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Remove instrument cluster 1953 Champion

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  • Interior: Remove instrument cluster 1953 Champion

    Help please before I break something.
    I am trying to rewire my 1953 Champion and I cannot see how the instrument cluster is held in. I need access to the gauges.
    Can you help me get the cluster out?

  • #2
    Hello Nick. Seeing that you have only 3 forum posts (so far) has me assuming you are relatively new to the forum and even possibly Studebakers. So, welcome! My suggestions are a result of my "assumptions." (So I reserve a right to be totally wrong.) Not knowing anything about your physical abilities, mechanical abilities, or garage/tool facilities, I will offer the following. Be patient and take it slow and easy. If you have not purchased the body, chassis, and shop manuals for your car, you need to do that. In addition, you should be proactive to reach out to some of your local Studebaker club members with a bit of friendliness and humility in an undemanding way. If you are physically capable, take a light, position yourself in a way to lie on your back on the front floor, shine the light up under the dash and lie there and study the construction of the dash from that position. After a little time, things will come into focus as you become familiar with it and you will begin to realize how amazingly simple the layout is.

    One thing to understand is the construction "sequence." For example, there are not too many fasteners (nuts & bolts) that actually hold the dash in place. But, before you remove the dash, the interior windshield garnish molding would need to be removed first. (sequence) You can use labels or tape to put on individual wires and make notes as to where each wire attaches. If you get confused regarding "left or right," about the orientation, you can use terms like "P -side" for the passenger side, or "D-side" for the driver side on wire terminal locations. Whatever verbiage works for you.

    Just take the time to study it a bit and as you get familiar it will become much less intimidating. It is really not very delicate and has survived many years. Just do your best to not force things too roughly and I think you'll do just fine.

    Have a great time with your car, good luck, and keep us updated on your progress.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975

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    • #3
      Your question belongs in the Tech Section, and this post will probably get moved there. But here's the short version: Disconnect the battery ground cable. On either side of the cluster are two curved sheet metal panels that cover the bottom of the cluster. Remove those, and this gives you access to the toggle switches on the cluster. These are loosened with an allen wrench. Remove the allen screws and swing the switches out of the way. Reach behind the cluster and snap out all the instrument bulbs, and disconnect the speedometer cable, oil pressure tube and whatever else you find attached to the cluster. After this, there are several short Phillips head screws top and bottom that hold the cluster to the dash. Remove these and you can remove the cluster. Before removing it, put tape or a cloth over your steering column so it doesn't get scratched up . Also on the upper part of the dash too. It's not too hard to do all this, just time consuming. But that top Phillips screw on the drivers side was a real bear to reach, at least for me.

      Once the cluster is out there are screws on the back of it which you remove and after removing a couple layers of glass, mask, etc. you'll have access to the speedo and instruments. Hope this is helpful.

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