Changing your clock and other backlights

By diyauto
( 2 )

10 minute read

Changing your clock and other backlights

Compliments of faced @


Well after seeing an other here change the backlights on his clock and other items, I HAD to have it myself. The green that Chrysler provides is for old ppl IMO.

I posted these thinking they may work

However they will NOT.

So I started by pulling the clock to check out how its back lit:

As you can see it is NOT led back-lit as many thought, but it is 4 SMD's soldered direct to the board.

This will take some steady hands and balls. (i am not one to just start soldering onto my 2013.

I will keep you updated on the progress. Must order parts today.

Here are the dash light SMD locations:

Okay, I have tried a few different things. 

Turns out these are white SMD lights with a tinted green/yellow cover on them. You can easily go ask you miss for some clear nail polish of your color choice, and put a LIGHT dab on all the lights.

IF you wan white (there is no turning back) you can use a pin and scrape off the yellow covering exposing the white SMD, you cannot however paint over this as its no longer protected.

I will take some good pictures tonight of what mine looks like complete. 

I am using clear model paint, im trying clear red, clear blue and clear amber.


With the red paint on the LEDs this is the effect you get, I have only done the clock thus far and am impressed with the results.

Blue paint was too dark to show in pictures. 

Anyone with a steady hand,

These can be soldiered onto the board to replace the OEM smd's


of the clock:

The white effect was done with this red paint: 

Close up of Temp Dial Insides:

Excuse the mess inside the dial, was just removing the red paint and going to try some gels.

I said in a earlier post a link for ebay to get replacment SMD's however they are too large.

Here are proper sized ones, which I will be ordering tonight. &hash=item1c2e4d71b3&vxp=mtr&_uhb=1#ht_3025wt_1 397

Looking closely at the clock I dont think it will toooo hard to desolider the existing SMDS

Ebay parts finally arrived,

This IS NOT for amateur soldiers..

Equipment needed:

-Soldering iron





(You can choose the color of your choice)

1) Remove the radio bezel and disconnect all wire harnesses.

2) Remove Clock from bezel housing, inside there is the clock assy'

-Remove the hands with tweezers and keep in a safe place

Seperate the clock into the 2 halves:

You will see 4 smds (green from factory)

Desoldier the existing smds (REMEMBERING THE DIRECTION. They have a angled side to show polarity.

New smds installed:

For HVAC controls: I have not figured out how go change the little marker lights to show what setting you have, but the dials themselves have been changed.

1- Remove the hvac control unit and unplug all harnesses

2- Unscrew the controls from the bezel so you have just this piece and remove knobs: 

3-There are 6 plastic tabs holding this unit together, seperate the 2 halves:

4- Same process de-soldier the smds (careful not to melt the controls or other parts of the board!! 

5-Install new smds..

6-Re assemble everything and that UGLY green backlight is gone!

Before (clock bulbs were painted but it was FAIL): 

After (still have to do TC button and shifter area:


Removing the center console and accessing the SMD for the cup holder ring:

-Remove temp controls and you will find 2 10mil bolts:

-Inside the center console under the carpet bottom are 4 more 10mil bolts: 

-Remove all 6 bolts and put in a safe place. The entire center console is now loose. BE CAREFUL not to scratch the dash or anything, this stuff is HARD to fix: 

-The center console has 1 plug connector in it, unplug and remove from car.

Now the fun starts... The console itself is actually 2 pieces connected together right where we want to access. so find the seam and seperate the 2 halves:

You should now have access to the white trim illum ring inside the 2 parts, remove it by lifting up, and remove the power connector from the underside:

You now have this part: 

The smds are located inside the blue boxes (there is only 1 smd per clue box) 

The blue boxes are held on with melted plastic tabs, you will have to cut one and glue it or re melt it after. 

Seperate the 2 blue box halves and remove the circuit board: 

There is the SMD you want to change out... which brings a new challenge. These are about half the size of the ones in the clock and temp controls

So either you have to order the proper ones, or do what I did, used leads on the smd and just put a larger smd on the small contacts... I also have a brighter holder ring too  (Pics to follow tonight)

Re-assembly is really easy! Just go backwards

Looked into steering wheel controls, this is going to be a challenge.. I cannot get them off the wheel to access the smd. Will look more into it later. 

Door switches are also hard, i got them out but cant access the smds inside just yet. 

Here is what all white smds looks like (except TC button and shifters)

If anyone knows how to remove those steering controls please enlighten me

Thanks MKtank, I think it looks great in person.. Will show ya one night this summer ( I have a feeling we will cross paths )

Just thought I'd add how to put a larger smd onto a small contact point.

What I did, was de-soilder the existing smd and use a strand of copper wire to extend the contact points to be able to attach a larger SMD

Just remember that some larger SMD's have higher MCD output (Brightness) so choose the proper ones for where they placed.. IE dont put 4 1500mcd smds in the clock unless you want a mini sun on your dash.

I also JUST NOTICED the pcb is different colors for each side in my car. Drivers side was green PCB passengers was White