Removing the Dashboard Gauges on a Porsche 944 (1982-1985)
Tools Required to Remove the Instrument Cluster Gauges on a Porsche 944
- 24 mm or 15/16 inch deep socket
- Small phillips head screwdriver
- Medium phillips head screwdriver
- Small flat head screwdriver
- 10 mm wrench or socket
- 13 mm wrench or socket
Removing the Steering Wheel
Park your Porsche 944 on a level flat surface and engage the parking brake. You will want to chock the wheels to secure the car from rolling.
Disconnect the Battery
- Using a 13-mm wrench, disconnect the negative battery terminal.
- Using a 10-mm wrench, disconnect the positive battery terminal
Remove the Steering Wheel
- Remove the steering wheel horn pad by pulling up firmly on the outer edges. Be careful as the horn wire is attached with a spade connector on the underside.
- Remove the spade connector and place horn pad in a safe location.
- Using a 24 mm or 15/16 socket on a 6-inch extension remove the center nut from the steering wheel. Remove the washer but do not remove the steering wheel yet.
- Have paint or nail polish ready on a long-handled fine tip brush. Begin to lift up the steering wheel until it is level with the top of the shaft. Use the brush to mark the position of the wheel on the shaft to assist with alignment on reassembly.
- Remove the steering wheel by pulling straight up, and put it in a safe location.
Removing the Control Tree
- Now that the steering wheel is removed, you will want to next remove the control tree assembly for the wiper controls as well as the turn signal controls. This will make the removal of the gauges and housing much easier and limit the risk of breaking trim pieces.
- Remove the 2 small philips screws that hold the decorative trim on the steering column.
- Remove the bottom trim piece by pulling forward with a gentle side-to-side wiggle.
- Undo the two flathead bolts on the control tree face. The control tree is two separate units that connect together to operate as one unit.
- While lifting up gently on the top trim, pull the unit slightly out to you.
- Remove the black pin connectors on the right side for the wiper control
- Remove the black pin connectors on the left side for the turn signal.
- Separate the high beam switch from the turn signal control arm. It is at the base on the back side.
- Remove the upper connector for the turn signal; it is tucked above the high beam control.
- Gently lift the upper steering column trim and remove both the wiper and turn signal control as one unit. You can can also remove them in two separate sections by gently prying them apart; a series of pin connectors hold them together.
- Remove the upper steering column trim by pulling towards you and wiggling gently side by side. It can require a little gentle force to remove this piece the 1st time.
Wiring Connections on the 944 Gauge Cluster
Removing the Trim and Dash Cluster
Now that you have the steering column controls out of the way, the rest is easy.
- Remove the two philips head screws that hold the gauge trim in place. They are located on the inside top of the tachometer and fuel/temp gauge openings.
- Gently pull the trim forward; do not force it, with a gentle wiggle it will come. But do not pull too far as there are many wires behind the gauges.
- Reach behind the cluster for the speedometer cable connection. This is a tight fit. I find it best to go under from the bottom.
- Unscrew the speedometer cable.
- You can now pull the gauges out further to access the wires behind. Be careful, as the gauges are held in by pressure only and can very easily pop out. Make sure you have a way to support the faces.
- This is a good time to take a few photos of the wiring. Once you learn what is what it is easy to re-assemble, but the first time it can be overwhelming.
- Once disconnected, you remove each gauge pod as needed.
To re-assemble, follow the steps in reverse. Be sure to re-connect the high beam switch correctly; I personally forget to do that step all the time. An easy fix, but frustrating.
While you have everything out, it is a good time to replace the light bulbs, check your wiring, and clean your ground connections.