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Tips on installing white face gauges


Riverguy

New Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2013
Messages
4
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Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Automatic
I just finished installing white face gauge overlays in my 2004 Ranger and I have a few tips to add to the already terrific, detailed instructions on this forum on removing and re-installing the cluster.

If you have an automatic transmission, you'll need to disconnect the shift-indicator cable from the bottom of the cluster before you can remove the cluster. To disconnect it, you can either pull down on the small white lever right where the cable enters the cluster, or you can remove one 7mm screw at the column end of the cable (right under the steering column, pretty easy to get to.)

I used the gauge overlays from whitegauges.com. The holes that go around the needles on all four gauges are not quite big enough to slip around the needle bases as the instructions (and their Web site video) shows. To make them work, I carefully snipped a small cut with sharp, clean scissors from the inside of the hole straight on down. That way you can slip the overlay around the needle base. After you squeegee the applique down, the cut disappears.

Use plenty of the soapy water spray, either their kit or a drop or two of dish soap in a spray bottle of clean water. You'll need the water in there to keep the overlay from sticking down while you adjust it. You'll also need to have the cluster plugged in so the lights will illuminate or you will not be able to align the overlay with the existing numbers and markings. They are pretty tricky to align. I never did get the speedo and tach perfect. I could get it to align on one side or the other, but not both, so I had to compromise and allow a tiny error on each side. Once they're installed the error is not really noticeable.

BTW, I did a lot of research on replacement LEDs to replace the feeble light bulbs Ford installed in this setup, and to the best of my knowledge, there aren't any. A lot of guys talk about 194 replacements, but those are for the earlier Rangers. This cluster uses micro-miniature bulbs. If anyone finds an improvement over these wimpy bulbs, I'd sure love to know about them!

The end result is worth the effort. Now I can see my gauges in broad daylight, which I could not with the old black faces. The night-time look is OK, but the numbers on the tach and speedo are not even as bright as they were because now those wimpy bulbs need to shine through two layers of green plastic. Overall, it's a lot better, and the white face gauges just look better, too.
 


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