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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
MR2 Spyder Gauge Cluster Disassembly How-To

This is a fairly simply task which many Spyder enthusiasts could very well figure out on their own, but it's easier to do any disassembly when you know someone else has it already documented so you know what you're getting yourself into. This write-up and collection of images documents the disassembly of the gauge cluster in my 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder.

The only tool needed for this disassembly is a Phillips-head screwdriver.



Here are the gauges as they appear before disassembly. You may find it easier to take apart your gauge cluster if you adjust the steering wheel to its maximum lowest position.



The first layer we're stripping off is the outside cover, which is held on by four plastic clips. Simply grip the cover and pull gently, little force is required to remove this piece. The clips are not directional, and will not be damaged if you happen to be a little rough with this piece.



The gauge cluster is held in place with three black screws with two in the bottom corners and one at the top centre. These screws are screwed into soft plastic which forms the dashboard, so be gentle when unscrewing them, and take care not to tighten the screws any more than needed to secure the cluster when you reassemble the gauges.



After removing the three black screws from the gauge cluster, it is still secured by three looms of wire which provide power and data to the cluster. Pinch the clasps on the plastic connectors and pull to fully remove the cluster from the dashboard. This will not reset your odometer.



The space behind the gauge cluster is now easily accessible.



The cluster is now free from the dashboard.



After removing the cluster, the lens must be removed. The lens has a number of plastic clips around its perimeter which are to be depressed in order to remove the lens.



The black frame is removed in the same manner as the lens. At this point, take particular care not to damage the gauge needles or the trip odometer reset pin. When the frame is absent, various data is printed on the faceplate regarding the region, transmission, manufacturer (Denso), and calibration per mile/kilometre.



On the back side of the remaining assembly, seven small screws must be removed to continue.



The plastic backing will come free with no resistance.



The thin faceplate of the gauges is held in only by the pressure of the gauges' galvanometers' electrical connectors. Carefully pry this plate forward with even pressure and it will separate into three different pieces.



The printed circuit board, seen here from the front, is now loose.



The PCB, viewed from the back.



10 incandescent lamps illuminate the gauge cluster, turn signal indicators, and high beam indicator. These can be removed by twisting counter-clockwise from the back side of the PCB. All other indicators (door ajar, seatbelt, ABS) present on the gauge cluster are red LEDs. The white plastic that was behind the PCB can stay in place if you only need to access these lamps.



The lamps, excluding turn signal and high beam indicators, illuminated without the gauges' faceplate in place.



In total, seven layers compose the gauge cluster, all of which are visible in this photo.

Since disassembling my gauge cluster, I'm considering replacing my incandescent lamps with LEDs to modernise the slowly aging MR2 Spyder.
***EDIT*** OldMan has an excellent write-up detailing why the incandescent lamps in the gauge cluster ought not to be swapped for LEDs. I have, however replaced the incandescent bulbs behind the turn signal and high beam indicators for 8mm 5v 20mA LEDs paired with 620 ohm resistors, and the brightness and response rate is greatly improved. 8mm LEDs fit perfectly in the holes which the lamps screw into.

Curiosity led to the birth of this how-to. Never let your curiosity die.
 

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That's very nicely documented for people who are afraid to take things apart. Me? I just pulled the cover off, saw the obvious screws and connectors, and was like "Thanks for making this easy, Toyota." They design things like this (easy to install and remove) and it is one of the reasons I like Toyotas.

Be careful removing the connectors. You will have to pinch quite hard, then they will come off easily.

Don't touch components on a PCB with power still going to it. It is best to avoid any unnecessary contact with components even after power is removed - as a general rule.
 

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Thanks for the effort you put into documenting this. I may take mine apart and clean the inside of the lens and check all the bulbs since it's so easy to do.

This needs to in the library for future reference.
 

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the little small led on circuit board that indicates the high beam (switched on) doesnt light up anymore.

i dont know if its because my ride is a pre 03 but wirings has been modded to face lifted 03 lights.

nice documentation! the three wire looms are a pain to remove sometimes
 

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Excellent item. A must for the library.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's very nicely documented for people who are afraid to take things apart. Me? I just pulled the cover off, saw the obvious screws and connectors, and was like "Thanks for making this easy, Toyota." They design things like this (easy to install and remove) and it is one of the reasons I like Toyotas.
True, it is very simple to disassemble. I want everybody to feel confident about taking their Spyder apart and putting it back together. Simply and effectively designed. I love my Spyder for this reason.

DO NOT replace the gauge illumination bulbs with LEDs.
Use 2721 incandescent lamps, as installed by Toyota.

Turn and high-beam indicators can be replaced with LEDs
You have an excellent and thorough write-up there, my friend. I have since decided against replacing my lamps for LEDs for obvious reasons, but I did replace the lamps behind the turn signal and high beam indicators with 8mm LEDs. I've edited my original post to reflect this.

the little small led on circuit board that indicates the high beam (switched on) doesnt light up anymore.

i dont know if its because my ride is a pre 03 but wirings has been modded to face lifted 03 lights.

nice documentation! the three wire looms are a pain to remove sometimes
If the high beam indicator is unmodified, it's an incandescent lamp like the gauge illumination. It can be replaced with the 2721 bulb OldMan linked to in his previous post, or you can solder in a 5v 20mA LED (8mm works best) along with a ~600 ohm resistor to the 12v gauge cluster PCB. I don't remember which direction the voltage flows through the gauge cluster, but it's easy to figure out with a multimeter.

And yes, the three wire looms are a pain in the rear to pull off gently.
 

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This is a great write up. My clear lens looks fogged on one side. Now I can remove it and try polishing out. Do you think it's possible to remove the clear lens while leaving the cluster installed?

Thanks for posting this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is a great write up. My clear lens looks fogged on one side. Now I can remove it and try polishing out. Do you think it's possible to remove the clear lens while leaving the cluster installed?

Thanks for posting this.
It should be possible, after pulling off the first layer you'll only need to pop the plastic clasps on the clear plastic of the lens to get it free. It may take some time and effort to do this without removing the cluster. I would recommend pulling off the first layer and undoing the three black screws so you can pull the cluster forward enough to access these clips easily, hopefully without having to disconnect the three wire looms.
 

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thx z4x0r.

i've opened another thread on a problem that one of owners who is experiencing speedometer failure. (need to use one of your linked image to decribe if you dont mind, z4x0r)
 
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