DIY Instrument Cluster/HVAC bulb replacement for Gen 1 - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Avalon 1st Generation (1995-1999) Specific discussion of the first generation Toyota Avalon

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post #1 of 27 Old 02-24-2012, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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DIY Instrument Cluster/HVAC bulb replacement for Gen 1

Hey all. Didn't find a DIY on how to replace the bulbs on the instrument clusters and HVAC controls here, so I thought I'd make one for the Avalon as well. I made a similar one for the Gen 4 Camry less than a year ago.

It's really easy. Takes a lot of patience but any layman can do it.

Here are some stuff you need to do this simple job:

Tools

2 Flat-head screw driver. A small and big tip are handy.
2 Phillips Screw Driver. Need one big point and a small point for different sized screws.
Small pliers with rubber grommet head or grip to take out the small bulbs

So the first step. Knowing which type of bulbs you need.

For the gauge, they're 194 wedge bulbs. You need about four.

The rest are 74 wedge bulbs. There are about 23 if you want to swap out all of them. The glove compartment is a 74 wedge bulb, as well as the ignition light bulb. The door lights are also 74 wedge bulbs.

Here are the LED bulbs I've got. I bought these from superbrightleds.com.


These are the list of bulbs I've got:
4 blue 194 wedge with twist lock holders
1 blue 74 wedge with twist lock holder
2 red 74 with twist lock holder
1 Neo4 twist lock cool white
2 HP3 74 wedge LED bulb
3 aqua white LED components (For the AC/ECT Module)
4 Amber 74 Wedge
3 Blue 74 Wedge
3 White 74 Wedge
6 Red 74 Wedge
2 Blue Neo4 Twist lock



Pry out the plastic covers starting at the middle vent and center console. Gently pry them out starting from the ignition area to the right side of the panel.

After you've done that, unplug the hazard light module so that you can free it from the console.


Behind the console, you'll see that the hazard button are screwed in. Unscrew them and you'll be able to get access to the bulb inside. The bulb for this module is a Neo4 twist lock bulb.


Now you have access to all the screw points. Unscrew them all

After you have unscrewed them, you have access to the AC Control HVAC module. There are only two bulbs that lights it up. You can just untwist it from the back and pull them out.
They're a wedge type bulb so you just need to pull it out. I used the HP3 LEDs for these for maximum output of light.


You also have access to the bulb for the ignition ring. Just pull out the bulb and put in the new one.


The AC/ECT Module is attached to the stereo unit. You just need to unscrew the brackets that are holding it in. Pull out the black module out that is attached to it first.


After that, there are screw points, unscrew four of the screws.

Once you took it out from there, you now have access to the ECT module.


The AC/ECT module has two Neo4 twist bulbs and four LEDs that are soldered onto the circuit board.

You will need to solder in the LEDs for the indicator lights.


In order for you to get access to the instrument cluster/gauges, you need to take out the plastic panel on the left vent of the steering wheel. Starting from the bottom, use your flat-head screw driver to carefully pry out the brackets that are holding it down. After you took that out, you now have access to the four screw points that is holding in the gauge housing. Remember, there are also three more screws located at the top of the plastic housing around the cluster area. Also, unplug the dimmer module located at the top left.

After that, you need to unplug the heads-up display that houses the clock, cruise, and ect module so that you can free it from console.


The cruise/ect module uses 74 wedge bulbs. I decided not to replace these since there's no point in doing so.

After that, you now have access to the actual instrument cluster gauge unit. There are four screw points. Unscrew them.


Once you unplug them, you can now replace the bulbs with ease.
I've tried my best to locate which bulb lights up what.


Some of these bulbs are hard to pull out with your bare hands, so use a small plier with a rubber grip and gently pry them out. If you squeeze to hard, you will break the bulbs and it will be harder to take out the base of the bulb out. So be patient and take them out gently.


After you're done replacing them, put everything back in reverse order and that's it.

This is what it looks like after I replaced them.


I've noticed that for the HVAC knobs, there is a green film there. That's why it's not totally white like I expected it to be. I'm going to go back to it later and get that fixed. I'm also going to replace the indicator lights in the shifter as well.

Hope this helped you guys out and happy modding.


EDIT: I have posted more images in the last page since photobucket decided to go corporate.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 018.jpg (628.4 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg 001.jpg (570.5 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg 002.jpg (213.5 KB, 16 views)


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Last edited by xpeed; 04-09-2018 at 12:36 AM.
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-24-2012, 09:31 AM
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Very nice! I'll add a link to this DIY in the stickied DIY thread.

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post #3 of 27 Old 02-26-2012, 12:57 AM
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Wow, that turned out really nice for a plug and play solution, almost had me rethink all the work I did to mine!

Save for that spedometer area around 10mph being completely dark. Ohwell.

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post #4 of 27 Old 02-27-2012, 08:32 AM
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Very nice job. Much easier to read than my thrown together thread from a few years back. Too bad that the quick plug and play LED replacement still creates the darker spots in the automatic HVAC and AC/ETC consoles.

I've been too lazy to fix it still.. I'm probably just going to have to resort to the way that Jigg did his.

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post #5 of 27 Old 02-27-2012, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jigg007 View Post
Wow, that turned out really nice for a plug and play solution, almost had me rethink all the work I did to mine!

Save for that spedometer area around 10mph being completely dark. Ohwell.
The steering wheel is covering it.
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post #6 of 27 Old 02-27-2012, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmesfun View Post
The steering wheel is covering it.
Oh look at that, it is. You should probably take another picture to make me feel bad on all the time I spent on mine .

Groaning and moaning aside, I'm sure other members would like to see the full effect, too.

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post #7 of 27 Old 02-29-2012, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chunkywolf View Post
Very nice job. Much easier to read than my thrown together thread from a few years back. Too bad that the quick plug and play LED replacement still creates the darker spots in the automatic HVAC and AC/ETC consoles.

I've been too lazy to fix it still.. I'm probably just going to have to resort to the way that Jigg did his.
Oh the AC/Defroster and ECT area I didn't even put the bulb in yet as I was still waiting for them. I just got them in the mail yesterday and I'll post up new pictures once I have them installed. That's why it's dark in the picture, and yeah, the steering wheel was covering the lower part of the speedometer.


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post #8 of 27 Old 03-06-2012, 05:27 PM
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Nice writeup man. What was your price on that? Seems easier to do than F-bodies.....You gotta do soldering with them

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post #9 of 27 Old 03-11-2012, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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A total of $90 for all the bulbs you see.


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post #10 of 27 Old 04-26-2012, 02:33 PM
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$90?! good lord where did u buy your bulbs from?


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post #11 of 27 Old 08-12-2012, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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^ Sorry for the late response, but I bought them all from superbrightleds.com


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post #12 of 27 Old 06-29-2014, 01:45 PM
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This was a big help in replacing some burned out bulbs in my instruments. It's interesting how much bigger the replacement 74 bulbs were than the originals. It's like they were on steroids.
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post #13 of 27 Old 02-25-2015, 03:08 PM
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Anyone know what the ashtray light bulb is?
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post #14 of 27 Old 03-09-2015, 08:47 AM
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The ashtray light bulb is a 194.
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post #15 of 27 Old 03-09-2015, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louisvilleguy32 View Post
Anyone know what the ashtray light bulb is?
194 wedge type bulb
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