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Old 08-24-2019, 09:55 AM   #1
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Instrument cluster swap

Hey! First post, I couldn't find anything similar so if there has already been a post about this please link it.

I've got a 1999 Thomas built safe-t-liner with a 5.9 Cummins. Gutted most of the dash including the defroster and parts to make room for more storage...but the instrument cluster barely works and is an ugly mess. I was hoping to swap it all out and add a few gauges to monitor things on the road. Do I have to stick with a Thomas built cluster, or could I go with an after market kit, say for the 5.9 from a Dodge + plus some extra to monitor air lines and such?

If that's possible, how can I swap out something like the odometer without doing anything illegal??
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:16 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 47
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: Spartan
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Trans - Allison MD3060 (unlocked)
Rated Cap: 89
I am hoping you get some suggestions on this. I was thinking of designing my own dash and adding aftermarket gauges and switch’s. Not ready to do this but in the planning stages.
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:42 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 10,212
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
You can legally change the speedo as long as you don't lie about the mileage at time of sale. I bet over 50% of the buses out there have incorrect speedos.
I hope you're not thinking of deleteing the defroster, you'll regret it if you do.
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Old 08-24-2019, 02:49 PM   #4
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Location: Georgia
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Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Defroster is required by law. Odometer can be replaced, record mileage reading on old one when removed/swapped. Note mileage reading on replacement if it's not Zero. (Ultimately the goal is to maintain accurate track of the total mileage). Many electronic engine computers also track total mileage and in many cases may be more accurate than the mechanical odometers.

I don't know if your bus uses a computer-controlled dash (like IH uses) or if the gauges simply work independently (like many road tractors do) but that's the route I'd be inclined to take. There are many gauge manufacturers offering many styles, so order the few you like air pressure (either a 2-in-1 or 2 separate for primary/secondary), fuel, coolant temp, oil pressure, speed, and whatever others and build a custom dash plate for them. Don't forget indicators - turn signal, high-beam, low air pressure ...
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:34 AM   #5
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I couldnt figure out how to post something myself so im gonna ask a question in here We are working on an 08 international and the fuel gauge is going way passed full we put in a new fuel sensor same problem got a whole new cluster still same problem
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:15 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 75
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
This thread will probably be worth your time reading. This is an excellent job done and a great reference.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:25 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Fredericksburg, VA...for now
Posts: 130
Year: 2005
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 72
Question 2005 International dash inop

The dash of my 2005 International CE300 has not had a working speedo since the day I bought it in 2018, but that didn't worry me too much (I used GPS or BlueFire to monitor speed). I had the speed sender replaced and that didn't fix it so we figured it was the dash itself, but I thought it was too expensive at the time. Now the tachometer has stopped working. I've also noticed that my high beam indicator doesn't work (hard to tell if the high beams area actually coming on since they are so dim and the lenses are hazed over, but that is another issue). Now I am concerned that it might be giving false positive, or worse, false negative warning lights.

I pulled the dash apart and looked for bad solder but it looked OK (some folks have said you might be able to just re-solder a flaky dash). Now I'm in the market for a junk yard instrument cluster. My question is can I just plug and play? Since there are no mechanical attachments to the cluster I assume it is just a display for the data coming from the computer. Has anybody had any experience with a swap?
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cummins, dash, gauge, instrument cluster

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