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Old 08-04-2009, 05:37 AM   #1
mvvette97
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Default needle on gauge cluster removal

On my Tach the needle is not set right. While off it reads like 300 rpm. I have logged it and it is always 300 too high. After removing the cluster and everything how do these needles pull off the little shaft? Do you need some special little tool to pull the needle off? thanks in advance
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:07 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mvvette97 View Post
On my Tach the needle is not set right. While off it reads like 300 rpm. I have logged it and it is always 300 too high. After removing the cluster and everything how do these needles pull off the little shaft? Do you need some special little tool to pull the needle off? thanks in advance
I too will be needing to do the same thing soon, but for different reasons.

Anyone done it successfully yet?

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Old 08-04-2009, 11:35 AM   #3
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Back in the old days, they were just lightly pressed on there. Not sure now. A speedometer repair place can advise you though.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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I have worked on a few C2 and C3 analog gauges and the pointers are a press fit. They can be very tight in some instances. I don’t imagine that the C5’s are any different – HOWEVER I have no experience with the C5 instruments. I understand that the C5 gauges contain a damping fluid within each gauge and that the IP clusters should never be set face down for any length of time. (Face up may be bad also, but I don’t really know about that)

Use care to avoid damage to the dial (face). I used a heavy stock paper like that used for business cards. Cut a narrow slot in the paper and slip it under the pointer. An end cutter (electrical wire cutter) can be used to grasp UNDER the base of the pointer. Use care and pull straight away from the dial.

Don’t squeeze the cutter and cut off the pointer shaft!

The problem you may run into of course, is replacing the pointer in the correct location. This is best left to an instrument repair shop UNLESS you have the time and patience for several trial and error attempts.



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Old 08-04-2009, 06:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by timemender View Post
I have worked on a few C2 and C3 analog gauges and the pointers are a press fit. They can be very tight in some instances. I don’t imagine that the C5’s are any different – HOWEVER I have no experience with the C5 instruments. I understand that the C5 gauges contain a damping fluid within each gauge and that the IP clusters should never be set face down for any length of time. (Face up may be bad also, but I don’t really know about that)

Use care to avoid damage to the dial (face). I used a heavy stock paper like that used for business cards. Cut a narrow slot in the paper and slip it under the pointer. An end cutter (electrical wire cutter) can be used to grasp UNDER the base of the pointer. Use care and pull straight away from the dial.

Don’t squeeze the cutter and cut off the pointer shaft!

The problem you may run into of course, is replacing the pointer in the correct location. This is best left to an instrument repair shop UNLESS you have the time and patience for several trial and error attempts.



-
I've also heard of using two wooden popsicle sticks simultaneously (one on each side to pry) and have also heard using a common kitchen fork. Slip it under and lift straight up.
I know there are little plastic "special" needle removal tools, but I've also heard that some of them just flex when used on a particular needle that's on tight.

I'm leaning more towards the kitchen fork approach. Maybe slip a couple pieces of masking tape under the needle to protect the face just in case, or a business card would be good too.

I'm in the dark as to whether the needle is a press fit, just like needles have been for years, or if it's some sort of attaching system where the shaft has to be released from inside the gauge and the shaft comes out with the needle.

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Old 08-04-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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Hopefully someone will join in to confirm that the pointer itself is a press fit onto the shaft. It is my educated guess that this is most likely the case, but like I stated previously I have no C5 IPC experience.

I my mind, the pointer is pressed onto the instrument shaft, but whether it is designed to be removed by pulling it back off the shaft is the $64,000 question

Did the pointer always read incorrectly? Did some event cause the error to occur? Was the IPC ever out of the dash?

If you decide to pull the pointer off of the shaft you MUST make sure that you pull straight to avoid bending the shaft – or snapping it off.


PLEASE NOTE -

The black matte finish on the instrument dials can easily be scarred if you are not careful. The finish does not have to be scraped deeply to leave a mark. So whatever you use underneath the tool of your choice, make sure that the “insulator” does not move during the process. The insulating material will leave a scuffmark if it moves around.


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Old 08-04-2009, 07:47 PM   #7
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I used two butter knives;

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I've removed the needles on three IPCs and all but one came out with the shaft still attached to the needle. Alligne the needle correctly and press it back till you feel it pop back on, not an further. It might be helpful to use a depth gauge of some sort so you don't press them in to far...

On the one where the shaft stayed in the gauge I held the shaft with very skinny needle pliers and pressed the needle back on the shaft.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstar View Post
I used two butter knives;

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I've removed the needles on three IPCs and all but one came out with the shaft still attached to the needle. Alligne the needle correctly and press it back till you feel it pop back on, not an further. It might be helpful to use a depth gauge of some sort so you don't press them in to far...

On the one where the shaft stayed in the gauge I held the shaft with very skinny needle pliers and pressed the needle back on the shaft.
so it didn't hurt that the shaft pulled out?
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timemender View Post
Hopefully someone will join in to confirm that the pointer itself is a press fit onto the shaft. It is my educated guess that this is most likely the case, but like I stated previously I have no C5 IPC experience.

