E36 Instrument Cluster
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  1. #1
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    Adamantia's Avatar
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    E36 Instrument Cluster

    Hi guys.

    Seem to have made a right hash of things. My late-96 cabrio's instrument cluster has a dodgy lcd screen where the top half stops working with the ignition on, and the rest of the screen gets scrambled. I switched the whole thing for a lower mileage set of clocks from a 97 plate 328, but the cluster still shows the lower mileage, and also the illumination dot hasn't activated. I've tried the cluster test 9 function but it only shows a load of dashes, no numbers (yes I have unlocked the functions)? I'm thinking I need to swap the chip from the old display to the new one, as I believe these later cars used chips as well as the eeprom? Then once the chip is swapped the tamper dot will light and I can do test-9 to overwrite the lower mileage with the higher one and disable the dot?
    Anyone else done an instrument cluster swap?

    Unfortunately I made things a lot worse. Whilst clearing up some wiring in my '94 320i I must have shorted something because there was a strong electronic-burning smell and the cluster now is mostly dead. None of the gauges work (even with self-test), only a few warning lights illuminate and the LCD works but is no longer backlit. I have replaced all the fuses (none were blown) and tried my other instrument cluster, which worked fine. It seems I have royally screwed the cluster.

    Since it is an earlier model, the cluster doesn't have a programming chip, all the data is stored on the eeprom. Thus I don't see a way where I can transfer the mileage to another cluster? I only see two options - repair the cluster (via a specialist) or purchase another second hand cluster and get a company to 'clock' the cluster to the same mileage as the old, damaged one.

    I am now wallowing in self-anger and pity, any advice would be appreciated :(

  2. #2
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    If you could find a similar cluster to your original, you could swap the eeproms yourself, or find a car clocker who would do it for 30-50 quid I think.

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