
     
  23. Finally got around to doing a lil documentation of the module polarities yesterday. First up are the instrument clusters, there are a few slight differences between the DIC and non DIC clusters. Of the 4 contact pads per stock bulb, only 2 of them are used. I put the + sign in the corner where the positive pad is, since there isn't one side or the other like all other modules.

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    Driver and passenger door modules. Since I have an LS with the basic options, I don't know if the other trim level modules use the same light source or have additional bulb sockets.

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    Rear Wiper Switch

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    Manual HVAC

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    Headlight switch. I did notice the circuit board is stamped for GMT370s, so there may be differences with the short wheel base versions. I know some have a light under the dimmer knob.

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  24. Figured I'd add to the thread heres the 4x4 switch.
     
  25. Since I put clear corner lenses in the headlights, it was about time I made a new video for the switchbacks.

    To recap, here's what I'm working with.

    LM487 LED flasher relay from Rockauto.com, and Autolumination.com's 60-60 Ultiimate Stealth Switchbacks.

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    Autolumination's 194 Switchbacks for the corners

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    And to make the corner switchbacks work properly (they are not plug and play) I built my own polarity changers out of some OEM sockets and DPDT mini relays.

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    Put em all together, and this is what you get :thumbsup:

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpDMdxJBRHA[/video]
     
  26. [​IMG]

    Haven't gotten much more done with them since that pic was taken over a year ago :rolleyes: Part of it was I had issues with cold weather, then had some design snags (more on the appearance side, functionality was ok), then I got really busy with work, then some more tweaking, now it is cold again and I'm busy with work. I really need to set aside time to finish these up.

    But before someone says HEY HIJACK WHERE BE TEH LEDZ!!!11! The turn signals will be purely LED :yes: Part of it will be controlled by this mess that will be tapping into the circuits under the dash. It was fun wiring this and making sure I got it right :crazy:

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    You'll see how it all works when I (eventually) get everything done. I hope you guys will approve. And if not, well, too bad :raspberry: :rotfl:
     
  27. On my last led mod and of course everything is messed up.

    I have the old style climate controll. I have voltage going to all of the lights but only one of them lights up? I check all of the LEDs and their fine... Soooo bad ground or what? Help would be great. Thanks bros!
     
  28. :confused: So you put your volt meter's leads on HVAC bulb contact pads and get voltage, your LEDs also light up on your test bench, but putting the LEDs in and they don't light up? You wouldn't see voltage if the ground was bad. Makes me think there's an issue with the solder joints.
     
  29. Code:
    
    
    Your correct sir. Solder joints are solid. I rechecked them all and redid them. Same issue. I'm gunna try making new ground points and see if that works. Any other suggestions?
     
  30. If you've got the LEDs and resistors soldered in, AND get voltage readings on your meter when you touch the test leads to the contact areas, only other thing I can think of is if the LEDs are in backwards, reversing their polarity? :confused:
     
  31. I already tried reversing all of them :hissyfit:

    Only thing I can think of us when I test the contact pints I have my dmm clapped onto a ground and test the points for a positive. But I'm pretty sure thats what I'm supposed to do....? Right:redface:
     
  32. Doing it that way will verify if the positive contact pad is receiving voltage. That wouldn't tell you if your ground connections are good. Putting your positive lead on the positive pad, and negative lead on the ground pad, and confirming 12V would do that. But if you've already done that, and you're getting 12V, then I don't know what to tell you. Care to take a pic of your HVAC so we can see how you've got things?
     
  33. okay well i just went back out to do further testing and now none of the lights are on. i unsoldered all of the lights and tested all of the pads and none of them have 12v going to them anymore :confused::confused::confused:
    heres some pics of how i had it, oh and i forgot to mention that i did use your diagrams so i know that i didnt accidentally switch around the positive and negative leads.

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  34. :undecided::confused: If your contact pads no longer get power, and they did before the mod, I'd guess that something got shorted. I see you kept the resistors below the LED, did any of the resistor lead get pushed down onto the traces of the circuit board? If so, there's a chance you shorted something that way. That's all I can think of at this point.
     
