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HOW TO: 2001 Sport Cluster Swap for 1998 Explorer

finally got it working ... somewhat

the temp gauge was out of wack .... so I just popped off needle and repositioned it. Just have to live with check gage light, or pull the light bulb


after doing a little more research ... probably the anti-slosh module ... going to swap entire cluster with a third too see if i get a different reading

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I'm performing the swap from a 2002 sport-trac 4wd to a 97XL 4wd. From my basic inspection, the peripheral gauges all look identical, a couple boards have "F77F" and "F87F" date codes. I've switched out the speedo/odo, it looks like the circuitry to it was different anyhow from the back of the cluster, a resistor in the place of a jumper and an extra resistor.

[EDIT] The board components I mentioned are wired to the anti-theft LED, no effect on the gauges themselves.

The slosh/gage module, in particular, has an F77F code on it, and from my inspection, are the identical module, parts F77F-14A608-FB and F77F-14A608-FA. The last digit is the revision number, much like the ECU numbers. I would almost believe these clusters would actually be plug and play swapable, but I'm not taking the chance, I'm tired of redoing things.

As a side note, my volt meter gauge (1997 XL cluster) has a RANGER label. (capitalized like on the label) The voltage gauge also has a different impedance than the 2002 model, but from what I remember, it's only tied to power/ground. All other simple gauges have equal impedances, making me believe they should have the same windings and behave the same for the same input.

[edit] The voltmeter gauge proved to be different, with the 2002 voltmeter in the 97 cluster, it railed high and stayed there, even when I did things to cause low-voltage conditions. However oil pressure, temp, and fuel are all operating as the stock 97 components.

Not sure why this never made it to the forum HOW TO section a year and a half ago, but I thought it was time to post it up here as I was going through a hard drive cleanup.

What makes this swap so different is that the odometer and speedo's are calibrated and the guts of the stock cluster is retained. So, here goes:

Instrumentation Cluster Swap Guide

Here’s a comprehensive how-to to turn your old, outdated black gauge cluster into a newer white cluster found on 2001 and up Explorer Sport models. The swap between 1995 and 2001 Explorer clusters with black faces to this newer cluster design is a direct fit and will allow you to use quite a few parts of your existing cluster.

In a quest to do it the right way, this guide will use as much of your old cluster as possible while updating all of your gauges to white faces, including the odometer and gear indicator. We will also show you the right way to advance your new odometer to match your existing mileage.


Before you begin, you should do some prework to make your life easier once you get deep within this simple, but slightly time-consuming project. First, make sure you have a speed tracking and calibrating method as this project requires you to calibrate your speedometer needle. In this guide, we used a fairly accurate speed zone radar system. It accurately measured our speedometer from 15 to 40 MPH.

Here are some additional methods you can use:

  1. Scanning Tool
  2. The pacing method (requires a helper with an accurate speedometer and cell phone to follow you and indicate your speed)
  3. Radar speed zones with speed display (Your Speed: XX MPH)
  4. Gear shift points (less accurate)

Next, make sure you have the right tools:

  • Drill or Dremel with small drill bit
  • Pencils with rubber erasers
  • Sharpie Pen (Pick your color)
  • 1/4” mini size socket set
  • Small screwdriver set
  • XActo knife set
  • Alcohol and cotton swabs

Third, get yourself a 2001-2003 Explorer sport gauge cluster as shown below. Make sure the model fits your requirements. For example, if you get a 2WD cluster for a 4WD Explorer, some of the lights will be missing, like the 4WD indicators.


Fourth, make sure you read this entire guide end to end so you can avoid any pitfalls during the swap (like in our case). So let’s begin.

Getting Started

For this project we’re swapping out a 1998 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 cluster with a 2001 Explorer Sport 4x4 cluster. The key here is to get a cluster that has fewer miles than the one you currently have. Rolling miles forward is easier than rolling them back. This guide does not cover rolling back odometers. Our donor odometer was bought on eBay for an amazing $25!!! It had around 81000 miles on it and our Explorer has over 132000 miles. Note the broken tab on the bottom left corner. No matter as we will be using our existing cluster body instead. This will allow us to keep everything connected and eliminate/reduce the light bulb check and replacement step.


Disassembling the New Cluster

Normally we would take out the existing cluster first and simply swap out the two. However, this poses several problems. First, because the odometer is to be rolled forward, it will be difficult to drive additional miles should you have to buy parts, tools, or other items. It will also be hard to roll miles forward in the event you overshoot your odometer adjustment. We overshot our adjustment by one mile and wound up having to drive around the block to get the two odometers back in sync.

