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Old 01-04-2007, 02:16 PM
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Tool for dash removal in '86 300SDL

Can someone help me with a description of the tool use for removing the instrument cluster in 1986 300SDL. Does anyone have the diminsions of this tool or can someone explain how it works. I need to replace bulbs that have burned out, And thought I might could make this tool. Help !
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:18 PM
justinperkins's Avatar
I ♥ German Cars
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Austin
Posts: 1,312
if it's the same as a W124, it's a straight piece of thick wire (coat hanger) that has a 90 degree bend at the end with about a 1/3 of an inch of wire after the bent side.

there's a DIY for the W124, might be the same for the W126.

1987 300TD, 1987 300TD
2008 R32, 2000 Passat Wagon
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:46 PM
Running on pure optimism.
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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there's a DIY article with pictures

It's really easy. Just work the hangers into the right spot and pull it out. It may not come out too easy, but it will come out eventually.
1983 MB 300SD Turbo Diesel
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:31 PM
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Thank you. I think I can knock this out Saturday in a few minutes. Again THANK YOU.
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:28 PM
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Helps to telescope the steering wheel as far as it will go.

93 300SD
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:07 PM
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Thumbs up

Those complimentary tools for opening paint cans that you can get from Home Depot or Lowe's works very well for this.

82 300 SD
77 450 SL (gone)
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:37 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 102
No tools required

I just got my 124 dash replaced. Pulling the instrument cluster is very easy without tools. I gripped the top of the cluster with my thumbs with fingers on top of the dash and slid it out. It takes a little time (5 min tops) but you won't need any tools. You can also pull the panel under the steering wheel, reach behind the cluster and push it out. The biggest PITA...MAJOR PITA is putting the dash back. There are two screws under the speaker "carrier" (you'll understand when you get the speaker cover off). They attach the dash to the body. Getting the dash pushed in far enough for those screws to go back took a few hours with my wife pushing the dash with her legs and me getting the screw to line up with the nut on the body...WHAT A CHORE. But, now with the new dash and vacuum pods in place, its as good as new...if only I could get the beast to start now.

81 300D N/A 130K miles (Nelly)
87 300D Turbo 80K miles (The Scalded Dog...because it runs like a scalded dog)
95 e320 Wagon 104K
2003 Sprinter 47K miles.
1999 Tandem Bicycle
One beautiful low miles wife (who likes diesels) (that's my wife holding the sign)

My son and I fixing Nelly's odometer
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Old 01-05-2007, 12:49 PM
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There seem to be a lot of different experiences with instrument cluster removal on various models. I spent several days trying to get the coat hanger tools to work on my 87 300D cluster. It was just too tight and kept bending the coat hangers straight. I needed a stroger coat hanger. Here is what I ended up doing:

a. Go to Home Despot and find the pegboard accessories section.
b. Look for a carded display of a more-or-less straight peg-board hanger. I think it's 7 to 9 inches long. You need two of these.
c. At home, bend the end of the hangers up at 90 degrees like it shows in the coat-hanger article. A vice and hammer works. These hangers are really tough compared to coat hangers!
d. Push the tools in between the dash and instrument cluster at 10 and 2 o'clock positions. Rotate the arms to engage the cluster at the rear.
e. Pull like heck. You might find it easier to use pliers or a screw driver to pull on the hooks.

Note: when using any of the proposed tools, you MUST make sure you disconnect the battery. There is a pc board at the rear of the cluster and you might short out the board with your tools.
1987 300D with 201k miles.
1985 F350 Ford dually 6.9 diesel
1988 F250 Ford utiilty truck 7.3 diesel
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