THE COMMON FAULTY E30 BMW MOTOMETER ODOMETER GEARS - US MPH
If you own an E30, chances are, your odometer is not counting miles driven and trip odometer does not work. As much fun as it is, to guess when your next maintenance item or oil change is due, wouldn't it be nice to just fix this problem? Generally, this repair can be expensive, most shops charge over $200 for this service! Don't live with your broken E30 odometer! It is usually just the Motometer odometer gears that are the problem. Replacing your worn or broken gears will bring your odometer back to life. Better yet, it is an easy install that anyone can do! (see our installation instructions below)
How do I know if I have a Motometer or VDO?
The E30 chassis came with either a VDO or Motometer unit, unfortunately there is no specific year or model range to denote which one your car came with. There is a way to check however. The first check is on the bezel for the gauge cluster right between the speedo and tach there should be a logo embossed there stating either VDO or Motometer. So long as the cluster has not been opened and a gauge swapped out this should be accurate to the model speedo/odo that is in the cluster. The 100% surefire way to know which version you have is to remove the cluster, open the case and on the circuit board on the back of the speedo/odo there should be a sticker or etching directly on the circuit board stating VDO or Motometer. With this information you will know which gear set you need!
E30 MOTOMETER ODOMETER GEAR REPAIR INSTRUCTIONS
This guide should only be used to help you as a suggested way to fix your equipment. They are not intended to be the only way to do. Its your responsibility if any damage occurs. If you are not sure of any part of these instructions, feel free to send us an email, we would be happy to help.
There are many small pieces involved with this. So proceed with caution, use common sense and proper safety measures.
Please be aware that we are not responsible for any damages that happen. By using this guide you understand that we have made this only to make installation easier for you. However, do to the age of these things, every gauge cluster has been through a different life.
- Assortment of philips screw drivers
- needle nose pliers
- flat screw driver
- a little patience
- About 45mins. This is something that takes patience. You're dealing with lots of tiny pieces.
Remove the 9 philips screws in the back of your gauge. When placed down, be careful not to brake the tabs!
When removing rear panel, take note of the two lower tabs and be sure to pull straight up or damage to connectors inside may happen.
Remove the 4 philips screws that hold the odometer in place. Before you try to take out the cluster, do not forget the connector at the bottom. There are tabs that hold it in place. Once this is out you can pull straight out because there are connectors holding. DO NOT BEND! We found its best if you hold the cluster as it was placed in the car that way it doesnt fall out.
When odometer is out, you will see the gears on the side. See the damage.
There are two screws holding a clear cover over the gears. Remove them.
The gears can then be replaced in the order they are taken out. They fit in an interlocking stacking setup. Notice that the gears are very soft and will fall apart as you try to remove them. NOTE: There is a brass bushing on the smaller 12 tooth gear. Its on the shaft and needs to be removed to install the new gear. You do not need this bushing with the new gear. DO NOT TRY TO PULL THE BUSHING OFF WITH ANY TOOLS AS THIS WILL DAMAGE THE MOTOR. Best way is to use a pair of plyers and lightly squeeze the bushing from one side, then the other. Then it ill slip right out. Do not use too much force! To remove the e1 gear safely look at this video below:
Video is for e28 but concept to remove the e1 gear is identical.
Dont forget to install BOTH spacers to keep the gears spaced correctly! IF YOU DO NOT USE THE SPACERS THE GEARS WILL WALK AND STOP WORKING! DO NOT LOSE THESE! DO NOT PUSH IT ALL THE WAY DOWN AGAINST THE GEAR. THIS WILL CAUSE THE GEARS TO BE PINCHED AND NOT BE ABLE TO MOVE! Look at configuration below. There are two diffrent size spacers. Place according to picture below!
Put together in reverse order. Be sure you have gotten all the old pieces of the gears out so you have no future problems. Before closing everything up be sure to run the gears by hand to make sure everything is right and working correctly.
DO NOT APPLY PRESSURE TO THE SHAFT WHEN YOU INSTALL YOUR NEW E1 GEAR. It will be a tight fit by design. use a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the shaft while you push the new gear on. Apply pressure will push on the motor causing potential damage.
ENJOY! No more guessing when the next oil change is!