Author Topic: How to: Maxima White Face Gauges  (Read 1622 times)

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Offline chrislapp

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How to: Maxima White Face Gauges
« on: Feb 2, 2012, 07:02AM »
Just thought I would share with everyone.

I know this will apply to Stanzas in the U.S. and may apply to U12s elsewhere though I know the instrument clusters are of a different design in certain regions so I can't be for certain.

Most everyone probably knows by now that the instrument cluster with white face gauges out of a 89-94 Maxima will swap pretty easily for the cluster in our cars.  If you want you can get gauges from an SE model Maxima that are marked to 145 mph instead of 130 mph.  Some people have said the speed is off on these, but they are NOT.  They are accurate, as in the speed is not off.  I have verified this with GPS and by comparing with Consult at various speeds.  Even if they were off, they could be re-calibrated in a similar fashion to what I'm about to show below.  (They could be recalibrated for other tire sizes in a similiar fashion as well)

Here's where it gets a little more interesting:

Most instructions for installing these require you to remove the Maxima tachometer from the instrument cluster and install the Stanza tachometer into the housing.  You then have to remove the needle and swap the gauge faces and then reinstall the needle.  This is because the Maxima tach is from a v6 and the Stanza tach is for an I4.  This is acceptable if you already have a Stanza tach that is working and you don't mind the possibility of being slightly off when you put the needle back on.

I unfortunately didn't have a tachometer in my car from the factory and so I looked for another way to make the Maxima tachometer work.

I soon found out that swapping the tachometer isn't necessary.  The Maxima tachometer can be used, it just has to be re-calibrated by adjusting the blue variable resistor on the back of the Maxima tachometer.  This is a fairly simple process. 

Disclaimer:  I take no responsibility for if you mess something up.  It worked perfectly for me just read through my directions carefully.  If you aren't comfortable with trying it then don't do it.

Things you will need:
  • Maxima instrument cluster
  • Laptop with consult software or another tachometer
  • Philips screwdriver
  • 3 pieces of wire about 5 or 6 feet long.  Preferably with ring terminals on the ends.
  • 3 screws with nuts to hold the ring terminal to the tachometer connections on the back of the cluster.  I used 4-40 by 3/4" long.  These were a little small in diameter and could have been shorter as well.
  • Optional: a friend to help

1.  Start by disassembling the instrument cluster.  You will need to remove the clear plastic cover and the black trim piece on the front.  The tachometer module can then be carefully remove by unscrewing the three gold screws on the back of it.

2.  Next, connect the Maxima tachometer back to the instrument cluster using the 3 pieces of 6' long wire.  The screws with nuts are used to attach one end of each wire to instrument cluster.  The other end of the wire is attached to the matching terminal on the tachometer using the screws that held it in the cluster.

3.  Reconnect the instrument cluster to the car.

4.  Connect you laptop with consult to the car and pull up the RPM readout from the computer.  Alternatively connect another tachometer to the car.

5.  (This is where a friend can be helpful.)  Start the car.  Raise the RPM by giving the car some gas.  The Maxima tachometer will be reading slower than the actual RPM readout at this point.  Hold the RPM steady at a certain value by watching the consult readout or the other tachometer.  I choose 3000 RPM.

6.  Now slowly turn the blue variable resistor (located on the circuit board on the backside of the Maxima tachometer) with a phillips screwdriver until the Maxima tach readout matches the readout on consult or the other tach.  (in my case 3000 RPM).

7.  Your tachometer is now re-calibrated and accurate.

8.  Remove the instrument cluster from the car.

9.  Remove the wires used to connect between the tach and the cluster.

10.  Reinstall the tachometer into the instrument cluster and reassemble the cluster in the opposite order you took it apart.  Be carefull with the black plastic trim and the clear cover as they can break if you aren't careful and get them aligned just right.

11.  Install cluster in the car and enjoy the White Face Gauges

A few notes:  I wish I would have taken pictures, they would have been helpful.

Also, I forgot to measure the new resistance value after adjusting the resistor.  If you know the value of the resistor on the stanza tachometer or if somebody else does this and posts the value of the variable resistor after calibrating you could simply pull the tach out, adjust the resistor to that value and put it back in.  There wouldn't be a need to compare the way I did.

