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Old 10-12-2003, 08:42 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Jonesboro, AR
Posts: 172
Angry Oopsy; OD fix almost worked.....HELP!

I performed the odometer fix on my '80 300SD this past Wednesday. I followed the instructions as posted here in the group -- coat hanger, etc. Was able to clean up all the numerals, paint all my needles, and reassemble with only a few problems most of which were caused because my hands are really hams in disguise.

Upon completion, I did the requisite crowing, strutting, and back-patting until my better half blew the "okay, you're great" whistle, then I reinstalled the instrument cluster and hooked everything up.

That called for even more self-congratulation, and I then took to the road for a true test of my work. It was early in the test drive that my ego was deflated as I had no speedometer function. As I continued to drive on, it became apparent that neither the odometer nor the trip odometer worked, either.

The only positive is that the cluster looks much better, and the cruise still works. I take the latter to indicate the cable is driving the speed sensor as designed, so I have no cable problem.

Upon my return home, I went to the workbench to put away my tools and found one small, itty-bitty, white plastic gear on the towel that I had used to keep all the parts on the benchtop. This is a very small gear -- about 1/4 the size of a dime. I have no idea where it should go, but have to wonder if the gear missing from the speedo is the cause of my problem, or if MB just threw it in as an extra part. Whichever the case, I need some guidance before I remove everything and start over.

I suspect I will need a new or used speedo head, but if anyone has any suggestions that will, or might, save me that expense, I would appreciate your help.
1980 300SD 146K miles.
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Old 10-13-2003, 12:59 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Jonesboro, AR
Posts: 172
Thumbs down Gee, Thanks, Guys!

So far, not one response to my question about speedo repair. It's this kind of thing that contributes to my being a cranky old man.

I've ordered a used, working speedo head, so you all can rest easy, now. Wouldn't want any of you to be distressed by my simple little problem.

Sign me one old grump that hasn't allowed ownership of a 24-year-old Benz go to my head.
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Old 10-13-2003, 01:24 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Sorry you got no responses...a lot of us here wouldn't crack open a speedo case...that's unfamiliar least in my case.

The usual fix is to send it off to a speedo shop or hunt for a used one in a you already have attested.
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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Old 10-13-2003, 07:57 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
I would say you left out the drive gear, so that there is no connection between the cable and the speedo.

You really only need a little bit of LockTite to fix the odometer, just run some down to the zinc gear, wriggle the shaft back and forth to get it into the interface, wipe up all the rest of it (so the gears won't glue together, etc) and wait a couple minutes. All done.

I don't recommend that you disassemble the odo for this fix, it's way too much work!

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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