944 Odomter Gear Replacement

The odometer has never worked in my 1987 Porsche 944, this was not an issue since originally it was going to be a track car only, but as mentioned in my previous post, things have changed and times have changed.  So, if I’m going to sell this car and make it as functional as possible, I will need to fix the odometer.

This seems to be a common issue on the 944, where the drive gear for the odometer gets brittle and breaks apart, this renders the odometer useless and it no longer turns.  You may think that this is a good thing, but for maintenance purposes it sucks.  I believe that the mileage is still pretty close on my car since it’s only been really driven around town and to the track a few times since I’ve had it and the title states it has a little less mileage since I’ve purchased it. 

This is how to change out that odometer gear, get ready, it’s a lot of work for that tiny little piece!

Pop off the horn cover from the steering wheel.  Just grab the two sides of the cover and pull, this should pop right off.

Grab a 24mm socket and an extension to remove the steering wheel bolt.  You may have to hold the wheel in place to loosen the bolt, but once it is loose you’ll be fine.

Remove the plastic shroud around the car controls.  There are three screws that need to be removed to get this off.

Remove the dash bezel.  There are eight screws in total that hold the bezel in, three on top, two on the bottom, and three more inside the vents.  The ones in the vents are a little hard to get to but be patient and they will come out.

Top of Dash Screws
Bottom Left Screw
Bottom Right Screw
Vent Screws
Last Vent Screw

Remove the four screws that hold the instrument cluster in. 

Left Side
Right Side

At this point the cluster will slide forward, be careful!  There are 3 electrical connectors that need to be removed to completely take the cluster out.  There are clips that widen to push the connectors off of their mounting points.  Remove all three connectors before taking the instrument cluster out. 

These are the electrical connectors you need to disconnect before removing the cluster.

Now that the instrument cluster has been removed from the car, let the fun begin!  The rest of this procedure is all about small little parts that you can easily misplace or loose!

Remove the instrument cluster lights. These twist and pull out.

Remove the Phillips head screws that are holding the plastic cover over the instruments.

Remove the 4 screws that are holding the speedometer in place and pull out the speedometer unit.

This is the gear that is missing.  This is the part that is needed.  There are two possible options depending on your car, the easiest way to find this out is to just count the teeth on the gear it connects to.  Follow the guide in this article to determine which one you need.  Unfortunately you need to pull out the unit to determine this….

Another unfortunate outcome is that you cannot just slide the gear into its position; you need to pull the entire unit apart to replace it!

Pull off the needle for the speedometer.  This will pull straight off, it’s a pain, but it comes off.  I may have just thought it was a pain because I did not want to break it.

Remove the two black screws that are holding the face on.

Remove the screw that is holding the milage counter in place and remove the counter, this is the electrical device that turns the gears.

Remove the C-Clip that was holding the broken gear.  I was able to do this by hand, but be careful not to send it flying.  You will need this when re-assembling.

Remove the C-Clip for the gear that is still there.

Remove the pin that is holding the bottom gear in place.  This is the one that actually moves the numbers.  Pull out that gear.

That Pin just slides out, you can use your finger or a screwdriver. Once it’s out a little, you can pull it out with your hand or a pair of needle nose pliers.

Removed the gear above the one you just removed.

had already removed the C-clip so it came right out.

Mount the new gear in the correct position and re-assemble the gear assembly.  There was a little corrosion on the spindle for the broken gear and I put some grease on it for easy spinning.  I would use caution with the grease in the future because I inadvertently got some on the speedometer face and it was difficult to clean.

This is how the new gear should be installed. I thought this was important since it took me a bit to figure out because there was no gear when i took it apart.

Put this all back together the way it was taken apart.  In the end, you should have a working odometer!

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