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'86 IC in a '89?

Posted by Kelly 
April 26, 2009 11:52AM
Hi All,

Hope you are well! Does anyone know if an Instrument cluster from an 86 will work in an 89?

The Bro decided to visit is local part yard and bought a cluster from an 86. I think he may have been over eager... If it does not fit, I suppose we could sell on Ebay.

He bough some other parts as well - like 6 electric window switches, and a trunk tool tray which he described as "like spitting in the wind."

He did say one interesting thing - apparently most of the e30s there had about 250K on the odometer. Still, I'm hoping for 400K which Peter mentioned.

Pls let me know about the IC.

;-) , Kelly
April 26, 2009 12:12PM
Kelly - I am sure it will function, but the red line in the tach is lower so that may cause fears that you are over reving the car. I guess you could always swap the tach from the old cluster into the E's. You also might want to check the odometer gears before install as they tend to melt together from the hot sun when not in use and won't function. How many miles does the odometer read?
April 26, 2009 12:12PM
The simple answer is yes.
The complicated answer is maybe.

There were only two types of instrument clusters, one for the high revving 325i, and a different one for the likes of the 325e that topped at 4k? Anyway, there are still many differences between models, and BMW corrected this with a little white "coding plug". This little doohicky (technical term) informs the IC what is "normal", and how to interpret the signals the ECU is feeding it.

I'm unable to dig up the link right now, nor is it at the top of google. But I found a number of websites with lists of IC coding plug serials matching to their respective cars.

Alternatively, if this is just a replacement for one you currently own, just remove your coding plug and plug it into the new IC :-)
April 26, 2009 01:45PM
Quote
wodcutr
Kelly - I am sure it will function, but the red line in the tach is lower so that may cause fears that you are over reving the car.

what? if the cluster is coming from a 325i, it will be the same, because they have the same (M20B25) motor. given that, I know there were a couple (or 3) different gauge cluster manufacturers for BMW at the time, VDO being one of them, and i can't remember the names of the others.

Kelly, here is what I would check for compatibility. First of all, in order for the tachometer to display correctly, make sure that it goes up to 7 on both clusters instead of 5, which applies to the 325e's and es's. Even if it does go up to 5, you will not overrev your engine, it will simply not display correctly. Second, I would check the manufacturer of the cluster, although I am not even sure this is essential, it may change how some of the connections are. The manufacturer should be displayed in the bottom middle of the speedo and the tach. My guess is that most of the e30s had VDO clusters and that the early cars (like the 318i) may have had something else, because they also had different engine management.

As Dan says, you may want to go ahead and replace the odometer gears now that you have the cluster out of the car, especially since the cluster has high mileage. you could probably even adjust the mileage in the odometer, if it matters to you.

And as Tyler says, make sure you swap in your coding plug.

There should be no issues in terms of actual physical fitment.


April 26, 2009 04:58PM
Hi Kids,

Thanks as always. As I said, The Bro may have been over eager. He is pursuing the IC battery replacement question - i.e. wants to have an IC back-up in the event of battery removal gone awry. Lordy, I hope not. I'm not itching to remove the batteries because now I know they are not corroding.

When I asked what he personally needed at the junk yard, he said "Oh, nothing." "Then why did you go?" "It was sunny." "So a sunny day means a trip to the junk yard?" "Yep."

I need to redirect his attention to the mysterious squeak in the rear area.

Cheers, Kelly
April 26, 2009 06:04PM
Quote
Kelly

When I asked what he personally needed at the junk yard, he said "Oh, nothing." "Then why did you go?" "It was sunny." "So a sunny day means a trip to the junk yard?" "Yep."

I wish the junk yards in Spokane were good enough to do that...
I'd be down there once a month if they could keep a BMW in the yard for longer than 2 minutes.

Anyhoo, glad to see you have it sorted out!
Good luck redirecting your brothers attention winking smiley
April 26, 2009 07:45PM
VDO and Motometer are the two manufacturers that I know of for the e20 clusters. I am not sure if they are interchangeable. The SI board is actually separate from the cluster, so if something does go awry, I would just buy a new one from the dealer and be done with it. It will be brand new, with new batteries and a warranty. I also am not sure if the SI boards are interchangeable between models. My gut tells me that both the clusters and SI boards are interchangeable though. I would open them both up and examine them closely. If everything appears the same, give it a shot!
rkj
April 26, 2009 09:53PM
I don't think they are interchangeable between the Eta's and 2.5
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