Special thanks for this write up goes to Fezzik (David Honey).
Posted with permission from the author.
This is a simple how-to on going from plain to chrome
This works for all 5th and 5.5th gen Maximas
This install is basically the same for the 5.0th gen and the 5.5th gen maximas. This install is on my 2000 maxima I had previously.I sold the car awhile back and bought my 2002 6-speed maxima.I loved the chrome gauges so much i installed them on my 2002 and the install was almost exactly the same. The difference will be show further down the page.
First Lower the steering wheel to the max.You do not have to lock it into place. Just let it sit all the way down. Now you have to unscrew everything. There are a few screws that are on the underside of the steering column.These need to come out. When you have the screws out the top part will pop off.This is done by fitting a thin blade screwdriver in between the two.This is what the manual said to do but I was able to do this by just using my hands and pressure to pry apart.. Do not worry if you can not remove the lower piece.
This is what it looks like with the top part off.Do not worry about removing any of the wires show in the picture above.These can stay.Now the black piece that is surrounding the cluster gauge (which has theside view mirror switch, interior light control, and some cars memory seats on the left side and a sloted area on bottom right as seen above)will need to come out.This is done by removing two screws from the top of the place piece .Then this piece is held in place with just clips. IMPORTANT:This part will now pull away from the dash. Do this lightly.You have wires that go to the switches that you will tear if you pull too hard.Also note to Auto Climate control Maximas:there is a temp wire and a tube that is in the slot in the bottom right of the pic above.
Above Pic is of the two switches on the bottom right that have to be removed. I had to do it this way by removing them after i pulled the cluster out a little because when i removed the switches there wasnt enough wire lenght to get my hands back to take apart the switch.If you can remove the switches and then remove the connectors then that’ll be easier.
The Pic below is for the people who have Auto Climate control. I do not remember if people with non auto climate have this or not.Would not hurt to check.The connector is the one that is in complete focus that looks like it lies behind the slotted area on the black cluster surrounding.Disconnect this. There is also a plastic acordian tubing that is connecting to this point also. This is easy to disconnect.
Below pic is of the cluster surrounding removed.Notice the two connectors on the left, the one on the right and the black tube on the right.
Now there are 3 obvioius screws that are holding the cluster in place. Remove these. and the cluster comes out like so:
Disconnect the 3 connectors above and the cluster is free from the car.
I don’t have a pic of what needs to be done next.You will need to remove the clear plastic.In the above pic you can see the latches of the clear plastic.These are easy to remove but a caution as they are easy to break also.I bought a new plastic piece to put back so it will look new again cause mine had tons of micro scratches that were getting on my nerves.
Once you have the clear plastic piece removed, here is where the steps fork.If you have a 5.5th gen then you will not need to make your fuel and temp gauge any bigger, or if they have finally made smaller rings for the 5.0th gens then you won’t. I dont know if they do make smaller rings. If you do not have to make the holes bigger then for the 5.5th gen just pop out the silver rings that are in there and place the new rings in.5.0th gens do not have these silver rings as seen above.Just put in the new rings.
These next steps are only for people who need to make bigger the holes for the fuel and temp gauges.Remove the black piece that is covering that has the holes in it like seen below.
See the dremel in the pic.Well this is what I used to bore out the holes until the rings fit.
Notice how I seem to make the hole higher up. There is not much room on the bottom part (it will hang off the cluster piece if too low) or on the sides (each top side has no more room and you can not get too close to the center or the center big ring and the side ring will hit).
The below pic is a picture of the rings in place. See how there is barely any room on the bottom of the rings and how the big and small rings pretty much touch.
Reassemble like how you took it apart.Here is what I found in my car as I went back out to put the cluster back into the car.I’m working hard and he’s taking it easy.
After everything is re-installed the final pic. Trust me the picture does not do it justice. It looks great.