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Old 01-30-2001, 10:21 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 39
Just purchased an '83 300D Turbo. The dash lights for the speedo/tach are very dim. The adjustment knob will vary the intensity but from nothing to very dim. By very dim I mean just barely illuminated. Is this likely to be bulbs or the adjustment pot or something else?

Also there is no illumination for the switches (sunroof, rear defroster, antenna) above the climate control row with the headlights on. Is this normal?
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Old 01-30-2001, 11:44 PM
Larry Delor's Avatar
What, Me Worry?
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Sarasota, Fl.
Posts: 3,028
Those little lightbulbs tend to get a bit dim after some time. Buy some new ones. Also, for the other buttons, do a search... the same question asked just a couple of days ago.
Hope this 'brightened' your day!
"...rationality of thought imposes a limit on a person's concept of his relation to the cosmos." -Nash

04/71 280SE 195k
09 Jetta TDI
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Old 01-31-2001, 02:47 PM
MBenzNL's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: the Netherlands
Posts: 1,417
W123 300D,

The switches on the center console are illuminated by one bulb that is placed behind the console panel. This bulb is attached to several fiber-optic cables to illuminate the switches. If the bulb is worn, all the switch-lights go out; you have to replace that (one central) bulb to enlighten the switches again.
The bulb is stuck into a fitting against the heater-housing behind the center console panel.

The bulbs in the dash cluster of a W123 can get very black and the clear plastic parts inside the cluster that reflect the light are occasionally melted (because of higher Watt-ed bulbs).
If adjusting the light intensity does not help anymore, exchange the bulbs and have a look in the cluster (through the light bulb openings) to see how the clear plastic diffuser looks like.

1990 300SL-24
1993 C250D
with a minor 600+k kilometer
(the Netherlands)
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Old 02-01-2001, 09:07 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 39
Thanks. The console lights all work now. Turns out the light in the center of the octopus was out of position. I changed the bulb anyway.

I changed out the instrument lights too. However, when I dropped the under dash panel a twisted pair of wires fell down , unattached at one end. The other end of the red/blue pair heads behind the climate control. I think it wires may switch the overhead light in the front because it's not working any more but I may have it too dim also. Should the brake idiot light illuminate when the parking brake is on? Mine doesn't. My greater concern is to know if I can trust the brake pad wear circuit or if I should be checking the wear myself.

While under the dash I disconnected the buzzer. I found it annoying as a regular seat belt user to be told to buckle while waiting for the glow plugs to warm. I'm hoping the only thing I disconnected was the buzzer.

Answers to my own questions: The wires went to the parking brake sensor. I say went because the effort to reconnect them appears to be more than the usefulness of the idiot light. The easiest access may be by removing the fender. The buzzer that I unplugged also contains the timing circuit for the dome light. I now have both the light and the buzzer .

[Edited by jsrmb on 02-03-2001 at 02:51 PM]
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Old 02-01-2001, 09:10 PM
Posts: n/a
Dashboard Lighting 300D

MBenz, If you have the time please tell me what parts do I have to remove inorder to get to the one central bulb that lights up the fiber optic cables. Many thanks,
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