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Thread: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    So, I may swap clusters soon for a much better one, and I know my mileage obviously won't carry over. I know I can record my last odo reading on my older cluster and my beginning reading on my new cluster, and record from there, but what happens when it comes time for inspection? My title would be recording the wrong odometer reading after awhile as well, which would cause problems if I ever decide to sell it, correct? Because even if I put my original cluster back in, it would have fallen however many miles behind during the time my new cluster was in.

    Does anyone know if there is a way around these problems? I know I have friends who have to swap clusters in their cars (240sx with digital speedo, they all die), and that is just unavoidable. Are there things set up that allow me to do this without a problem?

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    No easy way to say this..

    Digital Cluster stores the ODO mileage..

    The only way is to reprogram the cluster.

    Lots of local shops who can do this but for a price and with a good reason.

    Mileage correction can be a shaddy or legit depending on the shop doing the work.

    I have no info about how they do this...
    -Chuck

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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Hmm. And the state probably wouldn't like it if I recorded it myself. Anyone can fudge those numbers.

    I wonder if I can swap the internals? Maybe I can keep my current odometer. All I'm getting is the B4 cluster with the tinted lens and led rings around the gauges. The internals should be pretty interchangeable, right?

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    i can not confirm that..

    I know if you go to the DMV or whomever does registration, you can tell them your cluster died and need a replacement. They should be able to pull up your records and last mileage. You can do it legally... thats for sure.

    -Chuck

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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Ok thanks for the info. I'll see what I can find out, both with getting my mileage set legally, and also the option of swapping internals. I'll open the cluster up when I get it and see if it's worth he trouble. I'll need to switch out the KPH face for the MPH face anyway so my family isn't totally confused when they have to drive my car.

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    SLi Supporter chuckthefuk's Avatar
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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    There was a member who swapped a JDM BEcluster into his USDM BE and it did not work.
    Matty2Hotty managed to make a custom harness but he said it was a pain.
    There was even a member who swapped the BE cluster into a BK... but the facts are skewed..

    I wish you luck and when you find the answer please update the post

    -Chuck

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckthefuk
    There was even a member who swapped the BE cluster into a BK... but the facts are skewed..

    Yes, I'm going to attempt this pretty soon.
    ~Mark [SLi Admin]
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    Former vehicles:
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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    I can't remember the persons user name for the third gen into the second gen. They were from Russia I believe. They said it was plug and play for them.

    EDIT: found it. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=22167

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    The guy I am planning to buy the cluster off of says that the cluster is plug and play with the BE/BH. I've heard this from a few places, but i've also seen people say it takes "minimal wiring", and some say it takes extensive wiring.

    Post #12 of this thread outlines the wiring diagram:
    viewtopic.php?f=8&t=12180

    ^^ That is the most useful thread i've found so far regarding this cluster, but here is another thread. Unfortunately the visual wiring diagram is no longer available:
    viewtopic.php?f=8&t=177

    I have been hearing that the cluster takes wiring modifications from A/T drivers, and i've been hearing it is plug an play from 5MT drivers. I don't know if there is an actual difference or if it is just a coincidence.

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Thats the problem with swapping legacy parts.. no one really has hard facts and since it takes time and effort majority of modders just don't bother.

    Be a Pioneer! Document what you do and be part of a ongoing evolution of SLi.

    -Chuck

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    I'd be glad to. As soon as I get it in my hands, i'll take a look at it. Hopefully I'll have some concrete facts to share with you guys.

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    I got the cluster, but nothing is interchangeable. Not a damn thing. It is seriously the most similarly different thing i've ever seen.

    First of all, lets clear up the big question, is it plug and play. The plugs match up EXACTLY in dimensions, but the wiring is switched up. So it's plug, not play.

    A picture of the cluseters side by side:


    I took both apart and tired as hard as I could to Frankenstein them (with the few hours I had before I needed my car again). Here's what I learned.

