Instrument Cluster Swap
 

DX Cluster

LX Cluster w/Tachometer

I wanted a tachometer, so I swapped my 93 Civic's DX cluster for an LX cluster. It is an easy job. The steps follow. If you want more photos of how to do this job and detailed cluster light bulb information, please see the links at the bottom.

  1. Get an LX or EX cluster that is compatible with your Honda. You must choose an auto or manual transmission cluster. Also you want a cluster with the correct redline. For a D15B7, the redline starts at about 6400 RPM. Shop Ebay, your local junkyard, and marketplaces like honda-tech.com. I bought my LX cluster from a local junkyard in 2009 for $24. This was a steal compared to Ebay prices and online junkyard prices.
  2. Disconnect the battery negative terminal for five minutes. Disconnect the yellow connector between the driver's airbag and cable reel. Install the red SRS short connector on the airbag pigtail so the airbag does not detonate while you work. CAUTION: If you do not know how to do this, see the free online manual at Autozone.com for your Civic, or get a Chilton's manual.
  3. Pry out the hazard switch using two small screwdrivers, pushing on the inboard and ouboard ends. Use a rag between the screwdrivers and the bezel so you do not mar the bezel. Disconnect the hazard switch pigtail (a.k.a. "electrical connector"). Remove the screw (beneath where the hazard switch was) that holds the bezel to the dashboard. See the drawing below.
  4. Remove the two screws located above the instrument cluster in the bezel. The bezel is also known as the "instrument panel." Pry the bezel out starting at the inboard end. At the inboard end, pry out the top and bottom of the bezel. Work outboard as you pry. It is easy to break the bezel, so go slow. About six clips hold the bezel in place. The bezel should eventually pop out completely. Disconnect the clock pigtail. Remove the bezel from the car.
  5. Remove the four screws holding the instrument cluster in place. Maneuver the cluster partly out. Disconnect the pigtails to the instrument cluster. The DX cluster has three pigtails. The LX cluster has four pigtails. Fully remove the instrument cluster from the car.
  6. Put the two clusters on a work bench. For each cluster, remove the three screws in the back holding the speedometer. The pink line in the photo below encloses the speedometer back. The three screws should be obvious.
  7. Unfasten the six tabs holding the visor assembly to the cluster case. The three tabs on the top are circled in pink in the photo below. Use say a medium head screwdriver and carefully pry the visor assembly from the case. The visor and case come apart pretty easily. Now the speedometer will be attached to the visor assembly only by the trip odometer reset knob as shown below.




  8. Lamp check: Walk the LX cluster case (without the speedometer) to your car, connect the plugs, re-connect the hazard switch and re-connect the battery negative terminal cable. Turn the car's ignition key to position II, and check all the instrument cluster lights. Put the headlights on and check the high beam indicator. The cluster turn signal indicator lights will not work unless the hazard switch is connected. Replace bulbs as needed. Disconnect the battery negative terminal cable. Disconnect the plugs from the cluster. The 92-95 cluster uses five #24 bulbs and one #74 bulb. People on honda-tech.com report that one may buy new bulbs at Napa, Pep Boys, internet auto lighting stores, Ebay and similar.
  9. Take the LX cluster case back to the work bench. Swap your old speedometer with visor into the cluster case with the tachometer. This ensures your car's odometer shows the correct mileage. Replace the three screws that hold the speedometer in place. Dust the faces of the gages. Re-fasten the six tabs of the visor assembly and case.
  10. Installation of the LX cluster is the reverse of the above. Test drive. Do all the gages work?
  11. Salvage bulbs from the old instrument cluster; sell your old cluster to someone else; or save it as a spare.

References
http://www.honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=661308. An excellent writeup with lots of photos and discussion of replacing the bulbs.

http://www.honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=1862248. Discusses cluster light bulbs.