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Old 09-01-2010, 08:28 PM
whunter's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
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Arrow How long to R&R your dashboard ??

People keep asking how long it takes the average DIY person to remove and install the dashboard (all MB).

Your answer will help many members weather or not to DIY..

Please include year and model..

Thank you.

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1980 240D
1983 300D
1984 190D
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:31 PM
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took me 25 minutes to remove a 124 dashboard. It's a easy DIY project as long as you follow this link for the 124's it's easy. model is a 1987 300TD
1987 300TD 311,000M Stolen. Presumed destroyed
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:39 PM
Mechanical Hyphochondriac
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Ocala, FL
Posts: 539
25 minutes?? I thought this was an 8 hour task? WHunter, are you thinking of doing this to redo your HVAC? Cause I am!
1987 300TDT - 195,000 (Original #14 head)
1993 190E 2.3 - 105,000
1981 300D - 250,000
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:40 PM
One step at a time
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Burleson, TX
Posts: 426
Just remove and replace?

about 6 hours the first time, probably less now, only done it once.

1985 SD

1985 300SD 322,000
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:47 PM
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considering some previous owner took out the dash and left 1/2 of the bolts out or loose. it wasnt bad. I know putting the new dash in (thanks dave!) will be much more of a chore
1987 300TD 311,000M Stolen. Presumed destroyed
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:01 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Albany, OR
Posts: 4,845
For a first timer dash removal I would plan a few hours to take it out and get it back in.

I can take out a 123 dash in 15-20 minutes. I've done it several times and know what needs to happen. The first time I took one out it probably took me an hour or so to get it out. Putting it back in is the hard part in my experience. Getting the front lip under the windshield seal is the hardest part. Last time I did one it took me 45 minutes to put it back in, that includes hooking everything up again.
'04 Jetta TDI Wagon
'82 300TD ~ Winnie ~ Sold
'77 300D ~ Sold
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:15 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Hamilton Ontario Canada
Posts: 394
First time on an a 190/W201 probably took me about an hour and a half to get the dash out. I found dropping the steering column made it much easier to pull the dash out of place. The extra room is not required but probably save time in the long run.

If you were to remove the SRS air bag and set it off under the dash, it would probably take much less time.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:15 PM
1985 300D Turbo
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Florida
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Now to find the good dash for the 123
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:22 PM
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Location: Albany, OR
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Originally Posted by newtodiesel View Post
Now to find the good dash for the 123
I have a nearly perfect dash arriving tomorrow!
'04 Jetta TDI Wagon
'82 300TD ~ Winnie ~ Sold
'77 300D ~ Sold
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:40 PM
Registered Hack
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,626
the steering wheel nut can add well over an hour to the removal mission if you are pulling a dash that is worth keeping.

Speaking for the w201, installation of the dash requires the removal of the steering wheel more than the w123... but on both models, removing the wheel greatly facilitates this task.

I would say 4 hours to remove the w201 dash on the first try being cautious. For the w123, 3 hours under the same premise.

Install is a good day from start to complete finish for someone who is being cautious and has never removed a dash on either model and adds a a few 'other' tasks while they are in there.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:02 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: rhode island
Posts: 208
w116 is and all 8 hour day and thats if you stay with it, if you get in a hurry your going to tear up some parts , I would recomend pulling the steering wheel first, then the ingnition switch, glove box, there are some bolts you can't see very well take your time long extension and universal joint, a good 8 hours out and 8 hours back and that doesn't count replaceing vacume pods, removing heater box or evaporator ,or expansion valve, lots of little stuff can go wrong, so take your time, hard to get your hand back in there if you leave something disconnected,,,,,,,,, I and I have done a few, never get in a hurry. plan for plenty of time.Jerry
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:23 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
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I second the W116 dashboard removal and reinstallation is an all-day process at best. The center console has to come out first, which is a job in itself! One can be removed in about an hour if it's a wrecking yard car and you need to get at something behind the dash and don't care about damaging the dashboard.

Once you get really good at these you can have one out in about an hour or two, but you have to be really, really careful to not crunch or tear the end of the dashboard when wedging it out. Putting one back in is another story. In fact, I hear the windshield is supposed to come out or the dash won't be able to be installed without tearing the ends! It's something you don't want to do more than once...

Removing a W110 or W111 dashboard is MUCH easier. It probably takes an hour to remove it, maybe a little longer to install. You have to be careful that the metal trim doesn't slice the pad. Sometimes the cap is glued to the metal body so you have to use care in separating it.

I removed a W123 dashboard for the first time and it only took me 15 minutes. I couldn't believe how easy it was. I think a good mechanic could remove and reinstall one in less than an hour (not including the time for the job that made removing the dashboard necessary).
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Highly Optioned, 350,000+ Miles
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:39 PM
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Squiggle has it right. Once you get the dash out you spend more time giving everything the once over. Murphy's Law comes into play on things like that!
'70 F100 shortbed
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:20 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 171
Phew, this is tempting me to up the dash on my 123 to fix the heater core. Anyone want to earn some bucks near Annapolis?
05 E320 CDI
99 SL500
02 530i

82 240D SOLD
83 240D Euro 4spd SOLD
86 300D Euro Auto SOLD
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:02 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Germantown, TN
Posts: 5,444
2 times

The FIRST time:

Jimmy probably remembers the day I called him from the junkyard. I had found a perfect w126 burgundy Gen 2 dash (no passenger side airbag). I wasn't too concerned about reusing any of the parts except the dash. It took me right at 2 hour to remove it. The hardest part was the driver's side "knee" AC tube. It has a bolt in the middle of it.

Hit_Man_X is glad I sweated getting that dash out. Did you ever get it installed?

The Second time:
Coda. It took me about 4 hours to remove it. About 6 more to get most of the stuff back in there with the new dash. I sold it to Chad about 20 months later and the panel under the dash above the driver's feet area still hadn't been put back on.

Germantown, TN

Current Car --- 05/2012 1984 300D Light Ivory, Red interior
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3/2008 1986 300SDL "Coda"
04/2010 1965 190D(c) "Ben"
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