    The smoked cover and the clear cover can not be interchanged. The trip reset and time "knobs" are in different positions.

    The gas gauge and KPH gauge are one piece, and the engine temp gauge and tach are also one piece. In the US cluster, these are 4 different pieces:


    The face (with the light rings around the gauges) gets it's light from the circuit board, therefore, you can not use your old circuit board to power this cluster.


    The odometer can not be transferred. It is attached to the circuit board with no way to get it off safely. You either swap the entire board or register your new mileage with the state.


    The face has completely different markings on it, and some of them would probably have no use in a US car.


    There are other things about the cluster. To make up for having a tinted cover, it has a light that runs along the entire length of the cluster on the bottom, and uplights the gauges when the ignition is on. Without that light, the gauges would be rather hard to see, even with the lighting we have in our gauge now (in the US).

    Most of the backlights are in different places. It makes for little interchangeability. The little screen to tell you which doors are open is different. Its a weird kind of screen on the B4 cluster. I don't know how to describe it. That screen also contains the sportshift display, which is green.

    One thing I noticed about my USDM cluster is, even though it is for a manual car, all of the automatic letters ran down the center on the inside. None of the lights were installed though. The B4 cluster had a similar thing going for it, but I couldn't see if the letters for automatic were also installed.

    I just put my USDM cluster back together and put it in my car for now. I'll mess around with it some more another day. I just thought I'd share some of my findings.

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Subaru had been using the same cluster but with the optional shifter tree and connector when 4EAT had to be installed..

    Same jazz as all the Gen2..

    So... my questions:
    1) is it worth re-wiring the connectors? or build a harness like Matty did?
    2) How are other members running a tinted b4 cover if your findings prove otherwise?

    -Chuck

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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    I'm thinking the harness is the way to go. The female connector is soldered to the circuit board, so the only way to rewire is to cut up the OEM harness, and that would just be a headache if I ever wanted to switch back to my original cluster. I think all Matty did was take the female connectors off of another cluster and make a new harness using those. That might be easier in the end, even though it looks messy.

    And I dont know how others ran the tinted cover on their stock cluster. Maybe it has something to do with the year of my car vs the year of the car the cluster came from. I had a similar problem regarding my steering wheel airbag fitment.

    Those two holes in the cover, measured from outer edge to outer edge, came out to 5 5/8" on the clear cover and 5 3/8" on the tinted cover, roughly.

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    I leave for a trip to Spain in two days, and I don't have a lot of time to mess with anything until I get back, so I'll go more in depth then. I'll try to at least post a visual comparison of the differences between the smoked and clear covers before I leave.

    I'd love to be able to provide enough info to turn this into something useful, but it might be that what I find doesn't solve anything. I can tell you my plan for the clusters right now.

    As I see it, there are 7 main layers to both clusters. Here are the 7 layers (I'll provide pictures another time), and which parts (JDM or USDM) I expect to use in my version of the cluster.

    -Front cover (JDM smoked)
    -Bezel (JDM)
    -Face plate (JDM)
    -Gauges (USDM)
    -Mid Cover (JDM)
    -Circuit Board (USDM)
    -Rear Cover (USDM)

    I want to use the USDM circuit board to save my mileage. The rear cover is made to fit the circuit board. I'll keep my gauges for the MPH reading. Everything else is going JDM for the smoked cover and the rings around the gauges. The only problem here is that the USDM circuit board doesn't light up the rings around the gauges in the JDM face plate. If I can find a way around that, I'll just need to trim the gauges to fit in the JDM mid cover and I SHOULD be good. Keeping the USDM circuit board will allow me to not have to do any rewiring.

    Im sorry if that is hard to follow, I'm tired and busy doing a bunch of stuff at once. Hopefully I can clear things up in a few weeks when I take both clusters apart again.

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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Ok, here is the best I could do for a visual comparison without taking my cluster out of my car. What I did was stick a piece of tape over the knobs on the cluster, and marked them with a marker. This showed where the holes were in the cluster.

