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2000 Corolla Ascent - clock.

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I have just purchased a 2000 Corolla Ascent but I can not find the clock that I believe that it’s supposed to have on the dash.

The owner manual isn’t very informative, Google not much help either and neither is anywhere else that I’ve looked.

There IS a small shiny front black area, about 50mm x 15mm lower down, slightly left of centre on the dash that I believe is where a digital clock is supposed to be but this car doesn’t show one, nor are there any buttons there to set a clock if one WAS to show up there when the ignition is switched on.  The factory fitted Toyota radio cassette doesn’t have a clock either.

I even wondered if perhaps the clock wasn’t fitted to all their 2000 models, but nothing in the manual differentiates between any of the ‘basic’ features in the car.  If that IS the case however, that the ‘Ascent’ model DOESN’T have a factory clock, then that will be it and I’ll stop looking.......but so far, I just can not find anywhere to clarify that possibility.



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  • 2 years later...

Hi Lance,

I just bought the same car I believe (Toyota Corolla Ascent Seca 2000 Liftback) and have the exact same issue. There is a shiny area on the left of centre where the manual says a clock should be, but alas no time shows up. I think the clock may just need some souldering as I've seen online for the later models of the Corolla. But after taking apart the dashboard it seems that the clock is not so easy to take apart and is connected to the air conditioning buttons.

I'm also curious how one was to set the time on these clocks if that was a clock after all. Just wondering if you made any progress in 2 years, I would love to have a working clock since the radio/cassette player clock resets to 1 everytime the engine turns on :P.



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I suspect the clock would have been designated in the radio rather than an in dash set up. If there was an in dash clock, then it would have the adjuster buttons to go with it.

If it has the factory radio, then the clock should be there.

Are you able to post up a picture of your dash cluster so we can see what you're referring to ?

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That's possible, it just seems strange to put a shiny black oblong there in that case. Other than maybe it was more efficient for the manufacters to create the dashboard with and without the clock.

Here's my dash cluster:


I've pulled the bottom part out to inspect the "clock" or miscellaneous black shiny oblong. The radio is definitely the original one and it does have a clock in it (albeit it sets itself to 1:00 every time the engine turns on, which is another issue). It seems that the "clock" is connected to the A/C and fog buttons on the left of the dash cluster, as we see in this image:


I've disconnected the power to the aircon buttons / clock as you can see above. Here's a closer image:


It's not loose and I tried to take it out but couldn't. I also didn't manage to take off the dash cluster grey plastic to get a better image from behind since I couldn't manage to disconnect the cigarette lighter from its cables.

If this isn't meant to be a clock at all I wonder if it's easy to put one in. It would be nice to have a clock there and/or fix the radio clock.

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There doesn't appear to be any plug present to the area where that shiny black window is situated am I right ? If not, then I would assume this would normally be where they intended for a clock to be, but not installed on certain models. In the U.S, they have a clock there and its digits are red.

During the course of my research, I did however come across only one picture with what does look like digits, but are greenish in colour and could be an Australian model from the AE112 range. It was a small JPEG so I had to take a photo with my phone in order to enhance it a bit. See what you reckon.

So my guess is, yes, that shiny window is for a clock, but only installed on certain vehicles with certain head units. As your head unit already has a clock in it, they safely assumed this would suffice and most likely install a dummy clock face to fill the space in the fascia, which is common to all AE112 Corollas.

Then this begs the next question. If it does have a clock which lights up, how on earth would one set the time ??

I have to say, this is one of the most bizarre things I've come across on a humble old Corolla. If you are able to find an owners handbook, it may reference something on it.



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Yes you are right there is no plug for the black window. I am fairly convinced its just a filler bit of plastic although I was guessing that the same plug fed to both the "clock" and the A/C buttons.

That image is a great find and I'm guessing that the clock there would have had buttons since the manual suggests it should:


Btw here is an image of the dash cluster in the book with number 15 pointing to the (ghost) clock:


Thanks for your help, I'm going to put my dash back together now...

If anyone has the same car (Toyota Corolla Ascent Seca 2000 AE112R) with a clock please send an image of it from the front and behind.

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I just learned that the "Levin" model of Corolla has the digital clock as standard, so if you want one, you'll have to include "Levin" in your search. 

