Dealing with Instrument Fluster

Phil Rose pjrose at
Mon Oct 24 00:10:45 EDT 2005

At 7:23 PM -0400 10/22/05, Phil Rose wrote:
>I'm utterly stymied in my efforts to remove an
>instrument cluster--it just won't come out.

Many thanks to Brice Warnick, who telephoned this afternoon to offer 
moral support. He made some helpful suggestions, and convinced me 
that I should be pulling straight out on the IC (rather than allow it 
to pivot so that the righthand side emerges more quickly than the 
left). I noted that my problem was that there was some "hard" 
interference occurring at a point directly above the tachometer. 
Brice looked at a spare IC he happened to have and explained that--in 
about that same area above the tach--the IC has a couple of small 
plastic protrusions that extend out a few millimeters higher than the 
rest of the IC. These evidently are meant to keep the top of the IC 
close against the back edge of the padded dash opening. I concluded 
that my IC might pull free if I could apply enough upward force on 
the padded dash to slightly raise it (enough to help pass those bits 
of protruding plastic), but this needed to be done simultaneously 
with pulling outward on the IC.

So...later this evening when my son, Marc, was over to watch football 
with us, I enlisted him to "coerce" the padded dash (upwards) while I 
pulled on the IC. This worked! The IC popped free, but Marc admitted 
to pulling up on the padded dash with very great effort (he is a 
pretty muscular 6 ft, 180 lb guy).

When the IC was finally out, I could see what was causing the 
hang-up. Those small plastic protrusions were pretty deeply grooved-- 
grooves worn across them from rubbing against the sharp edge of the 
padded dash; these rather pronounced grooves kept the IC from easily 
sliding past the edge of the padded dash. Thus the need to pull up on 
the dash while extracting the IC (in my car this had become a two-man 
job!). Now that it's out, I will use a file to reduce and smooth out 
that protrusion, and that ought to ease any future IC removals. Now I 
need to get at the business of applying contact cleaner, replacing 
bulbs and repairing the circuit board defects that are causing my 
speedo jitter.

Thanks to everyone who replied.


P.S. Seems I recall many times (hundreds?) over the past 2 or 3 years 
when I slammed my hand (or fist) against the top of the dash to 
convince the speedometer or autocheck to stop the erratic behavior. 
Perhaps this violent activity was what caused those protrusions atop 
the IC to become grooved--to the point of impeding the IC removal. 
Was this my Audi's revenge? ;-)

Phil Rose				Rochester, NY USA
'91 200q	(153K, Lago blue)
'91 200q   (64K, Tornado red)			mailto:pjrose at

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