Only tools needed, for me at least.
Level of difficulty is probably 5 or 6 but patience level is 8 or 9.
1st I had to source a set of RS gauges
They could, or could not for all I know even power on. The set I had included a security seal for warranty purposes. When I took the seal off the housing underneath was damaged to the point removing the sticker broke the structural integrity of the bottom where it bolts into the car. Still on the fence if I'm even going to reveal the seller at this point even tho I lucked out an the only part of the cluster that wasn't broken is the parts I needed.
Point is, I only needed this section of the gauges to complete the swap while retaining the cluster I already have for accurate mileage and simplicity.
This would be what most people already have on the non RS set. (red is from the dip in 1st page of this thread)
At the same time, if you scratched the mess out of your gauges trying to remove the wheel to dip/vinyl. you also have this clear plastic piece left over from the donor cluster.
Once you remove the tabs for just the clear bezel/chrome ring, you can now go to your car and get ready for tear down.
The upper piece just snaps on but be careful as this is the patience is needed. I gently pulled up at the loops where the turn sig and wipers stalks sit. Interior pieces come apart but don't necessarily come apart and go back right depending on how violent you remove it. Reason my donor gauges are broke in areas I couldn't even reuse it as a direct swap because whoever removed it didn't care about them going back into another vehicle upon removal.
Underneath that piece is 2 bolts we need to remove(most damaged part of my gauges)
This is where the patience young grasshopper part comes in. These bolts are the Devil.
That's where you need the angle tool to remove them. Puling the wheel out and down is best angle to get to them.
Top of this you want to gently starting from the back lift up gently and rotate towards you like a door hinge.
Then you only need to remove the top 3 center bolts of the 6 pictured.
After that the 5 bolts (3 center top and 2 bottom under faux leather strip) holding the cluster should now allow it to come out.
I didn't take pics after this as it was 11*F out but the connector for the gauges is a press down and rotate up tab. no tools was needed just patience.
Once out, the next 3 bolts on the top can come out. The ones on the bottom row of the picture
From there this thread will help you separate the pieces. I was able to gently use my fingers and finger nail to release the tabs so that's how fragile this could be. patience is there because the angle you sit to remove the gauges kinds sucks. You are sitting down but you are leaning forward a bit over the wheel putting stress on your back. On the RS it's confusing but on the Non RS the black tabs are the ones you take off...
When it goes back in reverse order, look at the tabs on the bottom and here plus the lip to get an idea how it goes back on. Picture was to show the tabs, don't install it like this. the lip at the top slides into the top of the gauges then it rotates down opposite of the glove box on the dash.