HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Anything and Everything about the Body, from paint to undercoating and interior, including in-car entertainment (ICE).

Moderators: Helpinators, Moderators

HappyFrog
First Gear
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:28 am
Location: Denmark
Contact:

HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by HappyFrog »

I searched a bit about this topic yesterday and couldn't find a specific howto and decided to do a write up. It wasn't really a problem, I was just a big question before I pulled myself together and started unbolting stuff :)

This was done on an EDM 92 turbo, I'd suspect it's the same for all years except you may have an extra or miss a button or two.

1: remove ashtray and unscrew the three bolts.
Image

2: unscrew the two bolts at the top of the center console and pull out the center console.
Image

3: unscrew the 2 bolts on the bottom right of the dashboard and another two above the heater controls.
Image

4: unscrew the 2 bolts above the instrument cluster and the one bolt behind the button to the right of the steering column. Also you can remove two bolts to lower the steering column considerably, I don't know if it is necessary but it does give a lot of room to work with.
Image

5: unscrew the 2 bolts behind the buttons to the left of the steering column.
Image

6: unclip the buttons and hazard light and you should now be able to remove the center of the dashboard.

7: and finally unscrew the 4 bolts holding the instrument cluster.
Image
Image

Pull out the instrument cluster and you are done.
Subaru Legacy Turbo 1992 - it's alive (but not done). VEMS ecu, 6mt, Wiseco/Eagle internals, Hybrid GT FMIC, 550cc, TD05 Big 16g @ 22psi, dynoed 294/293.
Now being parted out
BSOD2600
Fourth Gear
Posts: 1636
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:49 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by BSOD2600 »

8. Curse while re-connecting the speedo cable clip to the back of the instrument cluster.

'11 WRX Limited
'94 SS | 3" TBE, 07 TMIC, TD05H-16G, Revtronix Stage 2, Walbro -- Sold
'94 TW | R.I.P.
HappyFrog
First Gear
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:28 am
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by HappyFrog »

Alrighty so there are differences, mine is electrical. But agreed, never removed or reconnected a speedo cable without swearing :D
Subaru Legacy Turbo 1992 - it's alive (but not done). VEMS ecu, 6mt, Wiseco/Eagle internals, Hybrid GT FMIC, 550cc, TD05 Big 16g @ 22psi, dynoed 294/293.
Now being parted out
subaru_styles
Third Gear
Posts: 693
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:36 am
Location: vancouver/pdx

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by subaru_styles »

BSOD2600 wrote:8. Curse while re-connecting the speedo cable clip to the back of the instrument cluster.

x2 !!!! there has got to be a trick to getting that back on easy
1994 SS "JDM-OEM"

1997 2.5gt wagon

1999 2.5gt wagon

1994 gt wagon
BSOD2600
Fourth Gear
Posts: 1636
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:49 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by BSOD2600 »

I now always disconnect the speedo cable at the tranny and shove some extra slack back into the cabin. That gives enough movement to be able to have the cluster far enough 'up' to be able to see where the speedo cable clips in.

'11 WRX Limited
'94 SS | 3" TBE, 07 TMIC, TD05H-16G, Revtronix Stage 2, Walbro -- Sold
'94 TW | R.I.P.
kimokalihi
Fifth Gear
Posts: 8360
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:41 am
Location: Tenino, WA

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by kimokalihi »

BSOD2600 wrote:I now always disconnect the speedo cable at the tranny and shove some extra slack back into the cabin. That gives enough movement to be able to have the cluster far enough 'up' to be able to see where the speedo cable clips in.
Oh smart idea! I hate that cable. It's so hard to get back on.
98 Metro Hatch Daily Driver :)
91 SS EJ20G Engine/Tranny/Diff Swap Build Thread Here
"Your testes are close to your bottom but you still play with them all the time." Jeremy Clarkson
Legacy777
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 27806
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:37 am
Location: Houston, Tx
Contact:

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by Legacy777 »

Thanks for the how to. Yes removing the two bolts under the steering column so it drops is pretty much mandatory. You won't be able to get the trim piece out otherwise.

That's interesting about the speedo being electronic on the EDM Legacies. Hmmmm......I really would like to do away with my mechanical speedo and run a VSS input into my Link ECU and then run an output to the gauge cluster. I'll have to take a look at the overseas factory manual and see how it's different.
Josh

surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
2020 Outback Limted XT

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm
wakingtowinter
In Neutral
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:34 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by wakingtowinter »

Not trying to resurrect this dead thread, just thought I'd chime in since I took my dash apart today to replace some lights and figured out a nice little trick for the speedo cable. I wasn't able to disconnect the cable at the tranny, so I took a piece of cable (actually it was an ipod USB cable since I couldn't find any string) and looped it around the metal speedo cable fitting. I got the instrument panel in place and then after I'd lined up the male and female ends, I pulled on the ipod cable while pushing on the instrument panel. The fitting tapers down so the cable gripped it well and I got in on in about 5 min and only swore once. After it went on, I just pulled the USB cable out from around the speedo cable. Hopefully this can help someone out in the future.
93 Legacy Turbo Wagon 5 speed totaled...
Legacy777
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 27806
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:37 am
Location: Houston, Tx
Contact:

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by Legacy777 »

That's a good tip.

