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Old 02-12-2001, 07:36 AM
Dave Quint
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I have a 1986 300E my dash lights mysteriously went out one day so I asked around and was told it was probably the dimmer switch. I replaced the dimmer the other day and nothing!. Can anybody help this is extremely frustrating the dash lights are owt as well as all the lighted switches and knobs but the lighter is still lit.
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Old 02-12-2001, 07:40 AM
ymsin's Avatar
Driver, Mercedes-Benz
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1,645
Why not check the fuse box?
... Kerry

126 tailed by a 203, 129 leading the pack.
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Old 02-12-2001, 07:56 AM
Dave Quint
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Thanks but that was my first assumtion.
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Old 02-12-2001, 12:17 PM
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Not the dimmer control

David, depending upon the build date of your 300E, the control in the instrument panel is not the dash light illumination control.
Mercedes realysised that there were too many lights for the small rheostat to handle the electrical load.
The fix is a solid state voltage controller located behind the instrument panel attached to the body.
The control you turn changes the input voltage to the S/S controller which then supplies the needed voltage to the lights.
All lights in the instrument panel, the consol, switches and all of the interior lights that would be dimmed share a common ground, and one controller.
The ground cluster is located behind the drivers side knee panel; a mass of brown wires.
Just a hint, if your lights aren't coming ON, change the position of the child icon on the center consol.
Happy Trails Beep Beep from Houston!!!
Donald, El Cheapo

[Edited by Donald L. Swinford on 02-12-2001 at 12:24 PM]
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Old 02-12-2001, 07:43 PM
MBenzNL's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: the Netherlands
Posts: 1,417

Some mercedes dash clusters have a fuse at the back of the dash cluster that can be blown. I am not sure whether the "86 models already had this fuse...The fuse looks like a bulb fitting and is colored red...


[Edited by MBenz on 02-14-2001 at 06:03 PM]

[Edited by MBenz on 02-14-2001 at 06:03 PM]
1990 300SL-24
1993 C250D
with a minor 600+k kilometer
(the Netherlands)
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Old 02-13-2001, 06:47 PM
Posts: n/a
Itsbitse wittle wed fuse

The fuse that looks like a bulb is in the instrument housing.
It is reached by removing the instrument housing.
If you're agile you can pull the housing far enough backward to dis connect the speedo cable then you can have enough hand room to reach it.
I would suggest removing the housing.
Then with the red rascal in hand, solder a length of 14 or 16 ga. twin conductor to the two connections on the fuse holder.
Replace the red bulb into the housing with the twin lead routed through the lower portion of the dash and out by the brake pedal area.
Replace the instument housing.
Remove the carpeting and floor insulation, and route the twin lead into an area convenient to reach.
Cut the twin lead to length and solder a mini-blade fuse holder to the ends.
Install a mini fuse, I don't have my Owners Manual in hand but the same as the OEM.
When I had my speedo repair I spied that little red rascal and I knew I wasn't going to remove the instrument panel to get at him.
If you have to reach the S/S voltage controller that's a good time to make a bad design good.
Happy Trails Beep Beep from Houston
Donald, El Cheapo
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