The Hyundai Santa Fe Indiglo Gauges Installation

Original idea: GM Typhoon
Author of Mod / Report: GM Typhoon, Sac D, Mastrv, twospirits
Installers / Testers: Numerous Santa Fe Owners
Parts Supplier: ProCarParts
Images provided by: ProCarParts, Sac D, Onigoroshi, twospirits

Introduction / History

The Hyundai Santa Fe comes with a OEM stock instrument panel gauges that have white numbers/letters on a black background. These gauges are fine but there are other aftermarket gauges that have white facing which helps the driver see them in the daytime and which are either blue or green at nighttime. These aftermarket gauges are commonly know as Euro Reverse Indiglo Glow Gauges or Indiglo Gauges.
These gauges can be obtain from numerous sources on the internet. One such place is ProCarParts. They sell these gauges both on their website as well as on Ebay. The prices range from $23.95 USD on up depending which site you obtain them from.
This install guide shows you how to install these aftermarket gauges specifically for the Santa Fe.

 This write up is basically an update version of the outstanding Install guides provided by Santa Fe Forum (SFF) member Sac D on 08/09/2002 which is an updated edit of the one created by SFF member GM Typhoon on 07/13/2002. Special thanks go out to both of them as well as to the other Santa Fe Forum members that provided ideas and enhancements to this outstanding mod/install.
Note: While this step by step instruction is a bit long, and might scare off some readers thinking of doing this mod, but I hope that the level of detail might entice the reader in knowing that every possible scenario is covered and detailed. If I were to condense it, some necessary information might be omitted and thus not provide the reader with the necessary details in doing this modification.

Clicking on any of the pictures below will open up a second window with the picture in question at full size.


  Please Read the disclaimer before proceeding

Difficulty level / scale: On a scale of 1 - 10

Easy   Difficult
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Tools and materials needed:

ProCarParts Euro Reverse Indiglo Glow Gauges
Phillips #1 screwdriver (no longer than 6 inches long)
Phillips #0 screwdriver (no longer than 6 inches long)
Exacto knife
Wire Stripper
12mm socket wrench
Optional Items
2 small screws
Electrical Tape
Rubbing Alcohol
8" Black wire
1 Posi-Twist connector
1 Blue butt connector
Dremel Tool
Superglue gel or Liquid Contact Adhesive

Time to install item:

Total time for mod: 120 min  

Source, item and packaging

  The item ProCarparts is shipped in a box that looks like this. Some of them are also shipped not in a box but rather in a bubble wrapped envelope. Either shipped item is the same.
  The back of the box has the generic instructions which can be used but are not as detailed or fine tuned for the Santa Fe.
  These are the items out of the package.
You have the 4 gauges,...
The Temperature, Tachometer, Speedometer and Fuel gauge.
Also included are the 4 EZ-connecting wires,  the transformer, the combo dimmer rheostat with blue green/toggle switch and the 2 power/ground lead wires.
Also included in the package is a instruction sheet which is basically unusable since it is a translated word by word instruction sheet that was originally written in Chinese. (The items are made in Taiwan.)

Step 1: Removing the stock OEM Instrument Panel Gauges.

  Set the drivers seat to its furthest setting away from the steering column.

Set the height of the steering wheel column down to the lowest it can go.

  Remove the instrument cluster fascia panel by removing the 2 screws holding it in the top of the dash. The instrument cluster fascia panel is the plastic cover underneath the dashboard overhang.

Make sure you use a good screwdriver and one that is no longer than 6 inches in length, because you will not get in there and be able to unscrew the screws.
  You need to flex the fascia a bit to get it to pop out.
(The Fascia has two bumps on the top where the screws were and two plungers on the bottom.)
This pic shows the plungers underneath it.


  Remove the 4 screws holding the Instrument cluster and remove it by gently rolling it out towards you. These 4 screws are also in there really tight, so don't rush, be careful and use plenty of controlled torque to remove them.

With the cluster partially taken out you can see the wire harnesses. Just unplug them, they pop off actually pretty easy by pressing the little tabs.

Gently pull towards you the glove box to detach it from the area.

  The gauges stay in place and are from left to right, the temp gauge, tachometer, speedometer and fuel gauge.
Don't worry about mixing them up, they should stay in position where you lay them. Plus they are of different sizes and can only go into the cluster in each owns slot.
  The instrument panel should be out of your Santa Fe and be ready to be worked on. Take it to a well lit area. This pic shows the back part of it.
  Once the cluster is in a well lit area you can now perform the  steps in modifying it with the new gauges.

