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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got side tracked doing other mods (while dismantling my dashboard) so the IC came out and I decided to mod it.

Anyway, this is NOT meant to be a thorough DIY because if you're about to tackle this project, you probably have advanced technical knowledge of cars, car systems, LEDs, electronics, soldering, etc...

As always, I take NO responsibility for any damage, injury, harm, destruction, failure of your mod endeavors. If you do embark on this mod, keep in mind the cluster is ~$500 + the labor to get the keys and cluster reprogrammed at your dealer if you break something. P/N GJR955471D.

Numbers correspond to pictures since I maxed out at 10/12 pics:

1 - Start here... White needles, white cluster.

2 - Pull main bezel off, it pops off along with the upper half of steering column.

3 - Use a cloth or something soft to protect the face of cluster from scratching on steering column and lay it face down. Unclip the single connector on the right side, then GENTLY finagle the stupid wire retention clip out. (If you pull too hard you'll mess up the soft back plastic, pic 6)

5 - Here's the cluster without the clear plastic front cover. To remove the needles, you will need to pull straight up with a LOT of force. DO NOT wiggle the needles out or you'll mess up the magnetic servo. (Oh, you'll probably need to reset the needles to 0 when you're done... good luck*)

6 - Back of cluster, you'll need to pop this off as well, but make sure you hold the PCB so it doesn't fall out or break the needles on the other side.

7 - In case you guys were wondering what lights you may encounter...

9 - Here's a naked board. The LEDs in question are to the top left of where the needles go.

10 - Left side LED replaced... kinda messy, I need a better soldering iron.

11 - Test run. Works!

12 - Put it all back together and enjoy the end results.

Note: You can change the back lighting and needle color to whatever you want (except RGB) assuming you get the proper SMD LED. I had some leftover bulk SMD LEDs from some other project so I have no idea what specs they are.

*If your needles get all out of whack.... i.e. If 0 is below the printed 0, move needle clockwise all the way until resistance is felt, then 'force' it some more, then go back counter-clockwise until it stops on 0. It works for the opposite direction as well.*
 

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I like it. Good write-up. If I had more time I'd probably do this with mine also.
 

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If I did this I'd be tempted to change the backlights to red as well; red is the correct color for not impacting your night vision and IMHO is preferred across-the-board for cluster illumination at night.
 

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If I did this I'd be tempted to change the backlights to red as well; red is the correct color for not impacting your night vision and IMHO is preferred across-the-board for cluster illumination at night.
Correct. I miss the old red cluster in my V6. The white is very clean however, and I see it in many more new cars since they're able to much more easily adjust the LEDs so that they're more precise and don't project as much.

Check out this thread if you want another cool idea. I've seen it in person and it's very unique: http://forum.mazda6club.com/picture-videos/258963-orange-s-non-orange-06-6s.html

Albeit a bit impractical for daily driving, but i'm sure you get used to it.
 

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I have been wanting to change the color of my needles for a while now! Great write-up. I had thought about painting the leds with a candy-clear red to get the same effect, but this is better if you have the skills!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
4 SMD's to change backlight... and 2 to change needle color.

However, from past experience, changing the backlight w/ SMD may cause hotspots depending on how intense the LED is and how that color of light is diffused through the I/C
 

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I tackled this today In a more basic and easy way for someone not willing to change LEDs. One thing I did notice was I have 4 LEDs, two on each needle. I cut small pieces of red marker light lens and used a dab of silicon to hold them to the LED. Gives a reddish orange look that is more noticable in the dark. Gonna see how I like it when I can drive it at night.
 

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4 SMD's to change backlight... and 2 to change needle color.

However, from past experience, changing the backlight w/ SMD may cause hotspots depending on how intense the LED is and how that color of light is diffused through the I/C
Reviving an ooold thread... Has anyone done a conversion to red backlighting on their 2014-current Mazda 6 dash and IC (including the HVAC/infotainment lighting, too)? I'm dying to do this, but have no idea how or what parts to get. Any insights would be very welcome! I drive a 2014 Mazda 6 Touring (Liquid Silver Metallic).

—Chris
 
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