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charles 05-08-1999 03:07 AM

The interior dashboard lights on my 1983
300CD are barely visible at night. The
knob is turned all the way up and the
lights are still very dim. What do I do to
get my dashboard to light up so I can
see my gauges easily?

M.B.DOC 05-08-1999 08:53 PM

Actually most W123 cars have the same problem. The plastic housing around the instruments wasn't designed very well. I've had 4 or 5 of these cars & wasn't happy with the inst. lighting. There are 5 watt bulbs that will fit but could possibly melt the housing(one didn't). The W124 chassis had the same problem until 3/88 when it(plastic housing) was redesigned. A new housing will cure the problem. If the rheostat is in good condition.


Nick Jamal 05-09-1999 01:14 AM

My 86 124 falls into the category you mentioned, and I've had the same frustrating problem. The housing that was noted - is it the entire plastic mold in the interior of the instrument display, or just a plastic reflector around the bulb(s)? Is this an extensive/expensive proposition? If possible, I would love to make this change myself...

M.B.DOC 05-09-1999 08:13 AM

It's the complete "plastic" housing for the gauges. About $150 for the part I think.

charles 05-09-1999 11:00 AM

Is the plastic housing you describe
different from the one that came from
the factory? Is it an aftermarket
item? Is it thinner, cleaner, clearer,
Is my assumption correct that if I trade
in my 300CD on another "medium
class" mercedes that I need to get one
that is at least a 1989?
Finally, did the bigger S class cars of
that era have a similar problem?

M.B.DOC 05-10-1999 10:14 PM

In 1988 Mercedes redesigned the cluster housing for the W124 chassis, any new part will correct the problem. None of the "S" class cars had the problem.

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