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Old 01-31-2019, 11:58 AM   #1
IansPlatinum
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Default What is this weird coating on the late 240 instrument cluster?

This is how mine looked before I tried (with limited success) to clean it off with denatured alcohol. This pic is from a 240 in Craigslist, but I've seen a lot that looked like this. What is this stuff? Why does this happen? How do I best remove it to make the cluster look nice?

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Old 01-31-2019, 01:15 PM   #2
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Idk if it's related to climate or what, but many of mine have had that too. I had no problem cleaning it all off.
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Old 01-31-2019, 05:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by iHateVolvoPeople View Post
Idk if it's related to climate or what, but many of mine have had that too. I had no problem cleaning it all off.
My 91 240 has this too! How did you clean it? I don't really wanna be so invasive as to pull the cluster out...
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Old 01-31-2019, 05:46 PM   #4
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The cluster on my new 91 was like that and it bugged me no end.

The odometer was broken too so I pulled the cluster out and while I had it apart I just washed the housing with soapy water (Dawn dishwashing soap), let it air dry then buffed inside and out with vinyl protectant. Looks much better now.
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Last edited by DD Ranch; 01-31-2019 at 07:40 PM.. Reason: clarity
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:42 PM   #5
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My 91 240 has this too! How did you clean it? I don't really wanna be so invasive as to pull the cluster out...
Thatís the only way. Itís very easy. Youíll remove the cluster, then remove the PCB from the cluster, then clean the insides out with your choice of cleaner and a rag.
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:14 PM   #6
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Looks like mold..that car sit in a damp place for a while
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:34 PM   #7
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It smells bad too. But the frequency that I find the late clusters looking like that in Texas (nearly all of them) makes me think otherwise, or perhaps the cluster coating is just extra susceptible to it?? Maybe it has some polymer/hydrocarbon/paint coating made from an organic extract that encourages mold growth? I can't help but to wonder. Maybe someone on here knows

I'll try soap and water. I had tried alcohol and q tips with so-so results. I gotta pull it back out to install the large tach anyways.

How do I avoid smudging the white lettering? Q tip time again?
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:53 PM   #8
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Mine had that too, not nearly as bad though. Definitely not mold, whatever plastic was used just doesn't seem to age well. A light buff removed it for me
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by IansPlatinum View Post
It smells bad too. But the frequency that I find the late clusters looking like that in Texas (nearly all of them) makes me think otherwise, or perhaps the cluster coating is just extra susceptible to it?? Maybe it has some polymer/hydrocarbon/paint coating made from an organic extract that encourages mold growth? I can't help but to wonder. Maybe someone on here knows

I'll try soap and water. I had tried alcohol and q tips with so-so results. I gotta pull it back out to install the large tach anyways.

How do I avoid smudging the white lettering? Q tip time again?
Just do all the black parts carefully first and it'll look much better. Use a wash cloth, it will be abrasive eenough. Maybe some dawn water or some degreaser. Do the white lettering last, but be more gentle.
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Old 02-02-2019, 05:51 AM   #10
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Mine has something similar too but mine looks like it's on the clear plastic not the black surround. It bugs me too. But not enough to take it apart to clean it but maybe I will once day.
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:10 PM   #11
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This was normal on the 240's before 1992 from what I can tell. They phased it out at the same time as the chrome door handles.

Caveat: I was negative three years old when the 240 was discontinued. So I might be wrong.

I've read something to that affect before, though, although I can't seem to find it now...

If anyone here wants a cluster shell without the coating, I have three different ones from three different 1993's. I'd trade for earlier ones!
I actually liked the texture and the orange marker on the 55mph point so I put my wrecked '91's cluster shell into my '93 (swapped the electronics and faceplate over).
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyatt8740 View Post
This was normal on the 240's before 1992 from what I can tell. They phased it out at the same time as the chrome door handles.

Caveat: I was negative three years old when the 240 was discontinued. So I might be wrong.

I've read something to that affect before, though, although I can't seem to find it now...

If anyone here wants a cluster shell without the coating, I have three different ones from three different 1993's. I'd trade for earlier ones!
I actually liked the texture and the orange marker on the 55mph point so I put my wrecked '91's cluster shell into my '93 (swapped the electronics and faceplate over).
My 92 has it and black door handles. I think the chrome handles and windshield trim went away in 90 or 91, but this cluster stuff is on my 92, which I'm 95% sure has the original cluster.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IansPlatinum View Post
My 92 has it and black door handles. I think the chrome handles and windshield trim went away in 90 or 91, but this cluster stuff is on my 92, which I'm 95% sure has the original cluster.
Chrome windshield was removed after '90, and handles after '91 I think.

And I could very well be wrong, It's certainly a peculiar problem.

Still, only one of my four clusters has it, and I'm in a humid area because of the great lakes.
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