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Intrument panel swap

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by mkilpatric, Jul 1, 2008.

    mkilpatric guest

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    So in perusing other forums I belong to, I noticed that a 91 325i Convertible had a different dash. One that had digital odometers, gear lights, and everything... My 1991 325i Coupe has a broken odometer/ tripometer, and the gears are going out for the tach, MPG, and temp gauges (thankfully not the speedometer and fuel gauge); so I am looking to replace it.

    Has anyone ever performed or heard of a swap from the Convertible dash to a coupe dash?
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    az3579

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    All E30's used the same kind of instrument cluster; I don't think there are any E30's that used a digital odometer.

    mkilpatric guest

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    That is what I thought, but check out this thread:

    http://www.unofficialbmw.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=31543

    Scroll down to where he shows his interior all lit up... I think at one point M3's had this option (or i am losing my mind), but not a Vert..?

    I am sure there can be some "manipulation", if I can find one.... but that might require more than I am willing to take on...
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    MGarrison

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    I suspect you were looking at a one-off customized conversion, if it was an E30. I think possibly there were E36 convertibles with 325ic designations, is there any possibility your picture was an E36 instrument console?

    There is a place that specializes in replacement gears for the odometer, and I think some other gauges as well. I'm not sure how common temp. gauge failure is, but I imagine you could dig up a used temp. gauge of ebay for not much $$ that likely would work fine. Very common for the odometer gears to give up the ghost - you could probably buy 3 used complete E30 instrument clusters in a row off Ebay, and find that every one has a non-working odometer and trip odometer.
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    az3579

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    Not only that, but even if you do find one with a working odometer, it's still a lot cheaper to buy the whole cluster on eBay than it is to repair the odometers. The web site for the gears is www.odometergears.com, but some of the gears can be about $60! Not worth the price, IMO.


    As for a standalone temperature gauge, I have one I could send you. Just send me back the one you have so I can keep my "display" instrument cluster whole. I plan on using it as my testbed for trying to retrofit an LED lighting solution.

    mthaynes guest

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    When the gears went bad in my 87 325 (146K mi) I was looking at odometergears.com. I saw that the address was local, so I called him up and met him at his house/workshop. We talked for a bit and he showed me his set-up. There is alot of machinery and investment($100K+) involved with making the gears, so $60 isn't too much when you think about it. He makes all the replacement gears sold everywhere you can buy them. He gave me my replacements for free, and he had a sweet old 5 series in the shop to ogle at. Time well spent.
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    It is not an E30. Just read the posts in that thread. It is not even a BMW. He just googled someone with his same stereo. All E30s used the same cluster. Every single one I have seen, anyhow, from 84 318i to 92 318iC and every model in the range between including the M3. Now the M3 has an oil pressure gauge in place of the econo gauge, but the cluster is still the same.

    The tach has no gears, nor do the other gauges. I suspect you have a board with some bad solder joints in it. If you take it down to fix the odo, touch up the larger solder joints on the board where the plugs are. Also, the batteries in your SI borad can be on their way out and can actually take down most of the gauges.

    Jeff at Odometer gears is a great guy. Great product, fast service. The odo is really easy to fix if you buy the gears.

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