Restoring The 1990-1996 Corvette Instrument Panel LCD

 

Over time, sunlight and heat cause the polarizing film on your LCD to fade and peel, making the LCD panel unreadable. This process will replace both front and rear polarizing film sections, as well as the factory graphics.

 

 

Testing Your Panel

Example of a faded LCD

 

LCD damage due to sunlight and heat

 

More LCD solar damage

 

To determine if your polarizing film has faded, view the LCD panel through polarized sunglasses, or a set of newer gray 3D glasses, or email sales@batee.com for a free sample of polarizing film that can be used to test your panel for fading.

 

Click Here for a Video of this process

 

LCD Restoration Instructions

Supplies you'll need for this project

  • Polarizing Film Kit - Click Here to buy.

  • Optional Bulb Kit - Click Here to buy.

  • Optional Connector Kit (fixes the most common problem with the 90-96 cluster) - Click Here to buy.

  • A rubber roller or squeege or credit card to remove air bubbles.

  • 7/32" nutdriver or Torx 15 screwdriver

 

Disassembly

  1. Using a 7/32" nutdriver or Torx bit, remove the six screws holding the protective cover (circled in red in the images above).

     

     

  2. Remove the protective cover and set it aside.

     

     

  3. Carefully lift the top of the LCD until the pins release from the socket. Then slide it up and away from the plastic tabs holding the bottom of the display.

     

     

  4. Remove the rubber gasket and translucent color filter.

     

     

    Restoration

     

    Video of Restoration Process Click Here

     

    Warning! Don't scrape anywhere near the printed traces on the LCD panel. These areas are easily damaged and are absolutely not repairable!

     

     

  5. Optional but recommended: Place several layers of easily lifted painters tape over the pins and the conductive traces at the top of the panel.

     

  6. Use the first razor blade to carefully remove the old polarizing film on both sides of the panel. Get as much glue residue off as possible with the first blade.
  7.  

  8. Apply glass cleaner to one side, then use the second razor blade to clean any remaining glue residue from the panel. Repeat for the other side.
  9.  

     

     

  10. Turn off all fans in the room, including the house heat/AC. These move dust in the room which quickly settles on the clean glass.
  11.  

  12. Use the third razor blade in the kit to do a final cleaning on the panel just before you apply the film. Any remaining dust or glue residue will result in air bubbles under the polarizing film.
  13.  

  14. Select the bottom film and orient the film so that the arrow on the film label points to the side of the panel with the pins, then peel the protective film layer off the bottom film. This is the side with the sticker.
  15.  

  16. Peel the adhesive release film away from one edge and apply that edge of the film to the bottom of the panel panel and press it down with your finger. Gradually peel back the adhesive release film and use the card or roller to work the air out from under the film. If you see an air bubble form, gradually lift the film past the bubble and then reapply.
  17.  

     

  18. Turn the panel over so that you're working on the front of the panel. Place the panel on a book or the edge of the table, so that the pins hang over the edge and don't get damaged while you're working on the panel.
  19.  

  20. Select the top film and orient the film so that the arrow on the film label points to the side of the panel with the pins, then peel the protective film layer off the bottom film. This is the side with the sticker.
  21.  

  22. Peel the adhesive release film away from one edge and apply that edge of the film to the top of the panel panel and press it down with your finger. Gradually peel back the adhesive release film and use the card or roller to work the air out from under the film. If you see an air bubble form, gradually lift the film past the bubble and then reapply.
  23.  

     

  24. Use the razor blade to trim the film to the left and right sides and the bottom of the panel. If the film hangs over the top of the viewable area of the panel, that's fine, but do not try to trim it from the top side, as the IC and conductive traces are easily damaged.
  25.  

  26. Place the factory graphics on a flat surface, then use the roller or squeege to remove any air bubbles.
  27.  

  28. Use glass cleaner and paper towels to remove any dust or finger prints from the surface of the top side of the polarizing film.
  29.  

  30. Remove the white backing from the factory graphics and align the bottom edge to the panel. Make sure that the graphics are evenly spaced on the polarizing film. There should be approx 1/32" gap between the bottom side of the panel and the start of the black border. There should be approx 1/32" gap between the left and right sides of the glass, and the black border of the graphics. Stick down the bottom edge of the graphics.
  31.  

  32. Using the roller or squeege, work the air bubbles out from bottom to top.
  33.  

  34. When the graphics have been applied, carefully lift the clear protective tape.
  35.  

     

    This is the same panel shown above, after the restoration process!

     

    Reassembly

  36. Assemble the restored LCD panel, rubber gasket and color filter as shown in the image above.

     

     

  37. If you're replacing the LCD connector, do that at this time.
  38.  

  39. Carefully slide the bottom of the LCD into the plastic housing.

     

     

  40. Line up the pins of the display with the holes in the socket.

     

     

  41. Slowly press the LCD into place, making sure that the top right corner clears the plastic tab shown in red in the image above.
  42. Replace the protective housing and install the 6 screws removed in step 1.

     

    Click Here for a Video of this process