Start by taking out all the torx screws holding the plastic cover onto the cluster.


Once the cover is off you can now gain access to the three separate cluster sections. The main cluster panels are held in place by pin connectors on the back of the gauges.


Use a small screwdriver or XActo knife to gently pry the right and left gauge sections from the body of the cluster:


Set the left and right gauge panels aside in a safe location. You will be installing them into the existing cluster body later on. Take the center section out to gain access to the speedometer and odometer:


Disassembling the Speedometer and Odometer

In order to properly roll forward the odometer, you will have to remove the speedometer needle and the motor/odometer assembly from the back of the cluster panel. First, flip the panel over and place it onto a soft towel or foam pad:


In order to ensure a reasonable position for the speedometer needle later, use a Sharpie pen to mark the shaft and the body of the motor so that you can obtain a decent placement of the needle later on.


Once you mark the location, use two wide screwdrivers or XActo knives to gently pry the need off of the speedometer motor shaft:


Once the needle is off, remove the odometer motor. The motor is held in place by two metal tabs that are locked by two clear plastic locking tabs. It has a worm gear that is mounted to the motor shaft. Use a small screwdriver and gently wedge it between the plastic tab and the metal tab on each side of the motor. It is very important to be patient and use as little force as possible or you could break the clear plastic tabs:


Once both sides are unlocked, twist the motor clockwise and it will rotate out of the clear plastic base:


Use a small screwdriver to pry the white plastic electrical connector for the odometer motor apart from the circuit board. Once the motor is removed, take out the three black screws holding the plastic base from the speedometer panel:


Separate the odometer from the circuit board:


Mark down your existing mileage from the old cluster:


Advancing the Odometer

Gently pry the cog end of the odometer cylinder up from the clear plastic retainer using your thumb:


Remove the cog on the end of the shaft. Leave the other side of the shaft in place.

Place a small drill bit in your drill/demel and put a rubber eraser on the end of it. Twist it onto the bit. Remove and twist the other side on to create a hole that the odometer shaft will go into. Place the odometer into a soft vise or on the floor. Get the drill to drive the odometer. Clockwise should advance the odometer as shown:


Now here’s your chance to take that much deserved beverage break as this could take some time. It took about 40 minutes to advance 50000 miles for a regular speed drill. A dremel would probably speed this process up considerably. Run the drill full blast to advance the odometer. The rubber eraser may need to be replaced midway through as it acts as a connector between the drill and the odometer shaft. Use caution not to over-advance the cylinder. It’s fairly easy to advance it with your finger per mile. Give yourself about 20 miles and advance by hand. This process is trial and error, but once you get the odometer going, it’s an easy and somewhat entertaining process.

Once you are finished, now is a perfect time to clean all the components, including the odometer cylinder. Use your cotton swabs and 70% rubbing alcohol. Use care. Reassemble the odometer housing and cog:


As you can see the odometer was rolled forward without disassembling the cylinder. Reassemble the odometer onto the back of the cluster panel. Cleanup with alcohol can also be done here as well.

To put the odometer motor back in, push it in place and rotate counterclockwise until everything snaps together.


Place the needle back onto the shaft. Before doing so, ensure the alignment marks you made with the Sharpie pen are aligned on the speedometer motor shaft and base. Just apply enough force to put the needle on slightly. You will probably need to remove and readjust it later on during final assembly.

Remove Existing Odometer Cluster Gauges

Removal of the existing cluster is rather straightforward and the difficult part (which was fairly easy) is now behind us. In order to gain access to the cluster you will need to loosen or remove the cluster bezel, the radio bezel, the kick plate below the steering wheel and the plastic panel covering the kick plate.

Start by removing the radio bezel. You can remove the bezel by removing the screws directly above the climate controls:


Remove the three screws on the top of the cluster bezel:


Remove the four (4) screws fastening the kick panel plastic trim:


Two of the screws hold up the bracket for the hood release. Remove the kick plate plastic trim:


Loosen the two top bolts on the kick panel shown above. Removal of the panel isn’t necessary. You only need enough room to loosen and remove the two screws remaining in the cluster bezel:


Take the cluster bezel off and remove the two connectors for the light dimmer and lamp switch:


During this removal, make sure you recover the rubber caps on the back of the panel. Otherwise the panel could rattle after you reinstall it. You may also want to cover your steering wheel column with a towel to avoid scratching the column cover plastic.

