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-   -   early 129 Cluster replacement ODOMETER RESET? (

speace 08-20-2003 11:18 PM

Early 129 Cluster blinks when I use the turn signal.
I have a 92 500SL with the intermittent instrument cluster. My shop recommends a new cluster for about 1100.00 this would also upgrade the cluster to the new style with the LCD odometer rather than the mechanical wheels.

My question is this: If I locate a suitable salvage cluster am I stuck with the miles showing on the new cluster or can I get the odometer reset so that will display the correct numer of miles that are on the car?

We aren't supposed to mess with these things, but can the dealer do it? If the dealer replaces the cluster with a new one will it come pre-set to the correct reading?

Does anyone out there know?

jjrodger 08-21-2003 11:49 AM

You can have either sort adjusted to show whatever mileage you like, but the dealer is probably not the person to do it. There are some unscrupulous people out there. And the digital variety is likely to be the easiest to manipulate.

Gilly 08-21-2003 04:57 PM

The new style cluster will come with whatever mileage the dealer specifies, they are supposed to give the mileage on the old cluster.(As a matter of fact MB will reject an order for a "0" mile or no mileage stated speedometer.
If you were to locate a used one, a speedometer repair shop "should" be able to change the mileage to what your car is presently at.
On a used digital (LED), no idea how it wold be changed....not saying it can't, but it would be beyond the scope of what could be done at a dealership.


cricomac 08-22-2003 11:22 AM

Why do you need a new cluster? If your old one has died, there are shops that will repair it for much less money than the MB replacement -- and mileage stays intact on the odometer. I recently used a shop in Florida that turned it around very quickly.


Pete Geither 08-22-2003 01:07 PM

There is an outfit on line, and I'm sorry but I can't remember who they are, who will sell you an instrument to change any digital speedometer to whatever mileage you want. The whole idea kind of scared me and I deleted the site. They did claim that you can change mileage and no one could ever tell it had been tampered with.:eek:

speace 08-22-2003 02:59 PM

I will attempt to respond to the various responses to my post.

Why do I need to replace rather than to repair?

These early SL clusters have an inherent design problem that causes them to reset at the drop of a hat. MB does not offer a repair nor replacement PC Board for the Cluster. They only offer the upgrade to the newer version with the all electronic odometer.

If I choose to repair it, what guarantee do I have that the problem won't come back? Yes, there will be a limited warranty on the repaired unit but it is intermittent and warranties only last a few months. So far I have an estimate of 375.00 plus shipping from the place in florida. Is there more than one shop in Florida? This one was "Auto and Truck Electronics" and I found them via a thread on this forum.

Once I pay 375.00 I am close to the value of a used new-style cluster so why not change it out... Yes, there is a risk that the replacement may have a problem...

My concern is that I want to maintain the accurate mileage even though my car has 152k... I don't want anyone to think I put a lower mileage unit in just to make the car younger.

Research has informed me that MB will ship a new unit with the corect mileage if I order it from them. Their price just knocks me over 1100-1400.00 is what I am hearing. The dealers have no way to set the miles, but MB could offer the service if they wanted to, but they'd rather you used a NEW part.

I have heard from someone that knows someone that will set it to whatever I want for a nominal fee... I will need this service if I replace with a used unit, but I'm not sure that I will want to know who actually set it for me. LOL

I am also hearing that the cluster from a 94-95 S series (140 class) will fit and work fine except I will need to move over the plastic strips for the warning lights.
This unit might be easier to locate on the used market.

Decisions, Decisions...

Of course, I need a new soft top more than I need the cluster fixed!!! I guess I can use the hard top till spring comes around!

Thanks for all the input.


Gilly 08-22-2003 05:01 PM

Stan, this statement is true:

Research has informed me that MB will ship a new unit with the corect mileage if I order it from them.

So when you say this:


The dealers have no way to set the miles, but MB could offer the service if they wanted to, but they'd rather you used a NEW part.
do you mean you want to find a used cluster and have MB set the mileage to match your car?

I don't believe this statement is accurate:

I am also hearing that the cluster from a 94-95 S series (140 class) will fit and work fine except I will need to move over the plastic strips for the warning lights.

speace 08-22-2003 05:29 PM

Thanks fort the reply Gilly,

Yes, I wish MB would be willing to reset a used cluster to my mileage so that my reading would then be accurate. I guess if they offered that service someone would always find a way to abuse it. Grr...

There is an auction on eBay now by a guy that calls himself pj who claims that the S series (140) cluster is the same unit except for the roll bar icon etc.

I've noticed that my SL has an oil LIGHT behind the oil pressure gauge that comes on if the pressure gets too low much like the fuel light does. My sending unit was bad and when I told my shop about the light they didn't realize it was there. I'm not talking about the oil LEVEL light on the icon row at the bottom of the cluster, but behind the pointer on the oil pressure gauge. Does anyons know if the S-140 clusters have this feature?

neileg 08-27-2003 04:50 AM

Virtually all digital odometers can be reset. There are lots of people in the UK that can offer this service, and no doubt even more in the US. The setting is held in memory in the unit, and all you need to do is replace the current memory contents with whatever you want. There's nothing unique about the MB unit and you just need a laptop, some cables and the right software to do it.

There are a number of legitimate reasons why you might want to reset the mileage, including the swapping of units from one car to another. Obvious the wrong reason is to 'clock' the car.

If you find a good used replacement, and you get the reading reset to the correct number for your car, nothing will have been damaged or corrupted with your new instrument. You will have had a perfectly good reason for changing the setting, and should have a clear conscience!

RickM 08-27-2003 09:41 AM

Here you go:

ProgRama - Rebuilders of Auto Electronic components...from ECUs to Vacuum Pumps and Climate control units....

3500 NW Boca Raton Blvd, # 501 Boca Raton, FL 33431 | Tele: 561-338-8843

and then there's always

North Hollywood Speedometer & Clock Co., 6111 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91606
Tel: (818) 761-5136

speace 05-17-2008 11:37 AM

Just to bring closure to this:

I used the information in post #11 by bobterry in this thread to repair my cluster:

I replaced the capacitor myself. The repair was successful and has worked reliably for a few years now!

The capacitor needed is a 470uf Electrolytic capacitor
(Radio Shack - 272-1030) I believe it is the largest capacitor on the board, and certainly the only 450uf, so it should be easy to find if you can't find the other post.

If you want to do this yourself, but are not experienced with soldering on multi-layer printed circuit boards, you should take the board and capacitor to an electronics shop to have the soldering done!

ProgRama is also good source to get MB electronics modules repaired.

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