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Old 01-29-2008, 08:49 PM   #1
hadesm5
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educate me on e30 clusters!

are the early and late clusters interchangeable? I have one from 1988 that I would like to put in an 87, is that possible (i havent taken them out to check the plugs etc.) if not, are the gauges at least interchangeable? i've noticed that the fuel gauge is different.
thankeyu
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:33 PM   #2
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i would think that the gauges are interchangeable, as long as they are from the same manufacturer (moto meter or vdo). the fuel gauge may not be. the main circuit board, however, did change from the early to the late models. the later models used a 'coding plug' in the bottom of the cluster, and the SI boards use a different connector (more/less pins).

bottom line - i highly doubt you'd fry anything, so give it a whirl. as long as both clusters are from the same model (325i, e), you shouldnt have a problem.
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:39 PM   #3
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I wanted a 7K tach on my 85 325e, my options were to try and find an early 318i cluster and grab the rpm gauge and coding plug out of it or swap in a late model cluster and just slap my speedo into it, I did the latter and it worked perfect. Plugs right in and my speedo slid right into the later model cluster. My older and newer clusters were both motronic. The early one had a white back with a black coding plug in the back. The newer cluster has a blue backing with a white coding plug in the front for your reference. I've heard you can even swap in a VDO cluster and have it plug right in but you might not be able to swap the seedo etc. I also swapped in my fuel guage to play it safe and it worked perfectly normal.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:59 AM   #4
El Gato Liso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadesm5 View Post
are the early and late clusters interchangeable? I have one from 1988 that I would like to put in an 87, is that possible (i havent taken them out to check the plugs etc.) if not, are the gauges at least interchangeable? i've noticed that the fuel gauge is different.
thankeyu
i can confirm that this is possible
i had changed my 88 e30 cluster for an 87 e30 cluster. worked perfect.


ooops sorry
i did the opposite of what you did...but i dont see why it wouldnt work the plugs are exactly the same, just the gas meter has 2 different readins
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:51 PM   #5
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Should be ok.

I managed to swap an older Alpina cluster into my '88 325is. It was a bit more complicated because I had to recalibrate the speedo that was set up for an Alpina diff.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:32 PM   #6
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thanks for the input. not gonna do the swap coz apparently the tach code plug is different blah blah and the rpm reading might get messed up. AND... i found out that one is VDO and the other is motometer.... so i'm just gona refurbish mine
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aveman View Post
I wanted a 7K tach on my 85 325e, my options were to try and find an early 318i cluster and grab the rpm gauge and coding plug out of it or swap in a late model cluster and just slap my speedo into it, I did the latter and it worked perfect. Plugs right in and my speedo slid right into the later model cluster. My older and newer clusters were both motronic. The early one had a white back with a black coding plug in the back. The newer cluster has a blue backing with a white coding plug in the front for your reference. I've heard you can even swap in a VDO cluster and have it plug right in but you might not be able to swap the seedo etc. I also swapped in my fuel guage to play it safe and it worked perfectly normal.

Changing the Tach won't make our e's redline any higher then 4500.. sniff sniff...
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:43 PM   #8
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I got one from an 87 i think if you wanna buy it off me.
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:44 PM   #9
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hadesm5...

I have various clusters and bits at home... email me and we can go from there..
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:34 AM   #10
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Changing the Tach won't make our e's redline any higher then 4500.. sniff sniff...

Yeah, I'm on MS2 with a stroker. Tach is being driven by a Ford EDIS6 ignition module.

Here is the tach in action after slapping togehter the cluster.

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Old 02-06-2008, 12:59 PM   #11
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Changing the Tach won't make our e's redline any higher then 4500.. sniff sniff...
Mine is higher than that I can bury my tach if memory serves.

Thats cause punnzzells hooked me up though.
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:23 PM   #12
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i took mine out and replaced all the lights and everything. everything works except for the tach and consumption gauges. i dont think the root cause is at the cluster though because my interior lights aren't working either. i know that the interior lights and the tach share a fuse. but i checked and its fine.

could it be the SI board or something else? I took out the SI board and the batteries were these mini ones that i havent seen before... but they're in good condition no rust or leaks.
no sure how to source the problem.

punzells: i'll take pics of the other stuff today. let me know what you have in terms of clusters.
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