2004 Land Cruiser Gauge Cluster FIXED! How-To

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dchilds

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I had an issue that a number of others are experiencing with their 100 series. Four out of six of my gauges worked only about 10% of the time. The rest of the time they were just dead. Research led me to believe that my stepper motors needed replacing. These are little "tomb-shaped" (black in color) motors that are soldered on to the circuit board behind the cluster. The motors look like this:

Upload 2018 8 24 10 40 11


I was not able to find any DIY material for a fix out on the net - only a couple of sources for a rebuild service @ ~$450. I wanted to fix it myself and save some coin.

I was only able to source the stepper motors from one place - China (via eBay).

So, here's the DIY part - how to access the motors and replace them.

***TOOLS NEEDED***
- phillips head screw driver
- painter's tape
- sharp pencil/ball point pen
- soldering iron
- desoldering wick
- silver solder

***PARTS NEEDED***

- 2x (speedo and tach) Toyota 4500 4700 Prado Stepper Motor PPE+PS 6S | eBay
-4x (temp, oil pressure, volts, fuel) https://www.ebay.com/itm/Toyota-4500-4700-Prado-Opel-Mitsubishi-Galant-Lexus-Stepper-Motor-PPE-PS-6G-6S/263824150936?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

1. remove your cluster. Here's a pretty good video:

2. begin removing all the little goldish colored screws you can put your phillips head screwdriver on. With the exception of four screws located just beneath the clear, protective "glass", these are all the same size so no need to keep track of where they went. They all need to come out.

3. remove the white plastic "backing" that protects the rear of the circuit board (only 6 or so screws holding this on)

4. continue to remove any additional screws 3. (above) gave you access to.

5. separate the clear glass from the cluster - there are a couple of little tabs which hold the clear piece on after you've removed screws

6. VERY IMPORTANT - cut six small pieces of painters tape and put them on the face of the gauges where the needles bottom out. Mark the exact location of where the you feel resistance when rotating the needle counter clockwise (clockwise in the case of the temp and oil pressure). There is no "peg" that these needles bottom out on. where the gauges stop is based on the internals of the stepper motors and where the needle is indexed on the tiny shaft that drives the needle.
See below

2018 08 08 125909




7. After you've marked where your needles stop, rotate them slightly past that point and pull them off their posts. They will slide off the little shaft relatively easily.

8. Remove the left side black plastic "face" that the speedometer is printed on. There are some small tabs that hold it on. Taking this off gives you access to the LCD of the odometer.

9. Flip cluster over so you're looking at the back and ensure all screws are removed.

10. paying attention to the tabs holding the circuit board to the cluster housing and pulling them back where necessary, remove the circuit board form the cluster housing. The odometer LCD will self-remove during this process. Don't freak out - you just push this the multi-pin seat when re-installing.

11. see opposite side of the circuit board. This is where the stepper motors are held on to the board with six solder points each and two small "feet" that go through the board and clip the motor into place. See where my pencil is pointing? These are what's holding the motors on:
2018 08 08 133221


12. heat up your soldering iron and desolder (using the wick) all 36 (6 points x 6 motors) soldered contacts. You can youtube how to do this.

13. remove the stepper motors

14. solder in the new ones

15+ do the reverse of the above. The only part that requires thought is re-installation of the needles on the stepper motor shafts. After you've pushed the needles down on to the shafts, you'll need to rotate the fuel, volts, tach and speedo counterclockwise until you feel resistance. This is the integrated stopping poing. You'll continue to rotate the needle until the tip lines up with the marks you made on the painters tape. You'll do the same but rotation should be clockwise for the oil pressure and temp.

Here's a little video I shot when it was all disassembled.
 
Last edited:
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dchilds

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I’m bumping this up - not for my own gratification - but, because I think there are more people that need this information.

This really is an easy fix, guys. Though it can be somewhat intimidating. I’m glad to help anyone that needs moral support to dig into it.
 
V

vcheng

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Upstate NY
I’m bumping this up - not for my own gratification - but, because I think there are more people that need this information.

This really is an easy fix, guys. Though it can be somewhat intimidating. I’m glad to help anyone that needs moral support to dig into it.


Is this a common failure? Is it related to time or mileage?
 
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dchilds

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Is this a common failure? Is it related to time or mileage?

I've seen cluster-related questions all over this board but none seemed to lead to a fix. Most of the threads I've read dead-ended with folks either 1. just living with dead gauges or 2. sending the cluster in for repair ($450+). I'm sure age is a factor for these gauges. I've heard it mentioned that hot environments are hard on them, too. The truck I bought has lived its entire life in north Texas...where the summer heat is miserable. So, maybe there is some connection to the heat hypothesis.
 
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krom

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Jun 14, 2012
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Bay Area, CA
I get the occasional dead tach. This is usually accompanied by the other gauges (fuel, temp, etc) fluttering then springing to life shortly after starting the motor but the tach remains dead. Sometimes when I insert the key and turn to the ACC position it sounds like the gauges are trying to come to life. I wonder if this might be a solution for me as well. Thanks.
 
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dchilds

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I would bet it would fix your tach problem and the fluttering.

I get the occasional dead tach. This is usually accompanied by the other gauges (fuel, temp, etc) fluttering then springing to life shortly after starting the motor but the tach remains dead. Sometimes when I insert the key and turn to the ACC position it sounds like the gauges are trying to come to life. I wonder if this might be a solution for me as well. Thanks.
 
