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Old 04-15-2014, 08:27 PM   #1
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Question guage cluster swap

Hi my name is ray. Kinda New to this site. Have a question about the guage cluster in my car I drive a 2005 ford focus zx3 5 speed. Now I want a tachometer my car never had one on the stock gauge cluster. So I was wanting to know if a gauge cluster from the exact same year an model will just plug right in. One that has a tac. Didn't know if all the connections are there already and for decided to just put a tacless one in cause its pretty basic. Or am I just better off buying an aftermarket tac. Be looking forward for you guys help. Thanks again


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Old 04-15-2014, 08:49 PM   #2
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Your gauge cluster swap guess is the easiest answer.

Biggest issue is that mileage stays with the cluster - miles on the one you swap in is what will show so keep track of the difference.

Common solution, did it in mine.

Aftermarket tachs can be a nightmare to try to install in these.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:27 AM   #3
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Welcome to FF! You've found one of the best groups of car guys on the Web.

I'm in the same boat as you: '05 ZX3 S with a basic gauge cluster- no tach. However, I'll be swapping for a factory cluster eventually.

Here are the basics:

The plug on the back of the cluster is specific to Zetecs ('00-'04 Focuses) and Duratecs ('05-'07 Focuses), as they can't be mixed (Zetec cluster in a Duratec car and vice-versa). The Zetec cluster has a white plug, and the Duratec has a grey plug.

Zetec cluster:


Duratec cluster:


You can use any Focus gauge cluster from '05-'07 on your '05, and it's literally just a "plug and play"-simple swap.

One "issue" though (minor, IMO) is that if you get a cluster out of a car with ABS and your car does NOT have ABS, then when installed, the e-brake/brake error warning light on your new cluster will constantly be on, as it's thinking there is an error with the ABS sensors (because your car doesn't have ABS). You can either ignore it, or unplug the bulb before installing the cluster into your car. Many have done that, and that's what I'll do. However, with that, it'll obviously never light up without a bulb, so when your e-brake is on or your brake fluid is low or there's some kind of error with your brake system, it will not light up to let you know. Thing is, you shouldn't need a dummy light to tell you these things in the first place anyways lol. So for many, it's a non-issue, but it's still worth mentioning/knowing beforehand.

Also, as already mentioned, the mileage is stored in the cluster itself, not in the car's computer. Therefore if your car has 100k miles and you swap in a cluster from a car with 140k miles, it'll show 140k miles when installed in your car. So whether you find one with higher or lower mileage than what your car has, just make sure to record the difference when you make the swap, so you can always reference back to it and know the true mileage of your car. Could be a big deal for some people when buying/selling that car.

Or do what some people have done, and what I plan on doing, and look for a cluster with mileage just a little more than what you currently have, that way you have it waiting as you continue to drive your car until it reaches the same mileage as what's on the new cluster. Swap the clusters, and voila, you've got a factory cluster with a tach and there's no mileage error that you have to worry about. I currently have about 111,6xx miles on mine so I'm looking out for clusters in the 112k-115k mile range.

And last, from what I've gathered after much research through past discussions on the topic, a used gauge cluster can NOT have its mileage reprogrammed. I believe I read that a brand new, 0-mile, never-used cluster can be programmed by a dealer (and it's expensive for what it is), but a used cluster can NOT be reprogrammed to have its mileage reading changed. So if you find a cluster with lower or drastically higher mileage than what's currently on your car, there's no changing it to match your current cluster reading. Either find one with slightly more miles and wait for your car's mileage to catch up before swapping out, or get one with inaccurate mileage and just make sure you record the difference at the time of the swap and also make sure you disclose the information of the cluster swap/mileage difference should you sell your car down the road, as it's illegal to sell a car where you tampered with the mileage reading (assuming it's been changed to a lower reading in hopes of dooping the buyer into paying more for a car with less miles, etc).

There are many how-to's on this forum on the cluster swap, but I've found this one to be informative as well as the simplest: How To: 2005 Instrument Cluster Removal

It's far easier than I ever expected it to be.

Lotta rambling on my part so I apologize, but I basically tried painting the clearest picture I could, so hopefully you found some bit of it helpful!

Good luck and let us know what you find.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:02 PM   #4
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Hey thanks guys yous been a huge help to me. Got this great salvage yard in southbend Indiana LKQ they have these for like 15 to 20 bucks but you have to pull the part yourself idc though I love doing stuff like this
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:43 PM   #5
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A bit OT but does anyone know how to remove the clear cover on the cluster? That is without breaking it and still able to be re-attached. I bought a carbon fiber overlay for the inside but I can't even install it!
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyco_1322 View Post
A bit OT but does anyone know how to remove the clear cover on the cluster? That is without breaking it and still able to be re-attached. I bought a carbon fiber overlay for the inside but I can't even install it!
It is in the complete how to section.

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Old 04-25-2014, 06:33 PM   #7
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Ok, thanks.
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:46 AM   #8
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Which bulb is the Brake light bulb? There look to be 5 bulbs on the back of my soon to be installed Duratec cluster with tach but it appears that there are more warning lights in front...
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:30 AM   #9
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05-07 clusters don't have removable bulbs for the warning lights, instead use colored LED's. It was the 00-04 clusters that had individual bulbs for all of the warning lights. Also as the 05-07 cluster uses colored LED's the pattern overlay is clear instead of colored like on the previous models. The only bulbs on 05-07 clusters are for the back light which are 2721 bulbs.

Without getting the "new" cluster cloned from your original one to block out the brake and ABS lights you would have to cover up the lights with electrical tape or something to block the light coming from them. That is what I did when I upgraded to the tach cluster in my 06 ZXW.

I have been considering offering my services in doing that, but I would need both the old and new clusters, preferably the car itself (i.e. local service only) or one being able to have some downtime of the car as one would have to ship both of the clusters to me. Also I can not (yet) arbitrarily set mileage, only copy the old clusters information to the new one.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:16 AM   #10
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If I did a conversion to white face gauges, wouldn't I see the appropriate LED and what if it were to accidentally "break"???
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