Date registered: Jun 2005
Vehicle: W124/230E, W202 C240 stationwagon, W210 E280 facelift
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RE: 1987 300D dash removal
just try to remove the radio, and the a/c control panel, maybe you can find the leak without removing the dashboard.
first remove the radio, if you still have the stock radio you might need the special key for removing this, on the bottom of the wood trim above the radio there are two screws under it, after you remove the screw you can take out the covering and the rest are screws which holds the a/c control unit. from there you can hear more clearly the leakage.
are you having difficult swicthing off the engine after you turned off the ignition keys? If so the vacuum supply to the steering lock might be leaking.