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Author Topic: Visine for your Mazdaspeed (content restricted to those over 45)  (Read 10193 times)
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'95MSM
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« on: February 06, 2007, 05:59:10 AM »

I have had two MSM owners ask me if I have tried to change the dash illumination yet. (I asked them why, if they disliked the red so much, they haven't done this on their own - their sage reply: we're under warranty / you bought a wrecked MSM, so you do it first.) When my wife mentioned how difficult it was for her to read the switches, I figured it was time for action.

(All of us that feel this way are over 45, so if you are an X or Y gen owner and chose to ignore the subject line, you can probably stop reading right here.)

The switches, instrument cluster and heater controls are quite easy - they are illuminated with bulbs that have little red condoms & the bulb modules come out with a quarter turn. (warning - I've SAMPLED the cluster and switch bulbs, but I haven't yet removed all of the red condoms, so there might be a surprise buried in one of the switches) I suspect you can buy green bulbs that would twist right in- the early NB had green illumination.

The radio is more difficult. The front panel comes off with two screws (not the ones that hold the spring clips on) on each side. Remove the knobs and release a series of clips along the 4 sides and pop the face off. The PCB comes off the front panel by removing a handfull of screws. That reveals all of the switch and knob bulbs, but the two bulbs that illuminate the display are under the metal shield that surrounds the display. The shield is attached to the PCB via 5 or 6 legs that stick through the PCB and are then twisted and soldered to the PCB. You must remove enough solder to be able to break the bond and straighten the legs, then trigger 4 or five latches on the sides of the display (I used the tip of an Xacto knife) and slide the shield off. You can then get to the bulbs with tweezers and the Xacto knife.

It would be very difficult to put different condoms on the bulbs that illuminate the display, so for most people this is a decision between red and white illumination. I'll snap a pic of the radio stack when I finish the condom-ectomy on the HVAC controls, but the radio itself looks very sharp with while illumination and the switches are ever so much easier to read. If anyone has knowledge of bulb tinting fluid or paint, your input would be very welcome!
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 06:02:54 AM by Sunless in Seattle » Logged

'05 running gear + '95 body
3.63 ring & pinion FM content: Blouch compressor mod, FM-Link, i/c & no-MAF intake.   BEGi: Stainless SGDP w/ metal core performance cat.   Custom stuff: Compressor clocked downward w/ new i/c pipe, big radius throttle elbow, 2.5" mid-pipe w/ Hushpower II, dual 2" axle-back w/ open Supertrapps, Toyota 4 pc cop ignition

245.2 whp on default FM-Link maps (with OEM midpipe)
Loan Shark
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007, 06:02:11 AM »

I HATE the orange display of my MSM. The clean, crip, white on my LEXUS is so much better. Ifyou can improve it, I would be interested.
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Canyonfive
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 06:12:43 AM »

What about R-x8 style illumination? for the gauges
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2007, 11:09:19 AM »

The radio is more difficult.  The front panel comes off with two screws (not the ones that hold the spring clips on) on each side.  Remove the knobs and release a series of clips along the 4 sides and pop the face off.  The PCB comes off the front panel by removing a handfull of screws.  That reveals all of the switch and knob bulbs, but the two bulbs that illuminate the display are under the metal shield that surrounds the display.  The shield is attached to the PCB via 5 or 6 legs that stick through the PCB and are then twisted and soldered to the PCB.  You must remove enough solder to be able to break the bond and straighten the legs, then trigger 4 or five latches on the sides of the display (I used the tip of an Xacto knife) and slide the shield off.  You can then get to the bulbs with tweezers and the Xacto knife. 

It would be very difficult to put different condoms on the bulbs that illuminate the display, so for most people this is a decision between red and white illumination.  I'll snap a pic of the radio stack when I finish the condom-ectomy on the HVAC controls, but the radio itself looks very sharp with while illumination and the switches are ever so much easier to read.  If anyone has knowledge of bulb tinting fluid or paint, your input would be very welcome! 

I have done several radios. Many Mazda's share the radio and cd changer with the newer Miata and some of the Protege's so if you can change the colour of the condoms then there are many more available on ebay. Most times it seems I am trading green condoms for red. The condoms are hard to find but I did manage to get some, they usually come with bulbs so you discard the bulbs and just use the condoms.

It is easy to tear the condoms when you remove them. I also find that sometimes tweezers help to get the ones under the display shield.
ymmv
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Garnetmica
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2007, 12:44:42 PM »

The large Ford radios like ours have green condoms. I had bought a changer at one time that was busted and I believe it was green. I'll see if I have any of the condoms. I don't want to get your hopes up, but IF I have them, I'd be glad to mail them to you.
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'95MSM
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2007, 03:58:02 PM »

Like LoanShark, the other car is a Lexus & I like the white illumination on our RX.  At some point I'll probably try to find an electro-luminescent gauge face kit for the Mazdaspeed cluster, but I'll wait to see if I succeed in changing the fake oil pressure indicator into a real boost gauge.

