DIY: E36 Replacing Instrument Cluster Lights

Do It Yourself guides for weekend mechanics!

Moderators: synergy, kyleabaker

User avatar
kyleabaker
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:40 pm
Location: 28777 and/or 27605

DIY: E36 Replacing Instrument Cluster Lights

Post by kyleabaker » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:07 pm

Please do this at your own risk. I am not responsible if you break anything. End legal mumbo jumbo.

Okay, so when I was replacing my blower resistor, my instrument cluster lights went out. Great.

So, if you have a instrument cluster that looks like this:

Image

Then this DIY is for you!!

Okay, contrary popular belief, you do not have to take out the steering wheel or the dash to do this. You too can have working instrument lights in under and hour.

To begin, I called BavAuto and asked for the speedo and tach back lights for a 93 318is. What I got was this:

Image

Those are the wrong lights. Those go to the individual lights behind the fog light indicator, the check engine light, the everything that I don't need.
For the right bulbs, go to AutoZone and buy three Sylvania W3W light bulbs. It's about $6 for four. Much less hassle than the tards at BavAuto.

Anyway, back to the DIY. Start by taking out the screws on the top of the cluster.

Image

Mine were a Phillips.

Once you get the screws out, push on the bottom of the cluster and pry the top of the cluster loose with a flatblade, being sure to guide the screw holders out safely. Next comes the worst part. If you have large hands, good luck to you. Pull out the cluster towards you and shove your hand behind the cluster.

Image

There should be three wiring harnesses holding it in. These are a son of a b to flgure out for the first time. Here is a small tutorial.
First, there is a small "strap" thing that holds it in. You need to pry the strap out and push it up with a flathead screwdriver. Once you do this, the wiring harnesses just slip outof their holes.
Here are some pics of the three harnesses:

Image

Image

This is a picture tutorial of the flippy clips:

Image

Image

Image

Once you get those out, wiggle the cluster out from behind the steering wheel. This is the back. The arrows are the lights that you would need to replace if you have my problem.

Image

Simply twist these green bulb holders a quarter turn, remove, pull out the bulb, replace with a new one and reverse the process.

Done!

Image
Source: http://www.unitedbimmer.com/forums/bmw- ... ights.html
Image

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 0 guests