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Rdk87 02-18-2007 04:09 AM

How to: Change the Color of your Radio LCD (Pictures)
[size=14pt]How to change the color of your Radio LCD V.1.1[/size]

Before starting this Mod read below!!!
(To complete this Mod you will need at least 20 dollars (to buy the LED's),
a boat load of patience, and a steady hand.)
Also Note that this was done on a Mazda 03i Touring (2006), If you have a different year
or a hatch, things on this write up may differ, keep this in mind.

Also if you F)(* up your screen you will have to buy another one, and the chances that you will mess up the screen are rather high, seeing as it was not designed to come apart in the way I have decided to take it apart.
((That being said let the fun begin!!!))

[size=14pt]Difficultly[/size] [size=12pt]( out of 10 ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆'s):[/size]
If you have basic solder skills ( you've done about 50 joints ): ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
If you have never used a solder iron: ★★★★★★★★★☆

[size=14pt]Things I used[/size]

Nail File ( You can use a Dremel or sand paper instead, I didn't get my Dremel until after I had already finished this part though and I only had a nail file ( cheap ones ) so it's possible to do it with things laying around the house if you are poor )

Solder ( I used Rosin Core Solder from Radio Shack, and I've been using this on all my electrical components and it has been working great for me. )

At least 6 (3MM LED's) (( I will include a link and an explanation for the ones I used at the end of this write up))

Protective eye wear (If you choose to use a Dremel you are going to need something to stop the crap from flying into your eyes, I used my Sunglasses and they worked fine.)

Tweezers (Optional-- I used these to remove pieces of plastic as I was working on the white part, filing down parts of the plastic.)

A Set of Mini Screws (You should have one of these anyways, go buy one, they are cheap and will help you take apart almost everything in the world, exciting I know!! )

A Solder Gun ( I bought a 20 dollar one at Ace Hardware, that is just for hobbies and it's been working great for me. )((Important:Do not try to use one of the Cold/Hot Solder guns that are run with batteries you will only end up destroying part of your circuit board))

[size=14pt]Part One: Taking Apart the Stock Head Unit[/size]

Seeing as there are already a few write ups that explain how to do this I'm not going to bother explaining or taking pictures. However the link that I link you two, only matches taking the LCD screen apart to Step 3. Everything after Step three differs on the Mazda 3i 2006.

Click Here: To Learn how to take out your Head unit

Part Two: Taking Apart the LCD Screen

Note: Don't lose any screws!

Remove the LCD screen from the Head Unit by Removing the two screws on each side of the screen. (step 1 of 3)

Remove the black plate covering the connection to the LCD (not pictured) remove it by taking out the two screws on that back and then just pull it off. (step 2 of 3)

Remove the plug in the LCD by tugging it out. (there is a clip on it that you will need to press in order to get it out so don't pull with out pushing this clip and try not to pull on the wires when pulling it out) (Step 3 of 3)

Flip the screen on it's flat side and remove the 3 screws on that back, and pull off the black piece, There are also two screws on the front that aren't pictured that you will need to remove.

Once the black piece is off you will see your circuit board, you will need to De-Solder all the spots that are circled. (You might not have to de-solder them if the solder isn't in the way and you can bend the metal straight.) (( I only have to de-solder the ones at the far right and left. )) The point here is to make all the metal pieces parallel to the board so you can pull the metal piece off.

After you get the tab's parallel to the board you will need to have pressure to push on the outside of the metal to remove the 3 little tabs that are keeping it in. ( This step may take awhile and be difficult, my screw drivers kept falling and I almost threw my LCD out the window after 10 minutes of working with it it finally come out.)

Once you have the metal piece off celebrate :fc: :eekcrazy:, you are not even half way done yet. :)

Next unscrew the 5 screws that are holding the Circuit board to the white piece of plastic. (This is where it starts to get tricky)

There are two points on each end of the LCD that I have circled. You will need to file/sand/dremel down here in order to be able to slide off the Plastic piece.

Where I am lifting up the Diffuser paper, the LED's are right below here.

Once you have sanded/dremeled/filed down those parts of the plastic, gently lift up the plastic piece from the LCD screen. The LCD screen will bend a tad, I shouldn't have to say it, but take care in working with the LCD, if you bend it too far back you will destroy it. (There are also two white pieces that stick through the circuit board that you should keep in mind, You will need to lift the LCD screen enough to be able to pull these out and that means getting these tabs out of their respective slots, which is a lot harder then it sounds.)

Also in this picture you will see the LED's. I had to de-solder two LED's on one side and one LED on the opposite side just to get the plastic piece off to start. (De-solder the LED's closest to the front of the LCD screen. You may or may not have to de-solder as many as I did, however it is likely that you will have to de-solder at least that many if not more. ((If you don't know how to de-solder read a little ahead and I have a quick and easy explanation of how to do it easily with a screwdriver. ))

These are the two LEDs that I de-soldered on the one side.

Once you have the plastic piece off, take a big deep breath. If you didn't mess the whole screen up in the process you are now one step closer to having a colored LCD screen. If you did mess up, go start looking on E-bay for Mazda Radios ( I found some for as low as 35 bucks for the entire thing and the LCD screen, Let's just hope you don't mess up eh ).

