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Old 01-22-2013, 07:48 PM
Mercedes Metro
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 73
Instrument Cluster Transplant?

I've got a project that I'm trying to work on during the cold/dark winter.

I would like to transplant the full instrument cluster of my '81 300SD into the cluster housing of my '46 Metro.
The current 300SD cluster is 100% functional ...
I hope to use all the gauges / dials / lights ... just align them differently into the Metro housing. You can see the Metro housing below.

Is this a plausible task?

Assuming it is, my questions are:
1. should i get a second cluster to help any spare parts i may break? i currently have an 85mph cluster, ... is that exactly what i need to get as a replacement ... or can i use a different speed/year?
2. if i only have one cluster, can i plug that back into the existing harness (in the 300SD) after the transplant so I can still drive around town and make sure i have gas/oil-pressure? I know that I'll have a big lump of a cluster, but it may be my best option.
3. if i can't ... can i start/drive the car without an cluster at all?

i hope my questions make sense.

thanks for all the help!!!


'81 300SD ---> '46 IHC Metro (some day)
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:03 PM
mach4's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: San Diego County, CA
Posts: 2,736
I think that's more trouble than it's worth. I'd suggest just going with aftermarket gauges. You've got a nice flat surface that would be ideal for adding a set of gauges.

You didn't say why you felt compelled to go with a MB cluster...
Current Stable
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:38 PM
cirrusman's Avatar
Just add Diesel.
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 587
Originally Posted by geoffraynak View Post
Is this a plausible task?
With enough time, tools and money, ANYTHING is plausible...

1983 Mercedes Benz 300SD - Wife calls him "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"

1983 Toyota Tercel (Tommy, The little Toyota that could)
1965 Ford F100 (Grandma Ford)
2005 Toyota Sienna (Elsa, Wife's ride)

1988 Toyota Pickup
2004 Subaru Outback

1987 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham
1986 Volvo 740 GL Station Wagon - Piece of junk.
1981 Volvo 242 DL 2 Door - Hated to see it go. R.I.P.
1987 Pontiac Fiero GT
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:16 PM
shadetree77's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 430
the 120mph speedo will also work. Be aware that both speedos use an electrical signal, not a traditional speedo cable
and yes you can drive the SD without a cluster
1983 300SD (daily driver)
1991 420SEL (work in progress)
1979 300SD (future replacement for 83 SD)

1983 300SD (totalled)
1986 420SEL
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:18 PM
Long Time Diesel Fan
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: The Great Central Valley
Posts: 37
Another option gauge panel

Another option for your panel would be an instrument cluster from a mid 70's to maybe late 80's Chevy/ GMC van.

The entire panel was flat, and was used not only in the vans, but in some RV's as well. Mechanical Speedo, and standard GM everything else. And it was a surface mount.

1985 300DT 241,000 miles
1979 300SD 202,000 miles
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:21 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: SF, CA, USA
Posts: 931
i wanted to avoid posting in this thread but in the end i cannot resist. replacing the stock electronics sounds like a horrible idea to me. i would not want a car without the original instruments, especially when they are neat looking and hard to replace, as in your case.

in the worst case, a shop like palo alto speedometer could bring the individual gauges back to life.

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