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Ford Aspire SE Cluster Swap


DISCLAIMER: Changing the cluster will cause your odometer to be off. I would only do this if your speedometer is damaged. It is against the law and generally dishonest to change the miles of your car. Please be honest and let the new owners know of the change.
BROKEN!!!

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For the 1994-1995 model years, Ford offered a sport version of the Aspire called the SE. Many parts can be interchanged with the standard 1994-1997 models, this cluster is one of them. This page gives you a good idea of what your up against making this change.

The best place to find a used cluster is Car-Part.com. You can search the database to find a yard that has one. The units run $65.00-$75.00 most of the time, I guess it depends on the odometer reading. A lot of times these clusters have damaged plastics. You can change the plastics very easy with your old cluster.

The dash is very easy to take apart. A flat blade screw driver is all you need to remove the finish panel insert and the heating/cooling vents. The cluster is held together by four screws.

Back side

The back consists of three connections. The two left/right connections are plastic connectors which are easy to remove. The speedometer cable is a little more tricky due to the short cable it has. Take out the two plastic connections first and then upsnap the speedometer cable. After you free the old cluster, just plug everything back into the new one. Put the dash back together and you are done.

If you have a 1997, there is a little more stuff you need to do. Ford deleted the wire for the tachometer on both the harness and the distributer. In order to get this cluster to work, you must purchase the three prong distributer connector and also a plastic cluster connector (doesn't matter what side, make sure there is plenty of wires to work with). This purchase can be challenging because most yards don't want to hack up harnesses (I guess they think there is a demand for these?). When you get the connectors, you will need to carefully remove a pin from the distributer with a small flat blade screwdriver. After removing the pin, you will need to add wire to the pin to reach the inside of the car.

When you successfully get the wire inside the car, you have to remove a pin from the donor cluster harness. Add the pin to #5 on the left side. After everything is connected, you are in good shape. The tachometer will come alive. After you are done, you can sell the donor harness to someone else and get all of your money back. The next guy can use these for his swap since it doesn't matter which pins you use.

This info is presented AS-IS, this is to be used as a repair guide only! Try this at your own risk.