BMW E36 Blog

Installing Plasma Gauges For Your BMW E36 . . . DIY!

14th September 2008

Installing Plasma Gauges For Your BMW E36 . . . DIY!

posted in Do It Yourself, Interior, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized |

post rating
PoorOkayGoodGreatExcellent (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


This DIY (Do It Yourself) is a contribution by Daniel Castro, thanks Daniel. In the following text, you will find a detailed procedure on how you can remove your gauges cluster and disassemble it in order to replace your OEM gauges with the Plasma type. I know that almost everyone here is looking for these gauges but unfortunately I couldn’t find them on the German eBay where I found them for the first time. I’m not sure where you can get them from now, but I will keep looking and hopefully I will find them. Daniel, do you know where I can get this from? If you want to know how they should look like after you finish, take a look at the BMW E36 With Plasma Gauges and BMW E36 with blue interior LED lights . . . Wow!

Disclaimer: Use this info at your own risk!! The author is not responsible if this didn’t work for you :-).

1. Removing Screws:

Remove upper Left & Right screws using a 4 cornered screw driver. Once removed, use a flat screw driver to remove the whole unit from above.

2. Removing Sockets:

Pull the unit until the wires at the back are exposed. Remove the sockets by pushing the lever upwards or to the direction shown above. 3 sockets are to be removed, Black, Blue and White.

No need to remove the Steering Wheel, adjust it to the lowest position. After all the sockets are removed, just slowly slide the unit to the right side of the steering wheel, as shown below…

3. Unit Disassembly:

Use a #T-9 screw driver (hex shaped) to remove the screw (3 pcs) as shown below. Then Lift the level locks on the left & the right.

Lift both levers at the same time. Notice the outer back cover is lifted. Now, you will see 3 stick locks, Rotate the white locks wrapped around the black plastic poles.

Afterwards, you may separate the front cover from the middle part.

In my case, I have not locked them back, so I can easily lift or separate the middle part along with the back part. As shown below…

Using two flat screws, or anything that can lift the needles (of the Instrument Cluster).

BEWARE : The Needle pins are very SENSITIVE, as it can easily be bent.

Once all five needles are removed, remove the smaller hex shaped screws and place the Illuminating gauge face.

Placing the needles back is tricky, I recommend you rotate the pin by 45 degrees, hold it down, then place the needle slowly, pointing to 0 or minimum.

Reverse the whole process to install it back to it’s original place.


Are you looking for more do it yourself procedures (DIY) ? I recommend the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual for you. I got it and I think it’s a gold mine for us -BMW E36 Owners-. If you didn’t grab your copy yet, get it right now! I’m sure you’ll find this book worth every penny you’ve paid for. Get the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual

BMW E36 Blog: The ultimate BMW E36 information source.


Join the BMW E36 Forum

BMW E36 Forum

Want to receive exciting tips & information about BMW E36 cars? Enter your Email:-



Having A Problem With Your Bimmer?

Use JustAnswer Service to get help from a BMW expert now! You can also read my review of this service here.

There are currently 5 responses to “Installing Plasma Gauges For Your BMW E36 . . . DIY!”

Why not let us know what you think by adding your own comment! Your opinion is as valid as anyone elses, so come on... let us know what you think.

  1. 1 On October 6th, 2008, andy bonn said:

    hi tony,
    this is very helpful guide on installing glow gauges.. i bought glow gauges that comes with blue and green color.. i dont have idea how to install this kind of gaues… do you have in your archive>?
    thank you

  2. 2 On October 7th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @andy bonn: Hi Andy, where did you get these gauges from? Unfotunately, the only DIY that I have to install the plasma gauges is this one.

  3. 3 On October 7th, 2008, andy bonn said:

    i got the el gauges in ebay. made in taiwan.. the plasma guages that you post here doesnt hve wirings.
    the el guages i bought comes with 2 light mode blue and green.. unfortunately i dont have idea how to install this… please visit this site for reference of the el guage

  4. 4 On October 13th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @andy bonn: I’m sorry Andy, but I didn’t see these gauges before, so I can’t give specific instructions. But, I think that you’ll need to connect these wires to a wire that can provide current when you switch your car lights on. This way, they will light and give you the look you need. I hope this helps.

  5. 5 On May 4th, 2009, Kyle said:

    I was looking around and I found a site that appears to sell those gauges.

    I am not sure if they ship to the states but if anyone tries and gets it let me know!