July 16, 2011
READ THIS FIRST - BEFORE YOU DREAM OF PULLING THE NEEDLES
Step 1: Go down and top off the gas tank before you start.
Step 2: DO NOT REMOVE THE NEEDLES - yes, the other reviews tell you to take pictures etc. But you know better. The other guys can try getting the overlay over the center of the needle but you know the best way to do this is to pull all the needles, spray the overlays with Scotch 77, stick them down so they dont move. What nobody else told you is this - THE POST -UNWIND- AFTER YOU PULL THE NEEDLE is because the needle body has a stop (except Tach and Speedo) built on next to the post socket. I found this out after I pulled them. Now how do I get them back?
Step 3: Set the cluster back behind the wheel and plug in the connectors. Now remove the cover if you had installed it.
Step 4: Reconnect the battery - you will need to switch the car to the -On- position and let the gauges do their self test and settle into position. DO NOT START THE CAR.
Step 5: Remember you topped off the tank? Position the Fuel needle at the -F- or slightly above - wherever it normally sits when you top off. Gently push down until the hub is about 1/16 inch above the new face. Switch the key -OFF- and it should smoothly swing to a spot below the -E-. If the needle jumps, it is dragging on the face.
Step 6: Switch the key back -ON- (without starting). The OIL and TEMP needles should sit on the marks below the -L- and -C- normal range marks respectively. If the battery is good, you can put that needle in its normal position (I set mine at 12 o\\\'clock so it is straight up during daily driving or you can match the picture you took).
Step 7: If the engine is not started and the key is -ON-, the RPM should sit on the zero - right? It seemed to work for me.
Step 8: The Speedo is tricky. I set it to 0 but found it was 5 MPH slow when I took it on a test drive and checked it against the Navi system. The trick here is that the speedo wont unwind in certain positions.
Step 9: Switch the key -OFF- and make sure all the needles swing freely throughout their range. Put the cover back on and tuck the cluster into the dash.
Step 10: Warm up the Navi and take the car for a ride. All the dials should be working smoothly and the needles should start going into their familiar positions as things warm up. Check the speedo against the navi at 25, 35, 55 and 65 MPH (at a minimum) I set the cruise at an indicated 65 and ran for a mile or so - the navi said I was going 60 so I cranked up to 70 indicated and the navi said 65. My indicated speed was 5 MPH faster than actual. Back to the house to pull the cluster.
Step 11: With the cluster out of the car and the cover off, gently move the speedo needle to 70 MPH (the mechanism will not try to return to 0) VERY CAREFULLY lift the needle straight off without twisting it (keep it at 70) and then, CAREFULLY reposition it to add or reduce the number of MPH you need (so, I put mine back on to indicate 65). If you were very careful, you wont have to make any more adjustments.
Step 12: Repeat your test run and check your speed. My indicated matched the Navi dead on the first time. If your speeds match, go to step 13 - if not, go back to 11.
Step 13: Clean any smudges, polish the Plexiglas, and button things up. You can now reinstall the cluster and finish the install.
BONUS HINT: The small black wire on the rear defroster switch is a good ground and the small blue wire with the white stripe is the output to the instrument lights; if you use these wires, you can preset the included dimmer and then stash it behind the dash and use the stock switch to dim the dash too (no extra holes to drill). I actually buried mine inside the side vent completely concealed but still easy to get to if it requires additional adjustment.
They do look great and I did get to recalibrate my speedo - but it would have been much easier to simply slip the faces under the needles.