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Instrument Cluster Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Instrument Cluster Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$2 to $1,000

Talent:

**

Tools:

Philips head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Parts Required:

Instrument cluster

Hot Tip:

Be careful with aftermarket wires if you find any

Performance Gain:

Reliable, bright gauges

Complementary Modification:

Clean everything you have access to with the cluster out

The instrument cluster on your car is the primary method for transmitting the information on the performance and health of the vehicle. Not only does the instrument cluster tell you how fast you are going, it also monitors the vital systems on the vehicle and reports any trouble. Most modern gauge clusters are now mostly digital and take the signal from the sensors and transmit them into trouble lights (or commonly referred to idiot lights in the cluster). When instruments were analog and directly connected to the system by a cable or other means you could see when problems would start to arise in the vehicle. Now when something malfunctions, you only know about if from a check engine or other light; this is one reason why you need to have a proper functioning instrument cluster or gauge pod.

If you need to replace any of the bulbs, removing the instrument cluster on your Porsche 944 or 951 is not a difficult job. Just be careful to mark the wiring connections on the back so as not to mix them up during installation.

Begin by disconnecting the ground cable from the post on the battery.
Figure 1

Begin by disconnecting the ground cable from the post on the battery. This is also a good time to check the condition of the terminal and wiring, as our cable is starting to get a little corrosion (red arrow).

You will need to remove the steering wheel to remove the instrument cluster.
Figure 2

You will need to remove the steering wheel to remove the instrument cluster. Please see our article on steering wheel removal for additional information.

Use a stubby Philips head screwdriver and remove the five screws holding the instrument cluster surround in place (red arrows).
Figure 3

Use a stubby Philips head screwdriver and remove the five screws holding the instrument cluster surround in place (red arrows).

Use a longer handled Philips head screwdriver and remove the three screws that you access through the vents (red arrows).
Figure 4

Use a longer handled Philips head screwdriver and remove the three screws that you access through the vents (red arrows).

Carefully remove the surround so you do not crack it.
Figure 5

Carefully remove the surround so you do not crack it. This is especially important if you have a dash cover, which our project car did.

With the surround removed you use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the four screws holding the cluster in place (red arrow).
Figure 6

With the surround removed you use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the four screws holding the cluster in place (red arrow).

Carefully wiggle the cluster out from the dash.
Figure 7

Carefully wiggle the cluster out from the dash. You will have to pull one end out to remove the wiring connection. Our cluster had three connections. The connections are held in place by locking tabs. Push the tabs out and the connections will separate (red arrows).

With one side removed you can get easier access to the other connections.
Figure 8

With one side removed you can get easier access to the other connections. Make sure to label the connectors so you will not mix them up.

You do not need to completely remove the cluster to replace the bulbs (red arrow), but if you got this far it is easier to just completely remove the cluster.
Figure 9

You do not need to completely remove the cluster to replace the bulbs (red arrow), but if you got this far it is easier to just completely remove the cluster. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Rob Comments: But is it possible to put them in the wrong slot without forcing them is each connector actually a different size in the slot ? Mine do seem to go on pretty easily but they do look similar specifically the two on the right side
December 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Only if the connectors are exact matches, otherwise you would be forcing them in. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rob Comments: It seems that the 3 large connectors will only fit in the designated slots...is it possible to connect to the wrong slot? What happens if you do?????
December 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could short out the cluster if forced in the wrong place. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Sun 2/26/2017 02:47:45 AM