how to take out your instrument cluster

Closed Thread

  #1  
Old 07-23-02, 07:00 PM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
how to take out your instrument cluster

on a 1988 chevy astro van i have all the visible screws removed but the instrument cluster will not pull out any suggestions i've also followed all of the previous instructions that i was given before but still no luck. Don,
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-23-02, 11:19 PM
knuckles
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Arrow info

Click here
 
  #3  
Old 07-24-02, 06:18 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Don,

As you can see, Knuckles is alluding to you getting the OEM manual which I agree with.

If the autolibrary.org link below doesn't have it (try a newer year if yours doesn't come up), I'd agree with Knuckles on getting the OEM manual.

You could also visit a junkyard and try your hand at removing one there. If you destroy it, no one is likely to care and you'll learn how it comes apart .
 
  #4  
Old 07-24-02, 09:05 AM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Joe try this link for a factory service manual www.factoryservicemanuals.com used but mainly for $35.00 its a LOT Cheaper i'm still not sure if it is worth getting the factory manual does not completely tell me how to do stuff. Don,
 
  #5  
Old 07-24-02, 09:18 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Don it's worth its weight in gold. If the factory book doesn't have the procedure it's either not a field service operation or you won't find it anywhere else.

As I've stated in the past, most other books out there GET their information from the factory manual and reformat it.

I'll e-mail that guy although his stock seems quite limited.
 
  #6  
Old 07-24-02, 12:52 PM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Joe don't forget i had the Factory Procedure from you already i'm still having Troubles Getting it Out Can anyone suggest what to do besides blow it up. Don,
 
  #7  
Old 07-24-02, 01:11 PM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Don,

The factory book is likely better and more detailed than the Alldata procedure I sent previously. I strongly suggest you just bite the bullet and go for the book. Well worth the money and it would have paid for itself already .
 
  #8  
Old 07-24-02, 05:16 PM
otter_
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
this might help...

I spoke to a tech. in our shop about your plight and he offers the following advice:

You may have missed a screw. There is a 7mm retaining screw tucked in behind the heater vent at the left side of the cluster.

If you've removed the bezel, ALL the retainer screws and moved the gearshift out of the way, you should simply be able to pull the cluster away from its electrical connectors.

Let me know if this solves your problem.
 
  #9  
Old 07-24-02, 09:01 PM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Joe which bezel are you talking about i removed the outside one and the clear plastic piece and the ones that hold the other part in Don,
 
  #10  
Old 07-24-02, 09:10 PM
otter_
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
exactly..

If you've removed all of the trim and visible screws, I'm suggesting that you may have missed a screw. Supposedly in behined the heater duct to the left of the instrument panel.

cluster should pop out with a good pull, careful no to force it.

That's the only suggestion that I can offer.
 
  #11  
Old 07-25-02, 07:41 AM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
ok where is this heater duct screw i removed evreything visible and according to the pictures that are from the manufactures books also what about unclipping or disconnecting the speedometer is this eeded to be done as well Don,
 
  #12  
Old 07-25-02, 08:30 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Push in the horseshoe clip at the back of the cluster, and the cable will pull out.

Don, I suggest you visit a junkyard and practice your hand at taking one of the dashes out there so you can learn before you possibly ruin yours in the process.
 
  #13  
Old 07-25-02, 08:40 AM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
how or where is this horse shoe clip located at already tryed the junk yards here none will let me go in the yards due to insurance and how many horse shoe clips are there and how do i know when and if i have the correct one. Don,
 
  #14  
Old 07-25-02, 08:42 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
One horse shoe clip. You don't replace it, it's part of the cluster. It just holds the cable in. Push it and hold it and pull on the cable, it will come out.

When you put the dash back, it will just snap on.
 
  #15  
Old 07-25-02, 08:49 AM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
how do i find this horse shoe clip is it in front back or where is it none of the pictures i have show this clip Don,
 
  #16  
Old 07-25-02, 10:39 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Don,

As stated before, it's just there when you take the instuments out. The cable is attached to the back of the instrument cluster (the gauges).

It removes as I described above. I STRONGLY suggest you pick up the OEM manual.
 
