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  #1  
Old 04-05-2003, 10:12 PM
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Odometer problem- 1972 250

My odometers have quit working - they may click on for a few miles, but then they quit again. Speedometer still works. I have a replacement speedomter that I picked up at a salvage yard, but I don't know if I can use it or not. It looks the same but part numbers are different:

My car (72 250) speedomter part number - 114 542 46 01

Replacement (74 240D, I think) - 115 542 69 01

Anyone know if I can just swap these out - I'm thinking there are calibration issues, etc.??? The salvage one tops out at 100, while mine goes to 140, I think. If I can't swap, anyone know what's wrong and can I just swap out the parts from the salvage one to mine to fix the problem?

Thanks, Ryan

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RG Newell

1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2003, 11:11 AM
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Try doing a search on your specific problem, it's been covered many times. You'll find answers on how to try and repair at home as well as several shops which can rebuild/refurbish your speedo head. One of those shops is Steve Brothertons.
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'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2003, 01:20 PM
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I did search this site using 'odomoeter' and 'speedometer' as search words and didn't find anything real specific. I did read several posts like your response - indicating that details were present in other posts - but I could not find them. I did findsome about where to send them etc. but I'm not really wanting to do that.

Ryan
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1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2003, 01:41 PM
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Ryan:

No, the speedos aren't interchangeable -- the one from the 240 won't read correctly (too slow, I think).

The repair is fairly simple, but it does require removing the speedo from the instrument cluster, big PITA.

I've posted this repair several times, but here is a quick description (also on MBZ.org):

Remove speedo (on the W108, remove the parking brake bracket, reach up and unscrew the white plastic knob on the cluster frame, unscrew speedo cable, pull cluster out, then unhook the lamp on the speedo, remove the three or four screws in the back of the speedo that hold it it. Have a care not to snag the needle, and check the chrome trim, it usually falls off and needs to be reglued).

Once you have the speedo out, look for the zinc gear beside the 1 mile wheel. If you can spin it by hand and advance the miles, it is slipping. Usually causes the odo to click up a mile every time you reset the trip odometer, you can check this with the speedo installed.

Fix is to get a very small amount of Locktite down on the interface between the zinc gear and shaft. Use a toothpick, and make sure you wipe any excess off the point where the shaft goes through the side plate, you don't want THAT glued down. You can move the shaft and gears back and forth, too. If you get any locktite on the plastic gears, the shaft will have to be knocked out, so watch that. Huge pain to get the numbers all lined up again.

Takes a couple minutes to set, at which time the gear will no long slip on the shaft, but will turn and advance the odo when you spin the speedo with something in the cable hole.

Installation is the reverse of the above.

Getting the speedo in and out is the worst part, by far, that white plastic knob is a PITA.

Peter
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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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  #5  
Old 04-06-2003, 05:47 PM
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OK Peter, I'm looking at the speedo and you're right - the wheel does turn. I'm just not sure where to put the locktite (will Permatex Threadlocker Blue work?). I can push the shaft with a brass gear on the other side by the 10,000 mile number - that the odometer numbers rotate on all the way through and out - if I want. ON my salvage speedo, the shaft will not push through the hole on the 1 mile side. Is there a way to use the part from the salvage speedo and replace this zinc wheel, etc.? If the loctite goes to the right of the zinc wheel down on the shaft where the shaft goes through the plate, there is just not much room. I'm not sure I can get loctite in there without also securing the shaft to the plate! Am I making sense? Thanks.

Ryan
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1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2003, 07:00 PM
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Ryan:

You got the right spot. What you will have to do is push the number wheels as far over as you can, then weazel the locktite down to the point where the shaft goes through the zinc gear. There is a tiny amount of oil where the shaft goes through the side plate, and locktite is an anaerobic setting sealant -- it will only harden in the absence of oxygen. This means you can get some on the shaft and hole, and just wipe it off. You only need enough down on the shaft to hold the gear in place -- it was originally a press fit.

Blue threadlocker will work fine, it's the same stuff.

You can use the gear and shaft, but will have to push the shaft out of both odos, then push it back into both, after swapping the gears. Huge pain, I did this with the 220 and dropped 20,000 miles and the numbers don't line up exactly right. This can be a problem, it is technically a felony to alter the reading on an odometer...... I certainly wouldn't put a used gear in there, anyway -- too much risk that it will start slipping.

