Farley`s Dodge Diplomat Forum

Forum Index => The Library => Topic started by: Reggie on January 27, 2008, 13:36:55

Title: Electrical: Gauges: Dashboard Service Tutorial
Post by: Reggie on January 27, 2008, 13:36:55
A Dashboard Service Tutorial

Below is an excerpt from an excellent thread originally posted on Farley's old Forum by Luke Flamos (MyDodgedip (https://www.dippy.org/forum2/index.php?action=pm;sa=send;u=27)).  This is a good reference for:

Well, I had a few things needing attention in my dash area. I decided to take care of them all at once, and figured I might as well snap some photos of the process.  I needed to change out my Battery/Temperature gauge pod for a clean set with warning lights, figure out why the dash lights were so dim and lube my speedometer cable.

Photo 1: Assembled Dashboard

Starting with it all assembled, Photo 1 shows how it looks like you see it every day. You can see how the batt/temp gauges are yellowed from the previous owner smoking so much in the car. The needles are also faded. To remove the instrument bezel:

Photos 2 and 3: Front and Side views with Instrument Bezel Removed

Once the bezel is off and out of the way, you can access the gauge pods, the headlight switch,  the heater controls, defogger and radio. Find the correct size for the hex head screws that hold the batt/temp gauge pod in place. They go through the white plastic tabs part of the pod and secure it hold the gauges down the the circuit board. Remove them and you can pull the gauge pod straight out. Then you have access to the circuit board.

Photo 4: Circuit Board With Battery/Temperature Gauge Pod Removed

Some M-bodies were equipped with gauges with warning lights. These gauges take a different circuit board than gauges without warning lights. If you want to swap out a set of no-warning-light gauges for a set with the warning lights, you will need to swap the circuit board for the one that has the warning light option as well (so get the board as well as the gauges from the junkyard.)  The same size hex head screw that holds the gauge pods in is also used on the circuit board. There is only one on the bottom left of it. It then pulls away from the dash enough to allow you to pull the connector off the back. The connector is circular, and comes off easily if you pull with one hand while pushing the bit of plastic that sticks through the circuit board with the other.

Photo 5: Circuit Board Removed Showing The Connector Running To The Back

Installation is the reverse of removal ::Gasp:: 

While you have the pod out and lightbulbs open, check them all.  I cleaned off the ones that were dirty, and changed the ones that were burnt looking. I checked them all while I had the board in but the gauges off. Put the gauges in place again and check them as well. In Photo 6, you can see the difference between the good gauges (right) and the bad (left).

Photo 6: Old Gauges on Left and Reconditioned Gauges on the Right

I then needed to remove the speedometer to lube the cable and swap in some cleaner dash bulb covers. The speedometer pod is removed in the same way. 2 small hex head screws hold it in and when they're out you can pull the pod out carefully (Watch out for the gearshift indicator and speedo cable) and reach behind the unhook the speedo cable (a small screwdriver helps). The pod pulls out around the steering wheel and comes out. Photo 7 shows the speedometer and gas gauge pods removed from the dash.

Photo 7: Speedometer/Gas Gauge Pod Removed

To change the gas guage or speedo gauges, you can un-clip the plastic push clips from the clear plastic face of the gauge pod (4 of them) and remove the trip meter knob (unscrew counter-clockwise). Use the same hex driver to remove the hold down screws that hold the gauges in the housing.  Remember: If you're swapping in a gas guage with the low fuel light in it, you will also need the matching circuit board.  Note that if you want to upgrade your speedometer to the 125 MPH police car version, it is a direct swap - old gauge pod out, new one in. There is no need to change the speedometer cable, or the gear on the transmission. You dont need to take the pod apart or anything, unless you want to clean the blue plastic bulb covers or polish the silver gauge faces. Warning: Be careful if you polish the gas guage because the needle bends easily.

Photo 8: Speedometer/Gas Gauge Faceplate Pod Removed

Once the gauges are out you can access the dash light covers (Blue plastic) I cleaned a spare set I had and swapped them in. I replaced the gauges and cover and it was ready to be re-installed. At this point, you can check all the bulbs in the dash behind the speedo. There are dash light bulbs, turn signals, seatbelt ETC. I cleaned what I could and replaced the crappy looking ones. I lubed the cable with some oil, worked the speedo back into place and clipped the speedometer cable back on. I screwed the pod back down and it was ready to go.

Photo 9: Speedometer/Gas Gauges Removed

This is a good time to clean all the gauge lenses. They are easy to get to, and you dont need to reach through the bezel. I also cleaned off the headlight switch, defogger, radio faceplate and
temp controls. It's also easier to clean the bezel while its off.  Re-assemble everything the reverse of how it came out and your ready to go.

The Results:

Additional comments by Farley's members:



Title: Electrical: Gauges: Dashboard Service Tutorial - Page 2
Post by: Reggie on January 27, 2008, 13:42:11
A Dashboard Service Tutorial - Page 2

Photos 5 through 8
Title: Electrical: Gauges: Dashboard Service Tutorial - Page 3
Post by: Reggie on January 27, 2008, 13:44:45
A Dashboard Service Tutorial - Page 3

Photo 9