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Ford Tractors Discussion Forum

Instrument Cluster Removal

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Author  [Modern View]

03-07-2018 15:47:33

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Ford 2000; 3 cyl. gas; 4/1 trans....Would like to get my instruments going again and today tried to remove the four screws holding the instrument cluster to the dash. They turn but do not release. Feels like they are screwed into something rubbery. Tried to gently pry with the screws loose but didn't want to bend the dash and screw things up. Can anyone shed light on how to remove the cluster? By the way the cluster has been superceded by three guages down to the left of the cluster but they have rotted away and need to be replaced (if I don't replace the cluster itself). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Destroked 450

03-08-2018 08:29:24

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 Re: Instrument Cluster Removal in reply to marcusmerritt, 03-07-2018 15:47:33  
Get a large screw driver or small pry bar, work it in between the cluster and the tank shroud near one of the screws.

While applying pressure turn the two screws on that side, the brass nuts will work itself up out of the rubber eventually, repeat until you can remove the cluster.

I've had to do that to more than a few of the older dashes that had the brass nuts in the rubber seal.

Bad news is that rubber seal is no longer available, you'll have to change to the new rubber seal and use the newer style clip nuts and screws that will barely fit the older tank shrouds.

The old tank shrouds had a larger cutout for the rubber seal with brass nuts.

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Ultradog MN

03-08-2018 09:01:56

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 Re: Instrument Cluster Removal in reply to Destroked 450, 03-08-2018 08:29:24  
I'm not much of a fan of JB Weld but what I've done is JB a scrap of sheet metal under those larger cut outs and just use sheet metal screws to hold the tach in.

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03-08-2018 06:55:15

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 Re: Instrument Cluster Removal in reply to marcusmerritt, 03-07-2018 15:47:33  
Yes, the Dremmel with a cutoff wheel was my next move. I can get to the screws from the sides and cut them out. Many thanks for the pic of the back of the instrument cluster. My tractor has the same cluster as yours but it has been abandoned long ago for three round gauges that are set in the flat area of the bottom left of the dash. Only one of those three round instruments seems to work and the glass on all of them has fallen onto their dials. I'm hoping that the wiring under the dash is not so screwed up that I can't install a new instrument cluster and abandon the three round instruments. First gotta get the cluster out. Thanks.

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03-08-2018 06:45:01

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 Re: Instrument Cluster Removal in reply to marcusmerritt, 03-07-2018 15:47:33  
third party image

third party image

So you have this shape of cluster with round aftermarket gauges? I'm not a wiring guru like some here but I've been fighting to get mine working for a few months. I've got a new one and had it out and in a few times. The dash has some nut clips attached to it which have probably failed and now turn on the screws. Prying it out or using a saws all seems very destructive and will cause a lot of grief when you try to put something back in. Can you get a Dremel tool with a cut off wheel or a small cut off wheel between the cluster and the dash. I would suggest trying to cut the screws before bending the dash. If the screws spin you may have issues trying to drill them out. Sorry I can't help more.

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Ultradog MN

03-08-2018 08:17:21

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 Re: Instrument Cluster Removal in reply to obwan, 03-08-2018 06:45:01  
third party image

As I tried to explain below, the early tractors had a rubber gasket with 4 brass "nuts" vulcanized into the rubber at the corners. The early gasket was thicker and partially split so it slipped onto the cowel with half the gasket above the cowel and half under it.
The little screw cutouts in the corner of the tach hole in the cowel are much larger on the old cowels.
Those nuts are easily stripped out of the rubber making it very hard to remove the cluster without pulling the cowel and using a vise grip to hold the nut from turning.
The later tractors did away with those embedded nuts and just used a flat rubber gasket and the clips you mention.
I had a good photo of an old style gasket with the embedded brass nuts but cant find it now.
His early tractor does Not have the late style as shown in the photo.

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03-07-2018 18:09:04

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 Re: Instrument Cluster Removal in reply to marcusmerritt, 03-07-2018 15:47:33  
My 3 cyl. 2000 model tractor is from 1967 according to the serial number. It feels exactly like the threaded insert is spinning along with the screw in the rubber base. Although I've loosened all four screws as much as I can, they will not come out of whatever they're screwed into and I can't get a purchase on the screw heads with any tool so far. Worst case is I attack the instrument cluster with a drill and or recip saw if I plan to replace it. I'm pretty sure any wires/cables that were connected to the back of the cluster have been transferred over to the round individual instruments some time back. Can the instrument cluster be pried out? Thanks.

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Ultradog MN

03-07-2018 16:14:22

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 Re: Instrument Cluster Removal in reply to marcusmerritt, 03-07-2018 15:47:33  
Telling us the year of your tractor would be better than telling us what transmission you have.
The early 3 cyl fords had a rubber gasket between the cluster and cowel with a brass insert molded into each corner for the screw.
If the insert strips out of the rubber about all you can do is pull the cowel and put a vice grip on the insert and screwdriver on the outside.

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