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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

Recently my info-centre on the centre dash on my 2002 156 has become increasingly dull to the point it is just a dim red glow with no information readable. Is it hard to replace one of these and secondly is it going to be an impossible job to source a new one that displays a clear display?

Thanks, Caleb,
 

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It can be hard to replace.

Your best chance at a good one is one from the later, final facelift cars.

I replaced mine with one from a later car.

Bear in mind that while the centre display pod was changed with the third and final facelift. The screen display size was made smaller on the later cars, the actual display unit itself is the same size however if you remove it from the centre pod. I can show you some pictures if you would like as I still have various parts of the centre vents lying around.

With that in mind, you can go about it in three ways.

First way. Remove the whole unit, vents and all and replace the whole unit with a later model units vents and all. I chose to not go down this path, as I liked the taller shape of the earlier vent unit over the later models.

There are two connectors, one large connector for the screen, one very small connector for the LED for the alarm. You can access these by removing the carpet piece under the glove box ( as if you were to change cabin air filter) and look up towards the top of the dash. If you remove the two screws at the rear of the unit it should pull up, and you will have a better chance of feeling and finding the connectors you need to disconnect. One is quite a large white plug, about 40mm long. You should be able to remove the unit once plugs disonnected without any extra disassembly of dash.

It is unlikely, well it was in my case that you will be unable to put the cables back down the hole and crevice they came from. I had to disassemble more of my dash. Just the radio unit removed, metal cover thing that surrounds the radio and the unit that has the fuel gauge etc. When that was removed I could easily send the cable back down with the large plug on it.

Another way to do the switch, is what I did. I removed the old LCD unit from my centre vent. There are a few screws and the vent comes apart in two halves. A few more screws hold in the screen unit. About 150mm x 60mm x 80mm or thereabouts. I did this because I wanted to retain my original vent structure.

All quite easy, but with that way you are left with a small problem. As the screen sizes are 'different', (they are not really, but a smaller area of pixels are used on the later versions) you are left with a area at the top of the screen which is sort of unused. Also, the earlier cars at start-up come up with the Alfa Romeo logo, whereas the later ones start with the words 'Alfa Romeo'. I put this down to, the circuitry in the LCD unit programmed differently to display slightly differently.

So the final way. I did not try this. The risk was greater than the reward. You could theoretically open up the LCD unit, and remove the LCD screen itself from the newer unit and put it inti you older unit. That way, it will still be the same 'old' display but on a new, working screen.

I answered this to someone else on here, so I'll see if I can find some pictures I took.
 

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Here are my pictures. You can see a red line on the right on the second picture. In it's original housing the screen would end at the top of that red line. When put in my housing it does not. This means that a small area of the screen is not used, but really most of it is not used anyway, or that the text is always a little lower.
dash 1.JPG dash 2.JPG

I can put up a picture of just the LCD screen unit if you are interested, and also a later models centre vent if you are unsure how they look.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Does seem too bad to do! I’ve just gotta track down a new unit first, and if I get stuck I’ll be sure to let you know. Thanks for the help :)
 

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Mine went last year.....don't miss it in the slightest.

It doesn't exactly tell you much, but still it comes up with a warning if something is wrong, or the car thinks something is wrong.

Another alternative is to use the space to mount a screen for a reverse camera. If you remove the guts of the screen unit though you will lose the warning buzzer if a door is open, or low oil pressure etc.
 
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