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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any idea how hard it would be to change the needles on an 08+ E/M/T speedometer? The red needles almost seem out of place on the Escape and the Mariner's white needles look pretty cool. Not sure what kind of change that entails.

Or maybe it would just be easier to get a Mariner speedometer and have the dealer reprogram the odometer... if that's possible. I like the 'metal' trim in the unit.
 

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phisically remove the needle es an easy thing just pry with a flat screwdriver, but putting in the correct place it's very difficult, as soon as you take of the speedometer needle the pin that hold it would roll of of his original position and when you put the new needle it'll show you the wrong miliage
 

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NO!!! Do NOT pry them!!!

The step motors that drive the needles have VERY brittle bearings. Attempting to pry the needles off will always put angled pressure on the sides of the bearings.

The best way to remove or install needles is:

1) Carefully move the needle counterclockwise to the stop (Ford's newer clusters do NOT have external stops; the stops are inside the motor assembly).

2) Put a small piece of transparent tape on the gauge face under the needle pointer, then mark the exact location of the needle pointer against the stop.

3) VERY CAREFULLY, grasp the center of the needle (at the motor shaft), then SLOWLY turn the needle counterclockwise against the stop as you lightly pull it outward at the same time. Don't slam the needle against the stop, just keep turning counterclockwise as you pull it outward. I can't emphasize this enough: you need to be very careful, patient, and precise while removing and installing a needle, without using a lot of force, since the stops are not designed to handle brute force.

4) Place the new needle on the shaft, and slowly turn it counterclockwise with very little downward pressure. Use even pressure on both sides of the center of the needle so that you don't bend the shaft or put pressure on one side of the bearings. Once the needle seems like it won't go any closer to the gauge face, keep turning it counterclockwise until it lines up with the marking you left in step 2. If you go too far, just go around again.

See step 7 here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1361
 

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BTW, the 2008+ clusters consist of a vacu-formed sheet of plastic that's sandwiched between the white gauge cavity and the housing cover. Once you separate the halves and remove the needles, the sheet just sits on the white gauge cavity with four snap fasteners under the needle centers. The new clusters do not use any adhesive.

If you like the Mariner's gauge faces and needles, just buy the same Mariner cluster from eBay. You need to make sure that you have the same TYPE of cluster though, since some have full message centers, and some don't.

Then all you need to do is swap the needles and gauge faces. You can keep your circuit board, which means that you won't need to change the electronics.

Here's what my Edge cluster looks like. You can even see where I marked the needle locations. The Escape and Fusion use a slightly different version of this cluster (the cavities are different, with more LEDs).


Direct image link: http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg10 ... CN5777.jpg
 

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That's all you need to do. No electronics changes need to be involved.

You should make sure that the warning lights and the type of message center are the same. Download the Mariner manual for the year of the cluster and make sure that it matches yours, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm guessing you saw my deleted post.

For those of you who don't know what I wrote, I said that I might as well try to best offer the seller on eBay who is selling these (actually there are two), starting price of $100. Some of the units are brand spankin' new.

Do you have a link to how to get the speedometer out? Do I need to disconnect the battery too?

And this seems like a major operation... how much do I trust myself? :lol:

And also, is the needle LED already red? Because then changing the needle (which I would still want to anyway) loses its initial objective. I still like the metal-looking back plate.

Here are two different auctions. Can you decipher what the 'JD' mark from the first URL means?
Auction 1: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... MEWAX%3AIT
Auction 2: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... MEWAX%3AIT
 

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Ford always recommends disconnecting the battery when you swap anything electronic. A stray spark can destroy electronics. Also, a 2008+ Escape will not run or even start without the cluster installed.

Removing the cluster is actually fairly simple: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=5111#p90383

The needle LEDs in the Escape are definitely red. They're PLCC2-sized, and you can swap them with any other color LED once you have clear needles. But you'll need to know how to unsolder and solder SMD (surface-mount) devices, because they're tiny. And you don't want to get stray bits of solder anywhere on the cluster board.

Here's a PLCC2-sized LED (yes, that's my finger):



Finally, unless you have an Escape with the optional message center (which does NOT have a button sticking out of the cluster to reset the odometer), you won't be able to swap the gauge faces with a Mariner. All Mariner clusters have the message center.

There's also one warning light that's different from '08 to '09, so I wouldn't buy either one of the '08 Mariner clusters you listed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
jpark said:
Ford always recommends disconnecting the battery when you swap anything electronic. A stray spark can destroy electronics. Also, a 2008+ Escape will not run or even start without the cluster installed.

Removing the cluster is actually fairly simple: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=5111#p90383

The needle LEDs in the Escape are definitely red. They're PLCC2-sized, and you can swap them with any other color LED once you have clear needles. But you'll need to know how to unsolder and solder SMD (surface-mount) devices, because they're tiny. And you don't want to get stray bits of solder anywhere on the cluster board.
I don't have soldering tools, a place to do soldering, or the ability and knowledge to do so. :shrug:

jpark said:
Finally, unless you have an Escape with the optional message center (which does NOT have a button sticking out of the cluster to reset the odometer), you won't be able to swap the gauge faces with a Mariner. All Mariner clusters have the message center.

There's also one warning light that's different from '08 to '09, so I wouldn't buy either one of the '08 Mariner clusters you listed.
Which warning light?? I thought it was the theftlock light but there's apparently a little bit of room on each side of the silver piece. I do have a message center on my Escape though.
 

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The O/D off light (which lights "O/D OFF") on the '08 was replaced with an Overdrive Cancel and Grade Assist light (an icon showing a car going downhill) for '09. Again, I wouldn't buy an '08 cluster for an '09, just in case there were any minor changes.

And soldering is the only way to replace any of the LEDs on the cluster board.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wait, but if I'm just using the decorative stuff, shouldn't I be okay?

Silly me. I know why my earlier response is wrong.

If I spot a 2009+ Mariner speedometer, I'll get my hopes back up again.
 
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