United Bimmer Do-It-Yourself Disclaimer:
The following tutorial is meant as a guide and is not
guaranteed to be complete or 100% accurate. By following this DIY, you
understand any work done on your car is at your own risk and we hold no
responsibility if you break something. If you feel uneasy with this
risk, we recommend you take your car to a professional mechanic to have the
work done. Otherwise, enjoy yourself and good luck!
I did this DIY with Rob (Robstah on United Bimmer), and it ended up
taking about an hour. This is a DIY for installing those silver gauge rings
you can find all the time on
for about $30-35. Here is a before and after (not my car, stock
photo) of how this mod changes your car. It's a simple mod, but makes a big
- T10 Torque Screwdriver with a long thin handle (one screw is pretty deep
- Phillips head screw driver
First, unscrew the gauge cluster. There are two screws and some friction
holding your cluster in. One screw is on each side of the top, as shown in
Unscrew those screws and push on the bottom of the glass to loosen the unit.
Mine was stuck in there pretty good, so it took a good amount of pressure
and jiggling to break it free.
It should now slide forward and up to the steering wheel.
IMPORTANT: At this point you're about to begin
messing with electrical parts, so please stop and disconnect your battery
before continuing. Leaving it plugged in might make you physically unable to
finish this DIY.
When you reach behind the unit, you'll feel three wire bundles connecting it
to the car. Two are on the right (one big vertical one, and one small
horizontal one just below it), and one big vertical plug is on the left.
This is probably the trickiest part of the whole installation. You must
reach behind the unit (probably blindly) and unplug them, however they are
not a normal plug. There's a little button you must push in the middle of
the latch, then slide the clip up until the connection comes lose. Here's a
picture to try and explain it better:
Then after it's free just slide it out beside the wheel (again, might
require a bit of creative shaking and squeezing, but it's easily possible.
Now you should have the unit out of the car. Bring it inside or somewhere
with good light and go get your T10 torque screw driver. There's 5 screws,
as shown by this image of the back of the cluster. Two up top, one on each
side, and one deep screw in the very middle.
Unscrew them all, pull gently, and the unit should split open:
Now look at the faceplate half of the unit (the top half in the picture
above). There are three unique, german engineered, "finger screws" holding
the faceplate against the glass. It's the round black circle knobs on each
side, and one in the top middle. To unscrew these, simple twist the white
part the direction they will move to free the face plate. Here's a close up
of one of the finger screws:
After all of them are turned to the unlocked/open position, gently pull
the faceplate up and it should seperate:
Now simply take your rings and pop them on to the left part of the above
picture. Mine were very tight and clipped on, the friction plenty to
hold them on through anything, however I know some of the rings are a
lot looser and might require some creative glueing to get them to stay.
Here's a picture of the rings on just that piece. Notice the Bugatti
Veyron Top Gear on the projector in the background. This is a must for
this DIY. If you don't watch Top Gear while installing the rings, they
Now the reverse install. Put the faceplate back in the glass (rescrewing
the three thumb screws all the way to ensure nothing moves), then using
the torque screws, reattach the back half of the gauge cluster.
Take it back to your car then, slide it beside the steering wheel, push
it firmly into it's hole, and screw the top two screws in.
Congratulations, you now have silver gauge rings installed in your car.
For any questions about anything discussed in this DIY, feel free to
post a question in our forum and you'll quickly get an answer.