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Old 10-17-2002, 02:39 PM
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Warning light replacement on 560SL

Hi! I recently posted a new thread asking how to remove the 560SL gauges to replace the 3 low fluid level warning bulbs. I assume no one has done this, because no one mentioned that the bulbs in question are not individually replacable, but rather are in a cluster of 4 bulbs on a printed circuit on...

Not sure if this has been covered before (a newbie search didn't find any specifics relating to this) but for what it's worth I'll post how I got my gauge cluster out, and what to expect for the 4 following warning lights: light-out, low oil, low washer fluid, low coolant, that all sit in the center of the warning indicators row.

First of all I expected to relace some "bulbs" so I went to Checker and bought 2 packs of the little guage light replacements. Here are the steps, and what I the way my 560SL is a 1987 and has the factory air-bag. Not sure when they started with airbags...

1) Disconnect negative from battery.
2) Borrow/buy a 3" long torx driver or bit to remove the air bag. I borrowed one from my mechanic. There are two holes behind the airbag and the whole thing comes out as a single unit. Once the 2 torx screws are loose and you have the air-bag in hand, unplug the cable from the center-back of the air bag. It pulls straight out with some good tugging. Now put the air bag in some delicate, safe place.
4) You need a large allen socket (forgot what size, but it's a metric slightly larger than 3/8" - 14mm?) to remove the center steering wheel bolt. Take the bolt completely out.
5) Before you pull the steering wheel off - use some white-out or a dab of white paint to make reference on where the steering wheel should be when you put it back on.
6) Pull the steering wheel off and place it aside. Should easily come off.
7) Unscrew the 3 small screws holding the black plactic thinggy that keeps the horn and air-bag contacts clean (?) and remove the plastic thinggy. Now you are ready to pull the gauge cluster out.
8) Using your gauge cluster removal tool, or bent bicycle-spoke, or whatever, pull on the gauge cluster. It pops right out - BUT has several things plugged into the back so keep it close to the dash.

Here is where it gets interesting:

9) The center warning light cluster has a plug in the back of it - remove the plug and then the two phillips screws holding the cluster in.
10) Slide the cluster out and marvel at the complicated printed circuit board that controls the 4 little warning lights !
11) The printed circuit board slides out of its' assembly so take it out.
12) Remove the small slotted head screw that holds the bulbs in the assembly.
13) Slide the bulb assemble out.
14) Realize that the 4 bulbs are soldered in...

This is as far as I got, having realized that it was 9:00pm and all the auto-parts stores were closed. So basically I reversed the above procedure. DO I NEED LOCK-TIGHT ON THE STEERING WHEEL BOLT ????

************************ doens't have the warning light assembly, and neither does Fastlane. I guess I'm off to the dealer today to buy this incredibly complex little set of lights.

I will try to remember to take some digital pictures for the procedure, since it was a little more complicated than I would have thought to begin with.

Gotta love DIY !!

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Old 10-17-2002, 04:24 PM
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Well hey the plot thinkens...

Called 1-800 number and they do have it - $111 !!!!!

Can you believe it? Turn signal, SRS light, etc, all take bulbs that are under $1. This thing is LED's and cost a bundle.

This is a 4 LED unit that connects to a printed circuit board and it sounds like they don't sell the little piece that has the 4 bulbs independant of the entire assembly with circuit board and all. IT does slide out and the part with the bulbs does "unplug" from the part with the circuit board components.

Local bone yard has had 2 - 560SL's in 16 years, and none today.

I might check with Radio Shack to buy the led's and solder myself...

Or ... I could just check my fluid levels on a regular basis...

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