  #17  
Old 07-25-02, 11:27 AM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Joe i see no METAL CLIP what so ever not even sure where to look for the clip. Don,
 
  #18  
Old 07-25-02, 11:34 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Don,

You have to pull the instrument cluster (gauges) out to see the clip. I believe your year uses a clip like the old GM's.
 
  #19  
Old 07-25-02, 01:24 PM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Joe after i remove all of the screws the cluster will not pull forward and since it won't pull forward i can not get to the meatl clip. Don,
 
  #20  
Old 07-25-02, 01:25 PM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Try going from underneath and see if you can feel around for the cable and the clip. Then push in and pull out the cable.
 
  #21  
Old 07-25-02, 03:20 PM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Joe been there tryed that even with me looking under i'm not sure what to look for even if i seen it what color would it be or where even had a mechanic look he couldnt see anything either to hard to see up there i guess its time to bring the hammer out and beat up on the dash.
 
  #22  
Old 07-25-02, 06:29 PM
otter_
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
whoa

before you beat on it, why not take it to a reputable GM dealer and have a chat with their shop foreman. Might give you some free advice. If not, the charge to remove it should be minimal.
 
  #23  
Old 07-25-02, 09:45 PM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Otter,

He was joking.

Don:

I do agree with Otter. You are going to always be behind the 8 ball without the OE book, if not for this repair, for the next. Before you go any further, up the ante for the book.
 
  #24  
Old 07-25-02, 11:57 PM
knuckles
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Exclamation

Don,

I don't know what else to tell you, but BUY THE OEM MANUAL!!!

It should not take 22 replies to guide a reasonable person through a simple process like removing an instrument panel.

Surely the time you've spent online asking questions about your various troubles w/ this van is worth the $100 or so that the manual costs.
 
  #25  
Old 07-26-02, 12:14 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: corona Ca.
Posts: 471
pull harder!!!! I took out half the interior off in my mustang in an attempt to start restoring it. Broke the piller trim, and the dash from age and lack of knowledge. It wouldn't come off, so I pulled harder, oops, it was still attatched by another screw.

Be careful, or you will wind up like me, a nice car with a stripped/broken interior.
 
  #26  
Old 07-26-02, 12:23 AM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
how will i know if i have all the screws according to the pics i have i do have them but it wont budge
 
  #27  
Old 07-26-02, 03:49 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Don,

As suggested by others:

1) Get the OEM manual. There should be ZERO reluctance on your part to buy the thing, but I sense there is some reluctance to buy it, and it behooves me why. It's worth its weight in gold. I'm telling you, it will answer your questions and save you a ton of time if you use it effectively. It does for me, and I have been working on cars since I was five years old.

2) Go to a junkyard and play around with something else. There are "U pull it" type yards you can practice in. Every city has one such yard.

3) Go to a GM dealer and ask the parts man for some help. Have him print you out the exploded view from the parts catalog, although I believe I already sent it to you.

4) Barrng none of these options, bail out and have someone help you or do it for you.
 
  #28  
Old 07-26-02, 01:37 PM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Joe i'm not interested in buying the OE book because it never tells me what i need to know as for 2 the pull aparts here don't have any astros and for 3 i have been to the dealer already i'm not spending another 800 dollars at the dealer and for 4 why should i keep paying someone to keep working on the truck when i can do it myself if i can ever find the right info. Don,
 
  #29  
Old 07-26-02, 09:21 PM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Don,

Help me understand how you know the OEM book won't tell you what you need to know when you don't own a copy of the book?

I've been doing this a long time, so trust me when I tell you the OEM book is far superior in the long run. That's what it is published.

Don, as I recall, the dealer did other work to your vehicle, and from the getgo, I told you this vehicle was riddled with problems...I don't think I've had that many problems with all the vehicles I have owned since I started driving. It sounds like a lot of hands have been in this thing and it's a hodge podge of parts. Vehicles like that are not straightened out without a lot of time, money and frustration.

It's your vehicle, do as you wish, but you've spent more time, money and frustration trying to get this thing half way in shape...you could have bought a minted out van for the same money if not a little more.

If all the procedures we all sent you and things we've told ya don't help out, I'm afraid your only choice is to have the dealer handle it, or perhaps you could break something expensive in the process.
 
