Alright, I have to post again about the indicator lights. Last night I drove my car at night for the first time in the dark since the operation. Perhaps the bulbs are slightly dimmer, but I really can't tell now - they look PERFECT!!
This was not terribly difficult, but make sure the order the lamps prior to starting. There are eight lamps that illuminate all the gauges that come on with the cars headlamps. I did not have a reason to replace the turn signals, high beam indicator, etc. Those bulbs still looked new, while the backlighting ones looked burned.
Once you receive the lamps from MCM,
removal of the dash cover is easy -
First, take picture of the indicators with the car turned off and idle - this may prove helpful!!
Start by removing the two pins above the instrument cluster - use a miniature screwdriver (or nail or something) to push the center portion of the pin in about 1/4 inch. Then, a small flat screwdriver and your fingernail should be all that is necessary to pull each pin out. To prepare for reassembly, push the center pin from the backside so that it extends out about 1/2 inch.
Next, starting at the bottom near the ashtray, gently but fimrly pull the dash cover to get all the clips to pop off. The ignition ring will pop off during this process, just set it aside for later.
You'll have the disconnect the wiring to the rear of the HUD controls and the DIC controls. This is done by simply squeezing the clip on each and pulling the connector out. With the steering wheel tilted all the way down, finesse the assembly over the steering wheel taking care not to scratch the radio face with the metal clips on the back of it (especially if you have an aftermarket touchscreen there like me!).
Next, there are five spring clips holding the instrument cluster in place, three on the top, two on the bottom. They are bright silver in color and the release has to be pressed to the left or right to release it from the housing. Once you've released them all, finagle the instrument cluster out by tilting the bottom of it forward and taking it out in a "face up" orientation. There are no harnesses to disconnect here.
You'll have to remove the five torx (or hex) screws that hold the clips in place and set them aside for reassembly.
Next, remove the clear plastic front cover by releasing the plastic clips around it'* perimeter with a miniature screwdriver - be careful not to break them. Set this lens piece aside and don't let dirt get in it.
Then, remove the black plastic rear cover by doing this same thing to the back of the cluster. At this point, the circuit board assembly is held to gauge face by only the indicator needles and some sticky glue-like substance.
Point an indicator (any one, you'll have to do this to all of them) to a mark that you won't forget (my mistake) and firmly but slowly pull the needle straight off it'* pin so that you'll know how to orient the needle when you reattach. Do this with all of them. I was able to do them all with my fingertips, but some of them were difficult. If you have those sticky gripping gloves (the thin kind, not big thick ones) they might be helpful here.
Looking at the rear of the cluster, there are two circuit boards. I was unable to remove only the main one as the ribbon cable connecting the two was pretty short. That being the case, slowly but firmly pull the smaller circuit board away from the guage faceplate. It houses all of the LCD screens. It is essentially glued in place, but will pull free with only a little force.
Hold one circuit board in each hand and use your third hand to set the gauge face to the side. Flip the two boards over so that you can see the ribbon cable and it'* connector. Pull the clip aside to free the connector from the board.
Now, the fun begins! Working from the back side of the main board, and being very careful not to bump or turn the guage pins, desolder each leg of each of the lamps that you intend to replace. For me, it was the lamps that seem to be spread around the board and not outlined or arranged in any particular fashion. If you get confused, just use the gauge face to orient yourself and remember which bulbs are fine. For desoldering, I like this stuff:
But you may have a fancy desoldering unit - so use what you want.
Remove each bad lamp and when they are all out insert the new lamps and solder them in place.
Reconnect the two circuit boards with the ribbon connector. Carfully line up the circuit boards to the gauge face and set them back into place. The small board with the LCD screens will kind of glue itself there, so be very careful centering this one as you don't want smeared glue visible from the other side when you are done.
Reattach the black rear cover - this centers and holds the larger circuit board in place. Press the unit in place until all the clips snap closed.
Flip over and replace the indicator needles orienting them as you did when removing. This time, however, only put them on about halfway.
Do not attach the clear lens yet!! Instead, without the lens, put it back in the dash. It won't lock in place without the clips, but it will "register" where it needs to and be fine for our purposes. Remember to put it in face up and tilt it into place once it'* in the opening.
You should see the Security light come on when you place it in the dash. Turn on your car - gauges should move completely right then left then go to their positions. Turn the car back off and let the gauges go to their rest positions and compare with your pictures to check for accuracy. Remove and replace the indicator needles as necessary. IF YOU HAVE A HUD, DON'T ADJUST THE SPEEDOMETER NEEDLE YET!!
iF YOU HAVE A HUD, remove the HUD control from the dash cover by releasing it'* clips. I connected it to the wiring in the dash and let it dangle on the left. Adjust the HUD so that you can see it in the windsheild. Drive the car and set the cruise at 40mph for example. Look at the needle on the speedometer - it should match. If it is 1 or 2 mph fast or slow, pull over and park, carefully pull the needle straight off, and put it on correctly. Repeat this step until they match, then you can press the speedometer needle firmly into place.
Carefully remove the cluster - face up again.
Inspect for dust or fingerprints on the gauge face and, if necessary, use rubbing alcohol and a clean lint-free cloth to clean.
Reattach the clear lens unit. Press together until all the clips snap into place.
Screw the five metal spring clips back into place - three on top, two on the bottom.
Install the instrument cluster back into the dash.
If you have a HUD, remove the controller from the dash wiring and snap it back into the dash cover.
Carefully put the dash cover back in place, reconnect the HUD and DIC controllers and snap its clips into the dash.
Done!! Enjoy the fact that you have just saved over $400 in about an hour or two with about $5 plus shipping. Don't forget to revel about this instrument cluster NOT being a serviceable part!!