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Old 01-18-2007, 06:15 PM   #1
89junker
 
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89 s10 dash removal

almost all the lights behind the dash are burnt out and i have no idea how to get the guage cluster out. anyone feel like writtin me up a how-to?
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:10 PM   #2
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Re: 89 s10 dash removal

it's been about 5 years or so since i pulled a gauge cluster out of a 1st gen, but i'm pretty sure you start by removing the two screws in the bottom of the ac/heat control panel. be careful when you pull this panel loose. it won't come all the way out without a LOT of work, which is unneccesary for this project.

then you'll have to take the headlight switch panel loose. get a light and look around. you'll see some thin metal nuts holding the gauge cluster down over some plastic studs. remove these and don't loose them in the dash. next, remove the gauge cluster trim (look up from near the steering wheel and you'll see the screws holding the trim in).

i don't remember if you have to drop the steering column, but if you do, loosen the two large nuts holding the column bracket up (you'll have to remove some of the trim panels first that cover the lower area below the steering column). then look on the column near the cluster and you'll see a metal clip attached to the column trim that has a string attached to it. push the clip back and off. the clip and string are what move the gear indicator needle in the gauge display if you have an automatic.

after all this, you should be able to just pull the gauge cluster straight out toward you at least several inches. you'll have to reach behind the cluster and remove the clip holding the spedometer cable to the back of the spedo. (i think it uses a clip, but it may screw on and off).

the gauge cluster will pop out of a single large electrical circuit connector near the bottom of the passenger side on the back of the cluster, if i remember correctly. then you just gotta twist the little plastic sockets loose to get the bulbs out. make sure to replace with the CORRECT bulbs, not just any bulb that will fit the sockets. too large (amperage-wise) of a bulb will melt stuff eventually.

btw, now is a great time to take some needle nose pliers and pull the inner cable out of the spedometer cable and grease it. they all eventually start squeaking anyways, so may as well fix that while it's apart. in the past, one of the older guys i worked for at a small shop had me coat the inner spedometer cable with vasoline on a s-10. he says it lasts a long time and won't dry out when you slide the inner cable back in, the end that goes into the gear in the transmission has a square end on it, so you'll have to turn it while pushing to get it to go all the way back into the gear.

reassemble everything and take lots of pics and together we'll pretty much have made a How-To thread. if not, i'll just do it later when I get around to changing all my bulbs.

Anybody that's done this more recently can feel free to add to my description or correct me if i missed something or got something wrong. Like i said, it's been at least 5 years, probably closer to 8 or 10, since I've done this myself.

Last edited by 5timedime; 01-18-2007 at 07:11 PM.
Old 01-19-2007, 05:16 AM   #3
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Re: 89 s10 dash removal

Quote: Originally Posted by 5timedime
it's been about 5 years or so since i pulled a gauge cluster out of a 1st gen, but i'm pretty sure you start by removing the two screws in the bottom of the ac/heat control panel. be careful when you pull this panel loose. it won't come all the way out without a LOT of work, which is unneccesary for this project.

then you'll have to take the headlight switch panel loose. get a light and look around. you'll see some thin metal nuts holding the gauge cluster down over some plastic studs. remove these and don't loose them in the dash. next, remove the gauge cluster trim (look up from near the steering wheel and you'll see the screws holding the trim in).

i don't remember if you have to drop the steering column, but if you do, loosen the two large nuts holding the column bracket up (you'll have to remove some of the trim panels first that cover the lower area below the steering column). then look on the column near the cluster and you'll see a metal clip attached to the column trim that has a string attached to it. push the clip back and off. the clip and string are what move the gear indicator needle in the gauge display if you have an automatic.

after all this, you should be able to just pull the gauge cluster straight out toward you at least several inches. you'll have to reach behind the cluster and remove the clip holding the spedometer cable to the back of the spedo. (i think it uses a clip, but it may screw on and off).

the gauge cluster will pop out of a single large electrical circuit connector near the bottom of the passenger side on the back of the cluster, if i remember correctly. then you just gotta twist the little plastic sockets loose to get the bulbs out. make sure to replace with the CORRECT bulbs, not just any bulb that will fit the sockets. too large (amperage-wise) of a bulb will melt stuff eventually.

btw, now is a great time to take some needle nose pliers and pull the inner cable out of the spedometer cable and grease it. they all eventually start squeaking anyways, so may as well fix that while it's apart. in the past, one of the older guys i worked for at a small shop had me coat the inner spedometer cable with vasoline on a s-10. he says it lasts a long time and won't dry out when you slide the inner cable back in, the end that goes into the gear in the transmission has a square end on it, so you'll have to turn it while pushing to get it to go all the way back into the gear.

reassemble everything and take lots of pics and together we'll pretty much have made a How-To thread. if not, i'll just do it later when I get around to changing all my bulbs.

Anybody that's done this more recently can feel free to add to my description or correct me if i missed something or got something wrong. Like i said, it's been at least 5 years, probably closer to 8 or 10, since I've done this myself.
Nope...ya done good. However I think the large plug-in was on the driver's side. My steering wheel is a tilt so I just tilted it down all the way. If you have a fixed position wheel that might require lowering the steering wheel. Pulled mine (another '89) a few months back to replace bulbs. Figured they were just some 194's. Nope...and can't get 'em at the Chevy dealer. But I took some 194's and snipped one of each leg wire near the glass, straightened out the remainder and used them after removing the old bulbs from the plastic twist in holders. Ya just gotta make sure you keep the little copper "L" tabs the original bulbs were crimped to. They make the contact to the copper pads on the cluster panel flex circuit board. I took the wires of my modified 194's and pulled them thru the plastic housing and wrapped the wires around the copper "L's" using needle nose pliers - don't even think about soldering them. Before installing the cluster I hooked up a 12 volt power supply to the cluster to be sure all the bulbs would light up.
Old 01-26-2007, 04:54 PM   #4
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Re: 89 s10 dash removal

Two questions:

Will LED bulbs work back there?

Also, can the blue backing panel be removed from behind the gauges and painted white? I can hardly see the darn things in daylight.

Thanks
Old 01-27-2007, 02:10 AM   #5
my hoopty
 
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Re: 89 s10 dash removal

i think i saw a thread on here somewhere about using led's for the gauge lights, but i don't remember where. try searching for it......

as for painting the backing, not really sure on that either. don't see why not?
Old 06-30-2007, 02:59 AM   #6
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Re: 89 s10 dash removal

leds do work in it
Old 07-02-2007, 07:32 PM   #7
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Re: 89 s10 dash removal

With LEDs, polarity matters. Make sure you put them in the right way!
Old 07-04-2007, 12:12 AM   #8
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Re: 89 s10 dash removal

and put resistor in with leds if u want them to last longer
Old 05-20-2009, 03:43 AM   #9
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Re: 89 s10 dash removal

Have you made any progress on this??

Looking for pics...
Old 05-20-2009, 03:45 AM   #10
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Re: 89 s10 dash removal

HA!!

Guess i shoulda checked the date before posting....

Well shoot... im looking to put tweed on my dash and don't want to open a can of worms. Was wanting to see some pics... guess ill post some
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