This is the weekend for a Land Bruiser owner. Hood up, gate down, tools out. Today’s project is to quell the screaming riot in the dash. As its gotten colder the Sloth has developed a squeal in the dash that varies based on speed. The speedometer would also wobble a little bit. The sound varies but its generally high pitched and present from 15-20mph on up to about 80. A little research online and at ih8mud indicated that lubricating the upper end of the speedometer cable could fix the issue. Otherwise it might be some components in the speedometer itself that needed lubrication. In either case, to remove the gauge cluster you have to remove several components of the dash which is what I have done this afternoon. It doesn’t take long and all you really need is a screwdriver or two (preferably the magnetic tipped kind and one or two of varying lengths). I found this video very helpful for getting started on the dash:
Before you begin, disconnect the battery. You’re going to be yanking on a bunch of wires. Best that no power being running through them.
Here’s the dash. It has two separate pieces. The lower bezel is held in by 3 screws.
Two are behind the cigarette tray.
The third is down and to the right of this plastic circle below the steering column.
Once the screws are removed I started on the left hand side of the dash and carefully pulled it outward until the snaps popped loose.
Then I made my way across to the right. You will need to unplug all the switches, the cigarette lighter, and the light in the ash tray to remove the dash bezel. For the switches I pushed them from behind so they popped out of the bezel and then unplugged them. Its easier to do that than to try and undo the plugs with the switches in the bezel.
Here the lower bezel is removed. Looks like somebody’s been in here before.
Here it the left side.
Put the bezel somewhere safe.
Next remove the top dash piece. This is held on the same way. There are two or three screws along the bottom and then several under the lip of the dash facing down. Once they’re out I again released the snaps from left to right, pulling down slightly on the right so that the top of the bezel could come away from the lip of the dash.
On the left side part of the vent tube will come out with the bezel.
Here both of the dash bezels are removed.
And the left side.
Now you have access to the 4 screws that hold in the gauge cluster. Remove those.
Once the screws are removed, you can pull the cluster forward. You might want to adjust the steering column down to make more space. I started on the left, reaching behind the cluster and blindly removing the multi-pin connectors. There were 5 of them. If you peek in there you can also see the speedometer cable. As you disconnect the pins, the gauge will come free. Its a tight fit but you can work it out of the dash by moving it through the space to the right of the steering wheel.
With the gauge cluster out of the way, you’ll see all the pins you’ve just undone.
You’ll also see the speedometer cable.
On the back of the gauge cluster you can see the round hole where the speedometer cable plugs in. I sprayed a little bit of lithium grease on the end of the speedometer cable and a little in the hole you see here. Seemed like the right place to lubricate it since that squared pin sticking of the cable is what spins the speedometer.
I’m not sure if this is the before or after shot but reassembly is the reverse of disassembly. I only ended up with one extra screw!
After I put the dash back together and reconnected the battery, I started up the Sloth. At first I was saddened to see that the tachometer didn’t jump to idle though all the lights in the dash worked. However, after I put it in reverse and started backing out of the driveway, the speedometer and tach came to life again. I’m guessing the tach was briefly affected by the ECU reboot since the battery was disconnected…
The squeak was still present at the beginning of my test ride. I expected this because I had read that the lubricant needs to make its way to the right place. I took the sloth around the neighborhood, hopped on the interstate and got up to speed. After a few minutes the noise started winding down. Then it would chirp every so often. Then it went away completely. I still have a fainter lower note whirling sound somewhere further away. I’m not sure if its the speedometer cable but its barely noticeable. The high pitched speed-varying whine is gone… at least for now. I’m marking this project a success.
Total time invested: about an hour, maybe a little less.