DIY Cluster Repair

After having 2 clusters replaced under warranty, and now last summer and fall, having the fuel gauge and coolant temp gauge fail, I explored "alternatives" to having the dealer replace the cluster once again.
I did purchase a used cluster that works, but the mileage is about 13K more than actually on the car.

I did look into this company for advice and help, and by asking some vague but pointed questions, I found out that the main problem to the failure of the TT fuel and coolant gauge was actually the meter movements.
I purchased yet another cluster on eBay for $80.
I planned to use this one as the "donor" cluster.
I removed my working cluster, noting the mileage of course, plugged in the eBay one, noted the mileage (over 110K) and those movements were working fine.
I also noted the position of the gauge dials for reference.
I plugged in my other cluster, the one I had been using, and compared those needle positions too. They were the same.
It's fairly easy to take the cluster apart, and get to the circuit board.
Next step is to carefully pry off the pointers.
I used a small screwdriver to help start it, then pulled them off with my fingers. No marks.
They are identical, so you don't need to remember which is which.

The meter movements are held in by plastic one-way clips on posts from the white bezel.
I tried to carefully pry off these clips, but they broke.
No problem they were toast anyway.

The meter movement then simply pulls away from the PCB. The 3 pins go into a small socket on the other side of the PCB.

I then went to my donor cluster, took it apart, and I decided to clip off the white posts, rather than destroy the meter movement clips. Didn't care, as this cluster was the donor. I could use some epoxy to glue them back on if needed.

I pressed the new movements into place, over the white posts.
I then went to the car, with the bare PCB assembly, plugged the cluster in, and turned on the ignition. The "old" cluster sprang to life.
The car was warm, and I had just filled the tank.
I carefully pressed the meter dial pointers onto the pins just enough to hold the pointers in place, onto the place on the bezel where I remembered the other pointers were. This is a critical step.
I turned off the car, unplugged the cluster, and then pushed the pointers down into place.
I had tried to simply put the pointers back on in the general "off" position, and they didn't work.
I thought the movement swap had failed. But by thinking about it a bit more, and noting that the movements have two separate coil windings, I surmised they were controlled by a back and forward movement from the electronics.
My suspicions were correct.
The meter movements for the fuel and coolant now read correct.
I re-assembled the cluster, and it all works. This is not a real difficult task, but you need patience and another cluster to fix yours.
I scored 2 from eBay, and was lucky enough to have them work.
This turned out to be a bit cheaper than going through a cluster repair place, like BBA Reman, but not by much.
I like a challenge, and I can do it.
Oh, I'm keeping the other clusters and parts.

By Jeff Bipes