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Old 09-08-2001, 12:33 AM
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Instrument Cluster Light Replacement


Did a search on this topic and found some good reading. My plan is to post some good procedures and pictures to help with this in the future for other new owners.

I have a W123 85 300D and one of the instrument cluster night lights is out.

I understand from reading the forum that it is held in place by friction? I just want to replace the two bulbs in the top of cluster to have good night light on instrument panel.

I would appreciate any help. Larry Bible said the cluster didn't have to be removed to replace these bulbs but I don't understand how this can be done.



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Old 09-08-2001, 01:02 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Vernon, CT
Posts: 1,848
Here is all you need to do. Remove the lower dash panel, reach up behind the cluster and push. It will take some work to get around the steering wheel. Before you remove any wires, I would recommend disconnecting the battery to prevent any shorts. I have replaced lights for my father's '85 300D. I suppose you can remove the bad bulbs with the cluster just sitting on the steering column, but it might be easier to just remove the cluster all together. The speedometer cable unscrews and there is the oil pressure line you will need to disconnect. Use a back up wrench when doing this, you don't want to cause a leak. Once you have disconnect those 2 lines and a couple connectors, you can remove it from the car. The connecters are "dummy proof", in that no 2 connectores are the same.
For my car, I just grab an edge and wiggle it out. Since my car is 21 years old, the area around the instrument cluster has warpped a little.
Hope this helps.
1999 MB SL500 (110,000 mi)
2004 Volvo V70 2.5T (220,000 mi)
2014 Tesla Model S 85 (136,000 mi)
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Old 09-10-2001, 01:48 PM
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While you have it out, I suggest you go ahead and replace every light in the cluster. Bulbs don't cost much and it may save another removal experience.

Also, my mechanic suggested by-passing the dimmer switch by soldering. The panel lights are so dim to start with that the dimmer is a bit redundant anyway. After the by-pass and with new bulbs I can actually see the odometer at night.

Don't use bulbs that have higher wattage....they will melt the plastic I am informed.

'85 300CD

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