Garnetmica: if you are speaking of the Ford CD-6, it comes in about 6 or 8 varieties.  Before I installed the MSM dash & radio I had an '04 Escape/Explorer/Expedition Mach 300 CD-6 (nice, powerful radio that is visually a superb match for the NA Miata dash).  All of the illumination in that radio was via green LED - no bulb/condom content at all.

To clarify, the bulbs that illuminate the radio keys are somewhat exposed.  It is easy to pull the condoms off w/o any tools.  I managed to reinstall one without too much difficulty.  The two bulbs that illuminate the displa, however, have a plastic enclosure around them.  They are much harder to work on and can't be removed from the pcb easily.  I used tweezers and Xacto knife to get those condoms off.
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'05 running gear + '95 body
3.63 ring & pinion FM content: Blouch compressor mod, FM-Link, i/c & no-MAF intake.   BEGi: Stainless SGDP w/ metal core performance cat.   Custom stuff: Compressor clocked downward w/ new i/c pipe, big radius throttle elbow, 2.5" mid-pipe w/ Hushpower II, dual 2" axle-back w/ open Supertrapps, Toyota 4 pc cop ignition

245.2 whp on default FM-Link maps (with OEM midpipe)
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2007, 04:19:04 PM »

sorry I'm 21 but I changed every light in my eclipse to red using 194 and 74 (i think) led bulbs from superbrightleds.com.  not sure how the miata's are setup but it they're just bulbs on a circuit board then they're probaly not hard to change.  I'd love to have the super white look of my old rx8s gauges in the msm  smitten
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'95MSM
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2007, 03:36:23 PM »

Oops -

Though the bulbs behind the HVAC controls DO have condoms, most of the red/orange tinting is actually in the knobs and graphics.
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'05 running gear + '95 body
3.63 ring & pinion FM content: Blouch compressor mod, FM-Link, i/c & no-MAF intake.   BEGi: Stainless SGDP w/ metal core performance cat.   Custom stuff: Compressor clocked downward w/ new i/c pipe, big radius throttle elbow, 2.5" mid-pipe w/ Hushpower II, dual 2" axle-back w/ open Supertrapps, Toyota 4 pc cop ignition

245.2 whp on default FM-Link maps (with OEM midpipe)
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2007, 12:39:14 AM »

There might be some wisdom in having red dash lighting. When I was in the Navy, aboard ship all the bridge lighting was red at night. The reason...your eyes adjust quicker from the red interior lighting to the darkness beyond.

Rick
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'95MSM
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 10:41:43 PM »

Rick -

Yup, red preserves night vision, but I usually drive with my headlights on, and oddly enough the cars I encounter do as well.  I don't think having red panel illumination really matters much when you are looking into full spectrum light, then looking down to read guages.
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'05 running gear + '95 body
3.63 ring & pinion FM content: Blouch compressor mod, FM-Link, i/c & no-MAF intake.   BEGi: Stainless SGDP w/ metal core performance cat.   Custom stuff: Compressor clocked downward w/ new i/c pipe, big radius throttle elbow, 2.5" mid-pipe w/ Hushpower II, dual 2" axle-back w/ open Supertrapps, Toyota 4 pc cop ignition

245.2 whp on default FM-Link maps (with OEM midpipe)
Yosho
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2007, 09:03:02 PM »

You think the Mazdaspeed Red guage cluster is hard to read, you should drive with a Volkswagen Blue lit cluster for awhile.  It'll make you appreciate just how great and easy to read the MSM's cluster is.   shockeyes
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2007, 09:53:04 PM »

I'm a bit over 50 and I like the red! In truth I usually drive with the dash illumination turned Way Down. The controls in the car are so minimal and everything is placed so intuitionally that even without illumination I could manage to find them. On an aside, I wear bi-focals and my corrected vision is passable but not great! Cool
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2007, 02:56:06 AM »

Rick -

Yup, red preserves night vision, but I usually drive with my headlights on, and oddly enough the cars I encounter do as well.  I don't think having red panel illumination really matters much when you are looking into full spectrum light, then looking down to read guages.

Gee how dumb of me not to know that cars drive with headlights at night....I better not stare at the headlights and look at the road instead.   buck2 Thanks for pointing that out.  I liked the illumination in my 99.  I even liked the black gauges.  Unfortunately I don't want to get rid of my speedometer that reads 8K and change over to older gauges ( a lot easier than changing lamps and unsoldering LED displays) now so I'll put up with the red lights.. 

Rick
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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2007, 08:56:24 AM »

some kids in their hondas would give a kidney to have our amber red lighting. lol, i drive with the dimmer al the way down for a day or two and then put it on max, it feels like a whole new interior at night. thumup
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