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Old 12-14-2011, 11:21 PM   #1
vishmutzy
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Meter clock adjustment knob fix DIY

The clock adjustment knob on my '01 325iT finally gave up the ghost. Several years ago the reverse CCW direction stopped working, but the advance CW still functioned. Yesterday the advance CW broke and I could no longer adjust my clock. The push direction still functioned, so I knew that the little poking finger was still intact.

Took the meter apart and sure enough both white resin hinge tabs were broken off. I did some research and the only fix I could find involved soldering a jumper onto the circuit board. To that dude's credit, he came up with an elegant solution and has wicked good soldering skills. I was all set to attempt it but ran into two issues:
1) My meter circuit board was different than his '99 and the etched traces were completely different;
2) Holy frijole... everything on that board is so tiny that I would surely short something as I globbed sloppy blobs of solder trying to attach a jumper wire.

While my soldering skills are lacking, I am a Jedi Master with a Dremel. Considering all of the micro-buttons are the same radius from the knob centerline, I figured that the little finger would be able to reach all three if the knob was given more freedom of motion.

So here's where the DIY starts (read through all before you start cutting!):
1) Remove meter, unscrew rear cover, and pull off rubber sleeves from knobs (pull straight off, requires some force).
2) Carefully separate circuit board from meter face.
3) Remove clock adjustment knob and prepare it for surgery.
4) Using a Dremel with a sanding drum or equivalent, remove the side ears (which used to contact the now-broken white tabs to reverse/advance time) all the way down to the disc-shaped part at the base of each ears. Keep the disc-shaped part of the knob and the shank intact and smooth since this limits the knob travel when pressed and serves as the rotating contact surface.
5) Now flip over the circuit board so the gauge dials are face up. Use a Dremel milling bit to carefully remove the top portions of the white resin slotted rim around the knob hole. Only remove the areas shaded RED in the attached diagram (10:00-11:00 & 1:00-2:00 positions only, keep 11:00-1:00 intact). Take the material down to the same level as the recessed surface.
6) Thoroughly clean out all your grinding debris.
7) Reassemble the meter cluster, ensuring that the modified knob is oriented in it's neutral position (finger downward) as you install the rear cover.

If you did it right, you will now be able to rotate the clock adjustment knob to activate all 3 button (reverse, advance, and 12/24 hour) with the finger. It requires a bit of finesse to find the reverse/advance buttons, but since you have a detent at 6:00 (12/24 hour button) and positive stops at 11:00 and 1:00 (can not move between 11:00-1:00 due to remaining top section of rim), it's not difficult to find the reverse/advance buttons.

Sorry but the photos are stolen from other posts. I did this during my lunch break today in the parking lot in the rain and didn't have the luxury of taking photos.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:04 PM   #2
Chris3Duke
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Going to try this...
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:50 PM   #3
The Snake
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Has anyone else tried this?
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:31 AM   #4
SilberVogel
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^ Yes; works great and very easy to do. Here's some additional links that address the "twist" and "push" functionality, depending on what all is broken:

Videos & Tips: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...5#post16289730
DIY Push Functionality: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=719606
DIY Twist Functionality: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...7#post14142857
Replacement Knob: http://onlineshop.wunschtacho.de/pro...t-cluster.html
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:14 PM   #5
owatdahey
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Thank you vishmutzy for this DIY fix. My 2000 328Ci plastic "wings" broke as I was trying to change the clock while I was driving last Fall. I finally got around to getting a Dremel tool and followed the instructions above. Easy project -- just follow the instructions and look at the video link posted by SilberVogel above too.

Last edited by owatdahey; 12-28-2017 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:18 PM   #6
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I like it...can't wait to try!
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:57 AM   #7
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Do I need to disconnect the battery to remove the cluster? I know it's always a good idea, but it's a pain and easier to ask here! Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2019, 11:11 AM   #8
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All done and thank you so much OP. Both my little white plastic tabs were broken. I've been without the ability to reset my clock for over a month and I can't believe how frustrating that was to see it an hour behind.

I didn't disconnect my battery and it turned out fine...except...

When I plugged it in the first time, the odometer had lots of broken up parts to it...so took it out again and figured I may have put one screw in the wrong hole. So...I chose another and this time it's fine. Thank you OP!
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