What's involved with an instrument cluster replacement?

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by SurrealOne, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I own a 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT. There is nothing currently wrong with my instrument cluster. However, I'd like to replace it with one that has a transmission temperature gauge, as I understand that my vehicle is pre-wired to support this gauge. I have read that the truck's mileage and engine hours are stored in the gauge cluster. I'd like to know the following:

    1. What is the part number of the gauge cluster I should order?
    2. What is involved with getting the new gauge cluster's mileage and engine hours to match that of my old gauge cluster after the swap?
    3. If a dealership must do the programming how much should I expect to pay for the service?
    4. If a dealership must do the programming do I need to remove the custom tune on my truck prior to the work?

    Thank you in advance for reading and for guidance.

  2. ntbush83

    ntbush83 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    When I first got my truck my instrument panel was messing up so I called the dealership and asked what I should do. I can't answer your 1 + 2 question but I was quoted that it would cost 100 bucks to reprogram the new cluster! And a new cluster was going to be 200-300! So I quickly decided to replace all the stepper motors myself for $25 and its been good ever since! Also yes you'll wanna put in back to stock tune before you take it in!
  3. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Stock tune is never fun since I'm regeared and lifted with big tires; i.e. idiot lights and speedo error when the stock tune's installed.
  4. sstoner911

    sstoner911 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts


    You can buy one from your dealer, however, they can be expensive and you have to return the EXACT core for the cluster your buying. I did find this link:

    http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/s...let&model=Silverado 1500&year=2003&vi=1412075

    A local dealership should be able to look up a part number for you and you can search for that on the web. The dealerships here charge around $155.00 to program the cluster.

    If your only programming the cluster your custom tune should be ok, however, if they discover there is an update to your computer they could flash over the custom tune and you would need to have it reinstalled.
  5. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Thanks! :great:
  6. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Get a junk yard unit with the gauge you want. Take both clusters apart and put the stepper motor in place inside your cluster where it came out of the junk yard cluster. Use the junk yard cluster gauge overlay template and re-assemble. Should be as simple as that, and you don't have to worry about reprogramming the odometer since you didn't change the actual cluster.

    BTW: Great time to swap out the backlighting with LEDs...
  7. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Are you sure dropping in a stepper motor will be sufficient? I'd also need a gauge overlay that has the temp markings, I'd think -- which entails removing -all- of the gauge needles to emplace, as I understand it. How bad are the stepper motors to (dis)assemble? (Is this snap-in or solder-in?)
  8. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Each motor has 4 legs which are soldered to the board through the back. The position for the trans temp motor is clean with no solder on it in the models that did not have that option. The connections are present. Yes, you will need to remove the needles from all of the other gauges. manually turn them counter clockwise until they stop. Mark their position on the overlay. Use a standard table fork to pop the needles off. Remove the overlay, solder the motor in and put the new overlay in. putting each needle back on it's shaft, apply them lightly and then make sure the shafts are still full counter clockwise. then dial the needle to the same position it was on the original overlay and press them on. You should be good to go.
  9. chevybulldog6

    chevybulldog6 Rockstar ROTM Winner 100 Posts

    I have replaced mine in my 2005 Silverado. You can look at the pics I have posted. I got mine from http://www.fixmygauges.com/ I paid $240 for the SS style cluster with the trans temp gauge. They do all of the programming for you. All of the info is on their website. They are great people to deal with. You will have to send a deposit which will be refunded when they receive your old one or you can send the old one first and they will ship your replacement when they receive yours. Overall, it was a great experience dealing with them. If you have any questions, they are extremely nice and helpful over the phone. I hope this helps.
  10. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Thanks, guys. That provides some options...

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