  #30  
Old 07-26-02, 11:06 PM
knuckles
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Exclamation

Joe i'm not interested in buying the OE book because it never tells me what i need to know as for 2 the pull aparts here don't have any astros and for 3 i have been to the dealer already i'm not spending another 800 dollars at the dealer and for 4 why should i keep paying someone to keep working on the truck when i can do it myself if i can ever find the right info. Don,
1. As Joe said, how would you know what's in the OEM book if you don't own one?

2. Been to the dealer already, etc. Have you been to the parts dept. & asked for a printout of an exploded view of your instrument cluster? Most parts counter men will be happy to supply you with this info for free.

3. Why should you pay someone when you can do it yourself etc...

Apparently you can't do it yourself, despite the good advice you've repeatedly been given by Joe_F and me.

You refuse to heed such simple advice as "buy the OEM manual". Here's a news flash...The OEM manual is the most comprehensive service info available, period. Alldata, Mitchell, Chilton, etc. all derive their products from OEM service info & none is as complete as the factory book.

We're trying to help you Don, but you don't seem to get the message. Whether you buy it new or used, the OEM manual is worth its weight in gold, especially when it comes to relatively uncommon procedures such as instrument cluster R&R.

We all want to help, but until there's not much more we can do until YOU do something for yourself.
 
  #31  
Old 07-27-02, 09:14 AM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Joe this vehicle is not riddled with problems the main problem is it has not been properly taken care of if someone would of took care of it properly like i'm doing now fixing the stuff the other owners ignored to do and as for getting the speedometer out they say to disconnect it from the TRANSMISSION which i don't want to do i know what is in the oe manual because i know chilton etc copy from it per the removal instructions etc. also it dont tell you what other people learned how to make the job easier removing what ever you are doing Don,
 
  #32  
Old 07-27-02, 09:19 AM
darrell McCoy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
cluster

Don:
You have had excellent advice from some real patient guys. Again, You will have to get "under dash" and remove speedo cable. Sometimes not enough slack to do it from above. That cable won't stretch. Else cluster will never come out. Have you thought about the hard way, unhook from trans and try to get enough slack so you can get the cluster out far enough to see clip. Then remove cable. That way you will be familiar with it.
 
  #33  
Old 07-27-02, 09:26 AM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Darrell i know but what they were telling me is to pull the cluster out the cluster is STUCK and will not come out i have evreything from the transmission disconnected and my cluster will still not come. out and as to why not take it to the Dealer who wants to pay $800 + Dollars just for dash lights to be Put in and as for the part guy i tryed ordering a windshield wiper removal tool and told i had to go to service go figure. Don,
 
  #34  
Old 07-27-02, 10:54 AM
darrell McCoy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Hmmm!

I just dont know don, after reading all the post, it is a puzzle, you say the cluster assembly will not even move? Maybe after all the years it is stuck against the vinyl? I cannot imagine but maybe there was some type sealer used. It should at least move. Last one I removed was an 84 S-10, a few screws and speedo cable and it was loose. Had a genuine factory svc manual but no where did it say anything about a speedo clip or what they looked like, but it was not hard to find. All it told me was to remove screws, speedo cable, wireing connector -THEN cluster..Maybe you need to fabricate a tool from heavy sheet metal and see if you can work it around the entire cluster mounting area. Start at the top incase it has lower tabs.
Keep us informed as we maybe can learn from experience.
 
  #35  
Old 07-27-02, 01:20 PM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Don,

If the vehicle has not been taken care of, that is riddled with problems. I've seen you describe things that I've never seen on cars in my 31 years on this earth. Again, things that seem straightforward on this and every other vehicle I have done seem like mountain moving projects on this van. That tells me there have been hands in it that do not belong in it.

I have sent you the OEM printouts from the parts book as Knuckles suggested. I also sent you the Alldata. Barrring you getting the OE book or me physically seeing the thing, not much more I can tell you, except keep trying. You could break something, maybe not. Why are you back there anyhow?

Again, I cannot see how you can tell me the OE book isn't good. I'm telling you it is. Bar None. Everyone gets their information FROM this book. Alldata will copy what is in this book most times, but other times the book is simply better.

