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View Full Version : How to remove instrument cluster plastic cover?



TJN0923
07-28-2013, 11:16 AM
I'm installing some gauge trim rings on my cluster at the moment. But I can't seem to figure out how to separate the plastic face. Does it just pop off by prying around the edges with a screwdriver? I don't want to break it, so I'm kind if hesitant to do anything at the moment.

getslideways
07-28-2013, 11:25 AM
Are you trying to remove the front plastic housing that contains the clear lense, or trying to separate the clear lense part from the rest of the cluster?

For the first one:
Cut six pieces of 1/16" plastic about 3/8" x 1"
Place the dash assembly face down on piece of cloth.
Remove the two Torx Number 10 screws from the rear of the unit.
Using a small screw driver, slowly lift the six the plastic retaining clips and slide a single cut piece of plastic under each one.
There are two additional clips on each side of the unit, using a small screwdriver release them very carefully and pop the cover off.

For the second option, you have to to all the steps above, THEN:

Heating the plastic casing in the oven sometimes makes it easier to separate the clear plastic from the black plastic. I have had hit or miss experiences with it, sometimes it will come apart, others I could melt the housing into a blob before it would come out lol. Look up "separating headlights" on youtube for some ideas on what you might try.

If you bought "snap in" trim rings, all you need to do is the items in the first half, and just pop them in from behind,

TJN0923
07-28-2013, 11:32 AM
Second option.

And that's what I thought. I just bought these cheap things from eBay. I thought they would look good.

I'm not risking melting the black plastic for this.

Cgoon009
07-29-2013, 12:04 PM
I did mine a few weeks ago, you can snap them in form behind like getslideways said. I didn't need any heat at all. I took the cluster out, and then carefully pulled the tabs apart. The I stuck coins in between to prevent them from snapping back together. There are two screws you must pull before the plastic face comes off. After that, I simply snapped the new rings in from behind, with a flat head screwdriver and some cloth (stops scratches)

http://cleanaudi.com/2013/06/29/the-little-things/ - some pictures

http://www.audiworld.com/tech/int43.shtml - the DIY I used

TJN0923
07-29-2013, 12:49 PM
Mine didn't snap in. They had to be glued in.

No big deal though.

Cgoon009
07-29-2013, 12:54 PM
did you get them in?

TJN0923
07-29-2013, 02:46 PM
Nah. I didn't feel like messing with them.

Plus I needed to drive my car yesterday when I did all this. So I just said forget it.

Not to all: do not buy the cheap gauge rings off of eBay. Buy the ones that snap in and save yourself the headache.

Cgoon009
07-29-2013, 02:54 PM
well if you want the snap ones:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AUDI-A4-B5-A6-C5-A3-8L-HIGH-QUALITY-SNAP-ON-SILVER-SATIN-COLOR-GAUGES-RINGS-/290915667607?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item43bbecce97

g3no
06-01-2014, 10:54 AM
I'm stumped.. I have had such a difficult time separating the cluster. I even raged out and literally broke every tab around the outside of the cluster..... still won't separate. What am I missing?

BaseDrifter
06-01-2014, 11:00 AM
You're missing the two little locking tabs. Look very closely at the back of the cluster, there are two tabs that have to be released with small screwdrivers. I'll try to take a picture later if you need.

g3no
06-01-2014, 11:05 AM
You're missing the two little locking tabs. Look very closely at the back of the cluster, there are two tabs that have to be released with small screwdrivers. I'll try to take a picture later if you need.

Finally got it. What a PITA lol.