    On the JDM cluster:


    On my current cluster:


    And then the side by side:


    So while its not an exact numerical comparison, you can see there is a difference. If that's not a good enough comparison, I'll get you a better one when I come back from Spain. But that's just a quick comparison.

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    this is awesome! I cant wait to see more...
    hansvonaxion: "So there's an SLi compound with a cache of weapons and free range EJ's?"

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Ok, I apologize for a semi-useless update, but I decided to tinker with the cluster a little more today. This post will just be photos of the cluster torn apart. I will compare it next time I tear apart my stock cluster.

    For the record, I still find it nearly impossible to merge these two clusters. I'm just waiting for that breakthrough moment when I find some way I can merge them together. There must be a way...

    Sorry for the crappy resolution of some of these photos, they're all from an iPhone 4S.

    An exploded view, in order from top to bottom.



    So that box thing off to the right connected to that long wire, for those who have never dealt with one of these clusters before, that is vital to making the tinted lens safe. The box is a ballast (I presume) and it is connect to a very skinny light that illuminates the cluster from inside so you can actually see what is going on behind that tinted lens during the day.









    The circuit board (front and back respectively):





    Gauge housing:



    Door ajar/tiptronic display:





    Combined gauges:





    Cluster face:
















    Anyone have any questions about it? I don't have anything wired up yet. Also taking any suggestions of how to merge my mileage, which is stored in flash memory on each board.

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Quote Originally Posted by amgarrety
    Anyone have any questions about it? I don't have anything wired up yet. Also taking any suggestions of how to merge my mileage, which is stored in flash memory on each board.
    My only question is why did you get the sportshift cluster when you could've gotten the regular 4AT cluster? I compared both side-by-side and they are different... and I would think the regular one is much more similar to ours (yes, I am talking about the tinted cluster in both cases). I haven't taken out the Outback's cluster to compare yet though.
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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    I didn't really have the luxury of choosing from a variety of JDM clusters, and to be honest, I couldn't tell it had sportshift until I took the faceplate off. Do you have any photos of a regular 4AT cluster? The difference in clusters might be why some people are able to switch tinted cluster lenses and others (like me) aren't.

    Do you remember if the gauges are combined like in this cluster, or are they four separate faces? In that case, I should look into getting one of those.

    I don't mean to bombard you with questions but you've sparked my interest.

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Quote Originally Posted by amgarrety
    I didn't really have the luxury of choosing from a variety of JDM clusters, and to be honest, I couldn't tell it had sportshift until I took the faceplate off. Do you have any photos of a regular 4AT cluster? The difference in clusters might be why some people are able to switch tinted cluster lenses and others (like me) aren't.

    Do you remember if the gauges are combined like in this cluster, or are they four separate faces? In that case, I should look into getting one of those.

    I don't mean to bombard you with questions but you've sparked my interest.
    Well, I just went to see if the knobs are in different locations, but they aren't. It seems like it's just the electrical stuff in the back is different. But since I have all the electrical diagrams for all of the clusters, I'm having a friend who is all into the electrical stuff see what mates up the easiest. I'll know how to advise after that.
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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Ok, I have a diagram to go from the USDM to JDM wiring, but I don't trust myself to go about it. I'm eager to see if it is any easier though.

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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Quote Originally Posted by amgarrety
    Ok, I have a diagram to go from the USDM to JDM wiring, but I don't trust myself to go about it. I'm eager to see if it is any easier though.
    Well, there are a few different Japanese clusters out there, all with different wiring. Are you sure you have the right one?
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    Super Moderator amgarrety's Avatar
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    Re: Swapping clusters, what about my mileage?

    Nope!

    Unfortunately it was written by a user, so while it's pretty easy to understand, who knows if it's the right one.


    A link:
    http://www.azawd.org/~fibuz/BE_BFM_Cluster_Diagram.pdf

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