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aftermarket gauge install

1563 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Wally
hey I just bought indiglo gauges from procarparts.com. I was wondering how to put them in. I have a 97 lx (3rd gen not zx2). How do i get to the gauge cluster?. How do i replace my old gauges with my new gauges (i.e. do i have to take the old ones out)? Do i need to wire anything to make them glow? thanks for the input
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if you haven´t try to find a haynes or chiltons repair manual I believe they should give a step by step on how to get to the gauge clusters to replace bulbs...the same way should work to replace the gauge faces too.
I´ve taken apart the cluster on escorts many times...

If it´s anything like the 2nd gens, here´s how you do it.

1.The laft part of the dash is black, it´s like the "driver section" of the dash that sortof goes around the cluster and the center and left hand vents. This comes off. I think it´s got something like 7 or 8 torx screws and it pops out with a little persuasion. Then once it´s partially out, take out any switches that were mounted on it, like a defogger switch or the mirror adjustment knob.

2.Once you get that part of the dash off, you will be looking at the gauge cluster itself. It has a clear plastic cover on it in the 2nd gens which is held on with torx screws. Just take out all the screws you can find, then you have to go DOWN near the pedals and reach your hand up BEHIND the cluster. This is kinda tough if you don´t know what you´re doing. Anyway, you have to reach through all the rats nest of cabling and shit and disconnect any connectors to the cluster, and the speedometer cable. This may take a little while to learn everything by feel (I´d tell you what it looks like, but you´re using a 3rd gen and not a 2nd gen). Anyway, when I did this my first time, I got kinda bloodied up, but it´s all good if it´s for my car.

3. Once you make sure you have the screws that screw the cluster into the dash out (they´re on the front side of the cluser) and the connectors off the cluster (they´re all on the backside), the cluster will be free to move out. If you can´t get all teh connectors out from the back, try to pull the cluster out and get one edge outside so you can reach in from the front and start unplugging stuff. Chances are the wires that connect to the cluster will try to hold the cluster back.

4. Then just take the cover off the cluster.
5. The gauges themselves are held into the cluster by little pins. Just pull up on the gauge faces and the pins will come out of their clips, no unscrewing necessary. The speedometer probably wont pull right out because it´s controlled by a physical cable and not an electric wire.

Then to put everything back, just do the reverse steps.

Make sure not to run your car with the cluster unplugged. I´ve been told that it can fry up your alternator for some reason. I´ve never tried so I don´t honestly know.
Also make sure that you disconnect the negative terminal of the battery before doing any of this and make sure that any capacitance in the systsem has been depleted by just holding down the brake pedal to use up that juice in the brake lights.
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One thing with the 3rd gen escort is the speedo will pull out. like siragan said the 2nd gen is held in place by a cable but the new ones are not. I installed my friends gauges on his ZX2 and it pulled out. At first I though I broke it and I was going to have to tell him I F**ked his car up. As for getting them to hold in place it´s supost to have small snap rings. His didn´t so I used elmers school glue to tack them to the factory ones. once you get the black face cover on then it will be fine. Also to get the very first cover off above the stearing wheel, you will need to remove the one below the stearing wheel because there are 2 screws under that cover panel. Hope this helps and Good Luck!
hey thanks guys for the info i can´t wait untill my gauges come to get started I will keep you posted on my progress
I can get ahold of zx2 gagues all day, how would I make one of those work in my cluster Ive seen it done but they wouldnt give me any insite..
do you have a zx2 or a 93 escort. if it´s a 93 then i don´t know how to fit a zx2 gauge into it sorry, but if it´s a zx2 then it´s problobly just like mine
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