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Old 06-11-2006, 04:41 PM   #1
mullethunter3
 
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Arrow DIY: Replacing Instrument Cluster Lights

Please do this at your own risk. I am not responsible if you break anything. End legal mumbo jumbo.

Okay, so when I was replacing my blower resistor, my instrument cluster lights went out. Great.

So, if you have a instrument cluster that looks like this:


Then this DIY is for you!!

Okay, contrary popular belief, you do not have to take out the steering wheel or the dash to do this. You too can have working instrument lights in under and hour.

To begin, I called BavAuto and asked for the speedo and tach back lights for a 93 318is. What I got was this:


Those are the wrong lights. Those go to the individual lights behind the fog light indicator, the check engine light, the everything that I don't need.
For the right bulbs, go to AutoZone and buy three Sylvania W3W light bulbs. It's about $6 for four. Much less hassle than the tards at BavAuto.

Anyway, back to the DIY. Start by taking out the screws on the top of the cluster.

Mine were a Phillips.

Once you get the screws out, push on the bottom of the cluster and pry the top of the cluster loose with a flatblade, being sure to guide the screw holders out safely. Next comes the worst part. If you have large hands, good luck to you. Pull out the cluster towards you and shove your hand behind the cluster.


There should be three wiring harnesses holding it in. These are a son of a b to flgure out for the first time. Here is a small tutorial.
First, there is a small "strap" thing that holds it in. You need to pry the strap out and push it up with a flathead screwdriver. Once you do this, the wiring harnesses just slip outof their holes.
Here are some pics of the three harnesses:



This is a picture tutorial of the flippy clips:




Once you get those out, wiggle the cluster out from behind the steering wheel. This is the back. The arrows are the lights that you would need to replace if you have my problem.

Simply twist these green bulb holders a quarter turn, remove, pull out the bulb, replace with a new one and reverse the process.

Done!

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Old 06-11-2006, 08:39 PM   #2
xsperf
 
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good writeup, thanks
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Old 06-19-2006, 07:49 AM   #3
Dudesky

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The DIY Queen strikes again

There have been quite a few good writeups in the last few months that have yet to make it to the Knowledge Base. We know Harry's been really busy; hopefully he can get around to this soon
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:07 PM   #4
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was that first picture taken in the daytime or at night?
also, could I install brighter bulbs?
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Old 04-28-2007, 01:05 AM   #5
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Daytime. I guess you could install brighter bulbs, but you would be hard pressed to find them. It took me a week to find three of those stupid things.
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Old 04-28-2007, 05:09 PM   #6
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Very nice.
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Old 05-03-2007, 02:33 PM   #7
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great DIY, very helpful, but you might want to add that you must remove the steering wheel if you dont have a tilting one
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:32 PM   #8
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^i'll refer you back to the diy:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mullethunter3
Okay, contrary popular belief, you do not have to take out the steering wheel or the dash to do this. You too can have working instrument lights in under and hour.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:32 PM   #9
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Changing colors

If I wanted to change the color scheme from red to a different color is it possible? Do these steps apply?
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:57 PM   #10
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great diy, very informative, thankyou.
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:55 PM   #11
mullethunter3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draconis
If I wanted to change the color scheme from red to a different color is it possible? Do these steps apply?
The red color is actually not from the light bulbs, it's from the film inside the cluster, so if you want to take the whole thing apart... go ahead. But be careful that you don't break anything.
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:43 PM   #12
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I have cluster light question.... None of my light in the cluster seem to work. I just purchased this car, so I do not know if they all died at once. I checked the fuse and its ok. do you think that it may be that all of the bulbs are burnt out? The odo and all of the other lights running off that dimmer switch seem to work great.....thanks for the help
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:07 PM   #13
danny123

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nice DIY tutorial

got one question about the light behind the head light knob? Does it use the same light bulb that you used, or do you have to replace the whole little cluster.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:08 PM   #14
mullethunter3
 
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Quote:
I have cluster light question.... None of my light in the cluster seem to work. I just purchased this car, so I do not know if they all died at once. I checked the fuse and its ok. do you think that it may be that all of the bulbs are burnt out? The odo and all of the other lights running off that dimmer switch seem to work great.....thanks for the help
Wait, what lights don't work? None of them work in the entire cluster? Or does only the odometer work? I'm a bit confused...

Last edited by mullethunter3; 06-22-2007 at 04:16 PM..
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:13 PM   #15
danny123

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no i mean the one to left of the steering wheel the little knob that turns your head light on. They dont seem to be working.
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