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tek ref: Instrument cluster removal+ SI battery replacement

 
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idanity



Joined: 21 May 2005
Posts: 3096
Location: N.W.U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 2:44 am    Post subject: tek ref: Instrument cluster removal+ SI battery replacement Reply with quote

feel free to move this post if necessary.

this is how to remove a BMW e30 instrument cluster. and replace the SI board batteries (in this case, i have relocated them to the glove-box)

there is a bezel around the instrument cluster...
screws are Philips and found at 10 oclock and 2 oclock
and two more at the bottom
5 and 8 oclock...the bottom ones are behind a plastic panel, and very easy to see...remove all 4 to proceed with the removal of the cluster.

there are 2 more screws at the same vicinity of the 1st two that hold the upper arms of the instrument cluster. seen below





there is 2 arms at the top.
pull them down and towards the steering column.
the top part comes out first and the bottom will fallow...be careful to not break the arms, i haven't broken any, but they don't seem very durable. (especially 25 years and counting in age).











i start with the white plug, insert a screwdriver under the black tab and lift it up prior to pulling the plug out. (same with all the larger plugs) and simply pull the lights out..remember which holes they go it. or mark them with a sharpie or tape with numbers written on it...tape the wire, and tape the back...correspond the numbers...







this is the 'check eng' light and is also for the stomp test.



i think this is for the high beam, but don't know for certain....there are 3 female plugs in the back of mine..and one male plug..mine is plugged into the top ..euro people please reply if its different there (or aussie's)
it only has 1 prong..so, it cant be much.





continuing





thats it...should come out now (with maybe another light plug)

set this on a clean desk (mines covered in mylar)
undo the 9 philips screws, they are brass, or zinc plated...they also have hex heads too..
after all 9 screws are out, pull the top of the blue cover off and the bottom will fallow...(installation of the blue cover, the bottom part goes on first, and the top folds back on easier then straight up/down motions).



pinching the sides of the front plug, use a screw driver at the back to help it out.







remove the "check" light housing prior to the SI board



i put the screw back in to the hole b/c its a single size, one-off type. i don't want to put it anywhere else.



now lift up slowly on the board...it may be a little snug, but using rubber gloves, it should slide out



here's my 1988 BMW 325i SI board , apparently the batteries were replaced in 2004, and they replaced the whole SI board..

this type of board has wide plates on the positive and negative terminals...they are WELDED on, and i would advise to simply CUT the side plates if you can, as i removed them, i tried to de-solder them, and as i did get the front done (with excessive force from a screw driver, needle nose, and a soldering iron) the front did come apart, but the negative sides just de-soldered the base pin ..which is tiny, and made a pita to fix (it was hit or miss)....

so, if you can get the positive side, fine, but cut the negative side and save as much side plate as you can..this will allow you more area to resolder a new connection.

here's my pix.

board as it just came out...



here you can see the old batteries removed...and a new one too
we see the positive posts are bent over, and the negative posts are still on the back of the old batteries (again, they WELDED the posts to these batteries...supposedly to prevent the replacement of the batteries to just sell new SI boards ).
we can barely notice the holes for the negative side now. but they are there.



here is a new battery with the negative post going into the hole



i decided to do a remote battery set-up, and here i am setting up a wire into the negative side hole, prior to soldering...note, always have a clip to hold your work, as it will get HOT. (sure wish i had cut the posts instead of overheating them ..owell, it all worked out in the end)



i moved to a kitchen table with a mini lamp that has a magnifying lens on it...
also using a newer, weller soldering iron
LEAD solder (lead free solder sucks...dont use it)



doing the other side now.





and on to the positive side..these posts are still present, so its really easier...
difficult to see the clip on the right side, but its there



below, they are all done in all its disgusting-ness of my crappy soldering.
im sure you can do a better job as i didn't use ANY FLUX, and its highly recommended.
so, use electrical rosin FLUX, and LEAD solder, and yours will look much better.



im sure you can solder the wires to the battery posts....
use stranded wire (holds up to vibrations better than solid wire),
i also used heat shrink on the ends..along with a box housing later.
note...i would recommend a very long coloured heat shrink for the entire length of the wires...i did not do this, and wish i had...if your reading this on a future plan, they come in 3 and 4 foot lengths, of every colour.

i know, my soldering sucks...
but it did work..so lets move on to reinstalling the SI board with a modification for the wires.





dont put the SI board back in with the wires out the back like below...



put them in going out the side (as im going for a glove compartment home)



in hindsight, i would have wrapped the wires with a really long heat shrink, but i taped them later...
one thing to do here, is wrap part of the wires to prevent them from being pulled out, or when pulled, the strain doesn't translate directly to the SI board, but rather the TAPE, against its new shaved out hole.
note..i have used a pocket knife to shave out a bit of the side plastic to accommodate the wires seen below.
a drill would look nicer. its up to you.







pull the stereo with a b5 torx head...to get room to run the battery wires




and i finally wrapped the wires too..(again).i would rather have used a long heat shrink tube, but i have already soldered all the connections, so now, its too late.




re installation of the cluster is best with the bottom going in 1st, and the top sliding in last.

hope that helps.
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tncean



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 1652
Location: Chattanooga, Tn.

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A tip of the hat to you!

If possible, I'd like to delete the si board on my 90i.

Mr. Haber's si bypass was for the earlier e30's.

Anyone done a si delete on a later (88-91) gauge board?

Think your post will be useful to a lot of folks!

tncean
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 4710
Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice writeup Dan...

FYI, the green connector on the back of the cluster, where there are there possibilities, is the connector from the OBC...
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m78



Joined: 14 Nov 2001
Posts: 2807
Location: In the great midwest

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a great step-by-step.

thanks alot!

I may have to refer back to this when mine goes on the fritz.


.


.
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cjhsa



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
Posts: 325
Location: West Michigan

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job and thanks! Love the wiring idea.
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beejay



Joined: 18 Nov 2002
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Location: Eastern, Pa

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took the remote battery Idea one step further and soldered in 1/2 AA battery holders.
I located them under a cover in the steering column. I have an Air Bag car so there's a small access cover for the air bag connector. Perfect spot.
Now I can change batteries in seconds Very Happy

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idanity



Joined: 21 May 2005
Posts: 3096
Location: N.W.U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beejay wrote:
I took the remote battery Idea one step further and soldered in 1/2 AA battery holders.
I located them under a cover in the steering column. I have an Air Bag car so there's a small access cover for the air bag connector. Perfect spot.
Now I can change batteries in seconds Very Happy
]


i wanted that, but couldn't find the correct size at my local store...
i will have to get one online, or something.

and i don't know about the bypassing of the later models, all i know, is its a pita for somethings that should be easy as pie.
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robert1700



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish this could be done to e34 clusters, they have even more problems, awesome DIY.
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