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  #1  
Old 12-10-2000, 11:41 PM
hanss
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is it just me or do the instrument guage lights seem dim. i'm ok with the heater, transmission lights, but the trip odometer is just unreadable at night. both bulbs are on; maybe go to a higher wattage.

hans
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2000, 02:20 AM
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Did you try adjusting the brightness?

I don't know which M-B you drive, but you can adjust the brightness of the instrument cluster by turning one of the knobs on either side of your speedometer (forgot which one...I *think* it is the trip odometer RESET knob). I didn't see you mentioning that you tried adjusting it in your post...so I thought you might not realize it...if so, it would solve your problems.
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2000, 08:29 AM
LarryBible
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If you're driving a 123 car, this is one of the weaknesses, and turning the dimmer all the way up will still result in barely enough instrument panel light to see how fast you're going. These lights are as bad as US Spec headlights on a 124 car.

I have put up with this over the years, but I suspect that there may be a slightly brighter bulb available. I have never bothered to check into it.

If you DON'T drive a 123 car, try to find the dimmer and give it a try.

Good luck,
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  #4  
Old 12-11-2000, 01:28 PM
clmiller
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My '87 300D turbo (124) suffers fr0om the same ailment. Most of the dash and console lights are very dim if working at all. I have turned the adjustment knob all the way up. The fuses appear to be okay. I have checked each one and reseated them.

--Craig
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  #5  
Old 12-11-2000, 02:05 PM
makakio
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Try new bulbs. Fairly easy to replace and cheap and don't forget - bulbs go dim over time...
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2000, 03:57 PM
WmHarlow
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I suggest upgrading to a better quality bulb. The standard bulbs in the 70's and most 80's are made with a poor quality, heavily leaded glass. These bulbs 'silver-over' very quickly and produce about 1/4 of the light they were intended to produce.

The purpose of the heavily leaded glass is to produce a cooler lamp and reduce the possibility of explosion in the instrument cluster...... A mess to clean up.

Lamps made in the late 80's and after are a better quality glass and do not turn color as easily. Lamps made today are far superior to those made just a few years ago. Just be sure to replace with the proper wattage!

[Edited by WmHarlow on 12-11-2000 at 03:47 PM]
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  #7  
Old 12-11-2000, 05:06 PM
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Is there a posibilty of the dimmer reostat geting oxidized?
I have taken the cluster out a few times. This reostat is a separate chermick piece. I am shure over the years the contackts inside could corode enough to create resistance.
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2000, 06:20 PM
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The W123 inst cluster was never modified, but the W124 Chassis replacement plastic housing was modified & will produce much more light than the original. MB started using the modified version around May 88 production. The part # is 000-542-03-87 & lists for $149. Probaly find used for $75.
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  #9  
Old 12-11-2000, 06:34 PM
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Explain to me how to adjust the brightness on the instrument panel. Are you saying that the same knob that resets the tripometer also brightens the dash? You mean I've been driving around cursing out MBZ all this time and the adjustment knob has been right in front of my face??
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2000, 06:44 PM
WmHarlow
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Rich,
There are two knobs. They should look the same. One is for resetting the trip odomoter, the other is for the dimmer rheostat. The dimmer should be the one on the left in your car, if I am not mistaken.
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  #11  
Old 12-11-2000, 06:56 PM
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This is wut I remember

There are two little twisty knobs on either side of your speedometer. One of them will reset the trip odometer when you press it. The other one will adjust the clock when you press + twist it, if I remember correctly. I think if you twist the knob that you use to reset the trip odometer (don't press it, just twist it), I think it adjusts the brightness of the instrument panel. Unless I confused it with the clock...anyways, just try...it is either one or the other...
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  #12  
Old 12-12-2000, 01:42 PM
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You will probably find that the lights are still too dim with the rheostat to full right. I've found three things that help to get adequate illumination: 1) clean and polish the inside of the lens with plastic cleaner and polish (Novus), 2) replace the bulbs with new, and 3) bypass the rheostat by soldering a jumper across the terminals.

Barrie
'86 300E
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  #13  
Old 12-12-2000, 11:36 PM
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Wow I have no trouble seeing my guages at night with my dimmer set almost all the way dim. Sure I can see it more profoundly when its on brighter, but I have it set to as dim as I can have it without it being unreadable. I can still read it all perfectly with it very dim.

If yours is dim its possible there is low power getting to the bulbs, and the low power could be because the dimmer module has a problem and it not sending out the right power.

The bulbs being worn can also be the problem.

Personally I like my Dash lights to be as dim as possible. Mine can get very very bright to the point where it almost glows and produces enough light to light up the interior.

Alon
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2000, 03:48 PM
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I found the switch, and even turned all the way up, it's still pretty dim. Once I get the tool to pull the dash, I'll change the bulbs to see if that makes a difference.
Speaking of pulling the dash, is that tool the only thing you can successfully use without breaking anything tp pull the dash
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2000, 05:35 PM
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Hey Richie !
You can make your own tool out of whire coat hanger.
Thats what I use to get the cluster out.
Just this weekend I instaled the white gouges in "Ronie's"
car ( he is one of the members here ). May be you should get the bolbs and do it together with the gouges.
I won't be here this weekend, but next one is a posibility.
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