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Remove glass from instrument cluster

Discussion in 'Z3 Roadster & Coupé' started by Cooper, May 15, 2014.

  1. Cooper

    Cooper Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Hi,

    Tomorrow I will be removing the instrument cluster which looks quite easy. The reason for doing that is because I need to wipe down the back of the glass [plastic] as someone got it dirty and it looks horrible while looking at the spedo and such.

    Is there anything I need to be careful about or tips and tricks on removing the glass? Is this going to be easy or fiddly?

    Cooper
     
  2. t-tony

    t-tony Zorg Expert (I)
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    Not too sure re removal mate but I would use such as camera lens wipes to clean the inside and outside of the plastic lenses.
     
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  3. Cooper

    Cooper Zorg Guru (IV)
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    UPDATE:

    I removed the instrument cluster and the black back to it [5 x additional screws] which holds all of the electronics . Unfortunately the dials are still attached to the face of the cluster and I could not figure out how to get them off safely so I left them there. I carefully inserted a small cloth only to discover that the damage is to the OUTSIDE of the cluster!

    Next Question: Is there a way to polish the outside of the plastic? It appears that someone sprayed some cleaner on there and it has clouded/slightly etched the plastic.

    Cooper
     
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  4. oldcarman

    oldcarman Zorg Guru (V)
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    I'd try the Polish for cleaning the plastic headlight lenses, macquire's would likely be best. If it'll restore those can't see why it wouldn't work for your purpose. Maybe contact Chris at Summit Detailing a forum sponsor. Go to the home page and scroll to the bottom sponsor ads. HTH, JIM
     
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  5. TaffZee

    TaffZee Zorg Guru (V)
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    If I remember correct you will need to split the enclosure, remove metal clips, heat up the edges, I used a hairdryer set to full, and then pull apart breaking the mastic seal, sounds horrific but a little patience and its an easy job, I put chrome bezels around my clock..
     
  6. Cooper

    Cooper Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Thanks Taffzee, I suspect that the white framed gauge frame assembly [looking from behind once the black back has been split off] comes off somehow which should leave the housing holding the glass window in position, then split as per your advice. The problem is I cannot figure out how to remove the white frame even after scouring the internet for pix or vid of someone else doing it. I am the kind of guy who accidentally breaks things unnecessarily causing hundreds of dollars in damage so I am taking things carefully.

    I will ask if the macquire's stuff will work, I hope it does, to save me the extra work.
     
  7. TaffZee

    TaffZee Zorg Guru (V)
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    It has been a while since I done it 4 years ago, cant help any more but I am sure if you are careful and gentle you will (as well the toothless budgie) succeed.
     
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  8. t-tony

    t-tony Zorg Expert (I)
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    Hey mate I use greygate plastic polish off ebay or amazon. Excellent product. Definitely will do the job.
     
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  9. captain

    captain Regular Member
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    There are two or three tubes at the back if I remember correctly, look carefully about half way down you can see a plastic clip which you need to release a quarter of a turn. That will allow you to split it, hope this helps.
     
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  10. Cooper

    Cooper Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Thanks. I have bought some PlastX and will try that and report back.
     
  11. oldcarman

    oldcarman Zorg Guru (V)
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    Just a hint for all when polishing up dirty plastic lenses. My optical guy uses used dryer softener cloths to clean plastic optical lenses and it works great. Give it a try on your speedo and tach! JIM
     
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  12. Cooper

    Cooper Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Well, I removed the cluster and got the PlastX on to it. There is about a 80% improvement and is in acceptable condition but not as good as I would like it. The cleaning stuff used by the other owner has created some deeper etching [spots] are still there. In case you are wondering I suspect the cleaning stuff was Armourall used for the dash. Don't worry, I don't use it myself :). I also used a Q-tip and attempted some more precise and vigorous rubbing in all directions but I cannot totally remove the damage. :(

    I also used the PlastX on the rear wind shield which suffered bird strike [crap] while it was in transit from Qld to here. It did a marvellous job clearing that up.
     
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  13. oldcarman

    oldcarman Zorg Guru (V)
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    Don't know how thick the lens is but you may be able to use a DA sander with a real fine paper with WD 40 for lube to take a bit off the damaged face and then re polish with jewellers rouge and a soft buffing wheel. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as it could burn and leave marks. Work slowly and gently just make sure a replacement is available before attempting. JIM
     
  14. vintage42

    vintage42 Dedicated Member
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  15. Cooper

    Cooper Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Thanks @vintage42 for the video link. It is good but the Z3 cluster pulls apart from the frame differently. Once the black back is off the guages are held in by a white semi flexible frame. I think that @captain revealed how they come off.
     
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