Thanks for sharing.
Josh

surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
2020 Outback Limted XT

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm
jp233
Second Gear
Posts: 259
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:51 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by jp233 »

Interesting.

I was able to get the dash bezel (plastic trim piece) out without lowering the steering wheel, but getting it back in looks impossible without damaging some of the plastic. So I'll have to lower the steering column; should've done it pulling it out anyways.

Also, I was able to pull the instrument cluster out enough to change a bulb back there. I would've left it alone since I knew about the damn speedo cable, but since it was the bulb that lit up the area of 45-85 MPH on the speedomoter well, that is pretty important so I had to pull the cluster out enough that I could reach back there and get the bulb out and in.
12 Outback 3.6R Limited
94 Leg LS wag AWD, sold
93 Leg L wag FWD, sold
06 LGT 5EAT, project
SILINC3R
quasi-mod-o
quasi-mod-o
Posts: 2763
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 6:11 am
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by SILINC3R »

Yes I have also taken off and put back on the dash bezel without unbolting the steering column but it isn't for the faint of heart.
Tony
90 LS Spec rio red sold
91 SS rio red R.I.P
90 Mazda Miata
2005 GT SWP
92ss satinsvoice wrote:LOL! that block was like F*** THIS! IM OUT!
mike-tracy wrote:Word. I'd love to get my hands on one of those trannies, but I just can't stomach the cost
92wagon
Second Gear
Posts: 345
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:15 am
Location: Maine

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by 92wagon »

I had my wife put my speedo cable back in. She has tiny hands so she did it in about a half hour as to where I was swearing up and down for about a day....
1992 Legacy L Wagon 4WD Auto 219K
1994 Legacy SunSport Wagon FWD 249K
1994 Legacy Ti 4WD Wagon 5speed 182K (162K on engine)
1991 Legacy L 4WD Wagon 5speed 202k
Apex3
Fourth Gear
Posts: 1165
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:06 am
Location: Renton, WA

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by Apex3 »

That dash bezel is pretty flexible, you can get it in and out with the without unbolting anything on the steering wheel easy enough.

And +1 on disconnecting the speedo cable. Unplug it by the transmission, don't unscrew, things a PITA to screw back in.
Danny-G
Fourth Gear
Posts: 1134
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:22 pm
Location: Port Angeles, Washington

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by Danny-G »

A little trick I recently discovered for the speedo cable, a small standly pry bar is the best thing ever for easily reconnecting the cable. If I remember, I'll take a picture or two of where to pull with the bar. Its the large silver bit that goes over the outside of the cable hook up on the speedo, you just "hook" the bar there and pull the bar while pushing on the cluster.
Danny
biggreen96 wrote:well get out there and smash that geo around and get comfy.
1993 Legacy LS Awd: lifted, 4eat, higher mileage, and dirty.
1994 Legacy Turbo wagon: rwd, 4eat, and a faint knock..
1992 Legacy postal: bone stock, 4eat, blown reverse.
maria24017
First Gear
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by maria24017 »

This looks like it would be a pain.. But I need to replace some bulbs.

How long did it take to remove and reinstall?
1990 Subaru Legacy L sedan 2.2L 4 cyl AWD automatic 122,500

The worst day of your life only lasted 24 hours
91Beater
First Gear
Posts: 219
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:37 pm
Location: pdx

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by 91Beater »

I also need to replaced bulbs and try to repair sticking speedometer.
Danny-G
Fourth Gear
Posts: 1134
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:22 pm
Location: Port Angeles, Washington

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by Danny-G »

Heres a picture to show how I use the small pry bar to EASILY reconnect the speedo cable.
Image
All you have to do, after getting the bar positioned as shown above, is first line up the cable with the back of the speedo, then pull the bar towards you while pushing on the speedo side of the cluster. Super easy and takes all the hassle out of reconnecting the cable.
Danny
biggreen96 wrote:well get out there and smash that geo around and get comfy.
1993 Legacy LS Awd: lifted, 4eat, higher mileage, and dirty.
1994 Legacy Turbo wagon: rwd, 4eat, and a faint knock..
1992 Legacy postal: bone stock, 4eat, blown reverse.
91Beater
First Gear
Posts: 219
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:37 pm
Location: pdx

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by 91Beater »

Removing the trim: Just take your time and move it around. I got it in and out twice. Both times without breaking anything or lowering the steering.

Once to replace the burned out bulbs. Then again the next day to replace the speedometer cable.

