TMBTC Post

LED mod for 2012 Ninja Instrument Cluster


LED mod for 2012 Ninja Instrument Cluster

2012-07-20
Over the weekend I decided to update the LEDs in my instrument cluster. I have a green 2012 650 and I liked the factory white back lighting but I thought it would be cool to have a green tachometer needle and green speed display. I had seen people do a complete replacement of the 09-11 clusters and that look easy enough... Man was I in for a surprise! The new instrument cluster was completely redesigned for the 2012 model and the new assembly provides a new set of challenges.
  1. Disconnect the battery.
  2. Remove the "meter unit" as its called in the service manual. This was easy, simply remove the upper inner fairing and the three mounting screws.
  3. Once the unit is removed from the bike remove the inner circuit board from the housing (four black screws on the back and four silver screws on the inside.)
  4. Very carefully remove the tach needle. I used a fork and slowly wedged it up under the button. With a little convincing it popped off.
  5. WARNING: According to the service manual you should not leave the board upside down (gauges facing down) for any length of time. There is a good chance the unit will later malfunction.
  6. Flip the board upside down (yea I know I just told you not to) and remove the solder from the pins holding the display to the board.
  7. Carefully separate the display and circuit board making sure not to bend any of the display pins.
  8. Remove and replace the desired LEDs. I bought OSRAM LTT68C Green LEDs from ebay for $1 shipped. For this project I only used four. (I'm now looking for more places to add green LED lighting). Make sure you solder the LED's back in the same way you took them out. The LED's have a little notch in one corner and that should be soldered in opposite the "A" on the board (see the white arrow below). Here is a closeup of the stock LED (white and yellow) and the new green one (white and black).
  9. Here's a photo of the LED's I replaced (the green ones).
  10. To reassemble the unit make sure you have all of the LCD display pins firmly soldered back to the board.
  11. The tach has a "stop" point when turned all the way to the left. Make sure you turn the gauge all the way to the stop point and then push the needle back onto the pin with the needle pointing to zero. I thought i did this and the first time it ended up being about 300 rpm off.
  12. Here is a photo with the garage door closed and lights out. The photo really doesn't do it justice because at night the green shows up much brighter. Start to finish the project took about 4 hours. Most of that time is attributed to cleanly removing all of the solder to separate the display from the circuit board.

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