Parts arrived on Friday so I started in Saturday afternoon. The process is slightly different for the later model 560SL. Notably:
- there's a plastic insulating plate between the steering wheel & column that can be removed via three excruciatingly small machine screws
- there's no oil line to the cluster, but there is a vacuum line for the economy gauge. It is attached to the cluster via a short length of rubber tubing, which should remain attached to the cluster (ie. pull the vacuum line out of the rubber tube; do not attempt to pull the rubber tube off of the cluster
- the middle idiot lights are integral to the cluster as a single unit that has 2 small screws which require removal before the speedometer can be removed
The hex nut came off with just my standard ratchet -- no breaker bar required. I used a bar-clamp to hold the wheel. And I got the cluster out just by pushing outwards on the plastic and easing it out via the friction of my thumbs. The gears were the consistency of tapioca, but the replacement I pre-bought had the right tooth-count (48x16 for the late model US-spec 560SL with full mph sweep). Thanks for the suggestion,
Since I had the cluster out, I dusted and cleaned everything, then figured I might as well tackle that dead clock, following
's excellent tutorial. The caps looked fine but there was a broken trace on the PCB so I soldered a jumper to bridge it. Then I did something really stupid and broke the damn PCB in 2 on the skinny side, so I added 2 more jumpers.
Put it all back together and now I know the Beer Store is exactly 5.0 miles from my house and takes 13 minutes to get there.
Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement. Now I can look to fix that side mirror; and the centre vent; and the parking brake; and the antenna mast; and the fog lights; and the cruise control; and the air-conditioning; and....