I have circled all the areas that I recommend you Sand/File/Dremel down in order to make replacing the Plastic piece easier, as well as making it easier to remove in the future. ( Also file down the two plastic tabs on the bottom of the plastic that aren't pictured. )

I used a nail file and was able to get everything done.

It should look something like this when you are finished.

This is a comparison of the Stock Led's and some from ( I didn't end up using either of these LED's because the Circuit board doesn't have enough power to power them. ) (However the ones I bought straight from Kingbright work great, and they are the same size (maybe .002 mm smaller, but it doesn't matter. )

[size=14pt]Part Three: Soldering off the Old LED's and Soldering on the New Ones[/size]

First you will need to de-solder off the Orange LED's. (Keep track of the polarity when you take them off, it's an easy match.) Just look at the side of the LED. If you forget and for some reason you have all the LEDs off; no problem, just look at the next few pictures. (The Anode and Cathode are clearly marked on the Circuit as well. (A trick to de-solder that I used is I propped a flathead screwdriver underneath the LED I was going to remove, and then applied a slight amount of pressure.) ((Then I placed the solder gun on the first contact point and then quickly moved it over to the other contact point, so they are both warm at the same time. If you were applying pressure, the LED will come off extremely easy.))

Note the Polarity of the LED's, They will not Light up if you do not match the positive and negative ends.

Once you De-Solder the Old LED's you can put on the new ones. Slide them in matching the polarity.

DO NOT CUT THEM OFF LIKE THIS, This is incorrect and you might damage the LED. Do what is shown in the next picture.[/size]

Bend the leads (You will see little white lines on the Circuit that show you where you should be bending them.) ((After you bend them go ahead and solder the contact points and then trim off the excess lead.))

A picture before I soldered.

At this point you might as well go test to see if the LED's you bought work and to make sure that you have the right polarity. ( I tested it while still having some Orange LED's on giving a almost purple color.)

If everything works then go ahead and solder on the rest of the LEDs.

This is optional. I noticed that while sanding/dremeling/filing the plastic piece little plastic dust got up under the glass reflector. I just popped it off (it's not attached to anything) and I cleaned the back of this.)

Finally put it back together and screw the bottom on. ( I did the reverse polarizer mod and this is what it looks like with that. ) ((If you haven't done the reverse polarizer mod, the blue will be a lighter color and the numbers and letters should appear black instead of light blue like mine do.)

Test pictures before I put everything back together

Re-assemble the LCD in the reverse order that you took it apart then go ahead and stick it in your car and enjoy your new COLOR!!!

[size=12pt]Final Pictures[/size]


[size=13pt]The LED's that I bought are found here.[/size]

Part Number: WP7104PBC/A
Size: 3MM
LED Color : BLUE
Blue Material : InGaN
Lens Type : Water Clear
RoHS compliant (Means no cancer causing agents in it, like lead)
Wavelength : 470nm
Viewing Angle : 20

Iv (mcd) @20mA
180 |1000

Note: You can use any 3MM LED, however I would suggest having it match the minimum and typical energy rating that match what I used. That's Min of 180 and Typical of 1000.

Questions and comments are of course more then welcome.

EDIT: UPDATED KINGBRIGHT URL, as they changed their US site to

ziegs2020 02-18-2007 04:37 AM

Re: How to Change the Color of your Radio LCD (Pictures)
Awesome write up. Blue would make a nice contrast to red if someone didn't want to go all the way :)

Rdk87 02-18-2007 05:01 AM

Re: How to Change the Color of your Radio LCD (Pictures)
[quote author=ziegs2020 link=topic=69809.msg1214836#msg1214836 date=1171791465]
Awesome write up. Blue would make a nice contrast to red if someone didn't want to go all the way :)

Thanks, and I agree

AuxOne 02-18-2007 08:47 AM

Re: How to Change the Color of your Radio LCD (Pictures)

jhershorin 02-18-2007 09:58 AM

Re: How to Change the Color of your Radio LCD (Pictures)

kspec 02-18-2007 10:15 AM

Re: How to Change the Color of your Radio LCD (Pictures)

mz3frs 02-18-2007 11:47 AM

Re: How to Change the Color of your Radio LCD (Pictures)
:goodjob: :cheers:

Rdk87's LCD screen= :Owned:

kendalf 02-18-2007 12:46 PM

Re: How to Change the Color of your Radio LCD (Pictures)
That took a barge-load of patience, not just to actually go through the process of ~doing~ the mod, but taking pictures and adding arrows and circles and diagrams for how to do the mod. I especially like the picture showing the correct polarity of the LEDs! Great job!

drcviper 02-18-2007 12:55 PM

Re: How to Change the Color of your Radio LCD (Pictures)
SWEET! awesome writeup.. i would prob do this if i had a dif color car.. like blue or silver

Rdk87 02-18-2007 01:02 PM

Re: How to Change the Color of your Radio LCD (Pictures)
[quote author=kendalf link=topic=69809.msg1215118#msg1215118 date=1171820779]
That took a barge-load of patience, not just to actually go through the process of ~doing~ the mod, but taking pictures and adding arrows and circles and diagrams for how to do the mod. I especially like the picture showing the correct polarity of the LEDs! Great job!

It sure did, and thanks :)

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