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-   -   1981 380SL - Gauges died ????? (

Doug Lewis 10-12-2009 10:06 AM

1981 380SL - Gauges died ?????
Good morning! Need some advice here please. I was riding along this morning and all my gauges just died like you turned off the key. Engine still running good but lost power apparently to several things. Have checked fuses in right floorboard area and they all look good visually.

Here is what works and what doesn't:

Working.....Horn, headlights, parking lights, hazard flashers, radio, clock & economy meter.

Not gauges at all, no turn signals, no brake lights or cruise control.

Anyone got any ideas???

Thanks in advance,
Doug Lewis

rowdie 10-12-2009 10:28 AM

Fuse 10 controls the turn signals. brake and cruise for sure. Try cleaning the contacts.

The other thing could be the infamous cluster ground. Many have removed the cluster, cleaned the contacts and added an extra ground wire.

The economy gauge is mechanical and has a vacuum line running to it..

rowdie 10-12-2009 10:48 AM

I got the above from the CD on the '81. I also checked the '82 and it showed fuse 5 controling the gauges.

Steve C 10-12-2009 11:59 AM

Same thing happened to me a month ago.

It was just a fuse thank goodness

Steve '84 280sl 5 speed 192k:)

meltedpanda 10-13-2009 03:11 PM

yea , I d go with the cluster ground, or perhaps the multi plug came disconnected on the back
He yRowdie, see my post on the "new 560's" check it out

Doug Lewis 10-31-2009 07:43 PM

Thanks !!!
Thanks for all the replies guys. Turned out to be a loose wire going in to the back of the fuse block. Fixed that and everything works like a charm. Thanks again !!


jplinville 11-01-2009 06:24 AM

For future reference...if your fuses are aluminum instead of copper, change them to copper. Aluminum has been known to fail, even though the fuse is intact.

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