(There are pics of this at www.webphotos.com
, Nickname is "steve".) All I did was Dremel out the back shell of the cluster so the later ones would fit (they're deeper and have different terminals). Then I soldered telephone wire from their terminals to the old traces on the film circuit and added some wires to the harness connector (there are barely enough empty spaces for ALL the crap I added). The speedo has its own connector and will only work if you have an '87-9? ABS-type rear end. And if you don't have a late-model EFI in an '80-86 truck, you don't need to change the fuel or ALT meters.
They come from '92-97 trucks/Broncos. One has a leather inlay, and the other is velour, but none of my passengers has ever noticed. One is on an '82 door, and the other is on an '80, but ANY '80-97 door will work. You just also have to change the vent windows to '92-97. If you get panels with power windows & locks, you have to do some rewiring. Either butcher the door harnesses to get the new switches to work, or swap to the '92-97 harnesses. The new driver's door harness runs ALL THE WAY ACROSS the dash to the passenger door!!! (What a pain, unless you're pulling the dash anyway!-) But that's the best, because the little door corner lights will work and you can add power mirrors. It's also an excellent opportunity to add a $40 remote keyless entry system. The only problem is a MINOR interference at the front edge where the door panels strike the old trim plastic, making the door a LITTLE harder to shut.
'92-97 dashes WILL NOT fit '80-91 bodies, and '92-97 instrument clusters won't fit or work with '80-86 trucks. '80-86 dashes are probably pretty cheap (if you can find a good one) at junkyards, but they're a PAIN to install because of the tangle. '87-91 dashes are much more plentiful, in better condition, and somewhat easier to work with (although still time-consuming). (I don't remember what year your truck is.) I'd say, stick with the type you have.
There's nothing I did that I wish I hadn't, but there is one other thing that I HIGHLY reccommend: '87-88 1/2 A/C controls. It allows you to select fresh/recirculate, panel/floor/mix/defrost, and the compressor clutch independently of each other, AND it's cable-operated (except the fresh/recirculate) so it always works. With ALL others, you eventually have to deal with vacuum leaks, and you can only get recirculate with panel A/C, and the A/C clutch is always on in "Mix" and "Defrost". The drawback is that you have to swap the ventilation box between the dash & firewall at the same time. Putting the panel in '80-86 dashes requires some Dremel work, and the cables are in a slight bind.
Prices vary widely, depending on condition and the seller's mood, of course, but here are the prices I encountered:
PSOM (speedo) $10-100
Door panels $30-150
Door wiring $20-200
Vent window $30-80
A/C control & box $40-60
The more time you spend scouring junkyards, the lower the prices you find.
83 Custom w/95 4.9L EFI, 78 NP435, 83 NP208, 83 D44IFS 3.07, 87 Ford 8.8ABS 3.08, Michelin LTX AT 31x10.50R15