Want to make the gauges, HVAC controls, headlight switch, dome light, dash lights, door lights, and glove box in your 95+ GMT400 light up a different color? This guide will show you how to do it using SuperBrightLEDs.com's car bulbs to make your gauges light up either red, amber, green, blue, ultraviolet, or just a different temperature of white.
WARNING: This guide applies only to 1995 and newer GMT400 trucks. Also, we wrote this guide based on a 1995 Chevrolet C1500, and 1996 C1500 so other GMT400 models may be different. Use this guide at your own risk!
You will need the following:
- 7mm Nutdriver
- Small flathead screwdriver
- Six 194 size bulbs of your choice, some good ones to use are: WLED-x bulbs, WLED-x5 bulbs, WLED-xHP5 bulbs...What you'll want to look for is at least a 120 degree beam to avoid hotspots. Thunderstruck has used the WLED-x sucessfully, and Aloicious has used both WLED-x5 and WLED-XHP5 sucessfully.
- If you're also replacing the door lights, and glove box light, you'll need 3 more of these 194 bulbs.
- if you want to replace the ashtray bulb, you'll probably want to use the WLED-x as there is not much space to fit the slightly bigger x5 or xHP5
- Six T10S-TW twist-lock sockets. Only some clusters require these, read below to see if you need them
- Four T1.5-x bulbs
- If you want to change the color of the indicators for the Recirculate and A/C buttons, order two additional T1.5-x bulbs
- One NEO4-x bulb
- 2 WLED-xLX or other 194 style bulbs for the under dash lights, since size is not as much of a factor with these bulbs you have more of an option, you could use the same 194 type bulbs you use in the cluster/doors/glovebox, but Aloicious has had good success with the xLX bulbs here.
1 - Before you order, you might want to check whether the sockets in your gauge cluster can be reused. It's easy (only takes about ten minutes) and could save you from a huge headache later on.
2 - Remove the dash bezel by prying at or grasping the edges and gently pulling them back. Start at the top and work towards the bottom.
3 - Disconnect the switches (Fog lights, cargo light, etc.) on your dash bezel. Then remove the entire bezel, you may need to lower the steering wheel and shifter in order to get it out.
Cargo light connector:
Headlight switch connector:
4 - Remove the four screws holding the cluster to the dash using a 7mm nutdriver, then gently pull the cluster out. Make sure the ignition and headlight switches are OFF before you do this!
5 - Look behind the cluster to find six sockets labeled ILL. Remove them by twisting them slightly counterclockwise.
6 - Determine whether or not the sockets can be reused. If the sockets can be reused, the bulbs should easily pull straight out from the sockets. If the sockets can't be reused, the bulbs will be soldered to the contacts on the narrow sides. Usually the words "REPLACE ENTIRE ASM" will be stamped across the sockets too.
7 - If the sockets can be reused, you're good to go! If the sockets aren't reusable, you (obviously) will need the new twist-lock sockets from SuperBrightLEDs.com as well.
Once you have your LED replacements, follow these instructions:
1 - Remove the dash bezel by prying at or grasping the edges and gently pulling them back. Start at the top and work towards the bottom. (Refer to picture from #1 above)
2 - Disconnect the switches (Fog lights, cargo light, etc.) on your dash bezel. Rather than disconnecting the headlight switch, pry at the tabs holding it to the bezel. You want the box to stay connected so you can easily test the lights later on. Finally remove the entire bezel, you may need to lower the steering wheel and shifter in order to get it out. (Refer to pictures from #2 above)
3 - Look on the bottom of the headlight switch for a very small bulb socket. Use a small flathead screwdriver to turn it slightly counterclockwise and remove it. Replace it using the NEO4-x bulb.
4 - Turn on your headlights and see if the switch lights up. Don't be fooled, it can be very hard to see in the daylight. If you are sure the LED is not working, simply take out the socket, rotate it halfway around, and put it back in. Since LEDs are diodes, electricity can only flow through them in one direction.
