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Old 08-29-2008, 07:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Retrofit 08 Instrument Cluster?



Electronics technical experts, is this possible? I'm very certain, it's not a simple swap, plug and play.
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I asked my local dealership, and they said no, however, we've got some crafty people on this forum. I would change out mine if it could be done.
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I asked my local dealership, and they said no, however, we've got some crafty people on this forum. I would change out mine if it could be done.
forget the cluster...i want an OEM Retrofit Supercharger.
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm with ya on this, the orange one is just awful. Totally cheap.

I too asked my Lotus-trained mechanic, and he said he was told by a Lotus rep to not even attempt the conversion. I believe the wiring harness is different. Also, I think the LCD rectangle is custom programmed by Lotus, and not simply and off the shelf component.

I think ET member CharlieX once posted that he could create some sort of software interface that might be useful in a conversion. Perhaps he will read this thread and comment.
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Old 08-31-2008, 12:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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yes the cluster retrofit can *absolutely* be done.. we manufacture an interface that can be programmed for this explicit purpose. The lotus techs dont understand the conversion because its not just a matter of switching wire for wire, the vehicle networks need to be recoded for the new cluster info and they have no experience in that area whatsoever so they simply say 'forget it, it cant be done'


If someone is seriously interested in doing this the first step is to get an '08 model to our offices in chicago for a few hours. We have a lab there where I can pull the vehicle in and do all the data reads on the cluster as well as verify the wiring. Once that is done I can build you an interface and harness to plug in the new cluster to the older model.
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Old 08-31-2008, 03:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If someone is seriously interested in doing this the first step is to get an '08 model to our offices in chicago for a few hours. We have a lab there where I can pull the vehicle in and do all the data reads on the cluster as well as verify the wiring. Once that is done I can build you an interface and harness to plug in the new cluster to the older model.
This is great news Rob. Anyone local to Rob wanna kick start this process? I smell a GB for harness/connectors + 08 instrument cluster.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd be interested i getting the 08 cluster as well. Mine is a pain to see in daylight, i.e. temps, etc.
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Old 08-31-2008, 12:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I also asked my dealer about this.* they said it could be done for about 4K.
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Old 08-31-2008, 01:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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the 08 cluster has a different wiring harness, different protocol (it now includes a config byte for locales for instance) and runs at a different baud rate.

it can be converted, you'd just have to read in the old messages at 1Mbps and convert them to the new format at 512Kbps.

or you could reprogram the earlier ecu's to spit out the correct messages at 512Kbps instead.
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Old 08-31-2008, 01:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Charlie or Rob - What would be the most feasible solution for a retrofit kit?
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Old 08-31-2008, 02:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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robs is probably the quickest and simplest, he can read in the old stream and translate it.

both methods would need the harness though.

i'll try to get a dump of the 08 can bus and post it for him.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by charliex View Post
robs is probably the quickest and simplest, he can read in the old stream and translate it.

both methods would need the harness though.

i'll try to get a dump of the 08 can bus and post it for him.

that would be great charlie.. any read of the data will be helpful, also the schematic for the new cluster.

We also buy hundreds of harness wires and plugs each month so we can source hard to find connectors even when they are protected parts. Once I get the part numbes for the new harness plugs i can get more info.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Charlie or Rob - What would be the most feasible solution for a retrofit kit?
We already have a can bridge module in production and field tested in hundreds of vehicles. It can handle conversion for different speed networks, change data structures and even adjust data values (for instance for speedo correction). We normally use it for mercedes applications where the bandwidth is much higher; about 1200 messages/sec so this application would be no problem.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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also cost would be nowhere near 4K.. thats crazy. The biggest cost would be the price of the new cluster.
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Rob, Charlie ... Thank you for taking the lead and getting this happening. This will definitely be a worthy upgrade once you genius figure out everything.
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:30 AM   #16 (permalink)
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the depth of technical expertise on this forum is stunning, as is the spirit of cooperation among competitors.
my hat's off to you all.
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Anyone make any progress on this? I would really like to put this instrument cluster in my 06 if it's possible (at a reasonable price)
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Charlie or Rob - What would be the most feasible solution for a retrofit kit?
Just get a new car ......it's easier !!
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Old 10-05-2008, 02:08 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Anyone make any progress on this? I would really like to put this instrument cluster in my 06 if it's possible (at a reasonable price)
i still need to get my hands on an elise with the new cluster to read the data format. when someone can arrange to bring on by our offices for a couple of hours we can get started. also if anyone has the wiring for the 08 it would be helpful if you could post it or send it to sales@midcityengineering.com
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:16 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Anyone local to Rob wanna reach out and get this project moving along?
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