AFei

AFei

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I'm struggling with the same issue and hope re-tight the screw may do the trick. Otherwise, will follow your route.

Was thinking there has to be a fix! Your solution is exact what I'm looking for. Thanks!

BTW, I'm having hard time to remove the cluster. Does it take a lot of turn to really loose the 2 gold screws?
 
AFei

AFei

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@dchilds A quick question. Is there a way to verify if the stepping motor good or not without taking it off from the circuit board?
 
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dchilds

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I'm struggling with the same issue and hope re-tight the screw may do the trick. Otherwise, will follow your route.

Was thinking there has to be a fix! Your solution is exact what I'm looking for. Thanks!

BTW, I'm having hard time to remove the cluster. Does it take a lot of turn to really loose the 2 gold screws?

They do seem to take quite a few turns to get them out. Make sure you also have all the other necessary screws out (obviously).

@dchilds A quick question. Is there a way to verify if the stepping motor good or not without taking it off from the circuit board?

That I can tell, no. I’m sure there’s a way to bench test the motors and I wish I knew how but I wasn’t able to before replacing them.
 
AFei

AFei

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They do seem to take quite a few turns to get them out. Make sure you also have all the other necessary screws out (obviously).

Actually I tried it again this afternoon, even using a drive with 10mm socket, but still not be able to take it out. No matter how many turns, it felt still being secured by something. When you say "all other necessary screws", you mean the 4 black screws, 2 at the top, and 2 at the bottom corners, right (As being pointed by the blue arrows)? The 4 screws pointed by yellow arrows shouldn't be removed at this time, right?
Instrument Cluster Screws


So when you removed your cluster, it didn't take much force once loose the 2 screws secured the harness, right?
 
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dchilds

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Are there screws in the middle at the top of the cluster? I honestly can’t remember.
Actually I tried it again this afternoon, even using a drive with 10mm socket, but still not be able to take it out. No matter how many turns, it felt still being secured by something. When you say "all other necessary screws", you mean the 4 black screws, 2 at the top, and 2 at the bottom corners, right (As being pointed by the blue arrows)? The 4 screws pointed by yellow arrows shouldn't be removed at this time, right?
View attachment 1852397

So when you removed your cluster, it didn't take much force once loose the 2 screws secured the harness, right?
 
AFei

AFei

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Are there screws in the middle at the top of the cluster? I honestly can’t remember.

No, at least I didn't find one. I also watched the video of cluster removal of 100 LC and LX470, and seems just 4 screws.
 
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dchilds

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Hmmm. If you’ve taken out the four mounting screws and it’s just the gold colored screws left, try screwing them back in until they’re tight and unscrew them less. Mine seemed to be impossible to get out if they were too far backed out. See if that changes anything.
I use this video as the reference:
 
AFei

AFei

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Thanks! I will keep trying it. However, I believe I will have to replace the stepping motors to get the gauges back to order.


Just want to double check with you that we need 6S for Speedo and Tacho and 6G for other 4, right? Do you happen to know the difference between 6S and 6G?

I saw this website selling 6S: 2003 - 2013 Toyota 4Runner Tundra Tacoma Gauge Speedometer Fuel Temp RPM stepper motor
 
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dchilds

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I actually think the 6s and 6G are the same. Yes, I bought 2 6S and 2 6G. That’s what the originals on my circuit board were.
Interestingly, the company you referenced above is the one that will do a complete repair for ~$500. They also told me that they do not sell the motors for the 100 series and would neither confirm or deny that the ones you mention would fit. “It’s all proprietary.” Which I read as “Our margins are too fat on the total repair job to sell the individual parts for people who can afford a Land Cruiser in the first place.” That’s their business decision but I don’t understand why they would only do the rebuilds for some vehicles and would sell the parts for others. Those stepper motors look like a perfect match to me but I’d rather just buy from eBay.


Thanks! I will keep trying it. However, I believe I will have to replace the stepping motors to get the gauges back to order.



Just want to double check with you that we need 6S for Speedo and Tacho and 6G for other 4, right? Do you happen to know the difference between 6S and 6G?

I saw this website selling 6S: 2003 - 2013 Toyota 4Runner Tundra Tacoma Gauge Speedometer Fuel Temp RPM stepper motor
 
AFei

AFei

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I actually think the 6s and 6G are the same.

I will ask the eBay seller to clarify also. I remember you mentioned somewhere that there might be different size of output shaft on the motor? Is that the case?

Yeah, I chatted with that company, and they quickly turned off once they learned that I was working on a LX.
 
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dchilds

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I really can’t tell any difference and during some communication with the eBay seller, I was told they’re the same. No difference in shaft diameter (I might have mentioned that when talking about the door lock actuator fix?)
I will ask the eBay seller to clarify also. I remember you mentioned somewhere that there might be different size of output shaft on the motor? Is that the case?

Yeah, I chatted with that company, and they quickly turned off once they learned that I was working on a LX.
 
AFei

AFei

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I really can’t tell any difference and during some communication with the eBay seller, I was told they’re the same. No difference in shaft diameter (I might have mentioned that when talking about the door lock actuator fix?)

Actually I'm talking with sellers from other platforms, and one tell me 6S and 6G are identical. Now try to figure out the reason of huge price gap between the sellers. One sells at about $16 and the others sell at about $2! Do you happen to have a clear pictures of your motor? both side?

Thanks!
 

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