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  1. #1
    sfe39
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    Yes | No

    Update and question

    I posted a couple of months ago regarding undiagnosed electrical gremlins (spontaneous radio on/off, same with clock, flashers and turn signal indicators). After searching, replacing the battery and the ignition switch, and asking for advice, I knuckled under and took it to the dealer. They diagnosed it as a bad instrument cluster, and offered to fix it for $1,360 ($1K parts and $360 labor). I did a web search, found a used unit online for $85, then took the old one out in about 15 minutes. I'm waiting for the new one. Moral: don't even think of having the stealer do this fix if you can perform just the simplest of mechanical fixes.

    So part one of this post is to remind folks that electrical gremlins can be caused by the cluster. Part two is to ask a question: Is there any reason that the new cluster has to be reprogrammed? The mileage on the old cluster is very close to the mileage on the new one. Is there something else that has to be re-entered?

    For the record, here is a write up: remove 3 small torx fasteners from the upper portion of the trim around the cluster. Remove the wood dash trim below the cluster by pulling toward the rear of the car (it is in place with press-fit pegs). Remove the screws hidden by the wood trim and the cluster trim comes off. Disconnect the rotary switch at the passenger-side end of the cluster trim (mine was a press fit connection and only required a good tug) and rotate the trim out of the work area. Then remove two more torx fasteners just behind where the cluster trim had torx fasteners. The cluster is now loose. Disconnect the wiring harness (both connections require depressing a button to operate a bale, which releases the connections). The cluster can now be removed. Installation, I'm guessing, is the reverse.

    Thanks!

    1997 528i



  2. #2
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    Yes | No

    yes must be coded

    I never got a real answer but i dont think you can RE-code a used unit. There's about 4 or 5 parts in an e39 that must match coding (vins miles etc) The cluster is one of them along with the LCM and ECU and a couple of other parts. Most of the time you will get a Tamper dot next to your trip set miles which affects mainly the cars resale value since its TMU "True Mileage Unknown" Worst case scenario the car wont start AND/OR you will loose some features and functions, (auto lights, auto locks etc)

    Tamper Dot


    Andreas
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  3. #3
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    Redundant Data Storage...

    Whorse is correct, if the new cluster is not recoded to match the data stored in the LCM...you will get the manipulation dot.

    See info below:






    Vin


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  4. #4
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    Ok, lets try this a different way...

    I forgot about this ridiculous rule regarding links from other forums.

    Just replace the xx with mm and paste into your browser.

    http://www.bixxerboard.com/members/q/original/Odometer%20Tamper%20Dot.jpg

    Vin


  5. #5
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    Ok, lets try this a different way...

    I forgot about this ridiculous rule regarding links from other forums.

    Just replace the xx with mm and paste into your browser.

    http://www.bixxerboard.com/members/q/original/Odometer%20Tamper%20Dot.jpg

    Vin



  6. #6
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    Some of the older E39's had a removable box (m)

    on the rear of the instrument cluster. I don't exactly remember what it's function was but sort of remember it had a battery in it and might also store the miles, maybe the VIN too. Someone must recall what that module's function was?? My 2000 cluster doesn't have one.
    Jim Cash, Tyrone, you guys remember?

  7. #7
    sfe39
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    Thanks guys

    Thanks much for the advice! I found and indie that says he can reprogram the used unit, and saw from Vin M that there is software out there that allows me to do it myself if need be. Wow, its hard to believe there is software that allows resetting the odometer.

  8. #8
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    I hope that's just to reset the ...

    ...new cluster being installed so it will display the proper mileage of the car receiving the new cluster. Otherwise, that's scary if someone (anyone) could reset the mileage of their vehicle.

    '00 M5
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    -...and a rebuilt GM 4L30E transmission!!

    '86 528e

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  9. #9
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    Mine has one, but I haven't poked around in it.>>

    Had to remove it to replace the bulbs.
    Ed in San Jose. BMW CCA member since 1987 (Nr. 62319). Golden Gate Chapter. '97 540i 6 speed. Build Date 3/97. Aspensilber over Aubergine leather.

  10. #10
    Tyrone
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    Re: Some of the older E39's had a removable box (m)

    Before 9/97 all of the main electronics were located inside that separate IKE control unit, and the cluster unit was just a display. For the 98 model year it became one integrated unit. New units are fully backward compatible. This only applies to the High cluster. The low version did not have the box.

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