Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: Japan

The '93 BMW E36 did pretty well in the Speedometer Edition of the Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, with excellent marks for component quality, but the Germans are vulnerable in the areas of complexity and general pain-in-assness. We'll see if Nissan can do better, with this '93 Infiniti J30 up next.

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J30s have been showing up in large numbers at California self-service junkyards; we're going to use this wrecked one as our Japanese Junkyard Nightmare Build Quality Challenge contestant.

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Illustration for article titled Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: Japan

In my experience, Japanese instrument clusters tend to be quite easy to remove... but there are exceptions. We'll find out!

Illustration for article titled Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: Japan

I've already got one of the famous Infiniti clocks in my collection, so I'll leave this one for the next car-clock hunter.

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Illustration for article titled Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: Japan

Shawn gets started by removing a few screws on the underside of the cluster bezel. Note the ease of access, an encouraging sign that this may be a typically easy Japanese cluster-removal job.

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Illustration for article titled Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: Japan

It appears that removing this trim piece below the cluster will make access a lot easier.

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Illustration for article titled Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: Japan

Some of the screws on the lower part of the cluster are a bit challenging to reach.

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Illustration for article titled Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: Japan

But nothing all that difficult, by junkyard dash-surgery standards.

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A half-dozen or so screws, a couple of electrical connectors, and the cluster is loose.

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Some negotiation of tight spaces is required to free the cluster from its opening.

Illustration for article titled Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: Japan
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It's out!

Illustration for article titled Junkyard Build Quality Challenge, Speedometer Edition: Japan
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You'll find these screwdriver-friendly little plastic latches holding the clear cover on a lot of Japanese clusters made since the early 1980s.

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Just pop each one out while maintaining tension on the already-sprung latches to keep them from re-seating.

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Now the gauge faces are accessible.

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Shawn flips the cluster over to remove the screws holding the speedometer module in place.

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Note that the screws that attach the speedometer to the cluster unit double as electrical connectors to the ribbon cable.

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The speedometer lifts right out.

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Just be careful not to bend the needle when handling the speedo.

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Success! Nissan scores pretty high on component quality, maybe just a click below BMW, but eats the E36 alive when it comes to the Pain-In-The-Ass Quotient (PITAQ).

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Next stop, Detroit! We'll see how the Buick fares against the BMW and Infiniti.

Junkyard Nightmare Build Quality Challenge Door Panel Edition Home

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DISCUSSION

magicaltrevor-old
MagicalTrevor

Regarding pictures 11 and 12, it looks like you still managed to destroy those "screwdriver-friendly" tabs/slots...