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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a little how to. I'm sure for most it's an easy job but I figured I'd document it anyway.

My stock instrument cluster.

The first step is to remove your steering wheel for easy access.



Next up is removing the switches. Pull these from the rear forward and they snap right out. Just be gentle.



The switches remove easily by pulling away the black retaining tabs on each switch. Nice color coordinating! Thanks VW!

Next task, removing the four screws that hold on the front dash cluster cover. There is one screw in each corner. Pretty easy to find.

Once that panel's out you remove the two screws that hold in the instrument cluster (one on each side). After that, you will need to remove the speedometer cable. This was a pain in the rear on my car. I had barely enough room to get two fingers in there from under the dash. To remove the cable you have to squeeze the ende to unlock it (see later pic). Next up is unplugging both sides of the cluster in order to remove it.

Here's my stock cluster. Notice that the circuit board looks the same for both. However, upon closer inspection you will see that (near the top bulb area) that a capacitor (?) is in a different location. This is believed to operate the digital clock. So, if you want the clock working make sure you use the old circuit board.


The image above is the tach cluster from a 91 Fox. My car is a 90.

Please note, you cannot re-use your clock cluster lense panel due to the hole for clock setting so make sure the donor car has a nice panel. The circuit boards are the same so use the best one. Since my car had a much nicer circuit board I decided to keep mine and tape off the clock connections. Be careful when removing the circuit board. There are a few plugs that connect to the back of the center panel. I broke one pin unplugging mine. Be gentle when removing the board. It's easier if you unplug by gently lifting on the board from bottom to top. Avoid trying to remove the board from side to side.

All done! Clean and ready to install.

Looking nice. Installation is the reverse of the removal. No special tricks. The speedo cable is easier to install than remove.

The final product! It works! Whoo hoo! Looking sweet.
My final thoughts. Farily easy job removing the cluster. The pain was the speedo cable. Mine had some foam holding it on. The lack of space for your hand makes it a difficult job. I have the cuts to prove it. The circuit board removal probably took the most time. Like I said, be careful when removing it. The frustrating part of this experience was that A. The factory digital clock that came with the tach cluster doesn't work (they usually don't but no biggie, I have a radio clock), and B. After all was said and done my speedo light is out now!
I used my original bulb and my circuit board so I have no idea why it doesn't work! Arrgh! This means I have to take it apart again! So, please test your lights before final assembly!
Anyone notice the tach assembly error? Either the donor car had this tach installed or VW had a backwards tech. Can you spot wehat I am talking about?
Enjoy!
UPDATE!!!!
I removed my cluster again to swap the clock circuit board for the tach one. Now the digital clock from the tach cluster works! Here's a pic to show you the differing of placement for some jump wires.

By the way, it's too dang hot in Florida! Today is December 3rd and it was over 100 degrees inside my car when I began pulling the cluster. When is Fall coming???!!!



Modified by Beetleguru at 11:08 PM 12-3-2006
 

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Re: FOX tach (FoxWolf93)

Also releasing the speedo cable is much easier if your car has the O2 counter on it. Just unscrew the speedo cable from there; although, I think this only applies to 87-88 cars. My '88 wagon (CIS-E) had it, but IIRC Bentley says only CIS cars came equipped.
 

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Re: (reddfoxx)

Quote, originally posted by reddfoxx »
Yeah, it's not bad with the steering wheel on. Overall, nice how-to! Also see Adam's site...

I've always removed the steering wheel first. I don't see the point in NOT removing it. It's the simplest thing in the world to do and then you don't have to work around the thing.
Anyway, yes.... props for taking the time to do a write-up. Should probably be FAQ'ed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, maybe I am blind. Show me where the circuit board is different for the digital clock. The part numbers on both boards are the same ( I checked). The only difference is that the tach board had the two clock contacts CUT off. They are still there but cut. Oh yeah, and removing the wheel is so easy I would never think about not doing so.
 

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Nice writeup. What's wrong with the tach? Also, what's up with the second pic when you have the old cluster with the panel for the lcd clock and the bulb for the temp?? Yeah, the steering wheel removal isnt necessary at all. And the speedo is a whole lot easier to remove and put on if you go at it from under the steering wheel. Just fish around behind there and you're sure to find it right away
 

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Re: (Beetleguru)

Quote, originally posted by Beetleguru »
OK, maybe I am blind. Show me where the circuit board is different for the digital clock. The part numbers on both boards are the same ( I checked). The only difference is that the tach board had the two clock contacts CUT off. They are still there but cut. Oh yeah, and removing the wheel is so easy I would never think about not doing so.

I don't recall, exactly (I did mine a few years ago)... but when I did the swap I kept the old circuit, and my digi clock did not work. I then switched circuits, and it worked. There are one or two subtle differences... I just can't recall what. They are the same part #, but there are differences in how they are wired.
Swap yours and I'll bet your clock will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: FOX tach (FoxWolf93)

Quote, originally posted by FoxWolf93 »
Your digital clock won't work with the old circuit board unless you modify it... the two have slightly different wiring (look more closely).

OK, I AM NOW OFFICIALLY BLIND! I didn't bother to look at the top area where the light bulbs are. Take a close look and you can see that one capacitor (??) is in a different location on the tach cluster. The circuit board is the same but the location of this item is slightly different. May be the reason for the clock not working. Oh well. I have to change the bulb so consider this one of those lessons learned! But again, if you hate digital clocks don't worry!
Dave
 

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Re: FOX tach (Beetleguru)

Nice write up.
I have found that the speedo cable can be disconnected by removing the left-most A/C vent and reaching thru there.
I have taken my clusters out a few times to fix lights that don't work. Often the bulb is fine but is not making good contact with the circuit board. The socket may just need to be repositioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
cluster update! 12/03/2006

OK gang, I removed and reinstalled my instrument cluster again today. Switched out the circuit boards and now the digital clock works. I took a pic to detail the differences in the jump wires (?) on the two boards. It's just a matter of positioning. The board itself is the same. Anyway, it was MUCH easier to get the speedo cable off this time. A word of advice. Turn the cable around with your fingers and then try to squeeze it off. Much easier to spin it first to get a good grip. It will also help reinstall. When I put everything back together BOTH the tach light and speedo light weren't working. This is due to my housing being slightly out of shape. I really need a better tach cluster. All it took were a couple of well placed bangs on top of the dash and the lights turned on! LOL, reminded me of when Han solo banged on the Falcon in Star Wars.


By the way, it's too dang hot in Florida! This was the temp inside my car when I began pulling the cluster. When is Fall coming???!!!




Modified by Beetleguru at 11:06 PM 12-3-2006
 
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