Change LEDs on motorcycle speedometer

OK! Before I go any further, make sure you have the skills and tools to attempt this!!! You can not do this with a $20 solder iron from Wal-Mart. You really should have a hot air rework station, but I managed without, a good iron, and some solder paste. PLCC-2 LEDs, small tweezers, and possibly a magnify glass. No matter how close you follow these steps, I take no responsibility for you wrecking your speedometer. Make sure you have the tools and skill set to attempt this. There are places on the internet that provide this service for under $100, and then the work is guaranteed.

 

A while back, I got a new speedometer face for my bike. And as much as it rocks, it didn’t look the best with the orange light behind it. I was hoping that it would be something easy to fix, but a soon as I opened up the speedometer, I realized that it was going to be a little more work than I had thought…

As you can see from the picture, There is 7 surface mounted LEDs around the outside. There are also 4 LEDs behind the corners of the LCD.

Speedo Board - Yellow LEDs

After doing some research, I found that the LEDs are PLCC-2 Surface Mount LEDs, which are actually pretty common for use in all kinds of speedometers. I found some blue ones on UniqueLEDs.com.

I don’t have a hot air rework station (really need one for a project like this…) So I tried using solder wick and my iron to remove the existing LEDs, but it didn’t really work. So, I carefully snapped the plastic body of the LED off, leaving the two soldered legs on the board. I was then able to use my iron and a solder sucker to remove the legs and the solder.

I had to remove the LCD in order to get at the four LEDs underneath, which was a little more work, but the end results were defiantly worth it.

LCD/LEDs Removed

In order to solder the new LEDs on, I got some solder paste that came in a syringe, put a small dab on the pads, then placed the LED and used my iron (again, hot air rework would have been nice).

Here is everything put back together. I couldn’t be happier with the results. Especially with how nervous I was as I was ripping the old LEDs off!

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