I have an '02 530i. I bought the ribbon from Bulgaria and tried repairing the pixel problem myself. I drilled the holes (my torx head screws were 9's, not 10's like Edmund's, but I found a Torx head 8 would work too). I got partial pixels and ultimately after taking it apart c. 40 times (bought machine screws and nuts from Radio Shack as I stripped out leftmost threads in the cluster), I sent it to VDOrepair in California.
Biggest problem was getting new ribbon to conform to an S-shape. VDOrepair says they use a better ribbon. Another big problem is the fuel gauge and the Temp gauge don't have stops and it is easy to knock the calibration/alignment off. I also mashed the fuel gauge pointer when I put the lens housing back on. VDOrepair fixed everything (except Temp gauge does not go exactly to middle when car is warmed up) for $275 (well worth it). I also paid $31 USPS shipping with $1K insurance. They charge $35 for first gauge they replace, $25 for additional gauges (also got new dial face plate for $2 as I had bent mine). VDOrepair pays the return shipping. It has been over a month now (c. 2K miles) and the pixels read fine. Send off & return was about 1 week. Communciation was excellent.
Last edited by Tracker5950; 09-06-2010 at 06:09 PM.
Reason: misspelling; additional Info