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  #1  
Old 08-19-2015, 11:24 PM
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No headlights, rear lights, or high beams (w124 300d)

Bought a barn-stored 1985 Euro 300D recently. No headlights, no tail lights, no interior lights. Replaced fuses. Pulled light switch and replaced. No changed. Pulled apart control panel and ashtray. Found lighter wiring a charred mess. I think this is the problem. What should I be looking for?
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:15 AM
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Most of the grounds on a W 123 are behind the instrument cluster. Remove the cluster and check the grounds. You can also turn on the headlight switch and ground each light individually to see if a lack of ground is causing the problem..

Use a 12 volt test light to ensure that you have power to each light (done with headlight switch on).
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonfromOR View Post
Bought a barn-stored 1985 Euro 300D recently. No headlights, no tail lights, no interior lights. Replaced fuses. Pulled light switch and replaced. No changed. Pulled apart control panel and ashtray. Found lighter wiring a charred mess. I think this is the problem. What should I be looking for?
Since it's a barn-stored vehicle...is there a battery and is it charged?

Check grounds throughout vehicle.
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:59 AM
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Start at the bottom.... negative connections from battery to ENGINE,,, and BODY... then go up from there....
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:32 AM
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Well, a wiring diagram would be really useful, but maybe hard to find for a euro car.

I like leathermang's idea, you'll need to go through the entire system.

Pull all the fuses out, and also check at the relay that controls the "light out" indicator. All the exterior lights go through that relay, and it compares the current draw of the left side of the car to the right side, and lights up the dash bulb if there is an imbalance. You can test each side of each circuit for a short to ground after you remove the bulbs (which provide a path to ground), if you know what pin at that relay socket goes to which light bulb. Again, wiring diagram... You may have some luck just looking at the wiring colors and stripes at each bulb holder, and checking that against the wires on the bottom of that relay socket.
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'87 124.193 (300TD) "White Whale", ~380k miles, 3.5l IP fitted
'95 124.131 (E300) "Sapphire", 379k miles
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:42 AM
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What is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonfromOR View Post
Bought a barn-stored 1985 Euro 300D recently. No headlights, no tail lights, no interior lights. Replaced fuses. Pulled light switch and replaced. No changed. Pulled apart control panel and ashtray. Found lighter wiring a charred mess. I think this is the problem. What should I be looking for?
First, is this really a 124? Although early 124s were available to Europeans in 1985, I don't think the diesel 603 engine was ready for another year—it didn't get to America until 1987.

For the charred lighter wiring, you need to clip out and remove the burned wiring and trace it up towards the fuse box until it stops being charred. Then clip and insulate. This may require cutting open some cables.

More advice can follow if you can confirm the identity of the car. Photos are helpful.

Jeremy
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Old 08-22-2015, 08:27 AM
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Rodent damage?

Since it was in a barn are there any obvious signs of wires being eaten by rodents?
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Old 08-22-2015, 08:43 AM
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Check behind the Driver's knee bolster for if the large wiring plug is connected up?
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