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Toyota Collector
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Questions on removing and repairing the cluster seem to come up often, so here's a step by step on dismantling and cleaning. For actual cluster removal, if I get around to it I'll add those steps later.

All images are clickable.

Remove 6 screws

Release the 4 clips, and pull off the "crystal" as well as the black surround


Crystal removed

Remove the speedo head, 4 screws


Remove tach, 5 screws


Remove fuel and temperature gauge, 3 screws each

Everything removed

Remove the optical diffuser by releasing the two clips


Remove all the lamps and arrange them so you know where they go back in


This step might be a bit sketchy to some, I took the stripped cluster body and washed it. There is nothing electronic left except for a couple of diodes and the flexible PCB so nothing to get damaged IMO. After I washed it with hot water, I used compressed air to dry it completely.

All clean

All the gauges back in



Completed



On the "crystal" I used Meguiar's Plast-X to polish it, it does a great job of removing all the scratches. I polished both sides although you don't have to do the inside, but if you do you'll get a flawless look. When assembling wear latex or lint free cotton gloves, the matte black surface will show event the slightest bit of oil from your fingers. You can use rubbing alcohol to clean if needed. Don't touch any of the needles or move them, especially the fuel gauge. I vacuumed the inside of the crystal before I put it back in to make sure I got all the dust off.

The speed sensor can be replaced on the speedo head, two screws and it comes right out. The controller board on the tach can also be swapped out, you could in theory swap the controller board from a V6 engine to the 4-cylinder or the reverse. This could come in handy if you like the older style look (as I have here) but can't find the V6 version. You could grab a 4-cylinder cluster and swap over the controller board.

Speed sensor removal, two screws


Tach controller board removal, carefully release the clips in the tach body

 

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Are these speedometers for the 4 and V6 interchangeable (1988-1991)? 2 weeks ago I changed out the upper speedometer cable for my 91 Camry V6 DX, I took out the whole cluster. I did not know the speedometer could be changed out as a separate unit. I was surprised to see the circuit board was 'laminated like' on a sheet plastic. It was my first time taking the cluster out, I took my time because I did want to break anything. It wasn't too bad a job, I did it without taking the steering wheel out.
 

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I replaced the upper half of the speedometer cable for my 91 Camry not too long ago. Once you take the cluster front panel off, you can see the green socket which is the speedometer cable head, it is connected to the back of the speedometer. The white bracket holds the green socket to the sheet metal frame, be careful and don't want break the tabs off the white bracket when you take the socket off.

 

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Toyota lover
1991 Toyota Camry LE
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Great write up 71Corolla!
 

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93 Camry LE
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Nicely done!
Going to try this myself, not for the cleaning , etc but to repair suspected failing solder joints in the speedo causing it to not function....
 

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There are five screws on the underside of the black bezel; one under the defrost switch (left side), 3 evenly spaced in the main area where the gauges are, then one under the hazard switch (right side). You'll probably need a short/stubby screw driver to get the middle one (sits roughly between the speedometer and tach). Then make sure the wheel is centered, tilt the steering wheel all the way down and push your turn signal and wiper stalks all the away down too. Depending on how much your dash pad has sagged you may need a plastic trim tool to get the top of the black bezel started, but once you do it should pull out pretty easily as otherwise all that holds it in are a couple clips at the bottom.

It'll come out maybe an inch or so; then undo the harnesses for the switches and if applicable transmission indicator and mirror control in the following order that I found is the easiest: Right side hazard switch, right side cruise (if applicable), left side defrost, mirror control, transmission indicator. You might need a hobby screw driver to help depress the tabs on the hazard/cruise/defrost switches. The mirror switch is the same kind of connector but the tab is facing right, towards the transmission indicator/center console, so you just need to go by feel. Finally there is the transmission indicator; the tab is on the top is very hard to depress and the connector fits very tightly but have some patience and it will come out.

Once you're done set it aside. For this part get a screw driver with a magnetic tip and remove the four black screws on the four white tabs that hold the cluster in place, taking care not to drop them (though if you do they normally catch right at the bottom of the lower pad or fall through). Then pull the cluster out gently, it should come out another inch/inch and a half (been awhile since I did an unmodified one). From there press down the center tabs that hold in each of the three connectors and they'll slide right out, it's just a tight space that makes it difficult. You have one each on the top of the cluster on the left and right sides, and one in the center that is upside down.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it's really not; just remove the five screws that hold the bezel in, remove all the connectors on it, remove the four screws on the cluster, remove the three connectors on the back and that's it.
 

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While you are there, might as well change the panel light bulbs. I switched out the factory bulbs with GE nighthawk bulbs, amber in color and a bit brighter than the factory ones but quite expensive though. And lube the speedometer cable head with silicone grease.
 

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chrome won't get you home
2012 Corolla
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While you are there, might as well change the panel light bulbs. I switched out the factory bulbs with GE nighthawk bulbs, amber in color and a bit brighter than the factory ones but quite expensive though. And lube the speedometer cable head with silicone grease.
It's green leds for me :D


Does any of you guys know how to change the bulbs in the cruise switch? I know how to remove the switch but I have no clue how to open it and I certainly don't want to break anything, or else I will have to harass 71Corolla for parts again :lol: I'd like to replace the bulbs in the defrost, hazards and cruise control switches with white leds.
 

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I never figured out how to get those switches apart either... my Cruise back light (though not the status light) has been burned out since I bought the car.
 

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Toyota Collector
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
This can be done but good luck. To replace the cruise switch back light bulb the switch has to be removed from the housing which also contains the hazard switch. To do this the button needs to come off then the switch slides out the back of the housing. Problem is there are two tabs on the top of the cruise switch that you can't get to they are blocked by the hazard button. To remove the hazard switch from the housing their are two tiny tabs on the side that don't like to move and are easy to break.

I removed the cruise button by carefully wedging a modified jewelers screwdriver into the top two tabs, it took a lot of patience to finally get them to release. If you do this have some crazy glue ready and don't lose the spring in the cruise switch. I replaced the bulb with an LED/resistor.
I'd like to replace the bulbs in the defrost, hazards and cruise control switches with white leds.
For the cruise switch there is a green diffuser (maybe a sticker or possibly paint) on the inside of the button so you'd have to scrape it off or use chemicals or something to remove the green.
 
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pixel wizard
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it was super easy! 10 min! thanks for the advice. all lights good and gauges functional. the new unit is 99% there...

im testing the new speedo... and wondering... why its not working from 0-19mph and then as soon as i hit 20mph the needle shoots up to 20mph and then its fine. only on acceleration. deceleration registers all the way back to 0.

i didnt add any new grease, could this be a symptom?
 

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Sounds like the head has slipped off the needle or it's gone bad. You can try taking the needle off, setting your speed with GPS, then placing the needle back on, but if you have a known good speedometer I'd just swap that in. A cable or other drive issue preventing it from turning would likely stop the odometer too.
 

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CRESSIDA!!!
1984 Toyota Cressida
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On all the Camrys I've driven it shoots up to 10mph when you get to that speed. i think there's an issue if it's doing it at 20 mph.
 
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