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Celica Dash Cluster Customisation/Tutorial



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During this tutorial i will go over bulb/led options, custom gauge plates, alloy rings, aluminium dash plates and the assembly/disassembly of all relevant parts. I am by no means an expert, and this is by no means hard at all, it is intended as a guide for those interested in doing any of the above mentioned at some point in time.

This is also my first attempt at a tutorial so dont expect some l337 supa pro skillz ;D but i would like to know what you think.


Each celica is different and im no genius so if you find a flaw, feel free to let me know and ill fix it :)

I am not responsible for the mass consumption of pods after this.

You will need:

faceplates (aftermarket)

T10 (x6) & T5(x3) LEDS/Bulbs(aftermarket)

Phillips head screw driver

glass cleaner/cloths

Clean working bench

Torch(if you an idiot like me and decide to do it in a driveway at night)

Alan keys

Bulb Type Guide

Ultimately when replacing bulbs the best way to avoid hot spots is to find a silicon bulb cover kit in the colour you want (easy find on ebay).

You will find when you pull apart a factory dash it will automatically have the bulb covers on it to begin with.


If you are dead set on LEDS check out the guide below for your options.





These bulbs dont have a 360 degree emittance coverage. You will get epic black spots like a power outage on a block in Tokyo.


It's a good idea to disconnect your battery before you do this.

I decided to take pictures half way through doing this so apologies for not having pics of the removal of screws and where to find them etc. Honestly its not hard, im car illiterate and i guarantee you as long as you pay attention as you run along under the dash you cant go wrong.

There is a concealed screw under a pop off pocket lid on your left beside the key hole and one that you DO NOT remove, in the air con/climate control area.

Your dash will be loose but your not aiming at ripping the entire thing out.

Those two are the only ones you need to know about.

Step 1:

Take your steering wheel off (apologies for any factory wheel guys, your on your own there)


Pull your door sill and trim off and undo the screws from right to left placing the lower drivers panel on the floor, undo all screws including two in the roof of the black arched bracket that concaves around your cluster and the black plastic bar that runs horizontal beneath it across your steering column and key hole..

Remove the plastic bar,dump it on the floor, but DO NOT try and pull the concave one out too much as it is attached to your climate controls and such

once this is done you should have access to the screws holding the dash cluster in place.

Undo and continue..

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Right about now you should be sitting in something similar...(+ your dash cluster)


Gently wiggle dash cluster until you can fit your hand behind it and reach the 3 plugs. In order from RIGHT to LEFT they should be WHITE BLUE BROWN.



Take care unplugging these and try not to bump/pull/twist/rip any of them.

They are a simple clip and are very easy to get undone.

Also, the order/position of these dont need to be marked/taped/recorded as the length of them will let you know where they go when you put it back together.

One you have unclipped the dash cluster you should be left with something looking like this mess. :)


Now you have your cluster, head to your work bench/clean/lighted area ... ;)


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Have your plate and bulbs/anything else you need ready to go.



With this plate, you should of recieved a thin strip of double sided tape, you will be cutting this into squares and using in a min so dont misplace.


I opted in going for these


Okay so BEFORE YOU GO RANDOMLY PULLING BULBS, first off you want to unscrew your cluster shield and give it a good clean.

A moist tissue is good, the plastic will scratch very easily so go light and dont do circles.. -.-

Dont try to clean the cluster/needles, its not necessary and you run the risk of damaging/marking it.


Now onto your bulbs...

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Toyota was kind enough to colour code their bulb knobs as to identify the light groups, black meaning, "do not bloody touch", and green as "go for your life".

I've marked out the bulbs you will need to replace with moving/glittery codes to get your attention so you dont miss one.

As i stated before, i was learning as i was going so if this diagram is not exact, i apologise.

However all relevant stuff you need to know is highlighted.


These knobs twist L-loose R-tight normal, they dont pop/click,etc.

When switching your bulbs over for your led/coloured choice, be aware with leds, they arent fit and go, leds will work one way but if turned around in their socket, will not work another way.

The easiest way to check this is to sit it on your steering column, connect the battery and turn your parkers on and look for any darker spots in the lighted areas, watch very closely (especially the T5's) for the illumination/delumination as you twist and untwist each GREEN knob one at a time.

Also confirm your indicators, open door, high beam and hazard lights still work and turn but dont start the car for engine/oil lights.


Once you have completed this function test ensure the knobs are firm and have good contact, then depending if your putting a face plate/custom dash faces/rings on, you either can reassemble your dash in the exact way you pulled it apart, or keep reading for details on the steel faceplate and gauge plates/rings.


So just to quickly cover rings, they are very easy they simply pop onto the radius of the pre existing dash, you can put a faint spot of super glue if your paranoid they'll fall off or rattle.

It all depends on how well they fit and sit..


Reverting to a ST162 for this point, if your replacing your gauge faces, you will need to carefully remove the plates, i am not positive they are by screw on both the 4th and 5th gen models, either way you'll end up doing something like this.




With custom gauge plates its VERY highly recommended to go coloured silicon bulb covers as white is terrible for hot spots and showing lighting flaws.

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Continuing with the stainless plate, remember that double sided tape you hid beside the pods packet?

Sit your plate on your cluster and confirm it lines up nicely around the rings and of course it the right one, refrain from finger prints and pods at this point.


Cut your DS tape into whatever shapes you need to (1cmx1cm max)cover main surface points. you will need to cut a few fine slivers to go on the pointed wedges(5th gen plate only) as these tips will not sit flat permanently and when they left you will get a slightly annoying vibrating rattle and have to pull everything apart again to fix it. (i did this and i still cbf fixing haha thus learn from my errors ;D )



Place carefully and avoid having to adjust once the tape touches.

Apply slight pressure for around 3 seconds to each area you placed tape when your happy its lined up. I went off the rings lip.

All these parts, rings, gauges, steel plates are ebay sourced, reasonably priced, good quality and quite quick in shipping they stock most gens in these plates.

Screw your plastic shield back on and you should end up with something thats ready to go back in and looking something like this.


Plug in the dash and do a quick test run.


Now get busy reassembling everything, once again ill stress, do not reef or pull too much on your air con/climate control black trim plastic arch.

If you have any screws left over at the end of reassembly, you screwed up lol.

remember the two under the climate control panel, the two in the dash arch, the 4 that should be holding the cluster, the two near the ignition the one in the door trimming, etc.

Dont forget to hook back up your boot latch (you may of unscrewed this).

Then sit back and enjoy your handiwork, the light show, and of course the rest of that packet of pods. :D



I hope you guys enjoyed my first and very amatuer-like tutorial and that it will come in handy for you at some point in time. ^_^

Thanks for reading.

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If you are up for soldering and getting a bit annoyed this is also possible.


I have done this in white on my car but have not taken a photo. Also if you do not have a dimmer switch it does not come out as good as this pic.

Great write up though Kirius

Edited by woot woot
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