The clock is part of the demister/ A/C buttons. It's one piece, so you don't just buy the clock, you get the clock/demister/AC as one kit. Also looks like that white plug will power up the clock whilst giving power to the A/C controls.

Watch the second part of the second part of the video below.

Edited by Tony Prodigy
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It just keeps getting better. I was watching this video from Peter Anderson's channel and he has the same car you do and he also talks about the clock situation. Very knowledgeable fella too. Go to 17:15 on the video and go from there.

After that, go to 23:13 where he goes to a wrecker and actually finds the digital clock from a Levin.



Edited by Tony Prodigy
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Thanks Tony that video was fantastic. That led me to his other videos on the Corolla, in particular the "Corolla Interior Makover" Parts 1 and 2. Part 2 is where he puts in the clock (33:17-43:23) and discusses the slight differences between the ghost clock and real clock:


Super happy now, I'm definitely going to try find that clock part online or at the local wreckers. And now thinking of taking the car apart as he did to clean it up hehe.

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The wonders of the internet hey ? Glad you found Peter's channel interesting. He's a really good bloke and down to earth too. Very smart guy who has done a few interesting restorations. He's into his Fords and Toyotas, but dabbles in other makes too, including motorcycles.

"Ghost clock" is an apt term for the glossy black window where it should be. I totally came upon that nugget of info by virtue of watching his video mainly to do with his acquisition not only of the Corolla but the EJ Holden parts that came with it. So happy days all round lol..

You should do a DIY clock upgrade when you find the bit you need. I'm sure other Corolla owners will find  it helpful. The O.P. to this thread may  or may not have figured it out yet. So Brickpaver Lance, I hope this one finds you.

Cheers everyone :thumbsup:

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5 hours ago, Tony Prodigy said:

"Ghost clock" is an apt term for the glossy black window where it should be.

In the 7th gen (the model before this) we had a "ghost vent" - a blanked-off air vent (ie it had the louvres but they were fixed, with the back closed off and no pipe feeding it) where the digital clock goes on JDM models.


Was a great place to put a clip-in air-freshener since you didn't have to worry about damaging the louvres, and since there was no airflow coming through the vent the scent lasted a lot longer

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm back with the tutorial to bring back the ghost clock from the dead.

I bought the Levine clock / AC buttons from Gumtree. It looks like this:


It has a visible cross on the top, to the right of the numbers. The ghost clock on the other hand only has the vertical mark.

Now, let's remove the dash from the car.

1. Remove the 3 AC twisters and the air (non)recycle knob to the right of the ghost clock. Unscrew 2 screws, one on the left and right most AC twister panels.


2. Starting from the bottom and moving to the top, carefully pull the dash away towards you, unclipping it.


3. Unplug the power from the ghost clock / AC buttons.


4. Plug in the real clock and check it lights up and all the buttons work, including the lights on the AC buttons. This will be a real pain to take out if it doesn't work in the end.

5. Unplug the 2 plugs (yellow and grey) and the light globe from the cigarette lighter / ash tray in that order. Yes the yellow plug does come off. The black knob connects to a light globe which I had trouble disconnecting but came off finally when the whole dash eventually dropped on the floor :). It helps to put the gear in reverse if you have a manual.


Now you should have the whole dash disconnected. And are left with this:



6. (Optional) Unscrew the container while you're at it and clean off the 20+ years of dust and dirt. I had a squeaky container lid which I fixed with some oil on the coil/spring loops which sits on the left side.

7. Take out the ghost clock. This is a real pain. There are 4 clips on the ghost clock / AC buttons which you need to loosen by bending the plastic on the dash. The plastic should be pretty strong but be careful not to snap it. I got the top most clips holding the ghost clock out first from left to right from the point of view in front of the dash. Then afterwards the bottom two holding the AC buttons in. I recommend a pen lid or plastic watch band as every day items to help pry back the plastic. Be prepared for a 30 minute battle.



8. Swap the grey buttons on the ghost clock's AC buttons (right) with the black one's from the Levine unit (left). Otherwise, the black buttons won't match the rest of the dash.


9. Pop in the real clock with the grey buttons into the dash. This is starkingly easy compared to taking it out.


10. Put everything back in reverse order. Enjoy :).



Edited by sashaa
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