Step 2: Dismantling the Instrument Cluster.

  The cluster has two outer pieces that need to be removed. First remove the plastic front clear housing. All of the the plastic trim is held on by clips, which can be removed by pushing down and pulling apart the pieces.

There are three tabs on the top of the cluster and three on the bottom. Do not force it and risk cracking or scratching the plastic.
  Put the plastic clear cover to a safe area.
  Do the same thing for the black plastic inner overlay. See pic for location of tabs. Gently remove the overlay.
  Place the overlay in a safe area away from your work table.

At this point you may choose to paint the black plastic panel a different contrasting color, I choose not too.
  This is what the cluster should look like with only the stock gauges attached. You can see that only the tachometer and speedometer gauges have screws in them from the front. All the gauges are attached to the cluster with screws in the rear of the cluster.
At this point the modification can proceed in either of two ways. 1-by attaching the new gauges without taking the stock gauges out of the cluster. or 2-by taking out the stock gauges out of the cluster. I decided to take them out of the cluster to prevent the circuit board backing from being scratch or damage.

Step 3: Adding the new gauges. ( individually out of the cluster )

  Turn the cluster around to its back side and take out the screws that hold the gauges.
  This allows you to work on the gauges individually without scratching or harming the circuit board back side. With the gauges removed from the circuit board backing/cluster we can now work on the gauges. Lets start with the tachometer.

Remove the screws (4 total) around from the tachometer and speedometer,  with a #1 or # 0 Philips head screwdriver.

Do not use a larger screwdriver or you will end up scratching the screws.

  With the tachometer and speedometer you will notice each has a small stop pin that holds the needles from unwinding. Removal of the needle is not needed, and basically impossible. therefore you need to place the new gauge through and over the needle. While the new gauge had a round hole you will notice that the center bulb is oval.
  For the tachometer insert the new gauge over the needle but position it so that the stop pin goes through its appropriate hole. Move the needle away from the stop pin to get the right angle and put it through the hole. Position the gauge under the front part of the bulb.


  When sliding the gauge face push down so the gauge face goes as far as possible under the front of the center of the bulb first, this allows you to be able to get the rear part of the gauge over the bulb, continue and pull along the narrower sides of the needle bulb. I'll be much easier to push over the bulb if you pull it under the front first. Once it pops into place all should be fine. This will be a bit hair-raising, but it will be easier if you do it this way.
Once the new gauge is on the old one and in place, you need to make a decision. Some members have noticed that some of the original light from the cluster may seep/leak through the edges and create an eerie type of glow. You can at this point spray paint the back sides or laboriously cut and fit electrical tape over the backs. I did the tape procedure. Of course you can also leave them as is and skip it. See Appendix A below for the procedure.
  Next to be done is the Speedometer. Insert the new gauge over the odometer reset post then slide the gauge to the right.
  By sliding the gauge to the right you can now move the needle also to the right to allow it to go through the gauge hole.
  Perform the same procedure as you did with the tachometer by sliding the gauge under the bulb first then then slide the rear of the gauge over it until it pops into place.

At this point you may want to perform the 2 steps shown in Appendix A below to prevent the gauge from leaking light around the edges. Or you can leave them as is.

  Now do the Temperature and Fuel gauges. Some members have had problems with these two gauges because they are not held down by tiny screws like the Tach and Speedo ones. But I left them in place instead of cutting them out and used an adhesive like rubber cement or superglue.

As before you may want to do the steps mentioned in Appendix A below to prevent the gauges from leaking light around the edges, otherwise leave as is.

  The new gauges should all be done at this point as shown here. Place the gauges back onto the circuit board cluster but do not screw them in yet.

Step 4: Fitting the wires in the cluster.

  The wires will fit fine in between the black trim and the cluster, but to me it felt a bit in the way, therefore you might want to use an Exacto knife to cut a groove for them.

With the gauges placed in their positions on the cluster (but not screwed in) take a pencil and mark where the wires are crossing over the edge of the cluster. Remove the gauges from the cluster and cut the cluster at the marks to make the grooves.
  Place the gauges back to test if the groove is big enough for the wires to go through without any problem.
  It should look like this close-up of the groove.
  After all the groove are deep enough, place the gauges back and screw them into place onto the cluster.
  Place the black cluster cover back on and check to see that it is firmly snaps into place.

Place the Clear cover onto it as well, make sure it also snaps into place.

Make sure that the the black cover and the clear cover are free of fingerprints and dirt/dust. Once the items are together and working any little smudge will show with more intensity.
  The gauges are now done. Before we proceed with the next set of instructions this is what the kit looks like.

