Replacing Stepper Motor(s)

Discussion in 'GM Electrical Tech' started by stinger44, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. stinger44

    stinger44 Rockstar

    Anyone replace the stepper motor for the speedometer? Looked in the DIY thread and didn't see anything. Could someone post the instructions for removing the instrument cluster and replacing stepper motors, etc.? My speedometer is getter worse.

    99'HEARTBEAT MODERATOR Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Here is a Great Write-up with Step by Step on removing and replacing the Stepper Motor's.......

    If the needles in your gauge cluster flutter, stick, or stop working you may have a bad stepper motor.
    Dealerships want $400-$700 to replace the whole cluster, but you can replace just the motor for around $10.

    Time: 1-2 hours

    Cost: About $10 for 1 stepper motor (part: X-C5-168 or X-25-168)

    The Below E-Bay Link....has the Site that's Sells New Stepper motor's,

    Stepper Motor/s
    Phillips Head Screwdriver
    9/32 Socket
    Soldering Iron

    Step 1 (Remove dash faceplate)
    The dash bezel is has clips.....getting your finger's between the bezel and gently pull,once you have the first one off go all the way around......Also you will need to drop the Column shifter down to 3rd and drop the steering wheel all the down and then there are 4 screws holding the Dash in place....remove those screws and then unplug the wiring harnesses Take your time in doing this....once the dash cluster will now come out,

    Step 2 (Remove gauge cluster)
    You will now be able to access the gauge cluster. Remove the 4 screws holding the cluster in place and then unplug the wiring harness.


    Step 3 (Disassemble cluster)
    The cluster is constructed from 3 pieces which are held together with clips. Remove the front clear cover by unfastening the clips.


    You will now have access to the gauge needles.
    Place tape at the end of each needle.

    Turn each needle counter-clockwise until it stops as shown below and then mark off the location on the tape with a pen. If you do this, you should have no issues with calibration when you reassemble.


    Once you have your positions marked, turn each needle counter-clockwise until it breaks free from the shaft. Then use a fork to pry each needle off. It will take a little force, but just be slow.


    Unfasten the remaining clips that hold the back cluster cover in place and remove. You will then be able to pull the circuit board off.

    Notice the 6 stepper motors, each about the size of a quarter.


    Step 4 (Replace stepper motor)

    On the reverse side of the circuit board you will need to desolder the 4 points that are holding the motor on. These are easy to determine as they stick up a bit more.
    Heat the solder and use a solder-sucker to remove the solder. If you don't have a solder-sucker, you can have an extra hand pry at the motor from the other side as you heat.
    **Just be careful not to heat things up too much as this is a circuit board and you can harm other components if not careful.
    I was replacing my speedometer motor, so I desoldered the following points.


    Once the old motor is off, make sure the holes are clear of solder and put your new motor in.
    Resolder your 4 points and place the circuit board on the back cover. Fasten the overlay piece back on now.
    Now press each needle back on in the 12 o-clock position. Then turn each needle back to your mark on the tape. If you miss the mark just keep turning counter-clockwise until you come around again.


    To test things out, plug the wiring harness back to the cluster. You should immediately see the needles jump down and then up to the original 'zero' points.
    Make sure the needle for your new motor moved. You should really test this out first before reassembling everything to make sure your needles go back to their original points.
    Typically, the gas gauge needle is a tick or so below empty. My RPM gauge was also about 100 rpm under zero at the rest position, so I made sure they were exactly in the same spot after I plugged the cluster back in.
    Yours may differ slightly.
    Once you determine your needles are correct, just snap the clear plastic cover back on the gauge.

    Step 5 (Reassemble)

    Attach the cluster back to the dash and reassemble the dash in reverse order.

    You are done!
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  3. stinger44

    stinger44 Rockstar

    Thank you!
  4. stinger44

    stinger44 Rockstar

    Question regarding step 3. Do all the needles need to be turned back counter-clockwise to the stop if I'm not replacing that particular stepper motor? What's the reason they all have to be turned back? Must be they all have to be recalibrated when disconnnected perhaps?

    Thanks again.

    99'HEARTBEAT MODERATOR Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Only for the Gauges in which you are replacing the stepper they need to be tuned back.
  6. wis bang

    wis bang Rockstar 100 Posts

    This should be a 'sticky'...
  7. Als09Sierra

    Als09Sierra Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Yeah Mike, nice write-up.
  8. stinger44

    stinger44 Rockstar

    That makes sense.. thanks.
  9. jreagan

    jreagan Rockstar

    Since you have to remove ALL the needles to get the front off the cluster, do ALL the needles go back to 12 o'clock even for motors you didn't replace? Or do you put those back right at their pencil marks?
  10. stinger44

    stinger44 Rockstar

    Thanks Heartbeat, I managed to get around to replacing my speedometer motor today. Directions were very good. My struggles were with disconnecting the stupid cluster from the connector and getting the clear face off from the clips. lol

    Other than that, my speedometer is reading 1.5-2MPH faster now (as compared to GPS) but that's no biggie. Probably didn't have the needle exactly on the mark when I put it back together.


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