Gauge overlay install::
Wanting to make my dash look a little nicer I purchased a brushed stainless steel gauge overlay for a 97-98 Jeep Cherokee from Fire and Ice Motorsports. They also have various Ebay auctions. Besides the brushed stainless steel they also have brushed aluminum, chrome (would have liked this, but I figured it would be a bad idea in bright sunlight), carbon fiber vinyl, and burlwood vinyl. My XJ is a 2000 and the only problem I found with the 97-98 XJ overlay was that it covers half of my low fuel light. Nothing to really worry about.
Basically the install goes like this: remove the driver side knee bolster, remove the trim surrounding the radio and HVAC controls, remove the dash piece that goes around the gauges, remove the gauges, install bezel and reassemble.
The knee bolster is held in place by three screws at the bottom and two clips at the top. Remove the screws and than pull the top out.
Location of the clips:
Next, separate the steering column collar halves. Do not try to remove the collar as it is attached to part of the dash that will be removed later:
Remove the trim surrounding the radio and HVAC controls simply by prying it forward. It is just held in by clips. I find it is easiest to start at the very bottom where you can hook your fingers under it and work upward. Once that is off you have access to the four screws holding the dash on that side. Remove those. The screws are boxed in blue:
Once the screws are removed you can pry the rest of the dash surrounding the gauges off. It is also held in by clips. The light switch will have to be pushed through the hole in the trim piece.
This is what is seen once that is removed:
Now there is clear access to the gauges, which are held in by four screws. Two can be seen in the above picture. Once the screws are removed you can pull the gauge assembly forward. Make sure you grasp the back or it, or you may end up pulling it apart.
It is much easier to install the overlay with the gauge assembly out of the Jeep.
The gauge assembly must have the clear plastic cover removed and the surrounding trim removed. Plastic tabs hold both in place. In the images below the tabs for the clear piece are boxed in red, and the tabs for the black surround are boxed in blue.
Clear cover removed:
Gauge face bare:
Now the bezel can be installed. The overlay came with some double sided adhesive tape. This isn't necessary, but I didn't want the overlay moving around at all. I used several small pieces, as seen below:
Positioning the overlay is done by just looking at where it is going. I found that the odometer is a good alignment point. Once the overlay is on the gauges, reverse removal.
Here are a few photos of the gauges completely installed: