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  #1  
Old 08-03-2002, 03:42 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Angry Broke gauge cluster glass! AAAAUUUGHHH!

Folks don't try this at home.

All sorts of parts for the car, and home came in the mail, and I was on the roll this weekend replacing broken parts, etc. etc.

Got the gauge cluster puller tool from FastLane last week and got a little too aggressive in the gauge cluster removal.

Got my cluster out of the 300E just fine...going to replace a burnt-out turn signal indicator bulb.

Went over and did the same to the SL...on pulling the cluster out, the tool slipped, caught onto the lens lip and snapped off a big chunk of the lens!!!

Dealer replacement is waiting for me at the parts dept. $327!!!

All this to replace a couple of dollars worth of bulbs...Sheesh!

Make sure you exercise great caution when working on your precious SL...these parts are real wallet eaters!!!
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2002, 06:08 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 563
$327 for the lens on the instrument gauge? That's outrageous. I'd look on eBay for a used instrument gauge. They're there all the time, especially if the same lens will fit 126 chassis vehicles.

Reminds me of when I cracked the rear window in the hardtop while taking it off one day. I was pretty irritated, and figured it would be $200-300. Called the dealer, $810 for the glass alone (and there are no aftermarket dealers for the glass). Called a local Mercedes salvage yard and he could sell me a new one for $540, or a used one for $350.

So, I tried to buy a complete hardtop on eBay, only to find out that to ship one from NY to Texas was $235. I started looking for hardtops on eBay that were close enough for me to drive and pickup myself.

After several months, I bought one in Dallas for $150, 3 hours away. Then I found out that it wouldn't fit in the back of my Suburban, so I had to borrow a pickup from my cousin to go get it.

So now I have two hardtops, one black and one silver. I've wondered what the silver one would look like on my black car, but I've never put it on. As soon as I've taken care of higher priority things, I'll switch the rear windows and start parting out the silver hardtop.
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1988 560SL Black/Palomino
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1984 500SEC Anthracite Grey/Palomino
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2002, 01:00 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
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I did get the bulbs fixed, replaced the lens and everything works.

But NOW, the SRS light stays on for a couple of minutes before going out. I know that it was self-inflicted, since I pulled the cluster out with the car outside (got to 104 that day), and with the cluster out of the car, started it, and pulled it into the garage. So I guess I freaked out the SRS system somehow.

Problem or do I need to just get the codes reset?
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2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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  #4  
Old 08-09-2002, 07:01 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 56
More detail on cluster removal?

Sorry to hear of your misadventure, but as a fellow SL and 300E owner, I'd like to ask a question or two about the 300E cluster removal. I've removed the cluster from my 450SL before with no trouble, you don't even need a puller, you can just pry it out with some no-scratch tool like a wooden tongue depressor. I need to pull the cluster out of my 1986 300E now to fix the speedo. The CD-ROM manual says I need this special puller (I assume the one you describe) and that I have to carefully toggle catches in 5 different places around the cluster to pull it out. I asked my MB parts guy about the puller, and he said, "you don't really need a special puller, you can use any old hook shape, it just gives you something to pull on". So which was it? Once you got the cluster out, did it look like there were special catches at intervals around the edge or was it just a big rubber strip like on the SL?
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2002, 12:09 PM
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Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
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The "special" MB tools were cheap, so that's why I bought them. Handle grips and all, makes the task easy, and the small diameter aids in getting to the cluster w/o damage to the surrounding areas.

Yes, based on the tool design, you can fabricate something like this with coat hangers if you wish...but I plan on refacing the W124 gauges one day, and with both cars having bulbs to replace, it seemed like a decent investment ($15).

Someone posted a thread with pics on what the 300E cluster housing looks like after it's out...the 4 and 8 o'clock positions on the cluster is where you need to do the pulling. There are a set of zig-zag slots on each side that allow you to "grab" the cluster if your within 1" of the area needed to align the tool.

I found the 300E cluster to be less stubborn than the SL, but since the SL has an electric speedo, I could pull the four harnesses off and take the cluster completely out of the car (which I had to do since I cracked the casing anyway).

There are four rubber pads (two on top and bottom) on the 300E cluster. That is all there is to keep the cluster fitting snugly.
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2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2002, 08:42 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Cheshire, UK
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The coat-hanger trick worked fine on my 126. For maximum economy, I just made one and used it first at one side then the other. The clips just provide friction/snugness and do not need to be individually released. I've not removed the cluster on my 107, but I understand that it is different - no clips (?) but a foam beading - with more care required to avoid damage.
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