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Instrument Cluster Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Instrument Cluster Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$300

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, T30, T20, small flathead

Applicable Models:

R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2007-08)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2007-08)
R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)
R57 MINI Cooper Convertible (2009-11)
R57 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2009-11)

Parts Required:

Instrument cluster

Hot Tip:

Work in good light and on clean surface

Performance Gain:

Working instrument cluster

Complementary Modification:

Replace tachometer is faulty

The instrument cluster on MINI R56 models incorporates multiple information gauges that display engine operation information, examples include: the fuel level, tire warning, navigation and vehicle speed. As vehicles mature and computer controls become more advanced, less information is relayed to the driver. This is evident with the minimalist gauge set in MINI R56 models.

The instrument cluster on MINI R56 models is serviced as a whole unit. The illumination and warning lights in the cluster are soldered LED bulbs. When a bulb or gauge fails in the cluster you have two options, remove the instrument and replace it with a new one, or send it out to a repair service. I feel like option two, sending it out for repair is best. You save money on the part and do not have to worry about coding it. If you decide to replace the instrument cluster with a new one, you will need to have it coded and programmed using an advanced MINI scan tool. The instrument cluster is one of three locations that vehicle data (odometer reading, service needs and other data) is redundantly stored, the other locations being the light module and CAS module. This means that a new cluster has to be synched to the other two modules.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The instrument cluster (red arrow) on MINI R56 models incorporates multiple information gauges that display engine operation information, examples include: the fuel level, tire warning, navigation and vehicle speed.
Figure 1

The instrument cluster (red arrow) on MINI R56 models incorporates multiple information gauges that display engine operation information, examples include: the fuel level, tire warning, navigation and vehicle speed. As vehicles mature and computer controls become more advanced, less information is relayed to the driver. This is evident with the minimalist gauge set in MINI R56 models. The instrument cluster on MINI R56 models is serviced as a whole unit. The illumination and warning lights in the cluster are soldered LED bulbs. When a bulb or gauge fails in the cluster you have two options, remove the instrument and replace it with a new one, or send it out to a repair service. I feel like option two, sending it out for repair is best. You save money on the part and do not have to worry about coding it. If you decide to replace the instrument cluster with a new one, you will need to have it coded and programmed using an advanced MINI scan tool. The instrument cluster is one of three locations that vehicle data (odometer reading, service needs and other data) is redundantly stored, the other locations being the light module and CAS module. This means that a new cluster has to be synched to the other two modules.

Move the steering wheel as far down and away from the dashboard as it will go.
Figure 2

Move the steering wheel as far down and away from the dashboard as it will go. Working at the top of the steering column, remove the two T30 Torx screws for the tachometer (red arrows). Once the fasteners are removed, slide the tachometer toward the steering wheel.

Using a plastic prying tool (red arrow), lever the left side instrument panel trim off the instrument panel.
Figure 3

Using a plastic prying tool (red arrow), lever the left side instrument panel trim off the instrument panel.

Next, remove the trim panel (red arrow) from the instrument panel.
Figure 4

Next, remove the trim panel (red arrow) from the instrument panel.

Open the glove compartment.
Figure 5

Open the glove compartment. Remove the small trim piece on the left side below the vent (red arrow). Lever it out using a plastic trim panel tool.

Working at the defroster vent, lever out the two small covers in the front corners (red arrows).
Figure 6

Working at the defroster vent, lever out the two small covers in the front corners (red arrows). Use a small flathead screwdriver (green arrow) to pop them out.

Next, remove the two T20 Torx screws located beneath the covers (red arrows).
Figure 7

Next, remove the two T20 Torx screws located beneath the covers (red arrows).

Slide the instrument cluster trim forward (red arrow).
Figure 8

Slide the instrument cluster trim forward (red arrow). Once free from the instrument panel, lay it aside. I let it rest on the top of the instrument panel.

Next up you have to remove the instrument panel trim strip the key slot is mounted in.
Figure 9

Next up you have to remove the instrument panel trim strip the key slot is mounted in. Start by removing the two upper T20 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Next, remove the two lower T20 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 10

Next, remove the two lower T20 Torx fasteners (red arrows). Remove the key slot and let it hang from the ribbon cable. Support it so the weight of the trim piece is not on the cable.

Next up you have to remove the instrument panel fasteners.
Figure 11

Next up you have to remove the instrument panel fasteners. Start by removing the two lower T20 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Next, remove the upper T20 Torx fastener (red arrow).
Figure 12

Next, remove the upper T20 Torx fastener (red arrow).

Slide the cluster forward enough to access the connector at the left side.
Figure 13

Slide the cluster forward enough to access the connector at the left side. Pull the electrical connector straight out (red arrow).

Pull the cluster forward to remove it (green arrow).
Figure 14

Pull the cluster forward to remove it (green arrow). If needed, pull the lower trim piece (red arrow) forward a bit until the cluster clears.

Then working at the back of the instrument cluster, detach the wiring harness from the back of the cluster.
Figure 15

Then working at the back of the instrument cluster, detach the wiring harness from the back of the cluster. Press the release tab and pull the small connector straight out. Then unlock the electrical connector by opening the latch 90°. Remove the cluster from the vehicle. If you have a navigation unit, you can separate it from the cluster bezel and replace it separately. Then install a new or repaired instrument cluster into the dashboard in the reverse order of removal. Code and program as needed. Check the operation of the replaced instrument cluster to confirm that everything is working as it is supposed to.

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Comments and Suggestions:
1alcotrino Comments: Hi Tom
That means that i can change the the standard speedometer w/o nav for these one in the pictures?
I want to upgrade this system an have a TFT display.
September 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: MINI does note to carry out coding and programming. Not sure where Tom is getting his info. Some models are region dependent and may come with the right coding. Really depends on the software level of the vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tom Comments: The vehicle data is stored in the rev-counter, not in the large central speedometer. The large center speedometer does not need to be coded at all, since it is simply a slave of the rev counter. Therefore, it can also easily be replaced by a Chinese navigation system
August 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The nav screen is calibrated depending on region, KMH or MPH. It may not plug and play depending on what you end up with. The Nav screen may require programming as well. Especially if the version you are installing is not at the same program level as the rest of the vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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