Replacing an instrument panel

August 1, 2008 | By Richard Prince


I have a 1986 Volvo 740 GLE and had a hell of a time with trying to diagnose fuel injection problems and trying to find a scanner. I find the wire hookups but can’t find the scanner to connect to them.

Also, I had some agonizing experiences with the Yazaki instrument panel in the car. I had to bypass it and install an add-on gas gauge. I will try next for an add-on temperature gauge. I will probably try to get a junkyard replacement but since it appears to me to be junk I might have to get a new one. Is it possible to replace the Yazaki with a VDO panel?


You can buy a PC-based code reader from a company called Asian Products (, or a scan tool called Actia with the Scandinavian kit for Volvos and Saabs from, among others, a company called BBA-reman (

As you may already know, for quite a few years Volvo used instrument clusters from both Yazaki and VDO and it is definitely possible to replace your Yazaki unit with one from VDO.

Having said that, however, I don’t know what specific difficulties you may encounter. My research indicates that with newer cars (newer than your ’86 anyway) the Volvo clusters from the two manufacturers are easier to interchange, with the same or very similar electrical harness connections, cable connections, and so on. With older cars it’s not as easy, but it still can be done. If you do access a VDO gauge cluster out of a junkyard car it would probably be prudent to also buy the gauge harness along with it so that you will have any specific connections you end up needing.