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XC70 LED Gauge Swap 2000+

Published on January 29, 2012 by C7MB

You will need:

-Torx 35 screw driver

-PLCC-2 LEDs (

-Soldering Iron

-Solder Remover Wick

First remove your gauge cluster/console from the dash of your xc70. To do this, you first need to move the steering wheel all the way down, and then pull it all the way towards you, using the adjustment leaver on the left hand side of the steering column.


Steering volvo xc70
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This will give you enough room to pull out the gauge console trim and the console itself.  So now that the steering wheel is out of the way, you want to pull up the rubber guard on top of the steering column that prevents dirt and dust from getting into the dash. Now that that's popped out, slide your hands under the trim and pull outwards.


remove Volvo trim
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The trim should come out with no problems as it is only attached by a few tabs, and when it is removed, it will expose four torx 25 screws the corners of the gauge console.


Volvo XC70 gauge cluster
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Unscrew these four screws and you should now be able to pull out the console itself.


Remove cluster Volvospeed
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Unplug the green connector at the back of the console and slide the whole unit out on either side of the steering wheel.


Temove torx Volvo repair information
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So now that we have the gauge console removed, we can head over to the work bench to begin disassembling the unit. With the unit on the table, you want to start on the right side, and begin to undo the clips holding the cover and inner trim to the actual panel where the PCB is attatched.


carefully lift out
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Once all the tabs are undone, remove the clear plastic cover that protects the gauges as well as the the other plastic cover.


Remove trim rings volvo repair parts
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Now that you have all the gauges exposed, proceed by removing the needles and gague faces. Make sure that you DO NOT touch the gauge faces as any hand oils will stain them.  The easiest way i found to remove the needles without seriously uncalibrating them is to hold them in place with your thumb and pointer finger while using your other hand to pry the needle off the shaft.


Lift off needle
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Once all the needles have been removed, you will then turn the panel over and unscrew all the gauge faces. After those have been removed and set aside, you can then unscrew the remaining screws and separate the PCB from the plastic panel. If you are going to swap out the information displays LEDs, remove the LCD from the PCB at this point.  Now that you have the PCB separated from all the plastic pieces, locate all the SMD LEDs that you would like to swap out. There are 3 LEDs for the accelerometer, and tachometer; 1 LED for the fuel gauge and temp gauge; 5 LEDs for the left information readout LCD and 3 LEDs for the odometer LCD and clock LCD. Once you have found all the LEDs that you would like to replace you can begin desoldering the stock LEDs and replacing them with the new ones.  To desolder PLCC-2 LEDs, I like to first add a little bit of solder to all the contacts so that the solder wick has something to really catch onto.


board with led for 2004 xc70
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After adding a little more solder, take your solder wick and place it above the solder. Then press the solder tip on the wick while pushing down onto the solder. This will melt the solder into the wick so that you can remove the LED. After the solder is removed from both sides of the LED, put the iron on one side melting the solder underneath the LED, and flick up. This will lift the LED off of the trace pads allowing you to remove it. Remember not to hold the iron on the trace pads too long because it will burn the PCB, also be careful not to melt any other part of the board. Once all of the LEDs that you want swapped are removed you can then solder on your new LEDs.  Now you can get your new LEDs and place them where the old LEDs were while making sure to orient them the right way (the notch on the LEDs should point to the top left corner). Using a pair of tweezers or some other small item, hold the LED in place while you apply a small dab of solder to the pad and foot of the LED to reattatch it to the board. Repeat this until all of the LEDs that you want swapped are change out. When you are all set, take the PCB back to your car to test it before you close everything up. Plug the PCB back in BEFORE you put your key in the ignition. If everything works, you will now have custom lit gauges!


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If every thing checks out, you are now good to go! However if you changed the information displays LEDs, I would recommend making a new filter to dissapate the light from the LEDs.  First take the LCD that you removed earlier in the tutorial and remove the metal shroud by bending the tabs.


Volvo 2001 XC70
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Now remove the LCD and you should find a neon green diffusion sheet which will look something like this.


Volvo repair parts and turbo repairs
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Take this diffuser and place it on a piece of medium weight printer paper and using a sharp exacto knife, cut out the diffuser onto the paper. You should now have an exact copy of the diffuser but white. Using the white paper will diffuse the light better without adding a green tint.


almost done with 2002 xc70 gauge fuel cluster
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You can now reassemble the LCD and attatch it back onto the PCB. If everything checks out ok and the LEDs all function fine, you can reassemble the gauge cluster. Congradulations, you now have a custom lit gauge cluster!!!!


Volvo XC70 2003 led gauge cluster
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For more discussion on this modification see: Volvospeed Forums XC70 Gauge LED Update


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