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Old 12-17-2006
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replacing gauges

Hi There is a light in my dash behind the battery charge gauge that has burned out. Instead of just replacing the bulb i would like to replace the gauge face with an electro luminescent gauge face. I've been looking on ebay and have found one i like. But i can't find one that has anything to replace the gear indicator with. I don't really want to leave it stock and was wondering what people with this mod had done to replace it.

Also, How much of the steering column do you need to remove to take out the interion so the gauge cluster can be removed? my haynes manual mentions removing the gear selector leaver and maybe the steering wheel if i understand correctly.

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Old 12-17-2006
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I cant help you with the first part, but here is a link that will tell you exactly how to get the cluster out......I did it just a couple days ago, and it was super easy and quick.
http://www.rangerpowersports.com/tech/?p=109
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Old 12-17-2006
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Looks like it won't be as hard to take apart as i thought. thanks for the link. I have been looking around and found a few threads where people have painted their gauges different colors. I could probably do something like that to the gear indicator if i can't find a replacement that matches.
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Old 12-19-2006
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well, after looking closer at the gauge faces on ebay i noticed that they don't match the positions of my warning lights. I decided that i would go ahead and just replace the bulb for now and started taking apart my interior. But now i'm stuck. The gear lever is in the way of the pannel over the gauges. i can't take off the gear lever without taking off the steering column pannel, which i can't get off without getting the gauge pannel off first. It's all a big mess!!! my ford dvd has instructions for a different steering column than i have. Aside from a hack saw i'm not quite sure what to do. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-19-2006
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will it give you enough clearance if you pull the gear selector all the way down into 1st?
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Old 12-19-2006
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I just went out to try that. But the gear lever won't move unless the engine is running. Is that normal? I hope i didn't mess something up when i was trying to take the cover off the steering column.
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Old 12-19-2006
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I dont know about the automatics on the fords, but you might be able to turn the key one position towards start (so the steering wheel isn't locked) and it might unlock the gear shifter. Just watch about the fuel pump thing, im not sure, but I think if you turn the key to the on postion (right before you start it) the fuel pump will kick on, but I dont think it will with just one turn of the switch.
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Old 12-19-2006
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I put the key in the run position and still couldn't get it to move. I started the engine, put it in neutral and stopped the engine and could move it just fine but the key wouldn't come out of the cylinder. Kida wonder what ford was thinking..... If i ever need towed i'll be in trouble.
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Old 12-19-2006
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I guess when you get ready to take the panel off, you'll have to crank it up and put it in first while you slide it off.
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Old 12-20-2006
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Ok, I looked over a wiring diagram of the shift control actuator and found out that the brake pedal has to be pressed to move the lever. I guess in all the excitement of taking apart my truck that i over looked it. I didn't even know that there was an electrical lock for the gear lever. I assumed that it was all mechanical.
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