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Old 01-09-2006, 11:05 AM
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Installing Chrome Rings in the Instrument Cluster

Contributed by: JVZ104

Installing Chrome Rings in the Instrument Cluster
by JVZ104 - the "Lord of the Rings"

Note: by undertaking this procedure you are assuming total responsibility for any damage to your vehicle or instrument cluster. Any warranty that you may have had on the instrument cluster may be voided as a result of performing this procedure. Proceed at your own risk.

JV bought his rings from the eBay seller bmerparts
UCrewX5 bought his rings from the eBay seller bavarian motorwerks

Step 1: Remove the cluster from the vehicle. The cluster is held in by 2 T10 screws along the top lip of the instrument cluster. Unscrew the 2 screws and then insert a small flat blade screwdriver between the lip of the cluster and the dash to dislodge it from its seated position. Once it is broken loose then carefully tilt the cluster down a slight bit and gently slide it out.

Note that you may want to have the steering wheel fully telescoped out and down to give you the maximum room in getting the cluster out. You will need to have the key in the on position in order to keep it there while you remove the cluster. Do not disconnect the wires, however, while the key is turned on!

Step 2. With the cluster off to the side, turn off the key and remove it from the ignition. The steering wheel should retract to the up and in position. Next you will want to disconnect the 3 connectors on the back of the cluster (they should be black, white and blue). To remove the connector you press in a tab on the back and swing the release bar to the side to disengage it.

Step 3: Take the instrument to a clean work surface and set the instrument cluster on top of a soft cloth upside down. This is where the fun begins. You will need to find the 5
X type connectors holding the front onto the main

housing. There are 4 around the edges and 1 in the middle. The trick here is that all five must be turned at the same time to remove the back from the cluster. And while these are twisted to the right position you also need to disengage four locking tabs, two on the top and two on the bottom. Yes, it sucks, but it can be done with a little bit of patience and perseverence.

Twist these connectors slightly so they line up with the holes
on the housing.
Turn the 5 turn screws shown in the picture below so that they are horizontal, parallel to the bottom of the cluster unit. If they turn hard, use a pair of flat nosed pliers to aid in turning them.

Here's a trick that worked for me. The center one
seemed to push in once it was twisted to the correct position, so that
one was easy. Next I used a flat blade screw driver wedged between the
front and back housing where the tabs were located in order to disengage the locking tabs on the top and
bottom of one side.

The turn the "X" connector on that side to line up with the hole and pry that part of the unit apart. Then work your way around the unit and it should begin to disengage. Once you get the unit apart then you are home free!!

Step 4: You should now be able to install the rings. Before inserting the rings, though, be sure to clean them with glass cleaner or other suitable cleaner. The rings should slide through the larger holes. You may have to slightly compress them as you are sliding the 2 larger ones through the hole, but it will fit through.

Step 5: With the rings in position, simply snap them in into the cluster. JV did need to use an exacto knife to shave some plastic off the inside round plastic pieces that hold the rings, because the fit was too snug. UCrewX5 did not, they simply snapped right into the cluster with no trimming required.

Step 6: Once you have successfully installed all of the rings, simply reverse the disassembly steps to reinstall the cluster in your vehicle.

Enjoy the look of your new cluster rings!!

JV's Install Example

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