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Old 03-09-2018, 01:20 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 23
W108 Instrument lights out

Hi all,

I have flashers, high beam, ignition, brake indicator working, but none of the illumination lights. Other items on the fuse are working.

When I took it apart, a couple lights are missing and some lacked the rear twist part of the housing & spring.

I searched the forum and found it's usually the ceramic piece, I took that apart and cleaned it up. There was a bit of corrosion but nothing crazy. I still have no illumination lights including the speedo light that is wired up.

Questions: where can I get the plastic housings for the bulbs, or are there good alternatives? Does it need all bulbs installed to complete a circuit? Where should I look next since it doesn't seem to be the ceramic dimmer?
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:04 AM
1973 280SEL 4.5
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 105
Are the bulbs getting power?

You might want to check the rheostat dimmer. It's the left knob in the cluster. Turning it back and forth numerous times may get it working. I replaced mine.
1973 280SEL 4.5
2015 E350 4Matic Wagon
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:39 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 23
I'm not sure how to check the ones that twist into the circuit board. I guess I can check the one that's wired by the speedo.

I took the rheostat/potentiometer apart and cleaned it, it wasn't very corroded though. I'm gonna try jumping the connections just to make sure.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:45 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 23
Checked the potentiometer and no current. Although it looked good I guess something was wrong. So I soldered a wire and have lights now. Didn't realize the heater tab lights were also on that circuit.
1973 280SE 4.5
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