Instrument Cluster Removal
By AMC Eagle Nest member Jurjen
Removing the instrument cluster is not difficult, but some tips will be useful.
1. Remove the two (short) screws in the dash compartment.
2. Remove the seven screws along the instrument bezel.
Now the speedometer cable needs to be unscrewed. To reach it the gauge package and parcel tray need to be removed. This looks like a lot of work, but is a 10 minute job.
3. Use the parking brake or block a wheel, put the shifter in first.
4. Remove the 4 screws from the gauge package and lift it over the shifter.
5. Set it in the driver footwell and squeeze the plug to remove it and pull the vacuum hose off.
6. Remove the 8 parcel tray bolts.
7. Remove the bottom cover from the steering column (2 screws).
8. remove the hood release support (2 nuts).
9. Now you can reach up and feel the speedo cable, release the nut and free the cable from the speedo.
It is important to pull the cable free from the cluster, if you don't the plastic square drive part on the cable will break (as mine did) when removing the cluster. If you have Cruise Control this cable is only 18" long and the inner part can be pulled out. I made a new square drive part from aluminum and glued that back on with 2k glue. Don't forget to oil the cable before putting it back in. Turn it until you feel that it slots in the bottom drive part.
10. Pull the cluster out on top. It will feel like glued to the bottom part.
11. The cluster has some plastic tabs on the bottom side and the middle one has two metal clamps, that need to be worked out slowly, push the dash down and work the cluster up from both sides. Make sure the top part can still move up.
12. Once the cluster is free from the cavity, the plugs can be taken off (two for the instruments, one for wiper switch, one for the headlight switch and a negative wire)
13. The dash compartment light can be pulled out, if your lucky the wires are long enough to pull out the plugs, I wasn't.
If you want to take the cluster out complete with bezel, than you will have to take the radio pod out, to reach the dash compartment light wires (see other "how to" for the radio pod removal).
14. The three instrument lights can be removed by turning them a pulling them out.
Putting it back in.
15. Put all the plugs back on, don't forget the negative wire.
16. The two metal clamps on the middle lower tab may have fallen off, slide them back on.
17. Put the lower side with the tabs in the bottom side of the cavity first.
18. Push the top back in.
19. Reach for the speedo cable and push it back on. It is hard to pull the cable from this position. Try to line-up the cable with the speedo connection. Open the hood and push the cable back in (next to the brake booster somewhere).
20. If your lucky, you only have to reach up now and screw it back on (I was lucky this time).
21. Everything can be put together now.
22. The bolts for the parcel tray next to the steering column can be a pain. I used some grease to glue them to the socket wrench.