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How to swap the dial face's on a MK 1 NA,MK 2/2.5FL NB correct

Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:52 pm

How to swap the dial face's on a MK 1 NA,MK 2/2.5FL NB correct

Postby mattlambert » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:37 pm

This is a how to guide on swapping the dial faces on your MK1 MK2 MK2.5. The process for all 3 models is very similar with minor differences . One very important thing to remember is to wear surgical gloves otherwise the grease and dirt off your fingers could badly mark your nice new dials . The car we did this 'how to' on is a MK1 but has a mk2.5 dashboard just in case it looks confusing in some of the pics.

Tools Needed
1 Sharpie or similar marker pen
1 Medium Philips screwdriver
1 Small Philips screwdriver
surgical gloves

Please note :- The Roadster we are using for this guide is a MK1 NA UK spec 1.8 Mx-5 with a MK2 dash conversion to stop any confusion

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We will be fitting some nice new Jass Performance dial faces in this walk through how to guide, but please note the procedure is the same no matter what dial faces are being fitting including OE Mazda faces to a MK 1 NA or MK 2/2.5 FL NB..

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The first step is to remove the 2 piece steering column shroud using the medium size Philips screwdriver to remove the 3 screws that hold and retain the 2 halfs together

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Next you need to remove the instrument panel binnacle (MK 2/2.5 NB) , this is best done by taking a firm grip at either side of the bottom of the cover and pulling it sharply towards you

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Mk1 NA:- There are two phillips head screws that hold the panel binnacle in place that needs removing first..

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Now using the medium Philips screwdriver you need to remove the 4 Philips screws that hold the instrument panel to the dash , these are situated roughly at the 2 , 4 , 8 and 10 o'clock positions

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Now you need to remove the instrument cluster from the car , on a MK1 NA has a mechanical speedo drive and this is disconnected by firmly holding the cluster and giving it a sharp pull , this should disconnect the drive ,( PLEASE NOTE:-On the MK 2-2.5 NB the speedo is electric driven so no cable) there are then 3 electrical connections to unplug , 1 long plug top right 1 long plug top left and the tell tale for the heated rear screen

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The next step is to remove the clear Perspex cover that protects the dials on the instrument panel...

Please note....This dial cluster has the Heated Rear Window on warning light , so the illumination bulb holder needs twisting and removing from that corner at the back and pop off the wiring membrane off the location lug so the plug and wire to the warning light can be pulled through without damaging the wiring membrane which is so often done and brings on issues with the dials etc if ripped , very early MK1 NA's do not have this warning light or the MK2/2.5 NB's

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Next refit the instrument panel plugging in any wiring loom plugs into the cluster . Start the car and let it get to running temperature so that the cooling fan cuts in and out this ensures that the gauges are reading the correct readings . Now take the sharpie pen or similar while she is still running and on the fuel , water temperature , oil pressure , and tachometer gauges make a small mark on the outer edge of the dials where each needle is pointing.

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Now that you have marked the position of the needles on the gauges turn the engine off and repeat the process of removing the instrument panel from the car , once it is removed place it on a flat work surface so we can remove the gauge read out needles.

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The next step is to remove the needles off each dial , this can be done by either pulling the needles off with your fingertips being careful not to bend the shaft they mount to , or if they are stiff to remove get 2 teaspoons 1 either side of the needle base and gently lever the needle off until it is loose enough to remove with your fingers don't rush this take your time not to force or break anything

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As shown in the pics lay the needles out in the order they come off so when they are refitted they go back on the right dial. Next you now need to remove your old dial faces , these are held on by small Philips head screws , as with needles lay out all the gauge faces in order

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Now this is the part where wearing the gloves is important , because you do not want damage or mark your nice new gauges with your dirty hands

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So now your hands are really clean or you have gloves on , get your new dial faces and one at a time hold them up to the old dial faces that you marked the needle positions on and replicate the mark on your new faces once you have done this start to fit each new dial face , being especially careful not to scratch or damage the faces when you screw them in

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You can then proceed to refit the needle to the speedometer and setting it at the zero position, Be careful not the bend the needle gauge shaft or push the needle on to far otherwise it will stick , which now just leaves the oil pressure , water temp , fuel & tachometer needles

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The next step is to refit the dial cluster into the car plugging in all the electrical connectors, if the car is a mk1 the mechanical speedometer drive can be left unattached for now

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Now start the car and allow it to get back up to temperature letting the cooling fan kick in once , now from the marks you put on your new dial faces you can replace the other needles lining them up with marks, be careful not to bend the needle shafts or to push them on to far as you push the needles back on otherwise they will stick.

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Needle is set to where the fuel level was....

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Rev gauge is set to 8.500 RPM.....

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Oil pressure working early gauge is set to 1/4 at idle, later Mk1 NA/MK2-2.5 NB with the false hi and low gauge is set to 3/4....

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Water temp gauge is set to top centre...NA-NB 89-05 this is a dampened gauge and will not give a true reading....

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Now turn the ignition off unplug the instrument panel and remove the cluster , now is the time to check your new dials for any marks or dirt or fingerprints and very carefully wipe them clean if they need it . Once you are sure they are clean carefully refit the front clear cover back onto the instrument cluster , feeding the HRW warning light plug and cable through if fitted and securing the membrane back on the location lugs and refitting the illumination bulb holder( now would be a good time to test or swap the illumination bulbs before screwing the cluster back in place.... when this is all back together and everything looks ok refit the instrument cluster back into the car , plugging all connections back in and if its a Mk1 NA making sure the mechanical speedo drive is located as well in some cases this might need some help locating into the correct position and helping it click home ( MK 2/2.5 NB is a Electric driven speedo ).

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Ok so now all the electrical plugs and speedo drive if a Mk1 are plugged back in , its now time to fasten the cluster into position using the 4 Philips head screws we removed at the beginning.

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Once the cluster is fixed in position the instrument binnacle cover can be refitted, line the cover up so that the clips and lugs align and from the steering wheel side push the binnacle back sharply , you should hear and feel them locate.

The Mk 2-2.5 NB binnacle as a alignment pin at the back and just pushes into place with a firm click..
The Mk1 NA binnacle clicks into place with 3 x metal spring clips and then is held in place securely by way of 2 x phillips head screws at the bottom...

Mk 2-2.5 NB...

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MK 1 NA...

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Next to refit is the 2 piece steering column shroud, place the 2 halfs around the steering column locate them and clip them together the fix them together by refitting the 3 Philips screws you removed at the beginning

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Ok so its all back together start the car and check all your gauges are reading correctly , now go and drive and enjoy it

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I hope that this is of help to others, any questions please feel free to ask...
Drive safe

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