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I have a 1998 Z3 and have never had any problems. I just recently had the car serviced after reaching 65,000 miles. Now the odometer light has faded out and I can no longer see the odometer and tripset numbers. All other instrument lights are working fine. Anyone experience this issue? What was the problem/solution?
 

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///M Practical
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catkins said:
I have a 1998 Z3 and have never had any problems. I just recently had the car serviced after reaching 65,000 miles. Now the odometer light has faded out and I can no longer see the odometer and tripset numbers. All other instrument lights are working fine. Anyone experience this issue? What was the problem/solution?
It's a common problem. You will need to replace two light bulbs in your instrument cluster. One of the links shows you how to pull the cluster. The two bulbs that need replacing are the beige ones in the picture of the back of the cluster. I replaced them on my 97 while I was doing some other work under the driver's side of the dash. Instead of removing the cluster, I just removed the screws and pushed the cluster out slightly from the back. I was then able to remove and replace the bulbs by hand turning a small socket, 6mm I believe.

http://www.zroadster.net/tim/custom/dials.html

http://bimmer.roadfly.org/bmw/forums/z3/580086-7.html
 

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Cluster lamps

Since the wires on my cluster were too short it was a pain to remove the cluster whether you removed the steering wheel or not. Less potential damage if you remove the steering wheel.
I extended my cluster leads by four inches or so. Of the X16 and X17 connectors 52 positions, only 28 positions have wires. 29 if you do the sport mode line.
The tool shown in the following pics was for the old style (E30 etc.) square lamps. One end did the small old style square lamps and the other end did the three large green ones that illuminate the dials. Will fill the square old style end with Dental TAK to accommodate the new style 6mm small ones in our cars.
Will add the old style part number to the square lamp pic if what I ordered shows up as the old style.











 

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Replaced Z3 odometer bulbs

I have a 1997 1.9l roadster. The odometer illumination failed, so I followed the advice on this and other posts on replacing the odometer bulbs. It turned out to be quite easy in fact. The cluster was pulled forward after removing the two upper fastening screws. This gave access to the 3 electrical connectors behind the cluster which were then unplugged. The cluster could then be withdrawn further towards the steering wheel, but could not be removed completely because the steering wheel prevented this. On my Z3 the steering wheel is not adjustable. However, the cluster was now sufficiently forward to gain access to the odometer bulbs. A 90 deg twist with a flat-bladed driver unlocked the bulbs. They were then withdrawn using long nosed pliers - carefully so that they didn't fall into the cavity behind the cluster. The bulbs must be connected in series, because only one had failed. I renewed them both and the odometer is now readable again. BTW new bulbs in Australia are of the "gold-plated" variety costing $6.30 each. Still, the local BMW dealer has sold none since he opened about 5 years ago, so someone has to finance all the storage management I guess! Thanks to Ron and Tim for the info that guided me to this fix.
Rob
 

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Is it possible to remove the cluster face plate, without removing the torx screws in the back? It looks like a very small bug got between the face plate and the bottom of the odemeter in my cluster. I hate seeing it and was hoping I could just take the faceplate off after removing the top two torx screws.
 

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///M Practical
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Is it possible to remove the cluster face plate, without removing the torx screws in the back? It looks like a very small bug got between the face plate and the bottom of the odemeter in my cluster. I hate seeing it and was hoping I could just take the faceplate off after removing the top two torx screws.
No, you have to remove the five torx screws from the back.
 

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More on odometer bulb replacement

In my post of 28-04-2008, I said that I could not completely remove the instrument cluster from behind the steering wheel. Well that was during my exploratory check to find out which bulbs were fitted to my car (they were the 1.5 watt P/N 62 11 1 391 260). When I had the new bulbs in hand and repeated the removal job, I managed to get the cluster completely clear of the wheel and on to the workbench. It was then very easy to renew the bulbs, no special tools being required. It turns out that the upper bulb illuminates the odometer display, whilst the lower bulb does the service indicator display - so the 2 bulbs were not in series as I originally thought.
 

