How To: 1999-2002 Silverado Gauge Bulb Swap

Discussion in 'GM Electrical Tech' started by pmf608, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Will also work with 2000-2002 Tahoe, Yukon, Suburban, 2001-2002 Denali, 2002 Escalade.
    This How-to will show you how to swap you stock gauge bulbs for LED lights.
    **NOTE: Trucks with transmission Temp. gauge may require additional LED bulbs**

    Parts / Tools Required:
    - (6) Type 194 LED lights
    - 7mm socket/ratchet
    - small tool (such as miniature screwdriver)
    - flat screwdriver (not required, but useful)

    Sorry about the big pictures - PhotoBucket says they're smaller then they are - nothing I can do there.


    Step 1:
    - Place steering wheel in lowest position and gear lever in 1st. Pry behind dash bezel and pull to remove.

    Step 2:
    - Remove (4) 7mm screws from around gauge cluster. Unplug connector from top and remove cluster.

    I couldn't fit all images in one post... remaining steps in second post.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2009
  2. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    LED Bulb swap - Part 2

    Sorry again about big pictures - Photobucket made some the right size and just says others are

    Step 3:
    - Use the flat screwdriver to undo the clips holding the back cover onto the gauge cluster
    - The bulbs are housed in these twist-in sockets:

    Step 4:
    - Remove stock bulbs from housings. They are soldered to the metal contacts, so it may take some force to break the wires from the contacts. This is where you push HARD on the bulbs with your small screwdriver. DO NOT remove the contacts, as it requires A LOT of extra work to put them back in. Don't worry about breaking the bulbs - none of mine did.
    **A good alternative to the way i did this is to buy new sockets at your local parts store. They weren't sold here when I did the swap, but it will make it a lot easier for others.**

    Step 5:
    -Insert your new LED bulbs to the housings. Due to the way the housings are designed, you will have to twist the terminal wires on the bulb to the sides of the bulbs. Keep the wires pointing downward and slightly outward when you insert the bulb. Ensure that your bulbs are tight, or they will come loose and fall out inside your gauge cluster and you would have to fish them out.

    Step 6:
    - Re-insert the bulb housings. At this point you may choose to put the back cover back on or leave it off. It is likely you will have to remove it again anyway, so I put mine on but did not clip it together.

    Step 7:
    - Plug the cluster back into your truck to test the functionality of all bulbs. Most type 194 LED bulbs only work one way, so if any do not work, remove the socket and rotate it a half turn. If the bulb still does not work, you will have to remove it to adjust the contacts in the socket. It is not necessary to unplug the cluster to remove the bulb.

    Step 8:
    - Re-assemble your truck (clip back cover back on to cluster, plug cluster in if unplugged again to swap bulbs, re-fasten (4) 7mm screws, clip dash bezel back on by lining up clips and pushing to engage them)

    Step 9:
    - Admire your finished work.

    I also have a larger version of completed LED swap here...
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  3. sweetdawg99

    sweetdawg99 Rockstar

    nicely done and well documented!
  4. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Great write-up!
  5. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Thanks. I actually got the idea from some other members of the club who have done it, but I couldn't find any formal write-ups on it, so I decided to do one myself. So thanks to the other people who have done this swap.
  6. MWright936

    MWright936 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Great write-up! :great:
  7. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Awesome write up... and not only does it look good, it also helps with gas mileage apparently! Look at that..!... near empty with the old lights and practically full with the LEDs! :)
  8. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    :lol: I knew I'd forget so I took the first pic a couple days early with my phone - thats why its so blurry. I just wish I could do my whole dash like that. I couldn't get the climate control unit open though. After I broke 2 of the 5 little clips, I decided I didn't want to break it.:grrrrrr:
  9. oOcornflakeOo

    oOcornflakeOo Rockstar

    yo, I wish you had taken a picture of the LEDs... do you think you could give me the specs of the LEDs? i know they're 194s but were they 1 watt? I think these might have been the ones you used but definitely correct me if I'm wrong:

  10. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I like the blue! Is there anyway to change the color of the needle on the cluster though???

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