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    E34 AND E32 INSTRUMENT CLUSTERS / #BMW-E32 / #BMWE34 / #BMW / #BMW-5-Series-E34 / #Instrument-Clusters / #BMW-Instrument-Clusters

    This is going back in time a bit, well, to 1986 in the case of the #BMW-7-Series-E32 , and 1988 for the BMW-E34 5 Series. Models with the bigger engines (all E32s) and the 525i, 530i and 535i as well as the V8s, had what’s called the ‘high’ instrument cluster. It has digital mileage and the ability to transmit #OBC readings via pixels in the dash.

    Overall, these were superbly reliable compared to what BL and Jaguar were trying to do, but that didn’t stop BMW improving them periodically. Upon launch, the E32 had a cluster with a battleshipgrey backing plate containing the circuit boards. There was a mileage chip that also held car information such as fuel tank capacity, and whether it was an auto or a manual, and this chip was built into a coding plug in the wiring into the cluster. In February 1989, the dash was changed – the backing plate was now white and the coding plug with mileage chip was brown. It plugged into the back of the cluster, secured by a breakable plastic cage, and had a silver sticker on the back with the car’s VIN. This was again superseded (in September 1990) by the blue-back cluster; outwardly almost identical.

    The coding plug was in the same place, but was now a blue colour and not interchangeable with the brown plug on the older cluster. The circuit board is an insane price new – a frankly ridiculous £1,255 (plus VAT) and, at one time, it was even more than that. White-backed and blue-backed clusters can be swapped and interchanged complete, and should your car have the original grey-backed unit, a later cluster will plug in and work, but it will probably display the original mileage. Don’t confuse these early, grey-backed units with the one from the later 518i, diesels and 520i; these are completely different, so don’t plug in and they have a gunmetal-grey metallic back.

    Larger-engined E34 5 Series models were fitted with the so-called ‘high’ instrument cluster, with digital mileage and OBC functionality. A new circuit board will cost a frankly ridiculous £1,255 (plus VAT).
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