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Old 10-15-2018, 09:08 AM   #1
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986 Cluster LCDs

I have a 2002 base with LCDs in the gauge cluster that look sun damaged. The center display is perfect. If I buy a used cluster, will I be able to transplant the lcd displays to mine? I've been searching and it looks doable, but kind of want an opinion from someone who has done this before.
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:54 AM   #2
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Not sure about the 2002, but in the 97-99 there aren't any connectors at either end of the ribbon cable that connects the LCD's to the circuit board - the small LCD's are bonded to the ribbon cable and the ribbon cable is bonded to the circuit board. Someone with the proper skill can replace them but its not plug and play (see link below).

If the 2002 has connectors at either/both ends of the LCD ribbon cable, then it would be an easy 15 min job to swap them. Maybe someone else can confirm how the LCD's mount in a 2002. Or you could open up your existing cluster and have a look for yourself before you buy a used cluster unit.

Here is a link for advanced DIY'ers: Replacing Bad Gauge Cluster LCD (pre 2000)











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Last edited by thstone; 10-24-2018 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 10-24-2018, 11:06 AM   #3
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On the 2002 cluster, the connections are made via zebra cables, so the LCD contacts are made with pressure only.
In other words, there is no solid connection and they pop right out.

However, getting to them is a PITA.
You'll have to disassemble most of the cluster, including removing the gauge needles from the stepper motors.



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Old 10-24-2018, 11:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
On the 2002 cluster, the connections are made via zebra cables, so the LCD contacts are made with pressure only.
In other words, there is no solid connection and they pop right out.
However, getting to them is a PITA.
You'll have to disassemble most of the cluster, including removing the gauge needles from the stepper motors.
Too bad that the design isn't a mashup of the easy to disassemble 97-99 and the replaceable LCD in the 2002.
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Old 10-24-2018, 11:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
Too bad that the design isn't a mashup of the easy to disassemble 97-99 and the replaceable LCD in the 2002.
That would be nice...
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info and photos. I consider myself an advanced DIY'er so I will probably tackle this with a donor cluster. I hate the idea of messing with the needles but these displays are driving me crazy. I found a used cluster with perfect LCDs for less than the two replacement LCDs I've seen for sale, and those were for the older clusters.
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
On the 2002 cluster, the connections are made via zebra cables, so the LCD contacts are made with pressure only.
In other words, there is no solid connection and they pop right out.

However, getting to them is a PITA.
You'll have to disassemble most of the cluster, including removing the gauge needles from the stepper motors.
Is there any glue to deal with or is it all fasteners and friction? I assume the needles are keyed to get them in right? I'm just trying to gauge my chances of breaking the thing. Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 10-26-2018, 08:08 AM   #8
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No glue. Screws and snaps.

The needles are not keyed. Getting them back on correctly will be a nightmare.
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Old 10-27-2018, 03:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
No glue. Screws and snaps.

The needles are not keyed. Getting them back on correctly will be a nightmare.
In my experience, getting the needles off without popping the gears out of place inside the gauge motor is more difficult than getting the needles on correctly. If you are careful and mark where they are on the stops and put them back to that exact spot, you usually can get the needles dead on.

For what it is worth, I have new gauge motors for the newer clusters and I stock the three LCD panels with the cables for the old style clusters.

One thing you might notice on the PCB for the gauges is that there are the provisions for extra circuitry which I think was used on the Carrera GT cluster, which is pretty much the same. The Carrera GT interestingly had TPMS, which I think would be really nice to add. I have figured out how to enable the boost display on a late 986/996 cluster with the "dot matrix" display. I am thinking of trying to trick my PST2 to think a 996 cluster is a Carrera GT cluster, and get it to code it to a CGT configuration to see if any interesting gets added. Yeah, when I have time...

Sorry, off topic.
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Old 10-27-2018, 03:44 PM   #10
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Are those LCDs only for the bonded cables or do you have them for the 2002 that have connectors?

I appreciate all the extra info. Keeps me thinking if I have the chops to pull this off. I'd love to move to a 996 cluster but want to be sure I keep the accurate odo info.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Qmulus View Post
In my experience, getting the needles off without popping the gears out of place inside the gauge motor is more difficult than getting the needles on correctly. If you are careful and mark where they are on the stops and put them back to that exact spot, you usually can get the needles dead on.

For what it is worth, I have new gauge motors for the newer clusters and I stock the three LCD panels with the cables for the old style clusters.

One thing you might notice on the PCB for the gauges is that there are the provisions for extra circuitry which I think was used on the Carrera GT cluster, which is pretty much the same. The Carrera GT interestingly had TPMS, which I think would be really nice to add. I have figured out how to enable the boost display on a late 986/996 cluster with the "dot matrix" display. I am thinking of trying to trick my PST2 to think a 996 cluster is a Carrera GT cluster, and get it to code it to a CGT configuration to see if any interesting gets added. Yeah, when I have time...

Sorry, off topic.
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Old 10-27-2018, 07:25 PM   #11
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There is a pretty good guide on how to disassemble the cluster on rennlist with a thread title changing the gauge color face or something like that.

I have recently changed all LEDs on both a gen 2 986 and 996 cluster.

Changing the LCD is no problem, just donít touch the LCD contact points (not really cables) that will usually come separated from the LCD. Also make sure you get the LCD snap covers completely seated or the LCD will have ghosting.

When you take off the needles, put painters tape under the pointer ends and accurately mark the positions to get them properly placed. I also took a piece of paper that I had cut a slot in to slide under the needle to keep from scratching the gauge face.

That said in doing the clusters three stepper motor shaft/gear assemblies came separated and I had to replace them. I tried to take one apart to fix it and they are not meant to be taken apart. Like Qmulus I also have additional stepper motors. Replacing them is a ******************** with unsoldering the old from the board and soldering the new one.
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Old 10-28-2018, 05:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by harrg67 View Post
Are those LCDs only for the bonded cables or do you have them for the 2002 that have connectors?

I appreciate all the extra info. Keeps me thinking if I have the chops to pull this off. I'd love to move to a 996 cluster but want to be sure I keep the accurate odo info.
I do not have new LCDs for the late clusters, and I don't think they are available separately like the early ones are. If you are not in a hurry, you can usually find a used Boxster cluster that is otherwise damaged or ugly for $75 or so and use it for parts.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:41 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the advice! I am going to try to find a cheap one for the parts for now. Let's see how lucky I am..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qmulus View Post
I do not have new LCDs for the late clusters, and I don't think they are available separately like the early ones are. If you are not in a hurry, you can usually find a used Boxster cluster that is otherwise damaged or ugly for $75 or so and use it for parts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by P_Carfahrer View Post
There is a pretty good guide on how to disassemble the cluster on rennlist with a thread title changing the gauge color face or something like that.

I have recently changed all LEDs on both a gen 2 986 and 996 cluster.

Changing the LCD is no problem, just donít touch the LCD contact points (not really cables) that will usually come separated from the LCD. Also make sure you get the LCD snap covers completely seated or the LCD will have ghosting.

When you take off the needles, put painters tape under the pointer ends and accurately mark the positions to get them properly placed. I also took a piece of paper that I had cut a slot in to slide under the needle to keep from scratching the gauge face.

That said in doing the clusters three stepper motor shaft/gear assemblies came separated and I had to replace them. I tried to take one apart to fix it and they are not meant to be taken apart. Like Qmulus I also have additional stepper motors. Replacing them is a ******************** with unsoldering the old from the board and soldering the new one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
No glue. Screws and snaps.

The needles are not keyed. Getting them back on correctly will be a nightmare.
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