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My problem was that all the gauges died, the odometer wouldn't display, and none of the lights except the CEL came on (the cluster lighting still worked, however). I took it apart today and cleaned it out using davinci's procedure, and it's working again. Glad to have this source of information. (y)
 

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Just found this fabulous forum and in particular this thread...can you guys give an absolute newb tips for taking off the instrument panel? Thank you in advance.
 

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2002 TrailBlazer LS with all the usual stuff...
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Mostly just take your time, have a beer or whatever beverage you like, and don't pull on anything so hard it breaks. As I recall, you have to take the knee bolster off (2 screws, 2 bolts, the light pops out), and that exposes most of what you'll need to take the I/P trim off. There's two screws up over the cluster, and the trim goes all the way around the radio and AC controls as well. There's a screw (or bolt, can't remember) at the bottom near the console. Once you have that off, just put the steering wheel as low as it'll go, and remove the four screws/bolts holding the cluster in, then a good tug on the cluster itself. I'm reciting this from memory so there may be something I've missed, but a bit of time and basic tools (10mm, I think a 7/32, Phillips, something to pry the trim out, beer ? ) will do the job. Good luck with it!
 

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I had same problem. All my gauges would go crazy. They had a mind of their own. The problem was my coil packs. One had a short in it causeing all kinds of electrical issues for me. Changed them out and problems went away.

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