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Old 06-25-2003, 03:09 AM
The Warden's Avatar
Certified diesel nut
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
Posts: 2,946
Question Preventative maintenance on back of dash panel

Hello! It looks like, at some point, I get to pull the instrument panel from my car. The glow plug light appears to have gone out; judging by how the lights dim and how the car still starts like normal, I assume the glow plugs are working normally, but I'm gettin gno light whatsoever. This isn't a huge concern as I'm used to waiting a few seconds and don't need the light per se, but at some point i want to fix it anyways 'cause I'm like that.

I presume that it'd be prudent to replace all of the illumination and indicator lights while I'm back there, but is there anything I should do as a preventative measure while I've got it apart? AFAIK, the odometer and trip odometer are still working properly (it's possible that they've slowed down, but I don't know), and everything else is, for the most part, working normally (the rheostat for the lights could be better, but it could be a lot worse too, so I'm not ready to replace that yet).

Thanks in advance! Again, this isn't high-priority...just something that I may tear into in the next few weeks.

2001 VW Jetta TDI, 5 speed, daily driver
1991 Ford F-350, work in progress
1984 Ford F-250 4x4, 6.9l turbo diesel, 5 speed manual
Previous oilburners: 1980 IH Scout, 1984 E-350, 1985 M-B 300D, 1979 M-B 300SD, 1983 M-B 300D
Spark-free since 1999
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Old 06-25-2003, 11:08 AM
Rick Miley's Avatar
Spark Free
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Land O Lakes, FL
Posts: 3,086
OMG, you've had that car how long and haven't pulled the cluster yet? I thought it was a mandatory first job for all new W123 owners.

You could replace the rest of the bulbs while you're in there. But once you find out how easy the cluster is to pull, you won't be afraid to pull it again later. Hope that made sense. Anyway, the little bulbs are some wacky euro size and if you just buy replacements at the parts store without being careful, you'll probably get the wrong ones. I've usually found the euro bulbs at the bottom of the display in packages with a green background. BTW, you could replace the main light bulbs with overwattage ones, but they will melt the enclosures. Don't do that.
Rick Miley
2014 Tesla Model S
2018 Tesla Model 3
2017 Nissan LEAF
Former MB: 99 E300, 86 190E 2.3, 87 300E, 80 240D, 82 204D Euro
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Old 06-25-2003, 11:12 AM
jfikentscher's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Wall, New Jersey
Posts: 550
The white gauge faces in the Performance Products catalog look like they would be easier to read with the low dash lighting. They are expensive bit I bet they look good. I plan to do this to my '87 when I get some extra cash.

1987 300TD 440K - My car
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 107K - Tim's car
2000 - CLK320 100K - Deb's car
1994 C230 150K - Josh's Car
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Old 06-25-2003, 03:53 PM
BoostnBenz's Avatar
Benötigt Mehr Druck!
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,855
I've found when you take the cluster out, if you clean the backlighting bulbs (I swapped them too) and the pyramid they are in all nicely with some rubbing alcohol (q-tips handy here) the lighting improves significantly. It worked wonders for my 84, and helped my 83's a little bit as it wasn't very bad to start with.
Jeff M.
Mercedes W123 DIY pages are now located here.
1983 / 1984 300D Sold
2000 CLK430 Cabriolet ~58k Sold
2005 Avalanche 4x4 ~66k
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:53 PM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: central ky
Posts: 3,602
Elmer's Rubber Cement works well for reattaching ribbed rubber gasket to the cluster.

Just pulled instruments from my 116 to reset odometer gear..... two additional problems occurred:

1) Microscopic peg that stops speedo needle at zero fell off - took 10 minutes to find the little devil.

2) Metal 'hubcap' in center of guages fell off too - had to be reglued.

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