[Instrument Cluster Modification] A brief guide to upgrading your needles and LCD - Page 6 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #101 of 181 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 08:31 AM
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There's a couple places with different looks - "Fubrication" (FUBRICATION), "Lotus custom gauges" (Home | Lotus-Custom-Gauges.com), and possibly some other sources in the UK.. (those that I saw were originally for converting between MPH and KPH, so the scales might be wrong; I don't have a link for them though)

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post #102 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 05:38 AM
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Gauge cowl removal

This barely belongs in this thread, but I'm struggling here. I've read through multiple threads on how to remove the plastic cowl surrounding the gauge cluster and they all say to pull straight forward to detach the 4 spring clips. I've been pulling this damn thing with all the might I can muster and the bottom two clips won't budge. I've wedged a trim removal tool in there and leveraged until I felt like the cowl was about to snap. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips on how to remove this? This step is so cursory in all the write-ups that I can't imagine everyone else had this much trouble.
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post #103 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 07:34 AM
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The cowl in my car was attached via a Velcro strip at the back of the cowl (between the cowl and dash pad), and the clips at the front. I remember having to pull super hard to get the clips to pop free. The Velcro strip caused the top of my cowl to snap off from the base. Come to find out it wasn't attached very well from the factory and I was able to us some abs epoxy to re-attach it. Hope this helps!

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post #104 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 09:01 AM
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Same here.. The 2 parts are glued together by 'something', which is quite brittle.. Mine separated partially while pulling it off. The clips go into stamped-out slots in the metal dashboard support structure, which can be quite sharp and 'grabby' on the edges. Not quite like plastic where they can slip in and out. Some are just very hard to remove... I think you have the right idea by getting in there with something to help - like a long curved pick and trying to directly free the clips.

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post #105 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 12:24 PM
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Ditto here. I thought for a long time that it actually was supposed to be two separate pieces

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2005 Midnight Silver Lotus Elise (www.darksol.com)
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post #106 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 12:50 PM
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Thanks guys, I'll keep at it then. I fully expect the cowl piece to come off in the process, I think it's adhered only by something akin to elmer's glue. I just hope I don't break the tabs off.
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post #107 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 01:02 PM
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Definitely pull straight out from the lower half of the cowl. Just when it feels as though its going to break, the clips will pop out. Whatever you do, don't pull from the upper portion of the cowl.

"This car is more fun than the entire french air force crashing into a firework factory." - Jeremy Clarkson

2005 BRP ELISE:
Sport Pack, Hard Top, Black Mesh Grills, Cup Air Box, TitanQR, Difflow diffuser, Larini Club Sport Exaust, Rear Panel Delete, RTD Brace w/Nitron Toe Pins, Mono-ball bushings, PRORAD, Reverie CF Side Scoops & CF Splitter, CF door pulls, Odyssey PC680. Filled seams including a custom one piece front paint protection film.
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post #108 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-15-2015, 01:31 PM
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So it is finally warm again here in Ohio and I am back at trying to get my gauge cluster back together. I am still having issues getting the speedometer to spin correctly. I have been playing with trying to get it to seat properly and the best I have come up with is when the car starts up and does a needle reset I get about 4 jerky motions from it where the tach is nice and smooth.

So I think instead of continually messing with it, I am just going to replace the motor since once I put the it all back together and need to slide the needle on more then likely I will bump it out of alignment and need to tear it all apart again.

That being said I think this is the motor that I would need but would love confirmation from anyone. Looking at you @Riceburner98

1 Fits Avalanche Stepper Motor Speedometer Gauge Repair Kit GM | eBay

The motor in the cluster is a X15-166 but I cannot find one of those. Looking on ebay I get the X27-168 that comes up when I look for the X15-166 unit.

Also I just want to see if anyone that has replaced one of these can confirm that these are the only 4 solder points I need to deal with when replacing it or if there is anything else special I should do when replacing the motor.

Thank you in advance
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post #109 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-15-2015, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zender View Post
So it is finally warm again here in Ohio and I am back at trying to get my gauge cluster back together. I am still having issues getting the speedometer to spin correctly. I have been playing with trying to get it to seat properly and the best I have come up with is when the car starts up and does a needle reset I get about 4 jerky motions from it where the tach is nice and smooth.

So I think instead of continually messing with it, I am just going to replace the motor since once I put the it all back together and need to slide the needle on more then likely I will bump it out of alignment and need to tear it all apart again.

That being said I think this is the motor that I would need but would love confirmation from anyone. Looking at you @Riceburner98

1 Fits Avalanche Stepper Motor Speedometer Gauge Repair Kit GM | eBay

The motor in the cluster is a X15-166 but I cannot find one of those. Looking on ebay I get the X27-168 that comes up when I look for the X15-166 unit.

Also I just want to see if anyone that has replaced one of these can confirm that these are the only 4 solder points I need to deal with when replacing it or if there is anything else special I should do when replacing the motor.

