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  #1  
Old 03-10-2003, 08:37 PM
mike122470@aol.
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dash removal to replace bulb 98 ml 320

Plese help how do I get the dash cluster out of my 98 ml320 to replace bulb. I know to replace all of the please help!
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2003, 08:54 PM
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email me for the file with pics.

ML55 instrument casing retrofit to other W163 models (i.e. ML320, 430, 350, 500)

1. Remove D shape panels from side of steering column (pull from lower side and slide your hand underneath to continue with the other clips).


2. Remove center trim piece behind steering wheel (long plastic piece between steering and instrument cluster, upholstery color).


3. Pull the little tabs you'll see behind the D panels, while pulling slide the casing’s surround frame down. This will remove the frame and expose the casing.

4. Remove 7mm nuts from side of casing.



5. Remove two plastic screws from top of casing (after this the casing should be free to move).



6. Carefully pull on one side of the casing and slide out a bit (you'll see the securing clips from this view). Pull on the clips to separate casing from instruments (getting the first two is the hard part). You might want to consider using a flat screwdriver to carefully keep the casing to fall back on position and re-clip itself on these first couple of clips. You'll have to do one side first and then pull on the other side and do that one too. There are also 2 clips on the bottom.


7. Remove the casing by sliding it towards the passenger side. Watch out for the warning light films, they might fall as you pull the casing out (this are the ones with the warning light icons).




8. Reverse the process with the new casing. Be careful not to damage the instrument needles. Also, first thing you'll need to fit are the knobs for the clock and trip reset. Once you have them in position you can slide the casing into place (try to do it as straight as possible, otherwise only one side will clip properly and you will have to do it again).

Note: Install the casing before putting the films back. You will have to slide them from the side once the casing is clipped to the instruments. As you install the films turn ignition to check that the films are flush and no light escapes to other icons.



9. If you have problems with the icons; the casing might have not clipped itself properly from the bottom. Press a bit on the button until you hear a click. If the casing is clipped properly the films should slide freely and snap into place. You should not see any light escaping from one icon to others, nor any light escaping from around the warning lights.
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2003, 01:44 AM
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Wow! So that's why the dealer just charged me $112 to replace that burned out bulb!
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Old 10-21-2003, 10:36 AM
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I'm not sure if this has changed recently (probably has, MB is getting stingy on warranty times), but they used to give something around an HOUR of labor to R&R the instrument cluster, plus an extra .2 or so to repl bulbs.

Even if MB lowered the warranty times, on a non-warranty job some of these techs might be spoiled by the previous generous time and still want to dip you for an hour or so of labor.

Gilly

PS to JMyers: This job in no way actually takes that long to do though. A good tech, even not rushed to any extreme, should be able to do this in less than 1/2 hour. If he's really good he should be able to have a cup of coffee in that amount of time also. With cream.

Last edited by Gilly; 10-21-2003 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 10-21-2003, 10:44 AM
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Here's another description on cluster removal that I wrote awhile back. It sounds easier this way, maybe I gloss over on a few things, but it should work OK:

Clock Light

Gilly
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Old 10-21-2003, 10:50 AM
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Oh, actually you don't need to do a bunch of stuff on Champas post. That's for making your cluster look like an ML55. You just need to remove it and pull the bulbs, so at least steps 6, 7, and 8 don't need to be done to replace bulbs, except for reinstallation of the cluster, kinda ruins the whole effect if you don't reinstall the cluster

Gilly
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Old 10-21-2003, 12:40 PM
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Gilly is right, by no means is this a time consuming job. It can be tricky the first time you do it, since you are trying to figure out how to take things out and put them back together. Even then it took me less than 1 hour (didn't change any bulbs though)...
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'00 LR Discovery
'72 280SE
'67 280SL

---past---

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'87 300SDL sold
'90 Laforza sold
'95 320SE sold
'98 ML 320 (sold)
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2003, 10:57 AM
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I printed this thread as it appears that at least one (or more) bulb(s) have bitten the dust on mine recently. How many backlighting bulbs (not including the warning lights) exist in the gauge cluster?
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2003, 12:06 PM
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Unless you have a 98 without the outside temp thermometer, you'd have the outside temp, the clock, and the odometer, and YES I'd recommend doing all these. You may want to consider doing the bulbs for gauge illumination also, I believe either 2 or 3 of these, but a different type than the small LCD illuminating bulbs

Gilly
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:44 AM
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$7.20 per bulb at the dealer! Geez!

I looked closely for signs of the 24K plated contacts and platinum housings while they rang me up at the cashier station.

I bought two.

The cluster removal instructions were right on the money!

Except that I MISPLACED MY 7MM SOCKET!!! Must have lost it after doing the W124 grill replacement! Oh well, the 9/32 socket worked in a pinch.

Even with lost time searching for the errant socket, the job took me 45 minutes. I only replaced the bad bulb and saved the other for later...these puppies are too expensive to just replace for grins!
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2009 ML350 (57K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (71K) - Wife's car
2001 BMW 325CI (145K) - My daily driver

1998 Mustang GT Convertible (146K) - Daughter's car
2012 Mustang V6 (42K) - ALSO Daughter's car
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Old 10-30-2003, 10:44 AM
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