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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just got my 95 M3 yesterday... and i love it~!!!!

That being said, I bought it knowing it has been having an intermittant gauge cluster problem.. I also paid 1200 less than what they were asking becasue of it..

symptoms:
-the gauge cluster will cut out..

-all gauges will go to zero..

-the mileage indicator as well as all indicator (brakes check engine etc) lights will go out seemingly for no reason that i can reproduce.

-after a period of time everything will come back on..

-all the lights will flash and the dinger will ding jus like it would if you just turned the ignition on.. the car runs fine through all this....

-The dash illumination lights stay on (when the headlights are on ) like they should..

-it just seems to effect the instrumentation.

the longer i drive the less it happens it seems....

This car was meticulously maintained by the dealership..every oil change and service done... and only had 64,000 miles on it just had its inspection 2 and the dealership replace the ignitionswitch thinking it would correct the problem.. the owner decided to buy a new M5 and did not want to put any more money into the problem.

the only gauge related problem i can see in this thing's history is hat the fuel sending units were changed out in 97.

i am a pretty good mechanic with a little below average electrical and electronic skills so i defer to you experts out there.. is any on else having or have had this problem

thank you in advance for your help..
 

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Find another instrument cluster...

Keep an eye out on Ebay for another E36 instrument cluster and try that out. Sounds like a bad circuit board. I assume the dealer checked the connections. If you install a new cluster and the mileage is more than 100 mile difference with your ECU you'll get a red LED nag light in the odometer till you have the dealer match up the mileage again. Other than that it will work fine. There's a bunch of them on Ebay.

E36 M3 Cluster on Ebay.... $99

E36 instrument cluster on Ebay ....

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ok... now i have found out that when this happens the wipers cut out also... is there a comon wire that feeds.. all of the gauges the check lights, the odometer and the wipers.. does this still sound like just the cluster..?
 

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well

I would pull the dash...if need be. someone should be able to tell you if it even needs to be taken off to get the cluster out, and see if you just have a loose connection. that's the first thing, then go from there. order a new one and be done with it if you need to.
 

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I don't own an m3 but I have taken the instrument cluster out of my 96 328i. My car has srs (supplemental restraint system) and your supposed to disconnect the battery and take the dash apart and disconnet the airbag and certain srs components and then take the steering wheel off. I disconnected the battery and the two clips that were attached in the back and forced it out between the steering wheel. Took a long time to get it out and I put a smidge in the dash where it slid out (that eventually went away). If someone pulls back on the steering wheel hard enough while you slide it out maybe it'll work. Yeah I know it's pretty *******!
 

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It sounds like a bad ground or a hot wire making contact with a bundle in the column. Here is what I would do. I would First pull the wheel off after disconnecting the battery. There are two torx scres on the backside of the wheel that hold the airbag on. I think they were 25 in size. Once you have those loose, they don't pull out they are just unscrewed and the bag comes out, then remove the airbag and the connector too. Now the steering wheel can be removed. Use a 17m/m socket and remove the bolt. Now to remove the wheel put the key in and turn it to the on position to retract the antitheft lug.
Once off you can see the column covering which I think has a couple of screws at the bottom and top. It just comes apart and exposes the wiring and stalk for the wiper. This is the time to pull the cluster too. Two phillips screws at the top cluster shroud come out and remove the shroud. I can't remember it you need to take the lower cover off and remove a couple screws there to since I don't have my manual but I think there are like 2 there too that are phillips. Once all these screws are out then you can reach behind the cluster with the lower cover off and push and wiggle the cluster forward. There are 3 BMW infamous connectors that you need to disconnect. Once done then you can remove the cluster.
Buy some dielectric grease if you find no issues with the cluster and make sure all connections are in good order before appling the grease.
The wiring from the column needs to be checked so you will have to check each wire and see if there is any insulation missing or exposed or burned.
This will take some time but I know of no other way to do this. Something is causing this and it could be a bad PCB board which is also an infamous BMW problem and or the wiring. Best I can suggest...
 
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