- Before you begin
Remove the upper steering column
Start your car and let it warm up to operating temperature (you might want to drive it
around for a few minutes). Note the positions of the needles with the engine at idle. On
my car, the tachometer idles at 850 rpm, and the coolant temperature gauge lies steady
around the first long hash mark. Fill the car with gasoline and note the gas gauge's
position when you return home. These notes will be very handy in calibrating the needles
after the new gauges are installed.
Gently pry up the top plastic shroud coverint the steering column and remove.
- Remove the instrument panel (IP) cluster trim panel
Use a 9/32" socket, remove the two screws that were exposed once you removed the
column panel. Use a phillips head screwdriver to undo the two screws at the top of
the cluster trim panel. Tilt the steering wheel down all they way and then pull the
trim panel out.
- Remove the instrument panel (IP) cluster
Using a 9/32" socket, remove the two retaining screws and pull the cluster out of the
dash panel. Disconnect the IP cable from the cluster.
- Remove the stock gauge faces
Now that you have the IP cluster in your hands, take it someplace where you can work on it
carefully (I suggest a table).
Use a pocket knife to pry open the tabs holding the clear plastic cover and frame. Using a
pair of pliers or your fingers, pull off the needle stops for the RPM, and MPH gauges. At
this point, take the time to carefully note the positions of all the needles on the gauge
faces. I used a digital camera, but a few notes on a piece of paper would work just as
- Remove the gauge needles
Use the supplied needle remover or your fingers to pull off the needles. NR Auto's
directions are as follows: "Place tool or pliers under needle and using a very light
amount of pressure at 12 o'clock position, slightly lift under needle lifting with minimal
pressure. Repeat procedure at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock (in clockwise movement around shaft)
until needle is removed from shaft." This may or may not work for you; it took me
more finger pulling than gentle prying. Be careful not to damage the needles while you
remove them. TIP: In an effort to keep the needles calibrated correctly, I held the needle
steady at the tip with one hand while pulling it off at the base with the other hand. When
I was done, only my tach needle needed to be adjusted for accuracy.
- Remove the stock gauge face
Like the gauges you are about to install, the stock gauges are stuck on to the IP cluster.
Start at one end and carefully peel off the gauges. If you're having trouble, get started
by gently prying up an edge with a sharp knife. Be patient; you might damage the clear
plastic underneath if you try anything rash. When you get to the trip odometer reset
stalk, start to peel off the gauges from the other side. Once the gauges are off the IP
cluster, take the time to remove any of the gunk
that's stuck to the clear plastic. I used a combination of thumb power and a tiny bit of
Goo Gone applied with a paper towel. Once all the gunk is off, clean
the surface thoroughly with a high quality glass cleaner. Any residue still on the
clear plastic might affect the lighting quality of your new gauges.
- Install the white face gauges
Now here's the part you've been waiting for! But don't get too excited - this part is very
crucial to the appearance of your gauges. Before you remove any adhesive backing, TEST FIT
the white face gauges just by slipping the overlay over the trip odometer rest stalk and
fitting the holes on the overlay over the posts on the IP cluster. With the clear
protective plastic still on the new gauges, I used a pen to mark some reference points on
the cluster and the gauges so I know everything will line up. Once you get a feel
for where you want to position the gauges, remove the adhesive backing and gently lower
the overlay onto the IP cluster. The adhesive will not stick hard until you press hard, so
take your time to position the overlay correctly. When you are satisfied with the
position of the overlay, apply firm pressure to the gauges from the inside going out to
- Replace Gauge Needles
Recall the needle positions you recorded before removing them a few steps back. Use them
to gently press the needles back into place. Do NOT press them all the way onto the pin!
Use only enough force to seat them; you may have to tweak the positions. Once all four
needles are on the IP cluster, insert the three needle stops. Your IP cluster should now
look something like this.
- Test Needle Positions
Take your IP cluster out to your car and attach the wiring harnesses. Now start up your
car and let the engine warm up to normal operating temperature. Use your notes from the
very beginning of this procedure to verify the positions of your gas
gauge, tachometer, and coolant
temperature gauge. If they need to be adjusted, remove the needle from the cluster
while the car is running (preferably parked) and gently replace them in the correct
position. Checking the speedometer is easiest if you have an Autotap handy. Set the cruise
control on your car to a low speed on an open stretch of road and verify that the
speedometer reads correctly. If it is off, carefully adjust the needle. Watch for traffic!
If you were careful, you won't have to adjust the needles at all. Once the needles are
calibrated, seat the needles by pressing them firmly onto the pins. Park your car and
remove the wiring harnesses. Bring your IP cluster back inside.
- Install Your New Gauges
Replace the frame and clear plastic cover to your gauges. Reverse the IP cluster removal
instructions to complete the install.
- Test Drive
You're done! Go take your car for a test drive and make sure everything works correctly.
Your gauges will resemble the photo below in the daytime. At night, depending on how well
you lined up your gauges, they will look somewhat like this
If the gauges are placed too high on the IP cluster, the dial will be unevenly lit;
however, if they are placed too low, the odometer will be partially obscured. Now that
you're done, go brag to your friends about how easy the whole thing was!