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Center Gauge Removal Guide by Keith Johnson

Removing the center gauges have long been a mystery to most owners interested in changing the gauge faces to aftermarket faces (colored, indiglo, etc.). Many who do change the gauge faces only do so on the main instrument cluster (which is relatively easy to do) because of "horror stories" on having to remove the entire dashboard to remove the 3 center gauges.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for being a little bit creative and taking a different approach that is MUCH less involved! Below are Keith's instructions:

  1. Pull main gauge cluster and bezel.


  2. Pull glove box.


  3. Pull air vents above a/c controls.


  4. Reach in through either the glove box, main gauge cluster hole or air vent hole and unplug the center gauge cluster. This plug is like the rest of the plugs in the car with the release tab that needs to be pressed in.


  5. Looking up into the air vent hole, remove screws in top of vent hole (two I believe).


  6. Reach in through glove box opening and remove screw on side of center gauge cluster (hard to reach, but its there).


  7. Reach in through main cluster hole and remove screw on side of center gauge cluster on driver's side (once again, hard to reach).


  8. This will allow the center gauge cluster to "swing" back. It is "hooked" at the top. Swing it back far enough to release it from the top by pushing the gauges faces through the gauge openings in the dash.


  9. With it swung back out of the way, remove any screws around the bezel of the center gauges. Feel all the way around the top and bottom and sides.


  10. With all the perimeter screws removed, look in the space between each gauge, there is a little black felt strip. Poke your Philips screwdriver through that felt strip. There are screws in there to be removed. When unscrewed, I just left them in the felt as it held them in place.


  11. If you are already doing the center gauges, I assume you already know how to take the main gauge cluster apart and have done so already. The same applies with the center gauges. Push the tabs down to "unlock" them from the gauge cluster body.


  12. With the gauge cluster window removed, remove the bezel the same as the main cluster as well.


  13. You can slide the window and then the bezel either out of the gauge cluster holes or out of either hole in the side (glove box or main gauge cluster).

    BE CAREFUL NOT TO SCRATCH THE WINDOW ON ANY METAL CORNERS POKING OUT ANYWHERE. By now I'm sure your hands have found the sharp little corners in there.


  14. If you are replacing your gauge faces with ones that are self lit (indiglo) you will need to remove the bulbs from the back of the gauge cluster body. If you don't, you will have this weird afterglow thing happening with your gauges that looks really crappy. Look at the back of your main gauge cluster to see how they come out, as you will have to remove them too. (On the back of the main gauge cluster, do not remove the warning "idiot light" bulbs or the turn signal bulbs. It is obvious which ones they are as they are located together just like on the front of the gauge cluster.) Feel across the back of the center gauge cluster to make sure all of the bulbs are removed.


  15. With the bezel and window out of the way, you can replace your gauge faces. The gauges that I used did not require me to remove the old gauge faces or needles to I just remove the screws from the gauge faces and put the new ones on.

    WARNING: The oil gauge will fall apart if you take out both screws at the same time. Carefully remove the bottom gauge face screw and put your new gauge face on and replace that bottom screw. Then you can remove the top screw and maneuver the gauge face so that you can reinstall the top screw. My gauge fell apart and after getting it back together, this is the way I did it. Indiglo gauge faces will have wires coming from each gauge face, use a Dremel tool or razor knife to cut little notches in the gauge cluster body for the wires to fit into so you don't cut into the wires.


  16. With all of the gauge faces in place, reverse your disassembly and enjoy your new gauges and be the admiration of the next gathering as you were one of the few to replace your center gauge faces WITHOUT removing your entire dash. Remember to "hook" the top of the reassembled gauge cluster to the top of the dash. Don't forget to plug your harness back into the center gauge cluster.


Thanks to Keith Johnson for writing this document.

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