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Old 12-23-2004, 02:15 AM   #1
ardinos
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Default HOWTO: 2005 STI HVAC Red Light Mod

After being unable to find directions for how to change the AC controls to red for the 2005 STI and actually finding posts saying it wasn't possible since the control knobs plastic is green itself, I decided to prove it could be done and write it up. Now all my lights match and it looks like it should have from the factory.

1. Remove the shifter tray and remove the two screws underneath it holding in the stereo and ac control trim.
2. Remove the AC control trim carefully. I had to give it a good hard tug and use a plastic spatula to pry it out.
3. for the AC control, remove the hose going into it and the screws holding it to the trim. Unplug it then bring it in the house.
4. On the back of the AC controls on the white plastic cover, unhook the little two wire white plug, then unscrew the screws that hold the white cover on.
5. Unclip and remove the white cover, the controls should pop out and expose a circut board.
6. Remove the knobs themselves, just give a gentle tug and they'll come right off.
7. You'll see three small white squares in the bottom of each control, these are the LED's that light up the knob, they're white by default. I used paint to paint them red.
8. They won't be bright enough alone so you need to add an auxillary led for each control. I simply bought 3000mcd red LED's from radio shack, 3 for 2 bucks each. Be sure to lightly sand each LED to help them difuse the light more evenly. They should look cloudy instead of clear when done.
9. Get some of the thinnest wire you can find, VERY thin, run two leads under the black plastic that holds each of the knobs to the circut board. I had to use a very small screwdriver and gently pry the plastic up high enough to snake a small wire in.
10. Be aware LEDs are directional, hook them up backwards and they won't light.
11. Solder one LED for each knob using the leads you just fished under the black knob holder. Then solder the leads in series, positive to negative.
12. Hook up a resistor to the first led in the series on the positive wire going in.
13. Looking at the circut board from the knob side, you can see the backs of the pins for where the two main plugs plug into the board. Solder the resistor for the positive wire to the bottom leftmost pin.
14. Solder the negative lead coming out of the last LED to the top pin, second from the right on the set of pins for the first plug from the left.
15. Test it before putting it back together, if the leds light up, make sure the buttons push in fine and don't get stuck, I left the LEDs poking up just above the button in the bottom of each knob holder.
16. Put it all back together and enjoy the fact the lighting matches.

This can also be done for the radio and other knobs, that's documented pretty well by other people elsewhere.

You can view directions and pictures over at I-club, I couldn't post attachments here.

I-club thread
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Last edited by ardinos; 12-23-2004 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 12-23-2004, 02:18 AM   #2
ardinos
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Default

Hmm, the link above doesn't seem to work for me. You'll have to copy the link below and paste it into a browser, clicking on it only brings up the wrong nasioc link.

Here it is without formatting
www.i-club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83728

Last edited by ardinos; 12-23-2004 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 12-24-2004, 09:17 PM   #3
andjurs
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i'm new to these electronical stuff.. but what material should the wire be made out of?
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Old 12-24-2004, 09:19 PM   #4
andjurs
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oh yeah.. did you do anything to the green plastic? wouldn't that still affect the light output?
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Old 12-25-2004, 01:01 AM   #5
ardinos
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The wire type doesn't really matter, just copper wire of some sort with insulation of course so you don't get shorts. Be sure to electric tape wrape exposed connections or cover them with hot glue. The big thing is for it to be a pretty small gauge so it fits under the black plastic knob holder.

As to the green plastic, you don't have to do anything to the plastic, it lets the red light through and looks red because there is no other wavelength being emitted by the LED but the 600nm or so wavelength the red LED emits in. There is no green light to make the knob look green. It doesn't let nearly as much light through as it would if it were clear but that's why I added a really bright auxillary LED for each knob.
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Old 12-25-2004, 01:51 AM   #6
MikeWRX-NJ
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excellent post. i knew someone would figure it out eventually

go post this over at http://www.imprezawrxsti.com/postnuk...wtopic&t=17234

monkeys are waiting for someone to make new knobs for about $200
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Old 12-25-2004, 05:23 PM   #7
ardinos
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I tried to post it over there but I couldn't register on the site, that function is broken. If you know anyone who has an ID there please have them post the directions and save the poor guy trying to get that together a ton of money.
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Old 12-25-2004, 07:07 PM   #8
MikeWRX-NJ
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i'll post a copy of your post and link back to the i-club thread


http://www.imprezawrxsti.com/postnuk...wtopic&t=18509
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Old 12-25-2004, 09:37 PM   #9
ardinos
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Thank you very much, I appreciate it!
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:37 PM   #10
Hye-Teck
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would there be a problem if i used an LED of 10,000 mcd instead of the 3,000mcd as stated?

i purchased a pack of 10 LEDs from Fry's electronics for $3 but it does not say on there what MCD value it has. They had a 5 pack of 10,000 mcd LEDs for around $15 but I thought that it might be too bright. The ones i bought are 3volt and 20mAp, the 10,000 mcd ones wer 3.3 volts and i believe 25mAp.

I used some red oil paints tha had transparent characteristics to pain the original LEDs and they were nice and red but were very very dim.
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Old 03-12-2005, 12:58 PM   #11
Hye-Teck
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can you elaborate more on the resistor? where do u connect both ends do? You talked about connecting one end to the first wire in the series, how about the other end of the resisotr. Btw, i have a 560ohm resistor, is that ok?
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:18 AM   #12
ardinos
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You can check iclub and imprezawrxsti, I answered you in both places, I won't bother to repost here. Good luck.
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