A total cluster

Instrument cluster flipped over In contrast to the audio head unit, the instrument cluster is one of the easiest things to remove on the dash.  The shroud around it simply pops off toward a seated viewer, bringing the top cover of the steering column with it on a flexible boot, and four obvious screws and one connector in the back effect removal.  This is the cluster unit flipped over in place, immediately revealing the little speaker that produces all those little beeps and tunes during vehicle operation.

Instrument cluster innards, speaker connection It's not so much a "cluster" as a fancy display device, with fairly hi-res graphics and some idiot lights.  It has no physical controls; the only way to change anything that the cluster does is from the steering-wheel buttons.

I considered trying to add a volume control for the speaker, as it's a bit too loud in the cabin for many functions.  But the wiring to it is rather fragile, and the amplifier chain leading up to it is an obscure chain of tiny surface-mount parts, so ... nemmind, too much trouble and risk of breakage.

Cluster speaker muffled with toilet paper Here's the "temporary" answer, which is probably the permanent one: put things back together and stuff a wad of toilet paper over the speaker, and tape it up nice and solid.  It can still certainly be heard, but not in its original way which must have been catering to elderly drivers or those with music turned up.

Brake-light telltale wiring As the Yuppie Button wiring was tapping into a brake-light line anyways, a split of that and a handy ground was brought up to the cluster and sent to a visible indicator, a permanent version of the quick-n-dirty hack taped to the back window for the early experiments..  A small LED was glued into a drilled hole in the side of the cluster case near the power/regen display, with a series resistor [arrow] and a small connector to still allow easy cluster removal when needed.  All a little fragile and just taped in, but would serve the purpose.

Brake-light telltale showing regen The LED wound up at just about the perfect place, right at the midline of the gauge.  And here was more proof that heavy regen will, indeed, light the brake lights in some token nod to safety of those behind.  It's not enough, though, and I cover that in much more depth in the general "driving" discussion and related rants.

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