OK, the Germans and Japanese have had their turns. Now it's time to see if the United States can grab the Junkyard Nightmare Build Quality Challenge trophy back from the Germans!

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

After Buick's very disappointing performance in the Door Panel Edition of the Junkyard Nightmare Build Quality Challenge, we had high hopes for this '95 Riviera to change our opinion of mid-90s GM build quality. Whatever else happens, at least we can say that the Riv is the best-looking car of the three!

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

We don't see anything particularly intimidating-looking here; maybe instrument cluster removal will be a walk in the park!

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

In keeping with the "no visible fasteners" ethos that took hold during the 90s, the dash fascia offers no clues as to removal method.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

Just like the LeSabre in the Dashboard Edition, the Riviera boasts "Passenger Comfort" controls.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

How the hell do you get this thing off?

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

Previous experience with GM products has taught Shawn that many dash and trim components will be held on by various one-way/one-time plastic clips, which means that removing components without breakage is very dificult.

All right, let's forget about being gentle and/or sparing parts we don't care about. Crunch!

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

Once the fascia has some wiggle room (created by busting off a number of hidden, fragile clips), the remaining attaching hardware may be removed easily.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

An inner bezel is now revealed, and its mounting screws are pretty easy to find.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

A few turns of the screwdriver...

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

...and we're closer to our goal. Aren't those good-looking gauges? We think so.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

At this point, it appears that all the cluster mounting screws are in plain sight.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

The cluster is loose, but it's a real headache to squeeze it past the steering column.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

It's also a skin-removing adventure to detach the electrical connectors on the rear panel of the cluster. The connectors themselves seem to be of pretty decent quality.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

It's out!

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

Next stop: the trunk lid aka work bench.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

The clear plastic cover appears to be held on with Phillips screws.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

This big circuit board comes off via the removal of a few more screws. So far everything about this cluster seems uncannily... Japanese.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

No wonder— It's made by Nippondenso! Outsourcing works in mysterious ways.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

Removal of a few more screws permits Shawn to split the cluster open and access the gauges.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

Each gauge is a modular unit in its own little discrete pocket. Again, very Japanese.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

The speedometer should lift right out.

Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: USAS

There we go! In summary, the first part of the American portion of the Speedometer Edition JNBQC was a typical GM knuckle-and-plastic-clip-bustin' affair, but the Japanese-made cluster was quite easy to disassemble... once it was unearthed. We're going to give the win to the Infiniti this time, with the Buick in second and the BMW in a very close third place.

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