Excellent! Thank you very much for your helpful reply!!!Rock said:Ahhhh, funny you should ask. Just this past weekend we disassembled my son's 97 ETC panel AND the instument cluster itself. The IPC (Instrument Panel Cluster) has 5 or 6 bayonet-mounted incandescent bulbs "inside" the IPC. First, you have to get the IPC out of the car (easy) and then remove a few torx-screws that hold the IPC clam-shell together, which exposes the printed-circuit boards. There, in the back, are the bulbs... similar to other dash-backlite bulbs.
The IPC's warning lights and such are all LEDs soldered to the circuit board, but the back-lights are incandescent and replaceable.
First, disconnect the Battery.
To get the IPC out, you have to remove the big, top dash-pad panel. Do that by removing the defrost panel (pops out by hand) and remove the two little bayonet-mounted sensors plugged onto it (rotate about 60 degrees then pull). This exposes at least three 7mm hex screws (there might be four, I can't remember) that hold the back of the dash-pad on. You can easily see them by stepping outside the car and looking down thru the windshield. Remove those screws.
Now you have to remove the screws that hold the front of the dash-pad... those are hidden behind your A/C vent louvers, one screw behind each of the four louvers. Remove all four louvers is a delicate task to prevent breakage. They are held in by a little plastic tang on each side of each louver. I used a small awl (very small, but maybe a strong toothpick will also work) to VERY GENTLY pry the tang out of its recess while also applying outward pull-force with a wire bent into a hook. Ever so slightly, pry on the tang (pry too fast or too hard and it will break off) while gently pulling on the hook (hooked behind one of the louver-fins) and that side of the louver will just pop free. Do the same on the other side and it comes out.
Angled up into the top of each louver cavity, you will find another 7mm hex screw (one in each louver) that needs to be removed.
Now the front of the pad lifts UP (to clear the front wood trim) and the whole thing comes out. Careful not to scratch your wood trim.
The IPC is now fully exposed. Just remove the three big electrical connector on the top of it, remove 4 (I think it was 4) hex screws (NOT the torx screws) that hold the IPC in the dash, and it just lifts out.
Now take the IPC to your kitchen table (cleaner environment). Using a torx screwdriver, you want to remove the rear black clamshell. Don't remove the front clear cover or you will risk maring the matt-black surface of the meters.
On the side where the ribbon cable is, use your finger and pry loose the two clamping tangs, which act like levers, to disconnect the ribbon cable from its socket. Then remove the back half of the black clamshell. Inside is one of two circuit boards (you're looking at the back board), but I think the bulbs are in front board. Just remove the board hold-down screws (about 7 of them) and lift the board out. The bulbs are in full view, baynet-mounted.
The whole job is really a masterpiece of modularity. Nothing intricate about it... it just LOOKS scary.
Careful when replacing the top dash-pad or you will scratch your wood-trim. If you do, color it in with a dark-brown felt-tipped art pen, and it practically disappears!
Let us know how it goes.
Ah ... would appear to be a hard learned lesson in there ... seriously - thanks for the write up - I was pondering taking the dash out of mine and was just starting to investigate the "how"Rock said:Careful when replacing the top dash-pad or you will scratch your wood-trim. If you do, color it in with a dark-brown felt-tipped art pen, and it practically disappears!
it's not in my service manual, maybe I should try other years: for instance when I checked an older user manual with the same IPC, it is 194* the asterisk indicates that owner should inquire the dealer to replace it. It says all lights are 194 in the IPC, but Rock indicated some are soldered in, which tells me that maybe they "upgraded" at some point.Ranger said:If it's not in the owners manual, it's gotta be in the service manual .............. somewhere.