  35. I made sure none of them would touch any part of the board.. So I'm just gunna go with that the pads have been shorted. Do I need to get a whole new HVAC control?:frown:
     
  36. If the actual functionality of the HVAC module is still intact, you can try running some jumper wires on the backside of the board. When I had to buy my replacement module, 2 of the contact pads were dead, so that's what I did to get those spots to work again. Just used a known good source and connected them. Not sure what to do if none of your pads are working now though.

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  37. Rewired mirror signals to be solid and just so happened to get my LED bulbs in for them as well.

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  38. How did you do it i would like to know plz i have always wanted to do it but don't know how
     
  39. I ran two wires from the mirror to the front side marker. I will snap a few pics tomorrow in the day light.
     
  40. Another option is to tap into the brown wire that runs in the thick bundle under the driver's side dash, just above the brake pedal. That brown wire is for the trailer parking lights, but suits the same purpose. When I did my mod, I used that for the parking lights, and tapped the turn signal from the door modules as detailed in Jman's article GMTNation - Installing Mirror Turn Signals (since my LS didn't have turn signals built in)

    This works fine for filament style bulbs, but with LEDs, since they are polarized, you'll need to wire up a relay system to send/stop voltage based on if you have your parking lights and/or turn signals on... :book:
     
  41. I started by locating the wires in the door that controlled the side marker. Green and white wires

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    Then I ran them through the door and into the cabin. (no pics of my pathway)
    I had to drill a small hole in my floor but i got a rubber gromit to put in it.

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    I ran the wire around the side of the engine bay.

    Then tied into the front side marker.

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    If ya have any more questions just ask Ill help anyway I can. :thumbsup:
     
  42. Yes sir 3rd from the left
     
  43. Finally did my dome/map lights with leds!
    search "36 smd led" on ebay

    stock or store bought lights.
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    HOLY WIRE!- i tucked it in behind the reflector.
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    stock vs New
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    New ones!
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    New lights in the front, Stock lights above second row.
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    Pictures of them at night. (cameras dont show how bright leds really are)
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    Window is up, Stock Window Tint.
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    Through the front windshield
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  44. I just added the load resistors to the rear of the truck, and now I'm getting no FRONT parking lights. My turn signals work fine, but when I put the headlights on, ONLY the head lights and tail lights come on, I get no parking lights up front. I tied in to the BLUE next to BROWN on each of the rear tail light harnesses for the positive and tied the grounds to the black bolt that is visible when you open the rear hatch. No hyperflash on the turn signals, but no parking lights. :hissyfit: If you need more info to help me, just let me know!

    P.S.: Also (and this is why I usually NEVER do two mods at once) I'm trying to install LED running lights (eyebrow-type) and I'm tapping into the #22 fuse in the front fuse box, and they aren't lighting up.
     
  45. Did you check fuse #37 in the rear block? (front parking lights)

    You told us where you tapped power, but where did you ground them to? How did you tap in for power? Did you get an add-a-fuse, or wrap the wire around one of the fuse legs? Did you check for voltage with a meter? :undecided:
     
  46. Fuse #37 was blown, and keeps blowing when I turn on the parking lights. Will it blow a fuse if I have the LED bulbs in my front turn signals reversed in their polarity? FIXED: Bulb was in the wrong way, turned it around and it works fine!

    I used a fuse tap to the positive on the eyebrow lights and used a wire tap to a wire that was attached to a bolt near the fuse block. I assumed (I know, bad idea) it was a ground, because it's a wire attached to a bolt that is attached to the inside of the fender/engine compartment. FIXED: My connections where I tied the two positives together was bad. Eyebrow lights work now!!!

    LED running lights and LED parking lights now BOTH working fine! I will throw some pics up once it gets dark.

    I appreciate the info Carlton! I'll let you know what's up, and post some pics once I get things working.
     
  47. Finally got everything working like it should! Thank you to everyone for your help!
     
  48. Well i switched most of my lights to led. But i have a question. Can i change the side markers on the mirrors to white led? Its the clear lens.
     
  49. You sure can.