I my mind, the pointer is pressed onto the instrument shaft, but whether it is designed to be removed by pulling it back off the shaft is the $64,000 question

Did the pointer always read incorrectly? Did some event cause the error to occur? Was the IPC ever out of the dash?

If you decide to pull the pointer off of the shaft you MUST make sure that you pull straight to avoid bending the shaft – or snapping it off.


PLEASE NOTE -

The black matte finish on the instrument dials can easily be scarred if you are not careful. The finish does not have to be scraped deeply to leave a mark. So whatever you use underneath the tool of your choice, make sure that the “insulator” does not move during the process. The insulating material will leave a scuffmark if it moves around.


-
It has been this way since I bought the car. My guess is that somebody had it off and just didn't get it back on right
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:40 PM   #10
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Quote:

Don’t squeeze the cutter and cut off the pointer shaft!
Not to hijack, but how pissed would you be?
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstar View Post
I used two butter knives;

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I've removed the needles on three IPCs and all but one came out with the shaft still attached to the needle. Alligne the needle correctly and press it back till you feel it pop back on, not an further. It might be helpful to use a depth gauge of some sort so you don't press them in to far...

On the one where the shaft stayed in the gauge I held the shaft with very skinny needle pliers and pressed the needle back on the shaft.
You da man Tim! Now I know what to expect and I won't try running a string from the needle to a doorknob and slamming the door shut.
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:04 AM   #12
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well it looks like it will be more hard than I thought. As I said before the needle sets about 300 rpm with the engine off. I went to remove the cluster so I unhooked the battery and the needle drops down and rests on the peg. If the batter is hooked up it sets at the 300. So the problem is since the battery is unhooked the needle drops to the peg so just popping the needle off and moving it back will be impossible. The only way I could do it is by keeping power to the cluster so it will set at the 300 mark. I hate to start screwing with electrical when the battery is still hooked up. Not sure what to do now
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:37 AM   #13
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ok guys tell me this. Is it possible for me to remove the cluster and the clear outer part to pull the needle off and then plug the electrical connectors back in and start the car? I was thinking if the car was running I could monitor the rpm with EFI Live and press the needle back on in the correct position while the car is running.
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:04 AM   #14
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ok guys tell me this. Is it possible for me to remove the cluster and the clear outer part to pull the needle off and then plug the electrical connectors back in and start the car? I was thinking if the car was running I could monitor the rpm with EFI Live and press the needle back on in the correct position while the car is running.
Yes. Carefully, but yes.
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:08 AM   #15
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Yes. Carefully, but yes.
Do ya think I will need to hook up all the buttons on the cluster or can I just leave them off and just plug in the main connection? I didn't know if not having the option buttons plugged in would be a problem or not
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:35 AM   #16
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Sorry I left ya hanging, I had to take a nap! Anyway...

From what I can tell the needle is although not glued, it's designed NOT to come off the shaft. Now keep in mind that I practiced on a Spare IPC before attempting anything on a customer's car, so I had the luxury of going ***** nilly on it! (***** nilly was for you LoneStar )

So as far as I can tell the needle wants to saty on the shaft. Also the faceplates are relatively tough, don't be stupid on em but you don't have to walk on eggshells either...

You can actually snake the IPC harness down through the dash and have the IPC hooked up on the Driver's floorboard to work on it and experiment with needle placement... To be honest I NEVER had a problem with the needle placement, I popped em back on as exact as I could (take a close up pic of each needle prior to removal) but you would think one would have been off. I am suspecting that the initial power up sweep might reset the stops somehow. PM WKMCD I sent him a needle/shaft to replace one he lost so he has some experience in this also...

Tim
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:33 AM   #17
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Do ya think I will need to hook up all the buttons on the cluster or can I just leave them off and just plug in the main connection? I didn't know if not having the option buttons plugged in would be a problem or not
Although I don't see why the DIC buttons would make any difference for testing purposes, if you want to plug them in (two if you have HUD) without having the black outer trim bezel, you can just remove them from the bezel and set the bezel aside. Each one is held in by two screws.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:22 AM   #18
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I would think there would be a calibration adjustment pot in there somewhere to adjust it but if Tstar hasn't found it, I guess it's not there. I have an extra IP Cluster available for a '99 which may be similar or the same as the one for the OP's car although this one has the hud connector on it for sure. So if you break it, let me know.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #19
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I sometimes think I should just buy another cluster. I have noticed that my volt gauge is way off also. It reads like 11.9 but checking it with a tester is 13.9 volts. Pretty much the only thing that is correct is the spedo. I wonder if there is a way to program my milage in another cluster? I would like to keep it correct if i can.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:53 AM   #20
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I sometimes think I should just buy another cluster. I have noticed that my volt gauge is way off also. It reads like 11.9 but checking it with a tester is 13.9 volts. Pretty much the only thing that is correct is the spedo. I wonder if there is a way to program my milage in another cluster? I would like to keep it correct if i can.
Yes, your mileage can be programmed into another IPC. Pretty sure dealer has to do it. Nominal fee of course. Shouldn't be much though.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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