Thank you in advance
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f129...le-fix-233593/
this might help.
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post #110 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-15-2015, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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So I finally get a chance to permanently install the plexiglass and I think it looks pretty OEM
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post #111 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-15-2015, 01:51 PM
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Thanks but that was the first place I looked before asking here originally Everything is stacked up correctly and i can hear the gears engaging as I manually spin the needle but like I said on the reset sequence I get a very jerky motion. Mind you this is all without the full cluster put back together, no el panel, gauge face or even outer housing. I feel like if this is the best I can get it when it is stripped that bear and have access to everything there is probably a very small chance it will be right once it is all buttoned back up
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post #112 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-15-2015, 03:02 PM
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You are correct, the X27-168 motor is a usable replacement for the stock motors. You'll need to clip off some extra plastic studs so it fits flush with the circuit board, but otherwise it fits and works. I've replaced a couple of them with that motor with no issues. And also correct on the 4 pins - that's all that you need to de-solder. Just be veery careful to get all the solder out of the holes (or melt all 4 at once) as there are traces on the top side of the board under the motor, and if one of the pins sticks on the way out you can accidentally rip up a pad / trace that drives the motor. That can be fixed, but it's tricky..

Once you get the motor off, the new one goes on nice and easy, and you don't have to worry about stripped gears.

Nice pic Terry!! It certainly does look (better than) OEM!

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Mod list: Stainless shift knob.
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post #113 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-15-2015, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Riceburner98 View Post
You are correct, the X27-168 motor is a usable replacement for the stock motors. You'll need to clip off some extra plastic studs so it fits flush with the circuit board, but otherwise it fits and works. I've replaced a couple of them with that motor with no issues. And also correct on the 4 pins - that's all that you need to de-solder. Just be veery careful to get all the solder out of the holes (or melt all 4 at once) as there are traces on the top side of the board under the motor, and if one of the pins sticks on the way out you can accidentally rip up a pad / trace that drives the motor. That can be fixed, but it's tricky..

Once you get the motor off, the new one goes on nice and easy, and you don't have to worry about stripped gears.

Nice pic Terry!! It certainly does look (better than) OEM!
Awesome thank you for confirming that for me. I will order one right MEOW!!!
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post #114 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-16-2015, 07:34 AM
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So I finally get a chance to permanently install the plexiglass and I think it looks pretty OEM
This looks fantastic! What did you use to secure the gauge face to the cluster? The stock cluster uses that white plastic surround to hold the face down which I don't imagine can be used with the clear plexiglass cover.
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post #115 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 06:52 PM
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New motor showed up today just wanted to make sure that these are the posts that need to be trimmed down. Just didn't want to assume and come to find out one need to be left in tact or something.
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post #116 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 07:03 PM
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Yep, that's them. Basically you want it to sit flat down on the circuit board, and the Lotus circuit board doesn't have holes for those pins to stick through. I just snip them off with a pair of diagonal cutters. I'm not sure why they don't seem to make the flat-back ones; maybe not enough demand? Supposedly the gears in this new type are better; if you believe the eBay sellers they apparently wore out a lot in the Chevy / etc. cars that used the motor similar to ours. I didn't see even the slightest bit of wear on the ones I took apart.. Maybe because ours don't do a full test sweep every time the car turns on? Or maybe we just don't drive enough miles....

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post #117 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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This looks fantastic! What did you use to secure the gauge face to the cluster? The stock cluster uses that white plastic surround to hold the face down which I don't imagine can be used with the clear plexiglass cover.
I use the same white frame that used to be in there. One thing i did different is that i spray paint the white frame black. it looks so much better Everything fits perfect, the trick is the trim down the needle stem just perfect so it doesn't touch the glass. And if it really does touch the glass, you can always throw a layer of heat glue to create even more space/clearance between the glass and needles.
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post #118 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Nice pic Terry!! It certainly does look (better than) OEM!
thank you Bob! wouldnt be this nice without your EL panel!
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post #119 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 07:39 PM
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2005 Chrome Orange Elise
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post #120 of 181 (permalink) Old 03-23-2015, 05:32 AM
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Another step of the way, and another snag hit. Rather regret thinking I could do this mod. I installed my LED needle rings and a white EL panel and discovered that one ring was significantly dimmer than the other. Reconnected, tried different grounds, then after talking with Riceburner decided that one might have been not up to par. Second set of rings later and now both are nice and bright. Only problem is now the white EL panel isn't working properly. At first I thought it wasn't coming on at all, but now I can see that it's just extremely dim. Tried the stock EL panel, same result, very dim to the point where it's barely perceptible. All other functions of the gauge cluster seem to work correctly. The solder connections seem pretty clean and I was careful to wear gloves at all times, so I would be really surprised if I shorted something. Anyone have any thoughts as to what might be causing this?
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