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Thread: instrument cluster capacitors replacement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Default instrument cluster capacitors replacement

    There are some sites dead, some still work, here a good video with detailed instructions how to replace and what to use.
    E34 Dashboard Fix Dull Display / Gauges not working - Fix your BMW dashboard for 2,50 using 5 new capacitors.
    Are your gages not working anymore? Or is your display not showing any numbers? A bad capacitor could be the problem.
    0:05 The Problem
    1:00 Cluster Disassembly
    4:00 Desoldering
    4:57 Old Capacitor Locations
    4:59 New Capacitor Locations
    5:00 Soldering
    6:42 Solder Varnish
    6:50 Assembly

    Parts used:
    2 X 22F 62V
    3 X 220F 25V

    This might also work for BMW E30 (3-series), BMW E32 (7-series), BMW E34(5-series) My car: 1989 BMW E34 525i M20B25

    Capacitor Replacement Tutorial voltage shown on the capacitor is the max voltage rating it can handle before the capacitor explodes, as you normally have 13.xxV on a car, 35V should be fine, 63v has a bigger safety margin

    more DIY

    Trevor M mentioned:

    Four things you need to consider when ordering new caps.
    - The value of the cap should match or exceed the original. For example a 220uF cap should be replaced with a 220uF cap or a 470uF would work too if you couldn't find a 220uF. What I'm saying, it's ok to go greater value, not less.
    - The voltage rating of the replacement capacitor must be equal to or greater than the original. For automotive use, a 25v or 35v capacitor will be fine.
    - Capacitors have a temperture rating of either 85 or 105 degrees C. Obviously, the 105 deg caps are better suited for service where there are high temperatures and will last longer than the 85 deg caps. They cost a bit more.
    - The physical size. They must be the same size or smaller to fit the board.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004


    fix of poor solder joints in cluster on my 11/88 E32 750iL cluster with grey backplate
    these pictures show the joints resoldered
    The car sitting for a week (too hot and no air con) then today I drove it to work. Was OK before. Now fuel level and temperature gauges don't move, dash OBC display and gear position "E" "D" all dead. On freeway there was no light of any sort from the dash. Checked the fuses in the engine bay to look all good. Slammed the dash top no use. The 750 runs best ever otherwise. I have changed instrument cluster capacitors six years ago.
    Is this just contact problem and I have to pull out the instrument cluster board to reseat the connectors? OR some other known problem? Patrick C 88 750 159K
    I had a similar prob and we fixed it. There are 3 bulbs on the grey cluster for the illumination of the speedometer, RPM meter, the fuel and temp indication. These are in series as far as I understand. When slapping on the dashboard the lights on temp indicator came on. We switched the cpl. bulb with socket with the middle one, fault moved. Turned out to be a slightly burned bulb holder, the bulb was o.k. The RPM indicator as well as the econometer moved sometimes not or erratically. Soldering of some points solved that (cold solderings). The check control has separate bulbs, and the brightness of these bulbs is not controlled by the light dimmer, but by the light sensor in the middle of the cluster.
    As you have no light at all, I would first pull the cluster, spray the contacts with contact cleaner, reseat them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004


    Details about all instrument cluster installed on E34, German language, very detailed, lots of pics

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