Removing the combination meter

S15 Tech Guides

 

If your combination meter (instrument pod) is anything like mine was, you may well have patchy back-lighting, or warning lights that you never knew you had! This is probably because some of your tiny dash bulbs have blown or blackened.

Changing these bulbs is actually quite easy, however, getting to them is a bit fiddly. You will need to remove the entire instrument pod from the dash to allow proper access.

A couple of things to be aware of:

In true Nissan fashion, the replacement bulbs and sockets (sold together) cost an extortionate amount, so if you know of cheaper alternatives, go for it. Don't be tempted to use white LED bulbs. These are too glaring and play havoc with the colouring of all the warning lights and back-lighting.

When you remove the plugs from the back of the meter (see later), it will reset your clock and trip meters. So make a note if the figures are important. The odometer is unaffected.

WARNING! Be very careful when accessing the rear of the combination meter. NEVER have the ignition switched on and ensure nothing touches the contacts while the connectors are still attached. The meter is very sensitive and circuits can easily be blown. Nearly every electrical circuit in the car goes through the combination meter, so damaging it is not good news!

You will need a cross-head and small flat-head screwdriver.

Undo the three screws holding the top cover on the steering column (arrowed in Figure 1).

Remove cowl screwsFigure 1 - Remove cowl screws

 

The cover will unclip by pulling it up (Figure 2). Lower the steering column using the heigh adjuster.

Remove cowlFigure 2 - Remove cowl

 

Undo the two screws holding the combination meter surround into the dash (arrowed in Figure 3).

Remove combination meter surround screwsFigure 3 - Remove combination meter surround screws

 

Remove the surround by pulling the bottom edge towards you (Figure 4). Once it unclips, push it slightly down to release the top edge away from the top of the dash.

Pull bottom edge of surround towards youFigure 4 - Pull bottom edge of surround towards you

 

With a little manoeuvring, the surround will lift clear (Figure 5). Watch out for the two push controls in the pod and the (rather inconvenient) wiring and plugs on the steering column.

Lift surround clearFigure 5 - Lift surround clear

 

You now have access to the actual combination meter. Remove the three retaining screws (arrowed in Figure 6).

Remove combination meter screwsFigure 6 - Remove combination meter screws

 

The meter will now pull forward (Figure 7). It won't move very far, as it is still attached by three connectors on the rear.

Pull meter forwardFigure 7 - Pull meter forward

 

Tilt the top left edge of the meter towards you. You will see a white connector (Figure 8). Using a small flat-head screwdriver, push the connector-lock in until it releases, then remove the connector block. This is the trickiest of the three connectors, due to the lack of movement in the wiring loom.

Undo left connectorFigure 8 - Undo left connector

 

With the first connector removed, the meter will tilt further forward allowing you to see two more (brown) connectors. Use the flat-head screwdriver to remove the second centre connector (Figure 9).

Tilt meter more and undo centre connectorFigure 9 - Tilt meter more and undo centre connector

 

Tilt the meter further and repeat for the third connector (Figure 10).

Remove right connectorFigure 10 - Remove right connector

 

With the three connectors removed, you can lift the combination meter clear of the dash. If you are struggling to get the meter past the steering colunm, check that you lowered the column fully. You will now see an empty dash and lots of wiring (Figure 11).

Lift meter outFigure 11 - Lift meter out

 

Take a look at the combination meter now. Treat it carefully, as it is a precision instrument and can be damaged if knocked about too much. Turn it over and look at the back (Figure 12). You will see all of the small bulb sockets. You can see in the photo of mine that there are only two different coloured sockets. In fact, there should be three different colours.

Rear view on combination meterFigure 12 - Rear view on combination meter

 

Figure 13 shows the FAST part layout for the rear of the combination meter. The bulbs are labelled A, B and C. The key shows which are which. Basically, the brown sockets are for warning lights, the black sockets for back-light and the blue sockets to back-light the two LCD elements.

FAST diagram of bulbsFigure 13 - FAST diagram of bulbs

 

 
A     
14V - 1.4W     
P/N: 24860-40F01     
Brown Socket
B   14V - 3W   P/N: 26262-01P40   Black Socket
C   14V - 2W   P/N: 24860-40F02   Blue Socket

 

Remove each socket by twisting it and check for any blackened/blown bulbs (Figure 14) and replace as necessary. You may find it beneficial to hold the pod up to the light to see which warning lights are which. You may find that you have never seen them lit before! Some of the socket holes will be empty due to either being blanked-off or certain equipment not being fitted. Two examples are the HICAS and fog warning lights.

Check bulbsFigure 14 - Check bulbs

 

Once you are happy that all bulbs are working, refit the meter by following the instructions in reverse.

Christian Jull

During his 'car years', Christian owned, ran and modified a Nissan 200SX (S14) and Nissan Silvia Spec R (S15). He was an active staff member of the UK 200SX Owners Club and one of the founding members of the S15 Owners Club. He owned and administered the club for ten years. Over the course of five years of Nissan ownership, Christian wrote modification guides to aid others. These guides have proved very popular with 200SX/Silvia owners all over the world.

Included with the guides is a record of car ownership over a ten year period.

Christian is now car-less and lives in the public-transport-friendly city of Helsinki in Finland.