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Cluster panel removal on a 1964 Buick Riviera


JacobSchmidt
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You can put LEDs in for the gauge illumination. They go in from the back side.

 

Removing the cluster is a very big job. Are you sure you need to remove it? The plastic parts are old and brittle. You can do a lot of damage taking things apart.

 

If you insist, follow the exploded diagrams in the shop manual as a guide. Remove the dash pad. The trim comes off the front, then the cluster assembly is unscrewed. Disconnect all wires, the speedometer, etc. before sliding the assembly out toward you. Removing the steering wheel may help.

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1 hour ago, Jim Cannon said:

You can put LEDs in for the gauge illumination. They go in from the back side.

 

Removing the cluster is a very big job. Are you sure you need to remove it? The plastic parts are old and brittle. You can do a lot of damage taking things apart.

 

If you insist, follow the exploded diagrams in the shop manual as a guide. Remove the dash pad. The trim comes off the front, then the cluster assembly is unscrewed. Disconnect all wires, the speedometer, etc. before sliding the assembly out toward you. Removing the steering wheel may help.

Thank you very much sir, It’s apparent I am a “newbie” at old cars and I had no idea the cluster was a whole assembly. I was able to reach under and get ahold of some of the cluster lights, but before proceeding to remove the dash pad to get to the rest of the lights, I tested a couple of the new LEDS I put in and they do not illuminate I even rotated them 180 degrees. They do ever so slightly flash very dimly when I turn on the light though. Do you know why that is?

Edited by JacobSchmidt (see edit history)
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If the '64 is identical to the '65, which I believe it is, you should be able to replace the bulbs from the backside without removing the cluster by going through the fuse box opening & the inspection plate under the ignition switch, all save one on the upper right of the right hand gauge, unless you have slightly smaller hands than me, in which case you may be able to reach that one also, or possibly recruit an unusually intelligent small child to help. Of course I don't want to imply that if you can reach it yourself you must have "small hands".                     

I'm just sayin' 

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On a related note, as I was polishing my gauge lenses recently I discovered an interesting feature I had overlooked for 29 yrs of ownership. I couldn't help notice that the marks on the speedometer face, which delineate your speed X10, did not align properly w the numerals printed on the lens. I chalked it up to poor design until this subject came up. Upon closer scrutiny I discovered I was looking at  them head-on at close range. When viewed from the perspective of the average drivers position they line up quite nicely, at least within the normal operating range. After 100mph they are a bit off, but you probably shouldn't go there anyway.   just sayin

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On 12/22/2021 at 6:31 PM, Jim Cannon said:

Remove the dash pad.

The dash pad comes off very easily I think exposing everything you need from the top. There were only a few screws holding the pad. The hardest thing I recall was some of the screws were hidden from shrinkage of the pad material. I needed to remove the pad from a '63 I owned to get to a broken vent linkage.

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  • 2 months later...

borrowing this thread:  I received my Cruise 64 speedo in the mail today, so need to remove, or at least look at, my non-cruise speedo head to see if the differences are swappable into mine or my not crispy bits into the cruise one.  Thoughts?  If the dash top comes off it looks like 3 screws hold the head unit in place.  I also have guidematic so that will be an additional entanglement for the dash cap.

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Is it a 0 - 140 MPH speedo? I could only find an Electra cruise speedo which is 0 - 120 MPH and the spring has been distorted from a previous repair.

As for compatibility, sure, use it. The calibration (when new) is the same but you will no longer have the speed minder which has a 1-wire connector. The cruise speedo has a 2-wire harness in that it has a dedicated ground.

As mentioned in the other thread, Buick's Electro-Cruise locks on to road speed by speedo needle position. That Speedo has a crude transducer which regulates vacuum in the actuator and is 1/4 of system components.

1) Transducer

2) Throttle Actuator

3) Amplifier/Relay Module

4) Brake Pedal Switch/vacuum release

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Ha!  Bingo!  Classic movie!  I was actually personally impacted by the filming of it.  California Hwy 198, between I-5 and Visalia, Ca., was the only 4 lane highway CalTrans allowed to be blocked off for filming in the entire State.  All filming done at night with fake snow.  I was a Navy pilot flying out of NAS Lemoore at the time.  We all had to take back farm roads to get home!  You could see the big Klieg lights in the distance.  "Fun stuff" 

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  • 3 months later...

I'm slowly plugging away at this process,  with the dash cap slid aft and all the fasteners removed, but it looks like the center console needs to be slid back to get the ignition switch area out from behind it.

Correct, or is there some trick to avoid doing that?   AC car btw. 

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On 6/11/2022 at 8:24 PM, Deanoko said:

I'm slowly plugging away at this process,  with the dash cap slid aft and all the fasteners removed, but it looks like the center console needs to be slid back to get the ignition switch area out from behind it.

Correct, or is there some trick to avoid doing that?   AC car btw. 

After sliding the dash back toward you an inch or two, lift up on that edge a few inches and then pull the pad toward the back of the car some more. I should come right out.

 

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