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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-04-2011, 08:51 PM
dpostelnicu dpostelnicu is offline
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Instrument cluster LCD repair.

How luckly is it for the LCD to go out? I bought the LCD ribon repair kit. Spend all day sunday thaking the cluster apart and clenaing it, installing the new cable 3 times, trying to get it to display. With the new cable the best I was able to do is first 3 digits on the left, rest re just one solid color. It looks like the LCD is history to me. Has anyone else experienced dead LCD on the instrument cluster?
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2011, 07:08 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpostelnicu View Post
Has anyone else experienced dead LCD on the instrument cluster?
- What are 'all' options when your instrument cluster or MID pixels slowly die due to a press-fit pink electrical-connection tape lifting off its contacts over time (1) & how to remove the E39 instrument cluster (1) (2) & a summary of the BMW NA cluster-repair goodwill policy (1) & how to fix the MID pixels yourself (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & how to remove the MID (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) and how to test the MID (1).
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2011, 08:12 AM
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Dking078 Dking078 is offline
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If your pixels are out and you want to pay a bit of cash, I'd reccomend http://vdorepair.com/

They are well known here about cluster PIXEL fixes, and in my case guage position fixing.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2011, 09:37 AM
dpostelnicu dpostelnicu is offline
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I belive the LCD is OUT and not just the Pixels. I replaced the cable that is suposed to repair the pixels and same old after about 4-6hr work. The LCD displays couple of things on the left side and the right side of the LCD is all one dim solid light. Any idea where I can purchase an LCD or LCD and cable besides EBAY (they are going for $125-180).
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2011, 11:57 AM
Brett San Diego Brett San Diego is offline
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I did the same thing with similar crappy results. New ribbon cable installed, display was worse. Not that it will be of any help, but here's my fail thread...

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...rument+cluster

I bought the ribbon cable from:

http://bimmer.netne.net/pixels.html

I consider myself fairly adept at these kinds of things especially with what I thought were reasonable instructions to follow. (although I still botched the return springs on a couple of the instrument motors.) Anyway, it was a miserable failure. I ended up buying a brand new cluster from the dealer.

I don't know if the ribbon cable from that web site is complete crap or if I did something wrong with respect to cleaning the contacts on the glass surface on the LCD side... I just don't know what went wrong. And, that still bugs me.

I think I describe it in my thread above, but when I removed the original ribbon cable from the glass LCD, it appeared that some contacts from the ribbon pulled off cleanly, whereas others left residue on the glass surface. I completely cleaned the glass surface with solvents and Q-tips until there was no visible residue. There didn't seem to be anything on the glass, but if you looked at the glare from a certain angle, you could see the "ghost" of the contacts (or where the old ribbon cable was). To this day, I don't know if I did the right thing, or if I cleaned away the contacts from the glass, and that is why the repair failed... Or, if it was a crap ribbon that was the problem.

I have yet to see any completely detailed DIY complete ribbon cable replacement that clearly shows how to handle the contact surface on the glass LCD side. I haven't been looking for anything more recent since I'm beyond it now, but that part worried me and may have been my undoing...

Where did you get your ribbon cable?

Brett

Last edited by Brett San Diego; 12-05-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2011, 01:11 PM
dpostelnicu dpostelnicu is offline
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I bought mine from German Auto http://www.ebay.com/itm/190591748466...84.m1497.l2649
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2011, 01:20 PM
dpostelnicu dpostelnicu is offline
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http://bimmer.netne.net/ribbonrepair/ If you look at the end pics you can notice the terminals on the LCD. I was not able to see these. I had to look hard on certain angle I can see a shadow of a trace. I bet when we removed the cable the glue took the terminals with it! Dang on it!
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2011, 01:39 PM
Brett San Diego Brett San Diego is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpostelnicu View Post
http://bimmer.netne.net/ribbonrepair/ If you look at the end pics you can notice the terminals on the LCD. I was not able to see these. I had to look hard on certain angle I can see a shadow of a trace. I bet when we removed the cable the glue took the terminals with it! Dang on it!
That's a picture I haven't seen. If what's in that pic are contacts deposited on the glass that should stay there, then, yes, I most definitely wiped them out of existence with my cleaning job. Sounds like you did the same thing. The glass contact area ended up looking clear, but at a certain angle, like you say, you can see the "contacts." Or, maybe I should say you can see where the contacts used to be. But, I saw the same thing that you say. The original ribbon cable pulled many of the contacts off the LCD glass completely when the cable was removed. That's why I went ahead and removed all the rest of the visible "residue" because I thought it was all supposed to come off. I didn't imagine that the deposited contacts would pull off with the cable. There needs to be more detail given on how to remove the original ribbon. Perhaps one should soak the original ribbon/glass interface with solvent to begin to dissolve any adhesive (if there is some) before pulling the ribbon off.

Sorry, man. I think you're in the same boat I was. Looks like you may still get some help from BMW, if you just put it back together and make the calls and write the letters as described in a post a few days ago. I wasn't fully aware of this and just went and paid out the nose for a new cluster.

Brett

Last edited by Brett San Diego; 12-05-2011 at 02:02 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2011, 07:02 PM
Brett San Diego Brett San Diego is offline
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Here is a pic of my LCD after "cleaning" the contact surface. Not that great a picture, but I think one can see that it just looks like glass with two different alternating shades here the contacts are or were. I have no idea if this is what you want to see or not, but it doesn't really "feel" right to me.



Brett
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