The four EZ-Connectors for each gauge, the transformer, the dimmer rheostat, the blue/green toggle switch and the power ground leads.

Step 5: Placing and wiring the gauges.

  Now you are ready to get everything hooked up. The easiest place to put the starter (control) module so it is out of the way and to be able to hook up the power and ground leads was behind the dash light rheostat panel.

Therefore the panel below the steering wheel that holds the rheostat has to be removed. There are three screws and clips that hold it in place. Remove these screws.

  Now remove the panel put your fingers in the rheostat opening and push down slightly while pulling towards you and it will pop out into your hands. As you can see the wires attached to the rheostat module are not that long.
  Unclip the connector from the back of the rheostat and the panel will be freed.
  Route the transformer and its wires from below to the area behind the rheostat wires.
  Route the power pin wires (the ones that connect to the gauges) up and through the upper left side of the hole opening to get the wire into the instrument gauges area.
  Place double side (3M) tape and place it on the transformer.
  Remove the other tape cover and place the transformer inside the upper part of the area. (Make sure you clean the inside area first with alcohol or the transformer will not stick to it.) This prevents the transformer to be moving back and forth and make hitting noises while the vehicle is in motion.
  Take about 6-12 inches of black 18 gauge wire and attach it to the copper nut bolt that's located in the small left side opening. Feed this wire through the hole to reach the rheostat area. This will be your ground wire.
  Or you can attach the ground wire here like member Oni did by grounding it to the cluster bolt.
  The kit has two wires to hook up. A black (ground) wire and a red wire. Now we hook up the power / ground to the starter (control) module first.

Remove the electrical tape surrounding the rheostat wires.

Taking a Posi-Twist connector we connect the two black wires together (the one coming from the starter and the one that you just attached to the grounding bolt.

  Being that we only want the Indiglo Gauges to come on only when the lights are turned on we need to attached the kits red (positive) wire to the rheostats green with orange stripe wire (positive). You can use a Telephone Wire Tap Connector ( from Radio Shack) or like what I did. I added an an additional red color 18 gauge wire that I connect to the kits red wire using a Posi-Twist connector. Then I connect the end of that wire to the rheostats'  green with orange stripe wire with a blue butt connector. This allows me to have ample length of wire to work with and secure the wires together since the kits wires are quite thin.
    Connect the lead wires to the gauges and test the system to see if they light up. if everything is working fine then you can proceed to the next set of steps to place the control module in a secure area within the cabin.

Step6 : Placing the control module.

After checking if the system works, you will need to select where to place the control module and color select switch. You can do any of the following methods...
Method Placement 1
  This method performed by SFF member Sac D.
Cut a piece out of the gray plastic to fit the area to the right of the original dash rheostat and mount the Indiglo switch and rheostat there. If you do this, you will have to unsolder the color selector switch to be able to un-mount it off of the original bracket and mount it elsewhere. Use a little RTV (silicone) to keep the starter (control) module from moving around where you wedged it between the dash and the support bracket. RTV is easy to un-mount if you ever need to do so. OR,
Method Placement 2
  This method performed by SFF member twospirits.
Leave the starter (control) module and color selector switch intact (as is) and just place it on the lower part of the rheostat panel. This allows you to select the color at any time you want (depending on your mood) and have easy access to it to turn it off if need be.
Method Placement 3
  This method performed by SFF member HardyDoug.
You can also place the switch where the rheostat is near the steering column.


  Turn on the vehicle. Adjust the instrument panel backlights and the Indiglo gauges light intensity. Select your Indiglo color of green or blue. Rev it up. Does the RPM needle move? Does the Fuel register? The same for the Temp gauge.
If so then reattach the cluster back into the dashboard and go out for a test spin. Check to see if all the gauges work as they should and not stick and that nothing rattles.

Now enjoy your new Indiglo Gauges.


Appendix A : Quick fix to prevent the gauges from leaking light at the edges.

  Some members have noticed that some of the original light from the cluster may seep/leak through the edges and create an eerie type of glow. You can at this point spray paint the back sides or laboriously cut and fit electrical tape over the backs. I did the tape procedure.

Cut electrical tape and place it on the back of the gauge.


  Make sure that you cover as much of the back as you can. This is what the front of it should look like this now.
  Take a small scissor or an Exacto knife and cut as close to the edges of the gauge as possible with about 1/16th of an inch overhang. Now place the gauge back into the cluster.

Additional resources if still available can be found at the following links.
SFF Original Install by Sac D



This site was last updated 06/10/05