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Instrument cluster removal

1885 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  NSX JR

Got my rns-e installed last week and i love it, i dont have the can bus on my 2001 A6 and didnt have time to pull the ignition and illumination wires from behind the instrument cluster at the time. I have now come to do this but cant get the 2 screws out at the bottom of the cluster, i saw in an article that these can be very stiff, but they wont budge! just wondered if anyone had this problem and what they did to get round this problem?

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I went to Home Depot and bought a $3 plastic angled screwdriver that takes 1" bits. It has two holes in it, one in the middle so with the bit it's shaped like a "T", and one in the end so with the bit it's shaped like an "L". The "L" configuration is what you want to use.

Then I bought a $5 torx bit set that had a T-20 bit in it to use with the angle screwdriver.

It's very hard with a straight driver to get those screws out, but with an angle driver and good quality (DeWalt) bits, it was easy. It's all about the physics. :)
I have a very good screw driver that is long and tough enough for the steering wheel not to get in the way, so thats not really the problem. I just dont think that they will unscrew.

I use a PZ1 tip and they are very toughtto remove

Thanks for your replys guys, but im trying to say there is no way these screws will unscrew. Is there any way round this problem, i.e connecting into the cables somewhere else?
Thats what I thought on an RS6 once, but they came out after some effort.

They must come out, what if its faulty? DO audi say "sorry sir we were unable to unscrew the cluster, you will have to keep the faulty one"

For Me, one screw came out- no problemo...
The other swrew I had to use a drill to get out...hey it worked :)

Made the V-wire connection look easy!
Still not got these damn screws out, is there any other place to tap into the ignition and illumination wires like behind the climate.

The other approach is to use a power drill with a long head...and drill the screws out. As stated in my pix below....the last thing you want to do is ruin the cluster...and having the right size phillips head to do this.

In a 2001 A6, the only "known" location for tapping into the CANbus is behind the cluster. You can always try and pull out the grey connector by trying to reach up from below. At this point, all you'd need to do is add two pins for CAN H/L. In sounds easy; in practice...very hard. You'll need some small hands to get up there to do this.

Also, did you check your 20 pin connector behind your Sym II to see if the CAN H or L wires were there (orange with black or violet stripes). Some 2001 models will have these....but not all.

Not sure if this helps or not.
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I know this sounds a bit rough - but what about trying an impact driver?

For those who don't know that's a special type of very heavy screwdriver that you hit on the end with a hammer - which puts a shock load into any screw locking compound and corrosion present as well as trying to undo the screw.

I'd try 1 hit with one of those then back to a more "normal" screwdriver.
What ALWAYS works for me is turning clockwise just enough to break it loose, then turn the other way to remove. The thread is extremely fine, so you don't really tighten the screw down that much by turning clockwise. I have had my cluster out 5 or 6 times and this method always works. Also, I use an offset screwdriver to do the initial turning. Then once it's a bit loose, I use a straight screwdriver to fully remove. As always, make sure you're using the correct size phillips bit! P2.

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