After looking into this further could it be the voltage relay? I see a small black plug-in on the back of the instrument panel that looks like it could be a voltage relay. Is it possible that the dead short that was occuring from the positive lead of the clock grounding out damaged this relay. Or maybe the garage that installed the instument panel used the old relay. Does anyone know if their is a voltage relay that regulates the voltage to the instument panel(teperature/fuel guage)? I see a voltage relay listed at an online MB parts supplier for around $25. Could this be the problem?