|By Charles Aden|
This project should take less than an hour and will cost approximately $40-$100. It will allow you to retain your original odometer reading and add an OEM Tachometer.
Purchase an instrument cluster
It is best to get a cluster from the same year of truck as there are some minor changes across the years. (volt gauge wiring, ABS light). The clusters are not engine specific. Any cluster from a gas vehicle will work in any gas vehicle. Despite what the salvage yard tells you the tachometer wiring is already in your truck and it will plug right in.
You may purchase a cluster from either an automatic or manual transmission truck. You can easily change it to match what you need. (later in article). A good source of used clusters is eBay or http://www.car-part.com
Remove Old Cluster
-Carefully pry the two silver/wood trim panels from each side of the steering column.
-Remove the screws that are under these panels.
-Remove the headlight knob. To do this, pull the knob out, use a small screwdriver or awl to press the release tab outwards. Keep pressure on this tab while you pull the knob off.
-Pull on the dash piece and it should pop right off.
-Pull it out far enough to gain access to the back of the Fuel tank selector switch.
-Gently pry back the clip and pull the connector from the back of the switch.
-The dash piece should now be free and can be set aside.
-Remove the 4 screws that hold the entire cluster in (not the 7 screws that hold the clear face on).
-Tip the cluster out being careful not to scratch the face.
-Unplug the 3 connectors on the back of the cluster
-If you have an auto transmission you will need to disconnect the indicator cable from the shifter.
*with auto you can complete the first six steps in the next section with the cluster in the truck if you don't want to disconnect the shift indicator from the shifter
Swap in old Speedometer/Odometer
-Remove 7 screws that hold the clear face on (torx T15 or 5.5mm socket).
-Remove clear faceplate and set it aside carefully (scratches easily)
-Remove 2 more screws at the bottom of the cluster
-Pull off black trim ring
-Remove to black screws that hold the shift indicator in (under bottom of speedo)
-Shift indicator will pull straight out of the bottom of the cluster (blank plate for manual transmission)
-Pull up on the 1/3rd of the cluster with the oil pressure and water temp gauges.
-Repeat on the side with the voltage and fuel gauges
-Lastly pull the speedometer out.
-Disassemble the new cluster in the same manner. (oil/water first, voltage/fuel second, tachometer third, speedometer last).
-You will need to use all the parts of the new cluster except the Speedometer and shift indicator.
-Now is a great time to inspect all the bulbs in your new backplane (white part).
-Drop your old speedo in to the new backplane and install the gauges in reverse order.
-The cluster will reinstall in reverse order
-Make sure to plug in all 3 plugs to the cluster
-Don't forget the fuel tank switch, (vehicle will not start without it).