Definitely remove the cable at transmission end. When the retaining clip is released, it should slip off. Try not to lose the small spring under there.
If it doesn't come off, use a basin wrench (for changing sink faucets) or open ended wrench and pull the base off the transmission.
icrman
First Gear
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:55 am
Location: Near Seattle wa

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by icrman »

Have a question, for the switches to the left of the steering wheel, how do you get them out? Do you have to reach behind and colapse the retaining clips, or just pry them out?
And since I'm asking questions, how do you get that speedometer cable off the speedometer, since it looks like it has some retaining clips also. Thanks
kimokalihi
Fifth Gear
Posts: 8360
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:41 am
Location: Tenino, WA

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by kimokalihi »

Just yank the cluster out and it'll pop off. No clips like the tranny side of the cable has.
98 Metro Hatch Daily Driver :)
91 SS EJ20G Engine/Tranny/Diff Swap Build Thread Here
"Your testes are close to your bottom but you still play with them all the time." Jeremy Clarkson
icrman
First Gear
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:55 am
Location: Near Seattle wa

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by icrman »

How about the switches?
mike-tracy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5000
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Des Moines, Wa

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by mike-tracy »

I used a skinny flathead to pry them out. If you have the lower panel off you might be able to squeeze the tabs but it might be hard if you don't know where to press since you can't see them iirc.
1992 Legacy SS 5mt, build in progress
Josh Colombo wrote: Mon Jan 14, 2002 10:23 am Wait....I'm confused now.
Baddog
Second Gear
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 2:59 am
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by Baddog »

Pictures no longer work. Anyone have an update?
1996 Subaru Legacy L
1993 Subaru Legacy SS
1992 Subaru Legacy L
1990 Subaru Legacy L
Legacy777
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 27806
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:37 am
Location: Houston, Tx
Contact:

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by Legacy777 »

You could try PM'ing or emailing the original poster to see if he still has the pictures. It looks like the domain name wasn't renewed.

I have some pictures of my dash removal with some of the parts mentioned in the first post. It may be a long shot, but might help.

http://www.main.experiencetherave.com/s ... spdswap/18
Josh

surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
2020 Outback Limted XT

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm
Brisky
First Gear
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Kent, WA

Re: HOWTO: remove instrument cluster

Post by Brisky »

I just wanted to add that I tried to use this and several other posts as a guide and was very confused by it.

So let me add my two cents here.


First to lower the steering wheel, and take the trim piece out, the bolts are on the left and right side of the steering wheel bolted up behind the plastic covers that are attached to the steering column. These are 12 mm bolts and I had to use a very long extension to get to them. Taking off the steering column covers helps to see where they are (I was initially confused by the two bolts on the side of the steering column and the return springs for adjusting the height).

I was able to remove the instrument cluster trim without completely unscrewing them, though I did not learn this until the second try. I will need to get in there a third time as one of the polarized LEDs did not go in right, so the light won't turn on for it.

I will probably take a picture if I do it a third time here for reference.

Additionally, I wanted to reiterate that in order to get at all the trim and instrument cluster screws I used a plastic trim mini pry bar to pop out the plastic covers for the defrost, cruise and a blank cover on the right side of the steering wheel.

Once I had those aspects figured out everything came out fine.





I replaced the instrument cluster lights with red LEDs, but am regretting choosing a less bright bulb (was recommended by a poster in another thread to go less bright) as now it does not seem bright enough when driving around town to see the cluster very easily even with the dimmer on max.

The two 194 bulbs I got were these:

http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo ... -base/199/

I thought they would work, as they were cheaper, and the lumen rating for the non colored LEDs looked to be the same as the stock lights, but something must have been lost when I chose the red color.

Eventually I will order the brighter LEDs here.
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo ... -base/206/




Lastly, I have some questions.

The two bolts that hold in the ash tray toward the front must have been confused or lost upon re-installation and no one at the dealer was able to get me a part number to locate them.

I may have to go to a junk yard to replace them, but the other screws I had to try and use them did not seem to fit. Is there a trick to getting the outside trim piece between the screws and the ash tray that I am missing? I got the far back screw on, so the tray technically works with just that one on.


Also, has it been confirmed that the HVAC lights cannot easily be replaced with the 74 LED bulbs? I read on other threads that some one replaced the lights this way and by others that you need the factory bulbs if you plan to change them.

I did find this, but was not sure how much of the newer HVAC carried over to the old one.
http://www.scoobymods.com/showthread.ph ... hreadid=91

I just wanted to make them match the new red I have in the cluster now.

Thanks guys!
Brian

2001 Legacy GT - Sedan - White - Manual

18inch TSW Wheels, Federal SS-595 Tires, Centriic Rotors, Stoptech Brake Pads, STi Exhaust, & Torque Solutions Shifter bushings
Post Reply