How to Remove the Instrument Cluster in a Ford Explorerby Russell Wood
The gauge cluster in any vehicle is responsible for showing you what's going on with the engine at any time. If any of those gauges should happen to go out, you can be missing a major problem with your vehicle and not even know it. Sometimes it's the sending units that are bad; other times it's the instrument cluster itself, which is common in some years of Ford Explorer. In this case, the project vehicle is a 1998 Ford Explorer, but the process is similar for other vehicles as well.
Unscrew the two Phillips-head screws from the bezel that goes around the gauge cluster, using a Phillips-head screwdriver. Gently pull the bezel off the dashboard, exposing the gauge cluster assembly.
Unbolt the gauge cluster from the dashboard, using a 1/4-inch ratchet, extension and socket. Place the bolts to the side for use in reinstallation.
Pull out the gauge cluster with both hands, holding it securely. Adjust your grip so that the cluster is in one hand, and disconnect the harnesses leading to the cluster with your other hand.
- Before you start tearing into the dashboard, make sure that all the gauges in the cluster are not working, not just some of them. If only one individual gauge is broken, check the sending unit for the gauge first. It is typically cheaper and easier to install than an entire cluster.
Things You'll Need
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- 1/4-inch ratchet, extension and socket set
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.