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Old 09-23-2003, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Hemet, CA
Posts: 36
Help!! Dropped exacto knife down defroster vent!!

Got a dash cover for my 380sl, While trimming a piece of the original dash that was curled up, so the cover would sit flush, I dropped the exacto knife and it fell down into the driver side defroster vent!!! Almost got it out using, of all things, a magnet on a string. Just as it got to the opening, it fell back down a now I cant even see it. Is there a way to get to this duct work from under dash or am I looking at the dreaded dash removal????
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Old 09-23-2003, 11:46 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: roslyn, LI,NY
Posts: 445
getting knife out of vent

Most auto part stores carry small magnet attatched to spring-rod (about 18 inches) small cost, always useful tool. try, good luck, Abe G
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Old 09-23-2003, 01:07 PM
csnow's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127

They also make a flexible retreiver with a tiny 'claw' that is actuated by a cable. I see these everywhere.

I have another that is like a magnet on the end of an antennae.

Another trick:
Duct tape a length of small rubber or plastic tubing to a shop vac.
Sometimes you can grasp things with the suction.

If all else fails, put a 'rare earth' magnet on your string. These are super powerful, and not likely to let go once stuck on.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.
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Old 09-23-2003, 01:31 PM
dtf dtf is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: South East CT
Posts: 797
Brainstorming: Try making some sort of adapter for your vacuum cleaner hose and close the other vents and see if you can dislodge or move the blade around any to try and get a better look at it. The adapter could cover the whole vent or use a small one and slide it down the hole. Is it making noise when the defroster is on?
1994 E320 Wagon (Died @ 308,669 miles)
1995 E300 Diesel (194,000)
1999 E300 Turbodiesel (244,000 miles, dies at 255,000)
2006 Toyota Tundra SR5 AC 4X4 (115,000 miles)
2011 Audi A4 Avant (129,000 miles) hate this car!
BMW 330 xi 6 speed manual (100,034 miles)
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Old 09-23-2003, 02:59 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Hemet, CA
Posts: 36
Not knowing anything about heating/AC, I haven't even started the car, not knowing if there's a fan or something down in there that the knife could get caught up in. This is a very difficult spot to get to. On the older sl, the defroster vent is behind the instrument cluster part of the dash and there's only about 1"-2" of space between that part of the dash and the windshield.
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Old 09-23-2003, 05:01 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 2,053
The Mercedes EPC gives a good cut-away view of that area. If the blower motor is accessable (I have NO idea on a 107; is on a 126), seems like you might be able to use a magnet probe "upwards" and "rearwards". Good luck.

Seems from the EPC pictures that the blower is forward of where your knife would be.
The Golden Rule

1984 300SD (bought new, sold it in 1988, bought it back 13 yrs. later)
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