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    Ford Thunderbird/Cougar 1983-1997 Repair Guide

    Instrument Cluster

    Print

    REMOVAL & INSTALLATION




    WARNING
    Extreme care must be exercised during the removal and installation of the instrument cluster and dash components to avoid damage or breakage. Wooden paddles should be used to separate dash components, if required. Tape or cover dash areas that may be damaged by the removal and installation of the dash components.

    During the removal and installation procedures, slight variations may be required from the general outline, to facilitate the removal and installation of the instrument panel and cluster components, due to slight changes from model year to model year.

    1983 Models
    STANDARD CLUSTER

    See Figure 1

    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    2.  
    3. Disconnect the speedometer cable.
    4.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 1: Standard cluster assembly-1983 models

    1. Remove the instrument panel trim cover and steering column lower shroud.
    2.  
    3. Remove the attaching screw holding the transmission indicator quadrant cable bracket to the steering column. Disconnect the cable loop from the pin on the steering column.
    4.  
    5. Remove the cluster retaining screws.
    6.  
    7. Remove the cluster from the instrument panel.
    8.  
    9. Reverse the removal procedure to install.
    10.  

    ELECTRONIC CLUSTER

    See Figure 2

    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    2.  
    3. Remove the instrument panel trim cover and steering column lower shroud.
    4.  
    5. Remove the cluster retaining screws.
    6.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 2: Electronic instrument cluster-1983 models

    1. Remove the attaching screw holding the transmission indicator quadrant cable bracket to the steering column. Disconnect the cable loop from the pin on the steering column.
    2.  
    3. Pull the cluster away from the instrument panel and disconnect the speedometer cable.
    4.  
    5. Disconnect the electrical connections from the cluster. Disconnect the ground wire.
    6.  
    7. Remove the cluster from the instrument panel.
    8.  
    9. Reverse the removal procedure to install.
    10.  

    1984 Models
    STANDARD CLUSTER
    1. Disconnect the battery ground.
    2.  
    3. Remove the steering column shroud.
    4.  
    5. Remove the 4 cluster trim retaining screws and lift off the trim.
    6.  
    7. Remove the 6 cluster-to-instrument panel screws.
    8.  
    9. Pull the cluster out and disconnect the speedometer cable.
    10.  
    11. Disconnect the electrical connectors and remove the cluster.
    12.  
    13. Installation is the reverse of removal.
    14.  

    ELECTRONIC CLUSTER
    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    2.  
    3. Remove the 4 lower instrument panel trim cover screws.
    4.  
    5. Remove the steering column cover.
    6.  
    7. Remove the 6 cluster trim panel retaining screws.
    8.  
    9. Remove the 4 cluster-to-instrument panel attaching screws.
    10.  
    11. Remove the attaching screw from the transmission selector cable bracket. Disconnect the cable loop from the pin on the steering column.
    12.  
    13. Pull the cluster away from the instrument panel and disconnect the speedometer cable.
    14.  
    15. Disconnect the electrical connections from the cluster. Disconnect the ground wire.
    16.  
    17. Remove the cluster from the instrument panel.
    18.  
    19. Reverse the removal procedure to install.
    20.  

    1985-88 Models
    STANDARD CLUSTER

    See Figure 3

    1. Disconnect the battery ground.
    2.  
    3. Remove the 2 lower trim covers.
    4.  
    5. Remove the steering column cover.
    6.  
    7. Disconnect the shift selector bracket and cable assembly from the column.
    8.  
    9. Move the shift lever and remove the cluster trim panel.
    10.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 3: Base electronic instrument cluster non-turbo coupe-1984-88

    1. Remove the 4 cluster mounting screws.
    2.  
    3. Pull the bottom of the cluster toward the steering wheel.
    4.  
    5. Reach behind the cluster and unplug the 2 connectors.
    6.  
    7. Swing the bottom of the cluster out and remove the cluster.
    8.  
    9. Install the components in the reverse order of removal.
    10.  
    11. Check the operation of the system.
    12.  

    TURBO COUPE CLUSTER

    See Figure 4

    1. Disconnect the battery ground.
    2.  
    3. Remove the steering column shroud.
    4.  
    5. Remove the 10 cluster trim screws and lift off the trim.
    6.  
    7. Remove the 4 cluster-to-instrument panel screws and pull the cluster out slightly.
    8.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 4: Analog Thunderbird Coupe and Cougar/Thunderbird with 5.0L-1988

    1. Disconnect the cluster connectors.
    2.  
    3. Pull the boost gauge rubber tube off of the gauge nipple.
    4.  
    5. Remove the cluster.
    6.  

    To install:
    1. Install the cluster in the dash.
    2.  
    3. Attach the boost gauge rubber tube onto the gauge nipple.
    4.  
    5. Attach the cluster connectors.
    6.  
    7. Secure the 4 cluster-to-instrument panel screws.
    8.  
    9. Tighten the 10 cluster trim screws.
    10.  
    11. Install the steering column shroud.
    12.  
    13. Connect the battery ground.
    14.  
    15. Check the operation of the system.
    16.  

    ELECTRONIC CLUSTER

    See Figure 5

    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    2.  
    3. Remove the 2 lower instrument panel trim covers.
    4.  
    5. Remove the steering column cover.
    6.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 5: Base electronic cluster-1984-88

    1. Disconnect the shift selector bracket and cable at the column.
    2.  
    3. Move the shift lever and remove the cluster trim panel.
    4.  
    5. Remove the 4 cluster-to-instrument panel attaching screws.
    6.  
    7. Pull the bottom of the cluster toward the steering wheel.
    8.  
    9. Reach behind the cluster and disconnect the electrical connections.
    10.  
    11. Swing the bottom of the cluster out and away from the instrument panel.
    12.  
    13. Installation is the reverse of removal.
    14.  

    1989-93 Models
    STANDARD CLUSTER

    See Figures 6, 7 and 8

    1. Disconnect negative battery cable.
    2.  
    3. Remove two retaining screws from cluster trim panel and remove panel.
    4.  
    5. Remove four cluster mounting screws, and pull bottom of cluster toward steering wheel.
    6.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 6: Base electronic cluster-1989-93

    1. Reaching behind and underneath cluster, unplug two connectors. For Super Coupe and XR-7 disconnect vacuum line for boost gauge.
    2.  
    3. Swing bottom of cluster out to clear top of steering column shroud and remove.
    4.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 7: Sport cluster-1989-93



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 8: Super Coupe cluster-1989-93

    1. Installation is reverse of removal by inserting top of cluster, under crash pad leaving the bottom out, first.
    2.  

    ELECTRONIC CLUSTER

    See Figures 9, 10 and 11

    The electronics with in the cluster are not serviceable. The cluster should be disassembled only to repair plastic defects or servicing other components where the cluster has to be removed to gain access to the component(s).

    1. Disconnect negative battery cable.
    2.  
    3. Remove headlamp knob.
    4.  
    5. Remove cluster finish panel by removing two screws on upper inside surface.
    6.  
    7. Carefully pull away finish panel while detaching spring clips surrounding the finish panel.
    8.  
    9. Unplug connector on rear of switch assembly. If equipped, disconnect autolamp module.
    10.  

    To prevent scratching and or damage to cluster assembly and steering column shroud, place a clean, soft cloth over steering column shroud, and lens of cluster assembly.

    1. Remove the four cluster retaining screws, and pull bottom of cluster towards steering wheel.
    2.  
    3. Reaching behind and underneath cluster unplug two connectors.
    4.  
    5. Swing bottom of cluster out to clear top from crash pad and remove.
    6.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 9: Remove the attaching screws for the instrument cluster



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 10: Lift the instrument cluster from the dash



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 11: Detach the harnesses in the back of the instrument cluster

    1. Installation is reverse of removal by inserting top of cluster, under crash pad leaving the bottom out, first.
    2.  

    1994-96 Models

    See Figures 12 and 13

    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    2.  
    3. Remove the screws holding the instrument panel reinforcement.
    4.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 12: Instrument cluster-1995-96 Thunderbird Super Coupe



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 13: Instrument cluster-1995-96 excluding Thunderbird Super Coupe

    1. Remove the screws holding the instrument panel lower shield.
    2.  
    3. Remove the fasteners that hold the steering wheel column. Gently lower the steering column.
    4.  
    5. Remove the fasteners that hold the instrument panel finish panel, then gently pry it off.
    6.  
    7. Remove the four cluster retaining screws. Do not remove the screws from the instrument panel main lens and cluster mask.
    8.  
    9. Slide the cluster to the right of the panel opening and unhook the panel harness from the back of the cluster.
    10.  
    11. Remove the instrument cluster from the panel.
    12.  
    13. To install, reverse the removal procedure, Tighten the cluster retaining screws to 18-27 inch lbs. (2-3 Nm).
    14.  

     
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