Remove the four (4) screws holding the cluster body in place:


Pull the cluster base away from the firewall but don’t disconnect the connectors. Remove the torx screws from the cluster cover:


Remove the cover:


Then remove all three panels using a small screwdriver to pry them loose. This is the same process used on the new cluster. Start with the outer two to expose the speedometer/tachometer panel. Then remove the speedometer panel. Perform a cross check to make sure the gauges are the same and that the mileage is the same. You should not have to adjust the fuel, tach, temp, oil, or ammeter gauges:


Remove the gear indicator by pulling the needle towards the cable. Disconnect the cable from the needle using a small screwdriver. Insert a small screwdriver into the white plastic retainer and tug on the cable. It should release from the gear indicator housing:


Place all three new cluster panels into the base of the old one:


Place a couple of screws into the cluster housing to keep it in place. Put the cluster bezel back on but don’t fasten it.

Now is the time to take the vehicle for the speedometer needle calibration. Check the speed of your vehicle using any one of the methods mentioned earlier. Adjust if necessary. Also check all lamps and indicators. Use working bulbs from the new instrument cluster base if any of your old ones are burned out.

Final Steps

Once you have the speedometer needle calibrated, put the cluster cover back in place and reattach the cluster, all its bezels, gear indicator, and any other item that was removed during the disassembly process.

When finished, you should have a fantastic new look for your Explorer!



Hope this guide will help you in your swap out and post any comments up here.
Guys, I like the thread #1815123. Do you still have the pictures. please send them to me @ my email

Tks orangeX

Try this thread instead, for pics:


change the instrument cluster

Tks Guys, I have the thread on the Indiglo gauges, but the indiglo faces are in MPH. So, I have found some 2001 EXP Sport or sport trac models in canada that may work ok. The problem is dealing with our recyclers. They try to play god, but have no idea about ford except from they hollander system. Must of them think we are stupid and do not answer my questions. The only thing is that there are basically no 2wd model available, as my Eddie Bauer V8 does not need the 4x4 indicator lights. I only wish that ford would make a better, higher quality cluster. I have never taken apart a toyota or Gm cluster.

keep up the good work.

I have a white cluster for sale for a 2wd, but it is in MPH...


Hi Guys,
This is a great and informative thread, but the issue I'm having now involves none of the instrument panel gauges working. We swapped out for another thinking perhaps there was something wrong with the cluster itself, but it turns out that's not the case. We've painstakingly gone over all the wiring diagrams available , checked all relays and fuses and everything "looks" like it's supposed to, but still no love. Any suggestions ? I love this car and want it back on the road soon, but at this rate it's going to look like a bowl of spaghetti for the next three years unless we can find out where the issue is. ANY suggestions welcome!

By the way, I did this swap to my 95 EB. It wasn't quite as cut and dry as this swap was. There were some wires that needed to be re-directed. But it does work great and looks so much better. Also, I re-used my old speedometer rather than fool around with the mileage on the new one. It is a very simple swap. I then used my speed off my GPS to reset the needle. Piece of cake.

again I know this is a old thread

what wires did you move and to where from where??
I have been researching and found a ton of " I had to move wire" but no one is explaining what where and how on these wire moves.

So after tons of research and finding NO POSTS of the wire re-pinning

Mine is done

So here is what I found and did to swap the 2001 Explorer white faced cluster panels into my 1995 Ranger using all my 1995 gauges and housing with the plastic board.




After letting engine idle for 20 minutes, I took pictures of all gauge settings prior to pulling dash apart and removing needles from panel.
After I got everything together (re-pinning) I left face lens off to expose needles so I could set them correctly.

I then started the truck let it idle for 20 minutes set my RPM needle at just below 1000 RPM from picture I took, I put my other needles approx center setting for my TEMP, OIL, and BATTERY. Then I drove to fuel station filled tank and set fuel needle just slightly to right edge of black marker above the F, (it use to go way past the F before but I do not mind having a little reserve fuel in tank). then set up my GPS drove to the freeway and set my cruise control to 60MPH and set my Speedometer needle to match,

I then Drove home seated all my needles to correct height as to not hit/scrap on panels.
Been doing fine for the week I have been driving it. And it looks GREAT......

Also I used new Needles I bought off EBAY
The only mod I had to do to get them to fit correctly was cut them shorter to set on pins of gauges and for the Battery I pulled the metal tab out of original needle and drilled a bit larger hole in the ebay needle and push the metal tab into the new needle and it set just fine on the battery gauge no gluing or other mod and it is not sloppy or loose works like factory.

Hope this helps others with a 2001 Explorer white face cluster panel swap into a 1995 Ford Ranger......???

Folks, I know this is a fairly old thread, but in my cleanup of my hard drives I found the images and the writeup for this modification. I've attached a PDF doc. Plus the images are in reverse order in this media library:

Ford Explorer Cluster Swap