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    Thread: Cluster question

    1. Member
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      11-15-2011 06:26 PM #1
      I just picked up a couple of clusters with Tachometers in them - one is immaculate and included all of the switches too (nice backup)! The little digital clock in the center is broke, but I can care less about that.

      The second one I am a little concerned with the condition and was wondering if any of you knew if it was even worth my time trying to install it to check if it all works. From what I have read - there is no way to fully test it without installing it - is that true?

      It seems some of the metal circuits are bent and/or broken in a section of the flexible circuit board. With minor knowledge of wiring and electronics I assumed this cluster was trash.

      Any feedback/experience would be helpful. I know these things are plug and play if they are in working condition, but is it even worth it to start pulling the tach itself out and trying to make that work otherwise?


    2. Member 90quattrocoupe's Avatar
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      11-15-2011 07:42 PM #2
      Just plug it in to test. you don't have to plug in the speedo to check the tach or the other parts of the cluster.

      Greg W.
      They have my car when they pry my dead cold fingers from the steering wheel.

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      11-15-2011 07:49 PM #3
      That's the thing - what if the tach tests ok - but I get it all installed and the warning lights or temp gauge, etc. don't work due to broken circuits?

      Edit: Duh - I re-read your response. Which is helpful. Test everything except the speedo. So, I guess the only way to know is to pull the current cluster and test this one. Which in turn brings me back to wondering if there's an quick test otherwise. I'll probably be putting this one in the 2dr along with a brand new speedo which is broken anyhow (which I got from the outlet on a whim a couple of months back - who knew I'd have a use for it so soon?)
      Last edited by redone17; 11-15-2011 at 09:03 PM.

    4. Member 90quattrocoupe's Avatar
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      11-15-2011 10:35 PM #4
      pretty much only way I know to test it.

      Greg W.
      They have my car when they pry my dead cold fingers from the steering wheel.

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      11-16-2011 02:38 AM #5
      Figured as much. Was sorta hoping that since you are supposed to be gentle w the circuit board - someone was gonna say "that thing is junk" as to not go through the trouble. But, on a positive note maybe it works just fine! I hope so.

      Thanks for your input Greg.

    6. Member 90quattrocoupe's Avatar
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      11-16-2011 12:00 PM #6
      Any time. Yea, the plastic wrap used on VW clusters of the era, leave a little bit to be desired. It always get brittle. I am on my 3rd cluster for my kids 89 GLI. Those clusters for 16v have a little vacuum connection on the rear of the cluster, so they are rare. They stopped making them in 2007.

      The plastic gets brittle and breaks the circuits. It would have been better to use a flat piece instead of it wrapping around the cluster.

      Greg W.
      They have my car when they pry my dead cold fingers from the steering wheel.

    7. Member j-boogie253's Avatar
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      11-17-2011 07:16 AM #7
      I've been toying around with all my extra Fox clusters and cluster parts lately and have made an interesting observation. The "circuit paper" for the tach cluster is the same as the non tach cluster.

      I haven't tried it yet myself, but you could essentially swap the "circuit paper" from a good non tach cluster onto the tach cluster with no problems. I am going to be doing this in the near future to build myself a back up cluster.

      So basically I'm saying your cluster with the compromised "circuit paper" is NOT junk. Compare your clusters and see if it's worth your time to swap the "circuit papers"

      GL
      Last edited by j-boogie253; 11-17-2011 at 07:18 AM.
      If you were a Volkswagen....who would your owner be?

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      11-17-2011 09:45 AM #8
      oh nice! yeah, I was wondering about that all together. it looks like it's just a few screws and some simple connections to make - a little glue and some patience and that could be a fun project.

      though, I have a hard time taking a working one apart w/o having a backup...

      wanna test it out this wknd?!


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      11-17-2011 08:53 PM #9
      you can try fluxing and seeing if solder would run, but that's most likely a bad idea, especially if you don't have that much experience.

      a better approach may be to get some conductive ink. radio shack sells pens from what i've read. i'm sure you could snag some online for a lot cheaper.

      or you could go for the rear window defrost repair kits from autozone. comes with a tiny bottle of liquid copper. should work well for sure for the short term. not sure how long it'd last though.
      I really suck at smog.

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      11-17-2011 10:07 PM #10
      Yeah. I haven't soldered anything in years and even at that I was just messing around. I guess I'll have to hope that it just works.

      It was only $20, if anything can't I take the tach itself out and put it into the slot where the clock is now?

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      11-17-2011 10:09 PM #11
      unfortunately, i believe the circuits are a little different.

      hell, thinking about it some more, just flux it and flow some solder. it should be a-ok
      I really suck at smog.

    12. Member
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      11-17-2011 10:56 PM #12
      Ya know - I typed that and then realized that would have been documented as an option somewhere down the line if it were true.

      I've searched and read so much - it seems it's not an option. Without soldering anyway.

      Last edited by redone17; 11-17-2011 at 11:17 PM.

    13. Member
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      11-18-2011 08:00 AM #13
      one more question -

      say it does work upon testing it out, I get it all installed and seems to be a-ok. what's the chance of it shorting out or causing other major electrical problems down the line?

      my electrical knowledge is slim, tho I did get my hands on the dealer electrical manual. I'm gonna poke through that a bit.


    14. Member j-boogie253's Avatar
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      03-27-2012 07:37 PM #14
      The circuits are the same....check this out

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...luster-Surgery
      If you were a Volkswagen....who would your owner be?

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      03-27-2012 08:37 PM #15
      Yeah, your thread answered my questions! Thanks for that

      Glad I held on to it...All I'll have to do is take a clock cluster circuit paper and fix the LCD terminals - one day I'll perform surgery I'm sure.

      cp
      How a VW Fox Wagon sucked me back in...a build thread

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