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Technical stuff => Electrical => Topic started by: Neil-yaj396 on October 11, 2014, 03:20:58 PM

Title: Instrument Panel (Series 2 Face lift)
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on October 11, 2014, 03:20:58 PM
Any tips on re-fitting the main instrument panel? I took it out to replace the faulty volt meter and the back lighting bulbs, all of which had blown bar one.

I'm now having a hell of a struggle to get it back into the dash. The oil level vacuum pipe keeps popping off its spigot, but worse than that I'm having to exert loads of pressure on the panel to get it anywhere near fitting, to the point where I'm afraid of breaking it! Even if I tighten the four screws they will be under incredible pressure.

I pulled the speedo cable through a bit to get that to fit. Is that likely to be the culprit? Any suggestions welcome.

I did a pre-facelift panel without so much hassle IIRC.

Title: Re: Instrument Panel (Series 2 Face lift)
Post by: capriblu on October 11, 2014, 04:12:04 PM
Ive had FL2 instrument panels in/out of Coupe/HPE cars countless times - never had any real issues but always aware that there never seems to be enough space behind to accomodate all the "spaghetti" wiring.  Even when undoing the four corner screws for the first time I've noticed the panel move back slightly as the mass of wiring behind relaxes slightly.

Only problems I ever have are getting speedo cable connected and lined up just right so that it runs smoothly (without clicking and flicking) after the instrument panel has been screwed home.

Not quite sure what your problem might be but firstly I would try to "arrange" and neaten lay of much of the wiring as possible as well as making sure speedo cable has a clean free run ............

Title: Re: Instrument Panel (Series 2 Face lift)
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on October 11, 2014, 04:21:10 PM
I suspect that you are right. Can I just confirm that the black multi-plug goes to the speedo? Also, having just taken out the whole thing to check, any ideas what the grey three pin plug to the right is? I've only noticed that on taking the whole thing out again. There doesn't look to be a connection for it on the panel?

Title: Re: Instrument Panel (Series 2 Face lift)
Post by: hutch6610 on October 12, 2014, 02:08:37 PM
Neil-yaj396 that gray plug is for the rocker switches under the radio - i believe its for the electric aerial, opposite end can be found in the boot, so just pop it behind one of the blanking plugs where it should be.
Can't remember if the black plug goes behind the speedometer (been a long time and my memory is going) but you will know if its wrong as the instrument panel wont work properly, fuel, temp, petrol gauge, main beam lights etc read wrong or donít work - all you have to do is pop the ignition on to check before you continue as it wont do any damage.

Best way to remove an instrument panel is to push the speedo cable through from under the bonnet as far as it will go (even if you have to undo p clips) to give you enough slack to unclip it, then you unplug the wires and the oil pipe.
To refit the instruments plug in the wires first (check they work correctly first by turning the ignition as mentioned before) as the two large ones will fit in either slot!
Once satisfied they are working right connect the speedo cable and lock it properly by sliding the sleeve forward (you will find out why its important in a minute) connect the dipstick pipe and the trick to get it all back in is to pull the speedo cable as the instruments are pushed back until they are fully home - if the speedometer cable is not locked it just pops off.
If you donít the instruments just keep springing back out and if you do manage to force them in the speedometer can actually become offset within the cluster - you can actually see this!.....  then you get the clicking or the "flicking" speedometer needle as you drive.
Incidentally should you realize when it is too late the dipstick pipe has come off it can be reached from below the dash to save you taking the cluster out again.

capriblu some after market speedometer cables are not very good and have too much flexibility where they connect behind the panel and this can lead again to the "flickin/clicking" problem, Neils looks original?

Once satisfied its all back in as it should be go tend to the inevitable cuts and grazes on your poor hands.


Title: Re: Instrument Panel (Series 2 Face lift)
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on October 13, 2014, 07:10:57 AM

Thanks for your comprehensive reply. It explains a lot; the difficulty in getting the unit out must have been because I was pulling against the speedo cable until the securing clip gave up. Now I'm pushing against the cable, which needs pulling back through (the unit springs out exactly as you describe!).

Yes, I already have several nasty cuts on my fingers! Overall, not a very good design for what should be a service removable part (to change blown bulbs at least). The pre-facelift cluster had some extra and fiddly securing screws, but it had an old school screw ring fit speedo cable and went back in a lot easier as I recall.

Title: Re: Instrument Panel (Series 2 Face lift)
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on October 18, 2014, 04:06:59 PM
I'm glad to report that Hutch's advise was bang on and my instrument panel is fully functional, with the volt meter (unusual for a gauge to fail?) and main beam warning light working for the first time. For the record the black multi-connector does go to the speedometer (despite my post above I still got it wrong first time round - doh).

At first the left hand indicator warning light (previously working) would not light up. I changed the bulb to no avail, but then swapped the bulb holders round (left/right - right/left) then both lights worked - bizarre.

The trick really is to detach the speedo cable at the gearbox end and feed plenty of it through. You can then lean over the open drivers door, pull the cable with your right hand while gently pushing the panel into place with your left. Once locked on, the cables connection to the panel is surprisingly strong. It went all the way in this way and only some very light further pressure was needed to fit the retaining screws. It was the same with the oil level vacuum pipe. I fed plenty of this through, connected it, then once the panel was in place, pulled it through very gently until it reached the dipstick.

A quick test drive and everything worked. What a relief, at one point I thought a panic call to Chris Bastow or the local auto electricians was on the horizon.