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Thread: How To: Binnacle Removal and Bulb Replacement

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date:  May 2011

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    How To: Binnacle Removal and Bulb Replacement

    dash binnacle screw holes.jpgbinnacle 003.jpgbinnacle 006.jpgBinnacle Removal

    Tools Needed: 7mm deep socket
    13mm deep socket (seat removal)
    Socket screw driver
    Small pliers
    Small point, six inch shaft Phillips screw driver
    Blue painters tape
    Flash light or fluorescent light
    Container for screws and nuts

    Apply painters tape to dash around binnacle to protect dash from scratches. Remove seat
    and disconnect speedometer cable from Lambda counter at base of steering column. A few inches of cable slack will be required. (I had removed driver knee pad but determined not necessary)
    Had removed the six 7mm nuts; one from each side of steering column, two attached to brackets near center of unit and two more about two inches down from bracket screws. All are symmetrical to the opposite side; picture provided. The outer four screws have large washers. Lifted the unit and only the steering wheel side raised about one inch. The dash side held firmly connected. Researched “Binnacle Removal” on both forums and emailed several owners. Each source provided useful information but nothing about resistance to lifting. Decided to offer up my favorite prayer (Hail Mary) and was inspired to insert putty knife between side edge of binnacle and edge of dash. Found coating had bonded the two surfaces together about three inches.
    (The PO had recoated the dash and binnacle). Now able to lift one side and see underneath to the opposite corner being held down by threads of one of the long screws caught in opening of the hole. Inserting a long screw driver and pushing against the threads, the binnacle lifted straight up about three inches. ‘What a relief’. I thankfully expressed my appreciation to Our Blessed Mother.
    Caution, lift the binnacle from the sides and not the bottom edge.
    The speedometer cable is held in the unit by a tension clip and there are two electrical connectors held by dog ears. Caution, the connectors are fragile. There is also a fragile printed circuit along the entire underside of the unit; picture provided. Be careful when lifting. Do not pull the speedometer cable out of dash.
    Turn the unit over on a work bench to access the 16 instrument cluster light bulbs; picture provided. Note particular location of ten black sockets with #161 bulbs and five green sockets with #194 bulbs. Note, the high beam light indicator bulb is replaced with #194 bulb and reinserted in black socket.
    To remove sockets, press sockets in and make a one quarter turn. Bulbs pull straight out of socket. Bulbs are available from Autozone. Order 10 #161 and 6 #194 bulbs.
    My binnacle lens had residual coating along outer edges and so decided to replace with 1/8’’ Plexiglas from Lowes. The OEM lens is three dimensional. The flat Plexiglas lens can be adapted by drilling all holes at 45 degree angle. The installed lens looks identical to the OEM lens.
    Installation: Gently reconnect the two multi terminal electrical wires and test bulbs before installing speedometer cable.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ccurzio's Avatar
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    I've been searching for a nice step-by-step guide to do this and yours looks to be well written. Thank you for this.
    - Chris


    what

  3. #3
    Senior Member Henrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byrne H&A View Post
    ... decided to replace with 1/8’’ Plexiglas from Lowes. The OEM lens is three dimensional. The flat Plexiglas lens can be adapted by drilling all holes at 45 degree angle. The installed lens looks identical to the OEM lens.
    All of my interior bits are at a reupholstery shop and today the called me to say that they are weary about is how to remove the lens from the binnacle.

    a) Can you (or anyone else) share your recommended process for removing the lens? The non-desctructive method is of course preferred.
    b) Really - plexiglass from Lowes works?
    c) I am curious what you mean by the OEM lens being 3 dimensional.
    d) I am also wondering about drilling the holes at a 45 deg angle. WHich holes? Can you pls elaborate?

    Thanks,

  4. #4
    Senior Member DrJeff's Avatar
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    Once the instrument cluster is out, removing the lens itself is easy. There are obvious screws that hold the lens on (IIRC 4 or 6 screws). About the only potentially confusing bit is removing the trip reset stalk. It has a small retaining screw at the very end of the stalk (you can see the screw head right at the end of the stalk. A small screwdriver from a glasses repair kit is perfect. Once undone the body of the stalk slips off and the lens can be removed over what is left. The trip reset stalk must be removed before the lens is removed.

    If you mean they don't know how to replace the lens, that's more involved...
    Jeff
    #6313 (lic: DMC-EV Texas), 25k miles, 100% leather, touchpad, 100% LED, dimmable LED dash, remote door lock & Elvis mod, all A/C vents in kneepads, wedgectomy, escutcheon velcro fix, GM door chimer, custom arm rest/storage/controls...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Henrik's Avatar
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    Thanks, but I think we are talking about two different things: I need to know how to surgically remove the lens from the binnacle (not from the instrument cluster). It appears that Byrne H&A has successfully don't this - ref. 3rd pic in the first posting above.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DrJeff's Avatar
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    The lens is mounted to the front of the instrument cluster. The instrument cluster backs out of the binnacle with just gentle pressure. I don't recall there being anything holding the instrument cluster in the binnacle other than the foam- like internal surface on the binnacle.
    Jeff
    #6313 (lic: DMC-EV Texas), 25k miles, 100% leather, touchpad, 100% LED, dimmable LED dash, remote door lock & Elvis mod, all A/C vents in kneepads, wedgectomy, escutcheon velcro fix, GM door chimer, custom arm rest/storage/controls...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Henrik's Avatar
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    See picture. I am talking about the lens that is attached (by press fit or maybe even glue?) to the inside of the binnacle.DCP01897.jpg
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Henrik; 11-29-2012 at 10:44 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ccurzio's Avatar
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    That's exactly what everyone else is talking about though. Since last night I've been re-reading this thread trying to figure out what you're talking about, and it's the same thing everyone else is talking about.
    - Chris


    what

  9. #9
    Senior Member Henrik's Avatar
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    Maybe I am just confused, so let me ask you this: Would you agree that there are two sets of lenses: One that go on the instrument cluster and one that goes inside the binnacle?

  10. #10
    Senior Member ccurzio's Avatar
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    Nope. One lens - the big clear plastic piece that stands between the driver and the gauge needles.
    - Chris


    what

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