Little offtopic but I think useful.
Recently I did install custom cluster faces.
Started with this:
As you can see that's LCI, diesel (so no M3 option in range), without cruise control ring.
After cluster disassembly I've sent original faces to company which made custom ones. They scanned them and build base for project, which fits perfectly as replacement. Top notch job.
I hate zyllions of marks on speed gauge, and too many of them (for my taste) on RPM gauge.
For my project I decided to mix ideas from Audi A4 B8 and E90 with cruise control. I ended up with this:
Clean, sporty and far, far modern than BMW's Times New Roman ;-).
I decided also to put pre-LCI speed and RPM needles as they fit better with fuel and consumption gauges.
Here is comparison - left LCI, right pre-LCI:
Note pre-LCI needle is slightly brighter than LCI. It is not uncomfortable for me - more important indications (speed and RPM) are better marked.
Here is final effect:
Note slightly darker spot under 80 hm/h (left) and 4 rpm/min (right) - I'm unsure what is the reason (original backlight or faces quality issue) but I'm already in process of Stg 2 modification which are faces with indiglo backlight and M5 needles.
Should came this way (drawing photo):
I will order same faces but on white indiglo base and will power it from permanent 12V somewhere in cluster, because programming permanent LED backlid (like in M3) doesn't work with my KOMBII (cluster) module.
This way I'm not going to solder new white LEDs (even if I bought them already, various ideas constantly flying in my head..) in cluster board. Will see if it works.
One more thing regarding needles: LCI needles are mounted on 1.5mm pole, where pre-LCI are mounted on 1mm pole.
I hope that will be enough for M5 needles and Nigelo's mod will not be necessary. ;-)
Regarding positioning needles on zero location, on speedo example:
- disconnect cluster
- install needle on 9 o'clock position
- push it gently towards zero position - this MUST be done by slipping needle around stopped pole (hinge-like)
- if needle sits tight and don't want move under your finger, increase needle mounting hole diameter by drill until you can turn needle on stopped pole (counterclockwise).
This way I did installation of second pair of needles in 5 minutes, where first pair took me 2 hrs and I wasn't happy with effect.
Hope it helps.