As for the dealer, any GM dealer can help, doesn't have to be a Chevy or GMC truck dealer. All get the same information.

All I can tell you Don is that Knuckles and I have been doing car work a VERY long time and both of us will tell you the OEM manual pays for itself the first time you use it. I can also tell you the first time I used the manual, I solved a very frustrating problem in five minutes by using the diagnostic chart in the book...something you won't have with anything else.
 
  #36  
Old 08-01-02, 05:52 AM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
ok tryed working on the dash lights again last night seems to be more of a pain to do it on a 1988 then it will be for a 1994 tore evreything apart even the top molding some uppper dash thing still unable to reach behind the dash cluster and disconnect it it i guess i'm not getting any help here except to buy the O.E. book has anyone Ever done one of these on a Astro or Safari around the 1988 ERA. and as for Joes Question as to Why did i have to retake my van back to the Dealer because the power steering bracket they put on one of the bolts came off and caused my serpentine belt to come off as the bracket was done at the dealer already they refused to fix it under warranty so much for the dealer being so good to the People. and as to Joes Comments that the van is Riddled with Problems Nope all the stuff that is was happening is common stuff Meaning that Other People have Had the same trouble as i was having like with the power steering Bracket coming off and this I got from The National Highway Safety Web Site you can go here and see what consumer complaints are about any vehicles that are out there. Don,
 
  #37  
Old 08-01-02, 06:09 AM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Don,

1) The thing fell in a ditch.
2) The thing almost went on fire due to an oil leak.
3) The paint code doesn't come up in any books I have.
4) The glovebox door showed something different than the rest of the van.
5) A couple of posts from you showed that there were wiring issues with the radio, etc from someone's hands being in there.

These are NOT normal problems with a vehicle! All of us have been trying to help you, sending you diagrams and stuff (I know I did), and have been quite patient. Short of me flying out to you with the OEM book in hand and doing it for ya, I'm not sure there's a heck of a lot we can do. Otter even asked a tech in his GM shop. What more can do we do without seeing the vehicle ?

I think it's time to bite the bullet and buy the book. If not for this repair for yours and everyone else's sanity!!!!

I'm in the process of getting the rest of the OEM books for ALL of my cars, down to two cars I inherited! I suggest you do the same thing. It's money well spent.
 
  #38  
Old 08-01-02, 02:00 PM
thekeymaker
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Joe as for the paint Code it may not Match your Books but it does for Sherwin-Williams and when did it almost catch fire ? as for the van rolling into a Ditch that was my Stupidity and as for the Radio someone put another one in and was not worried about doing the job Properly Don,
 
  #39  
Old 08-01-02, 04:01 PM
Joe_F
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Don,

The time it leaked all the oil out. That's a fire hazard. . As for the paint codes, I used the GM microfiche. If it's not there, it doesn't exist as an OEM GM color for that year. GM publishes the paint codes for every year from 1982 on in their standard parts catalog.

If the person is not diligent in installing the radio and doesn't care about doing a good job, you have to wonder what else they shoehorned together or "forgot" about.

I suggest we close up this post, because we're just going back and forth on this one. I sent you the Alldata dash procedure, the GM parts manual's exploded view. Beyond this, I would say it's either the OEM book or experimenting.

Now I'm a good wrench when I see what I'm up against, and I'm sure you are too. But, not much more we can do for ya, barring the OEM manual being at your side.
 
  #40  
Old 08-01-02, 10:00 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: corona Ca.
Posts: 471
ok, I have remained silent on this one long enough. It is just a DAMN instrument panel, Remove it!!! If it doesn't come off, figure it out and take whatever needs to come off to inspect it. I have had manymany cars, and persistence will fix everything. I have come across some really difficult problems. I am writing this because I assume you are a good wrencher, but just fusterated. I want you to fix this!! It has obviously become personal for you, and that is why you don't want to take it in, I completely understand. I have not driven my tbird for 8 months because it has become personal, and I won't take it in.

Go out to your car tomorrow, and take out every damn bolt in the dash, grab a pad of paper, and diagram everything, I promise you, if you persist, it will come out...Good luck.
 
Closed Thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes