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Old 09-09-2005, 11:50 PM   #1
getz999
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2001 SL1
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Wrench Installing Reverse Glow Gauges on a 2001 SL1

I did this on my 2001 SL1, but the process should be SIMILAR on any 3rd gen S-Series.

I got my gauges from www.procarparts.com . The installation was easy, and the end results were worth it.

If you look above the passenger side airbag, you will see two small screws/nuts. Loosen them up and set them aside. Next, start from either the left or right side of the dash and use a rubber mallet to whack the dash upwards, your hand will also suffice. Now, when doing this youll hear a LOUD cracking noise. It sounds like your breaking ****, but youre nut, its just the rivets popping up, so dont worry. work your way from one end to the other.

Once the dash is loosened enough to where you can lift it up about an inch or two, youll want to pull UP and OUT. Do this relatively slowly, just incase you missed a rivet or two. I checked using a flashlight to see if there were any rivets still holding on to the rest of the car. Once you have the dash free, put it aside for now. Take a look at the top of your cluster, you should see some wires (2 sets clamped in if i recall) unplug them both (if there are indeed 2). Next, unscrew the screws holding the cluster in.



Now, take the clust to a clean work area, you dont want dust getting in there, cuz itll be a pain to reassamble everything and find out you have dirt all on the inside. You must now remove the black casing surrounding the stock gauges. There are some sturdy tabs located all around, its ok if you bend them SLIGHTLY, theyll bend back in place no problem. I used a fork of all things to help me loosen it up.once you have that off, you should now have easy access to the gauges themselves as well as the needles.



First you need to pop off the needles., snap a pic of the needles before you do this, so you cna use the photo as a reference as to where the needles are pointing when you put them back on. Everyone says its hard to do without breaking, but all you need to do is grab the black circular base and pull up. It pops off a lot easier than everyone says. Youll want to paint them since white needles on white gauges doesnt work to well during the day. You can use Krylon fusion paint (like i did) or a plain sharpie.



Grab your new gauge face and get ready for some hand eye coordination. your goal here is to line up things like the "Gas Light, Change Oil Soon Light, SES Light, on the stock gauges, with the ones on the new gauges. Its not TOO hard, but if you take your time here, itll be worth it.My seatbelt guy is a little off center, and only half of him lights up. Once its lined up, tape it into position, just dont go crazy with the tape. Now you have to secure the gauge face into position (the tape is just temporary) I used SMALL dots of super glue in strategice locations. If you decide to go this route, make sure your not gluing on places that will light up, or on the metal contacts on the back of the new gauge face. I think I used about 4 or so dots of glue to keep it in place. This is plenty, but more wouldnt hurt...just dont go nuts. Now reinstall the needles using the pic you took.

This next step is to only ensure the needles are where they need to be. Do not put on the black casing to the gauges, plug your wires back into the gauge cluster (dont worry about screws) and turn the car on. Make sure your gas needle, RPM, and MPH are where they should be. Give it a little rev to make sure. you may even want to go for a little drive to see if the speed is correct. When I first did this, I found my speed needle was sticking because it was not seated all the way down. If everything is a-ok, go ahead and pop on the cluster housing.

(Note:The next steps are assuming your ordered a gauge set that included a power inverter that helps light up the new guages)

You may want to set the cluster on top of where your dash used to be for this step, it may make it easier to wire up the power inverter, it may not...Anyway, having a 12vpower tester comes in handy here. What youre trying to do is find the wire that turns hot when your lights come on. To do this,youll need to expose the copper part of the wires. Use a wire stripper to do this. Youre going to have to strip a number of wires before you find the right one, now this may not be the best way to go about this...but itll get the job done. First, expose the copper part of the wire while the car is OFF. Then ground the tester to the frame of your car (luckily a spot for a ground is a mere inches from the cluster itselt) Now turn your car to the run position with the lights OFF. Then, poke and prod the wire with the other part of the tester. Youre looking for a wire that doesnt light up the tester. When you find one, turn on the headlights. If turning on the headlights lights up the tester, youve found the wire youre looking for. Remember which wire you need and wrap the ones with the exposed copper up in electrical tape.

Now that you know which wire you are splicing the power inverter into, go a head and secure your gauge cluster into its original position. Now you can splice the power wire from the new guage face into the gauge clusters power a number of ways. I chose just to wrap it around the exposed wire and cover it up with some electrical tape. After thats done, ground it to the frame of your car using the same ground for the 12vpower tester. Either solder it in or use a screw to secure it. Just make sure its not going to pop off the frame, cuz if it does, youl lhave not power to the new gauges.

Putting the dash back on is kind of tricky. You have to line up the dash with holes scattered all about. Just take your time when reinstalling it. Use a rubber mallet to further secure it down, and screw the two screws back in.

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Old 09-11-2005, 02:49 AM   #2
getz999
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Default Re: Installing Reverse Glow Gauges on a 2001 SL1

NOTE TO SELF:

Dont do write ups while extremely tired/inhebriated....

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Old 10-25-2005, 03:17 PM   #3
Isis
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Default Re: Installing Reverse Glow Gauges on a 2001 SL1

thanks for posting this! I was thinking about changing mine, but wasn't sure how to start.

...
2002 SL2 "Sadie" Adopted April 16, 2004 @ 41k
Pioneer Radio-XMified with Alpine speakers
Hit the 100k May 2006 - Yea I do massive amounts of driving!

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Old 12-05-2005, 11:10 AM   #4
JarredW
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Default Re: Installing Reverse Glow Gauges on a 2001 SL1

looks good, i plan on doing the same to mine. we don't live that far so maybe i might run into you someday and have a better look at yours. and what kind of lights are those under the dash fpr the driver and passenger side

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Old 02-17-2007, 08:32 AM   #5
mattbur
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Happy Re: Installing Reverse Glow Gauges on a 2001 SL1

Useful post, I used your instruction to install the same guages on my Sl. Your post gave me the info i couldn't find out anywhere else on weather or not you can remove the needles.
Thanx

...
2001 SL
5 - speed

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Old 02-21-2007, 11:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Installing Reverse Glow Gauges on a 2001 SL1

Thank you that made next weekends project quite a bit easier. I didnt know if you could remove the needles or not either lol

...
2004 Ion Redline, CAI, 3" exhuast.

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Old 02-27-2008, 06:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Installing Reverse Glow Gauges on a 2001 SL1

I am really hoping that you can still see this thread, if you could please take another set of pis that would be great, im trying to see what the side guages look like etc. Any help would be great thanks.

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Old 01-25-2009, 05:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Installing Reverse Glow Gauges on a 2001 SL1

Is there any way to change the color of the mileage reading? It looks a bit out of place with the awesome looking everything else...

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Old 04-12-2010, 10:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Installing Reverse Glow Gauges on a 2001 SL1

Very helpful but I have one question? Why did you separate main dash? I installed mine by removing the front bezel and the whole cluster. Took about 5 min. I'm just wondering since it seems like extra work to me not to mention that putting it back together isn't that easy...

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Old 11-08-2011, 03:40 PM   #10
MrFrizz
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Default Re: Installing Reverse Glow Gauges on a 2001 SL1

ive been trying to find gauges like yours can you post a link to them??

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Old 03-02-2012, 08:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: Installing Reverse Glow Gauges on a 2001 SL1

Thank you for the tutorial. Gauges look really good. I might have to try this.

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