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View Full Version : DIY: shift light install without “flamboyant” look



beingblueeyes
04-17-2009, 01:59 AM
DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK IF YOU BLIND YOURSELF , KILL A KITTEN , SET YOUR CAR/HOME ON FIRE OR ANYTHING ITS ON YOU

So I always get shit from the old time racers for wanting a shift light

Me: I want a shift light
Old time racer: you can tell when to shift if you know your car
Me: sure that works if you don’t want to be constant
Old time racer: you can never be truly consistence, and most shift lights even without a tack look vary flamboyant
Me: that’s true

So this is my quest for a shift light without that “flamboyant” look.

The plan:
to buy a cheap shift light on line and blend it into my gauges (were the auto gear position would be)

things you need for this project (using 4 l.e.d’s for shift light):
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x297/cascadedhart/DSC00995.jpg
your gauges
(1) cheap ebay shift light
(4) white hi-output l.e.d’s (I went with white just because I wanted white but any color will work IF they have a working range of 2.0v dc to 3.6v dc because the output voltage to the cheap low output led in the shift light is 2.06v dc)
(4) 5mm led light holders (they fit in a ¼ hole and come in a pack of 5)

*both the sets of l.e.d’s and the l.e.d holders were bought from RadioShack for 5.75 (w/tax/Maine)
The shift light was around 30.00 usd shipped if I remember correctly
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x297/cascadedhart/DSC00996.jpg



1: you need to disassemble the shift light (2 screws and a tinny nut on the back of the dial for rpm adjustment. This is what we want from the shift light; you can keep the housing of shit can it. Me I’m keeping mine because I think it would make a great brake light for a vintage motorcycle build
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x297/cascadedhart/DSC00997.jpg
2: I drilled a hole where I wanted to mount my l.e.d’s
3:I cut off the old red l.e.d that came on the circuit board and soldered a wire on to each pad on the board were the stock l.e.d was soldered to. I then wired the l.e.d’s in parallel (you could wire them in series but I didn’t want any of them to be dim and if by some chance one of the l.e.d’s burns out it might black out more than one

4: after installing them into the gauges
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x297/cascadedhart/DSC00998.jpg

5: what it will look like light (plenty of light in the day time, maybe to bright at night but we will see)
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x297/cascadedhart/DSC00999.jpg

I will finish this tomorrow with the install in the car

lburner
04-17-2009, 02:18 AM
dam that's bright... good job tho..

METDeath
04-17-2009, 02:27 AM
I'd suggest a relay with a resistor to drop the voltage to the light when the instrument lights are on.

Or a simpler method would be to use an on/on switch that has a resistor on one pole and doesn't on the other, so you get dimmer light with the resistor.

beingblueeyes
04-17-2009, 02:32 AM
thanks lburner, and that is a vary good idea metdeath

v8killer
04-17-2009, 08:01 AM
thats pretty cool this will work with any setup so i just might do it too!

balang_479
04-17-2009, 12:44 PM
Very interesting, it would be a cool addition to any car... if i ever have some spare change ill give this a try.

Cant wait to see it installed and finished.

beingblueeyes
04-18-2009, 01:03 AM
so today’s install had its ups and down's

Up’s:
Easy to run the wires
Nice weather so I did it out side

Down’s:
Didn’t have a "project box" (the little plastic boxes you can get at RadioShack)
the rpm selector didn’t work (more on that later)

here’s the gauges re-installed in the car drivers view
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x297/cascadedhart/DSC01000.jpg

Since I didn’t have a "project box" i ended up using part of the original shift light housing to hold the circuit board. I mounted that in the glove box


http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x297/cascadedhart/DSC01002.jpg


after I started the car I set the shift light variable resistor (aka potentiometer) all the way to the low side and the lights lit up then I set it to 2k and then reved to 2k and nothing, I think it has something to do with the rev signal, i think I need to run it to the rpm sig. converter I have going into my cd ign. to get it to register. I didn’t have time to test this. All in all it was/is a fun/cheap project that I think came out ok. I will post more when I find a solution to the rpm sig problem

a_mounty
04-18-2009, 01:54 PM
thats a sweet idea.
hope you get that fixed

beingblueeyes
04-18-2009, 05:03 PM
UPDATE:
i have some good and bad news but it now works!

GOOD:
I have fixed it and it works great in the daylight! I have it set right now at 5200 and I now can keep my eyes on the road where they belong instead of glancing at the tach

BAD:
I fixed it by wiring it to the tach out wire from my summit cd ign. box, meaning you need a tach adaptor to make this kind (cheap ass) of shift light work (don’t know if you still need it with a better shift light but I’m guessing so)