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Replacing the D4 Cluster Light Bulb in a Prelude

 
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:38 AM
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Replacing the D4 Cluster Light Bulb in a Prelude

Okay, I have scoured the web on this issue and found very little information regarding how to tackle this problem. I found a person saying it is literally impossible and requires a whole new cluster, and then I found another thread from someone claiming to have done it. The person who said he did it said he was going to post a DIY guide with pictures and never did. So I have no idea what to think at this point.

What I know: the "D4" bulb doesn't just indicate that gear, it serves as a diagnostic light and will flash if there's something wrong with the transmission. Since your car is in this mode 98% of the time, the bulb WILL eventually go out. A new bulb is easily gotten for $7 through a local honda dealership that has a parts/service center. But replacing it is either impossible or a supreme pain in the ass.

Most bulbs in the cluster such as "ABS" and "Check Engine" can be accessed/replaced from the rear of the removed cluster. The shift indicator lights (P/N/D4/D3, etc..) cannot. There is no rear access, they are BURIED beneath the freaking tachometer/temp gauge. I removed the needles from both gauges and was still not able to lift the housing under which these bulbs reside.

The engineer who put a LIGHT BULB in such an inaccessible place needs to be smacked repeatedly. That being said, does ANYONE have detailed instructions or a video on how to do this or should I just bend over and pay my dealer to do it?

My best guess is that there are two screws in the rear of the cluster that need to be removed to remove the tachometer/temp guage. Here is a diagram showing the cluster assembly. See parts 9, 17 and 18, which need to be removed in order to access part 14:

METER ASSY., TACHOMETER & TEMPERATURE/METER COMPONENTS (NIPPON SEIKI) for 2001 Honda PRELUDE
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:51 AM
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Re: Replacing the D4 Cluster Light Bulb in a Prelude

You will just have to go deeper, my 3rd gen auto had a similar thing, just take it apart to the basics and the bulb will probably be on a circuit board that'll pull or pop out if a plastic housing, I replaced all mine with blue T4 LEDS. Not impossible just time consuming

Make sure the lights work prior to installation!
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:22 PM
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Re: Replacing the D4 Cluster Light Bulb in a Prelude

Ok, I figured it out. Here is a full step-by-step writeup of how to do this.

1. Buy a new bulb. Part# 78181-SS0-003 at your local Honda dealership.
2. Remove cluster bezel. There are 2 recessed screws up top and 2 hidden plastic tabs on the bottom. Do the screws first, and use a flathead to carefully jar the bezel loose one corner at a time.
3. Remove cluster. There are 4 screws, one at each corner. Once the screws are removed, pry out the cluster and disconnect 4 plugs from behind to free the unit from the car.
4. Remove cluster face. The clear plastic face is secured with 5 plastic tabs along the topside of the cluster. Make sure your hands are super clean and be careful not to touch the gauges too much, the gauge faces are residue magnets.
5. Remove temperature/tachometer guage. The shift indicator unit is below this particular guage. There are 6 screws on the rear of the cluster, two groups of 3. One group has a "TA" near it for "Tachometer" and another group has a "TE" near it for "Temperature". Once these screws are out, the two gauges should come out, revealing the shift indicator housing. DO NOT REMOVE THE NEEDLES, THERE IS NO NEED.
6. Remove the shift indicator assembly. There are 2 large, brass screws in the rear middle part of the cluster. Remove them and the shift indicator should come out.
7. Separate the tiny circuit board which houses the bulbs. There are 4 plastic tabs securing the circuit board inside the housing. The circuit board will still be attached to the assembly with a ribbon, so just bend the board away from the assembly enough to access the bulbs.
8. Replace the bulb. There are 7 vertically arranged bulbs and the D4 bulb is the middle one. The bulb has a soft rubber base and can easily be lifted out with a flathead.
9. Reassemble carefully.


Last edited by BansheeX; 09-04-2014 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:59 PM
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Re: Replacing the D4 Cluster Light Bulb in a Prelude

Welcome to Prelude Zone.

Nice job my man. What tools did you use?
+1 rep for figuring it out.
'Twon't let me rep you again for the DIY. So just figure a half rep for the diy part and half a rep for the how to part.

Thank you for posting a solution.
Nice title to the thread. Should help others find the solution easily.
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Last edited by bykfixer; 09-05-2014 at 06:06 PM.
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