At my suggestion, a coworker purchased a Fluke 87 (Series 1) off eBay, with the faded digit problem, for $70 a week ago. A very good deal. I assured him I could repair it.
The meter arrived, and really, there was very little fading, but it still needed “repair”. Rather than bring it home, I pulled it apart here and showed him what to do (should it happen again). Mr. Modemhead has a great article on this, but also there is a video from Fluke themselves on the issue, even though they’re incorrect on some facts with regards to the original 87 (they say there’s only one zebra strip, when there are two). Anyway, I’ve done the modemhead way, but I thought I’d try Fluke’s suggestion, and just clean the PCB side of the connection. I used some cotton swabs and 99% IPA, and after a couple minutes of scrubbing until clean, I put everything back together, and bingo! It works great. =)
Interestingly, this meter also had a slight issue with the buzzer/beeper. Turns out the speaker (Piezo) uses two rubber “nipples” to make contact with contact points on the back of the PCB. One of these nipples had been squashed/distorted over time and if you screwed the back of the meter on fully/snuggly, the nipple would distort enough to lose contact with the PCB. Simple solution was to leave the middle back screw loose, and place a piece of tape over the screw. Problem solved. =)