5 - Remove the four screws holding the cluster to the dash using a 7mm nutdriver, then gently pull the cluster out. Make sure the ignition and headlight switches are OFF before you do this! (refer to picture from #4 above)
6 - Look behind the cluster to find six sockets labeled ILL. Remove them by twisting them slightly counterclockwise. I'm showing this picture again because its important
7 - If the sockets can be reused, simply pull out the old bulbs and push in the LED replacements. If the sockets aren't reusable, use your new sockets with the LED bulbs. Reinstall all the sockets by twisting them slightly clockwise. This picture shows a WLED-xHP5 bulb in the stock cluster socket.
8 - Replace the cluster so it makes contact with the connector in the dash, but don't replace the four screws just yet. Turn on your headlights. Carefully check for dead spots in the cluster's lights. It can be very difficult to tell during the day, but during the night you should not have any deadspots with the WLED-x bulbs. If any of the LEDs are not working, simply take out the socket, rotate it halfway around, and put it back in.
9 - Once you've made sure all six LEDs are working, replace the four screws that hold the cluster to the dash.
10 - Remove the radio by pushing down on the tabs on the sides of the radio and pulling it out from dash. Disconnect the wire harness and antenna cable if you need too.
11 - Remove the four bulb sockets behind the HVAC controls by twisting them slightly to your right. If you have to, you can also remove the entire HVAC controller by prying at the tabs on the sides, but be extremely careful as the plastic tabs tend to be very brittle. Replace the bulbs using the T1.5-x bulbs.
- On a few models, the bulb sockets are not replaceable because they wired to each other. If this is the case, simply pull the T1.5 LED out from it's socket and push it into the wired socket.
12 - If you ordered the two additional T1.5-x bulbs for the Recirculate and A/C indicators, the two bulb sockets are on the very bottom behind the HVAC controls. You will probably have to remove the entire HVAC controller to reach them.
13 - Once again, turn on your headlights and check for deadspots. If you find any, simply turn the socket (or bulb if your sockets were wired) halfway around. If you replaced the indicator bulbs, make sure they work as well.
14 - Once you're sure all LEDs are working, reconnect and replace the radio, reconnect all the bezel switches, and finally replace the dash bezel.
15- The two under dash lights are just under the dash on either side of the cab. These are simple 194 bulbs pushed into the socket, simply remove the old bulb by pulling it straight down, replace the bulbs with whatever 194 style bulb you purchased for them. The following picture shows a WLED-x5 installed here, this picture is taken from laying directly on the cab floor and looking up at the bottom of the dash.
16 - For the dome light, get a small screwdriver and carefully take the cover off
17 - Simply remove the stock festoon bulb with the replacement LED bulb. (I am working on a different way to do the dome light replacement for more light coverage, that will be updated here when it is finished) once it is replaced you can just place the cover back on until it latches
18 - Once again take your small screwdriver and carefully remove the door light lenses. Once you have them out simply replace the 194 bulb in the socket with the ones you purchased. Just push the lens back in the door until it latches
19 - To get to the glove box light, you need to remove the glove box, to do this, press in on both sides of the open glove box and once you clear the stops you'll be able to open the glove box further until it comes all the way out.
20 - Once you have the glove box out, you can see the light fixture if you are down on the floor of the cab looking up where the glovebox used to be. To remove the fixture you push in on the plunger and pull the whole fixture down at the same time. You might be able to replace the light without removing the fixture, but for me it was easier to just remove the fixture first.
21 - Once you have it out you can open the light shroud and replace the 194 bulb inside
22 - Then put the fixture back in just the opposite way that it was removed. and replace the glove box by hooking the lower hinges on, then pushing it all the way closed so that it latches.
23 - Lastly is the Ashtray bulb, again, this is just a simple bulb swap with one of the 194 bulbs.
Thats it for the interior lighting LED swap.
This is Thunderstruck's Escalade cluster using blue WLED-x bulbs
This is Aloicious' Escalade cluster using blue WLED-xHP5 bulbs