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Is it possible to remove the cluster face plate, without removing the torx screws in the back? It looks like a very small bug got between the face plate and the bottom of the odemeter in my cluster. I hate seeing it and was hoping I could just take the faceplate off after removing the top two torx screws.
Bringing this one back from the dead...

Is the face plate a replaceable part? If so, can anyone tell me the part number?

My wife's car's face plate is seriously scratched (looks like someone used steel wool on it) courtesy of one of the previous owners. It's not so much of a big deal during the day, but at night it really shows up.
 

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///M Practical
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Realoem.com does not show the face plate as a separate part. Perhaps you could polish out the scratches, or you could buy a used instrument cluster and switch face plates.
 

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sailorbox

It's a common problem. You will need to replace two light bulbs in your instrument cluster. One of the links shows you how to pull the cluster. The two bulbs that need replacing are the beige ones in the picture of the back of the cluster. I replaced them on my 97 while I was doing some other work under the driver's side of the dash. Instead of removing the cluster, I just removed the screws and pushed the cluster out slightly from the back. I was then able to remove and replace the bulbs by hand turning a small socket, 6mm I believe.

http://www.zroadster.net/tim/custom/dials.html

http://bimmer.roadfly.org/bmw/forums/z3/580086-7.html
Today I experienced for the first time the same problem, my odometer lights went out, and I read the above instructions with a lot of interest. Tonight when it became dark I went out and started the car, turned on the lights and drove about 1/8 mile to see if the odometer is working and all of a sudden the odometer lights came back on. I only drove back to my garage and turned the car off and began to think that I guess I may have some type of short, or somehow the bulb filament re-attached itself, not likely, so I guess I may have to look for a loose wire. What do you think. [email protected]
 

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What's the trick for removing the instrument cluster? I've got a 1997 Z3 (2.8L), and the instrument cluster attaches with 2 Torx screws. Those came out quite easily, and I've tried prying (with a feeler gauge blade, along with a small screwdriver), but am unable to get the instrument cluster to budge more than a few millimeters. When I try to apply more force, it creaks... I'm not sure if that's normal, or if that implies there's some hidden (whatever) that I need to release with some magical procedure.

Should I just pick one side (eg, the side towards the center of the car) and pry on that, or is the whole thing supposed to lift straight out evenly (like lifting a muffin out of a muffin tray)? Thanks in advance...
 

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What's the trick for removing the instrument cluster? I've got a 1997 Z3 (2.8L), and the instrument cluster attaches with 2 Torx screws. Those came out quite easily, and I've tried prying (with a feeler gauge blade, along with a small screwdriver), but am unable to get the instrument cluster to budge more than a few millimeters. When I try to apply more force, it creaks... I'm not sure if that's normal, or if that implies there's some hidden (whatever) that I need to release with some magical procedure.

Should I just pick one side (eg, the side towards the center of the car) and pry on that, or is the whole thing supposed to lift straight out evenly (like lifting a muffin out of a muffin tray)? Thanks in advance...
Same problem. I pulled on it and broke some plastic pieces on the fascia above the cluster which needs replacing now. My cluster will not move outwards towards the steering wheel and feels as though something is catching onto it, as it won't freely slide
 

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Another revival

I just did this bulb replacement and found it to be pretty easy on my 96.
I removed the small battery positive cable, leaving the large one that goes to the starter, attached. Before I did this, I made sure that I had the code to the radio.
I removed the two screws that hold the cluster. Then I used a suction cup (used to replace light bulbs) to pull the cluster out as far as it would go-out to the steering wheel. Then I slid it toward the drivers door as far as it would go. The two tan bulbs were easily visible from below. I did not have to remove any cables. I removed the bulbs with a 6mm socket and replaced them with the same socket.
Easy, peasy. It took longer to drive to the dealer for the bulbs than it took to replace them.
 

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M Roadster Odometer Lights

How critical is the use of beige bulbs in the odo?
I have some of the black bulbs and wondered if I could use them instead (it will save atrip to the dealer).
 
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