Best way to keep the number wheels in correct alignment is to tape them together before removing the shaft. If I'd known that before I got them scrambled, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.

Use a piece of paper to slide between the gear and side plate to remove any excess on the shaft -- I found I had to work it back and forth a bit to get the gear to stick down. Make sure you line things up before it sets!

I need to fix my brother's soon, and will take and post pics when we do.

Probably the reason the shaft won't move on the junkyard speedo is that the gear is still tight. You can certainly use that speedo if you want, it will fit, but who knows how accurate it will be!

Peter
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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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  #7  
Old 04-06-2003, 08:13 PM
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Ok, I got it back together and it works - except! Now the 1 mile digit (furthest right moves too quickly, seems to be counting off 1/10, like the tenth's digit on the trip odometer. What did I do now? I don't know that I can take it apart with the locktite on it now???

Ryan
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1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2003, 10:01 PM
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Well, I think I got it fixed (knock on wood!). The mile wheel (right beside the zinc wheel) was stuck to the zinc wheel and turning right along with it! PITA, but I think it's working right - finally. I am good at one thing - turning an hour job into a 6 hour one!!! Thanks Peter.

Ryan
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RG Newell

1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2003, 11:18 PM
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Ryan:

I wish I could take credit for the locktite idea, but I can't. I've seen it here and at mbz.org, seems to work very well so far.

I used epoxy on the shaft on the 220D, that worked fine except for the loss of 20,000 miles (the odometer hasn't worked in years, so I'm not too worried).

Extending a project from a few minutes to eternity isn't a stranger to me, either -- I spend 5 hours the other night changing the seat covers in the 280 SE -- between locktited screws and broken nut plates, it took until 1 am!

Peter
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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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  #10  
Old 04-07-2003, 04:51 PM
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I don't know what it's doing now - the 10's digit rolls over too quickly now - about every 3 miles or so??? All the wheels looked the same to me - I couldn't tell if they went back in in a certain order - frustrating.

Ryan
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RG Newell

1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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  #11  
Old 04-07-2003, 07:38 PM
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Ryan:

The wheels are moved by the tiny star gears and tabs on the faster one -- that is, there are a couple tabs on the 1 mile wheel that flip the 10 mile gear one number each revolution of the 1 mile wheel.

I suspect you got some loctite or dirt between the wheels, so they bind together intermitantly, causing the 10 mile wheel do advance too often. This may cure itself, and may get worse, depending on what it is.

You didn't actually take all of them out did you? This is why I suggested the locktite, you don't need to remove the shaft and all the wheels stay put. On the 220D, some of mine are out of alignment, number is high or low in the window. I certainly don't care, and the next owner is likely to be a salvage yard, but it will be an annoyance on a better car.

Peter
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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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  #12  
Old 04-07-2003, 08:37 PM
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Yes, I'm afraid I did take them out! Really stupid - I know. I got them back in and pretty well aligned except for the current problem. I really didn't mean to take them out... I guess I'm just going to have to pull it again and see if I can clean it up some. At least the zinc wheel is on good! Ha!

Ryan
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RG Newell

1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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  #13  
Old 04-08-2003, 12:23 AM
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Ryan:

If you really slopped on the thread locker, you are going to have fits getting that zinc gear off.... again, that's why I only use a tiny bit, and with the gear in place.

I will be posting pics this weekend, probably, since I need to do the speedo in my brother's 75 300D (and probably fix his leaky shutoff at the same time).

Getting all those wheels lined back up isn't as easy as it looks. Sorta like so many other things I've discovered over the last 40 years or so.....

Peter
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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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  #14  
Old 04-08-2003, 09:40 AM
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I didn't use too much - I think! Since I had the zinc wheel - and all of the other wheels - off, I put the locktite inside the wheel (just a drop) and even tried to clean any excess off and then I pushed the shaft through. Then I tried to get the numbers lined up - which you're 100% correct, not as easy as it looks or you would think. I still think the miles wheel is periodically getting stuck and turning right along with the zinc wheel. I haven't had time to pull it again - I'm afraid that I will throw the whole thing away next time! I'll let you know if I get it fixed.

Ryan
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RG Newell

1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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  #15  
Old 07-11-2003, 01:11 AM
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Peter (psfred),
Did you ever post the pictures??
I have this same problem with the odometer in my 75 280C.

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