Time Saving Instrument Cluster Removal
Donald on your request here are the instructions on how to remove the instrument cluster without pod removal.
1. Remove the round rubber seal on the driver side dashboard. Behind the opening you will find a 6mm/ 10mm head nut that has to be removed to remove the lower panel that sits below the steering wheel. There is another 6mm nut nearby the RDK Computer that needs to be removed too. After that remove the allen bolt that sits right below the steering wheel. Now remove the 2 sheet metal screws that hold the driver side carpet in place on the center console. Move the carpet out of the way partially and you will see two 13mm head bolts that hold the lower cover in place. Remove those too and the cover can be removed now.
2. Remove the 2 small plastic covers that sit below the dim/wiper interval switch. Behind there you will see 4 allen head bolts that have to be removed too. Also remove the 2 metal mounts.
3. The pod itself is loose now. Remove the rubber seal around the ignition switch. Lift the pod slightly over the plastic cover that sits over the blinker/wiper levers. The most difficult part is to pull the pod over the ignition switch. Wiggle the pod a little and you should be able to lift the pod so far that you can access the rear of the instrument cluster. Be patient the first time!
4. When you have access to the rear of the cluster remove the 4 electrical connectors. They are secured in place with little levers. Push those away from the connectors and they can be removed too.
5. Push the instrument cluster from the right to the left to free it out of the right rubber mounts that hold it into place. The left rubber mounts are no factor because the allen bolt that used to hold it into place was removed already. Remove the cluster and you're done.
6. Assembly is reverse of removal
Use some tape on the left side of the instrument cluster to hold the rubber mounts in place. The cluster is now pushed back on the right mounts 1st (obvious when you do it) and the left mounts are held in place by the tape until the bolt is inserted again.
The worst part is to put the electrical connectors back on the cluster. They are coded with little pins and fit only on one spot, so don't worry about misallocating them. Just make sure that they sit on the instrument cluster firmly and that the levers lock them in place. Put the rest back together and you're done!
The complete process can be done faster than the time it took me to write this post! Sorry I don't have any pictures from my last removal but I think Roger took some when I did the job at his place. Maybe he can post some...