Hope that helps somebody else out the way it did me.

Offline trev0006

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Re: How to: Maxima White Face Gauges
« Reply #1 on: Jan 2, 2013, 04:13AM »
Thank for the DIY, this will be my vacation project.






Just thought I would share with everyone.

I know this will apply to Stanzas in the U.S. and may apply to U12s elsewhere though I know the instrument clusters are of a different design in certain regions so I can't be for certain.

Most everyone probably knows by now that the instrument cluster with white face gauges out of a 89-94 Maxima will swap pretty easily for the cluster in our cars.  If you want you can get gauges from an SE model Maxima that are marked to 145 mph instead of 130 mph.  Some people have said the speed is off on these, but they are NOT.  They are accurate, as in the speed is not off.  I have verified this with GPS and by comparing with Consult at various speeds.  Even if they were off, they could be re-calibrated in a similar fashion to what I'm about to show below.  (They could be recalibrated for other tire sizes in a similiar fashion as well)

Here's where it gets a little more interesting:

Most instructions for installing these require you to remove the Maxima tachometer from the instrument cluster and install the Stanza tachometer into the housing.  You then have to remove the needle and swap the gauge faces and then reinstall the needle.  This is because the Maxima tach is from a v6 and the Stanza tach is for an I4.  This is acceptable if you already have a Stanza tach that is working and you don't mind the possibility of being slightly off when you put the needle back on.

I unfortunately didn't have a tachometer in my car from the factory and so I looked for another way to make the Maxima tachometer work.

I soon found out that swapping the tachometer isn't necessary.  The Maxima tachometer can be used, it just has to be re-calibrated by adjusting the blue variable resistor on the back of the Maxima tachometer.  This is a fairly simple process. 

Disclaimer:  I take no responsibility for if you mess something up.  It worked perfectly for me just read through my directions carefully.  If you aren't comfortable with trying it then don't do it.

Things you will need:
  • Maxima instrument cluster
  • Laptop with consult software or another tachometer
  • Philips screwdriver
  • 3 pieces of wire about 5 or 6 feet long.  Preferably with ring terminals on the ends.
  • 3 screws with nuts to hold the ring terminal to the tachometer connections on the back of the cluster.  I used 4-40 by 3/4" long.  These were a little small in diameter and could have been shorter as well.
  • Optional: a friend to help

1.  Start by disassembling the instrument cluster.  You will need to remove the clear plastic cover and the black trim piece on the front.  The tachometer module can then be carefully remove by unscrewing the three gold screws on the back of it.

2.  Next, connect the Maxima tachometer back to the instrument cluster using the 3 pieces of 6' long wire.  The screws with nuts are used to attach one end of each wire to instrument cluster.  The other end of the wire is attached to the matching terminal on the tachometer using the screws that held it in the cluster.

3.  Reconnect the instrument cluster to the car.

4.  Connect you laptop with consult to the car and pull up the RPM readout from the computer.  Alternatively connect another tachometer to the car.

5.  (This is where a friend can be helpful.)  Start the car.  Raise the RPM by giving the car some gas.  The Maxima tachometer will be reading slower than the actual RPM readout at this point.  Hold the RPM steady at a certain value by watching the consult readout or the other tachometer.  I choose 3000 RPM.

6.  Now slowly turn the blue variable resistor (located on the circuit board on the backside of the Maxima tachometer) with a phillips screwdriver until the Maxima tach readout matches the readout on consult or the other tach.  (in my case 3000 RPM).

7.  Your tachometer is now re-calibrated and accurate.

8.  Remove the instrument cluster from the car.

9.  Remove the wires used to connect between the tach and the cluster.

10.  Reinstall the tachometer into the instrument cluster and reassemble the cluster in the opposite order you took it apart.  Be carefull with the black plastic trim and the clear cover as they can break if you aren't careful and get them aligned just right.


A few notes:  I wish I would have taken pictures, they would have been helpful.

Also, I forgot to measure the new resistance value after adjusting the resistor.  If you know the value of the resistor on the stanza tachometer or if somebody else does this and posts the value of the variable resistor after calibrating you could simply pull the tach out, adjust the resistor to that value and put it back in.  There wouldn't be a need to compare the way I did.

Hope that helps somebody else out the way it did me.