Most of the SMD LEDS on the 999cc Fortwo are PLCC-2 (TANTAL/B) and they
are a very common fitment. Some of these are dome lens type.
Some of the fiments are dome lens PLCC-4, this is unique to the new smart.
There are also some much smaller LEDs being used. These are 0805 package LEDs.
This is where I got mine from, clicky.
I'm Too Scared To Do This, Who Can I Pay?
CrazyLeds can change your SMD LEDs for you. Just ask them.
Dome Lens Info
The transparent dome narrows the spread of light and evens out the brightness.
Like most LEDs, they only work one way around. Standard LEDs are marked
with a single flat edge and 1 shorter leg. The SMD LEDs have a recessed
triangle in the corner, these are marked as red in the pictures.
Soldering SMD LEDs
The first job is to remove the existing LEDs, you have 3 ways to remove them:
1. Use two soldering irons, one on each joint and flick the LED off;
2. Use one soldering iron and a solder sucker, can be awkward because of the size;
3. Use one soldering iron and some solder wick to remove the excess.
Once the board has been purged of LEDs, clean the board up and flux the solder pads on the board and LEDs. Position one of the replacements and quickly solder each side.
The 'normal' way to solder is to touch the tip to the device and push the solder against the tip and the device until it melts. When soldering SMDs this isn't recommended as the heat will kill it.
It is better to melt the solder onto the tip and quickly dab the soldered tip onto the LED, this limits the heat transfer, flux will help the solder flow to the LED quickly shortening the time even more.
Once they have all been done, visually check the whole thing before testing, if any of
them don't work then check the solder joint and the orientation of the LED.
Dash Pod LEDs
Remove the pods from the car using this guide (but backwards).
Tilt the pods up and free the wiring from underneath.
Pull off the bezel and remove the Torx9 screws underneath.
Pull the dial forwards and disconnect the electrical connection. Don't pull by the wires.
With the connections off you can remove the internals totally.
Unclip the white clips on either side, circled in red below. Remove the fascia.
Unclip the remaining clips underneath and remove the white plastic surround from the circuit board.
The layout for the LEDs are exactly the same for both pods. There are 6 LEDs on each pod, the orientation is marked by a red dot.
Swap the 6 PLCC-2 LEDs over and hopefully your pods will look like this.
My Pods Don't Light Up With New LEDs
The problem is that blue, green and white LEDs tend to use more power to illuminate than orange and red do so there is a slim possibilty that increasing the required voltage needed may result in poor or no light.
In these circumstance you will need to change the resistors to give the LEDs more power.
This is how the original pods are wired up.
Parallel resistors allow the power to be shared but the resistance to be halved.
Just desoldering 1 of each of the resistors would make the problem worse so all
6 resistors have to be removed and replaced.
The 4 dial illumination LEDs actually illuminate brighter than the needle LEDs. You can do this if you like by using slightly higher rating resistors but replacement LEDs tend to have a very narrow voltage range so you may not notice. I think the best thing to do is to use the same resistors.
You can mess about attempting to get the correct SMD resistors (1206 size)
if you wish but I decided to go for standard 0.25W resistors. They are much
easier to work with, easier to get hold of and they are only a few pence each.
Initial calculations show that 330 Ohms is ideal for the normal replacement
blue LEDs but it depends on the voltage rating of the LED you are fitting.
With the 3 standard 330 Ohm resistors fitted to each pod, one on the front for the needle LED...
...and 2 on the back for the dial illumination...
...the pods illuminate perfectly and look amazing.
If you are brave enough to attempt this, I would suggest you do.
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