Instrument Cluster Removal - Warning - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Instrument Cluster Removal - Warning

The cold weather seemed to result in several of my instrument cluster and dashboard bulbs burning out in my '97 s420. So, I bought the special hooks to pull out the cluster. Simple enough, right? Well, as it turns out, I guess 20 years of expanding and contracting plastics caused the dashboard material to actually fuse itself to the instrument cluster. This was not known until I tried to use the hooks and could not get the cluster to budge. Even abandoning the hooks and removing the driver's side dashboard vent to press it out from the back almost did not work.

Next time I have to do this job, I will probably just ditch the hooks and use this longer method. This is just a warning to anyone in the future who is looking for a helpful hint for this project. Also, if you do use the hook method, caution should be used to not accidentally rip the clear face from the rest of the cluster.

Brian
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 01:38 PM
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Thank you Brian.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BrianA77 View Post
This is just a warning to anyone in the future who is looking for a helpful hint for this project. Also, if you do use the hook method, caution should be used to not accidentally rip the clear face from the rest of the cluster.

Brian
Been There, Done That! Bought a replacement cluster on ebay and scavenged the lens cover.

1999 S600 - 4 place
1999 S500 Grand Edition-Sold to good home!
1999 S500 - Deceased
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 11:54 PM
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Been There, Done That! Bought a replacement cluster on ebay and scavenged the lens cover.
totally same experience here
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 03:52 PM
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Use a steel ruler, stiff feeler guage or flat door panel tool (or combination of the three) to first run around the perimeter of the instrument panel ensuring it is free, then use the hooks. Takes all the stress out of it.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 08:51 AM
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Although sadly I'm no longer in the W140 club (transmission failed after a flush!! , 286,000 miles) (I'm now over at the 221 side!) I have lots of experience removing the cluster. Yes, these twenty year old cars are starting to get a bit brittle. I found that by using the hooks and NOT grabbing the notches just below the lens, but rather the three notches further back, you are pulling more on the body of the cluster and not the lens itself. Pull and apply a firm and steady pressure and it should eventually let go. See in the pic in the white plastic part has those three notches? Those are further back than the "teeth" notches everyone uses and gets into trouble. Good luck!!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-24-2018, 02:25 PM
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I am trying to get the instrument cluster out using the vent opening as the hooks did not work. However, even when pushing with my hand from behind the cluster it barely moves forward 1/10 of an inch) and seems to get stuck either at the lower left corner or about inch to the right of the corner (it seems that there is a metal clamp at the bottom). I used a strong feeler gauge to check for clearance but feel resistance in the corner and where that metal clamp is. Can someone advise what to do and/or does somebody have a photo from the bottom of the instrument cover? It seems that the issue is on both sides of the cluster. Not sure...I am afraid to break something
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-24-2018, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Rupununipete View Post
Use a steel ruler, stiff feeler guage or flat door panel tool (or combination of the three) to first run around the perimeter of the instrument panel ensuring it is free, then use the hooks. Takes all the stress out of it.
I will remember this when I pull the S600 cluster. The S500 removal pulled the lens cover off. Thanks for the suggestion.

I am wondering, the S500 has a plastic cover on the dash while the S600 has leather. I think the leather if applied over the plastic may make for a tighter fit. I also made a small tear in the plastic, barely noticeable. Does anyone have experience pulling the cluster on the S600 1996 and newer with the leather dash?

Also I bought the $20 Chinese tools. I think I will order the MB tools before I do the S600.

1999 S600 - 4 place
1999 S500 Grand Edition-Sold to good home!
1999 S500 - Deceased
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-24-2018, 06:48 PM
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Removal tip

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Originally Posted by quakercity View Post
I will remember this when I pull the S600 cluster. The S500 removal pulled the lens cover off. Thanks for the suggestion.

I am wondering, the S500 has a plastic cover on the dash while the S600 has leather. I think the leather if applied over the plastic may make for a tighter fit. I also made a small tear in the plastic, barely noticeable. Does anyone have experience pulling the cluster on the S600 1996 and newer with the leather dash?

Also I bought the $20 Chinese tools. I think I will order the MB tools before I do the S600.
Put both hooks on same side farther back as stated - give a firm jerk to break that side loose then install hooks on either side to finish pulling out. Whether leather covered dash or not makes no difference since it is a force-fit into opening
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-24-2018, 06:55 PM
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I never even use the hooks for W140 or R129 even though I have them.

Use thin putty knife with thin coat of rubber grease to find & lube each of the metal clips on bottom & top of instrument cluster.

You can push from behind by hand on one side and by pushing a piece of wood on the other side and work it out.

You will never break an instrument cluster with this method.

I have found the tools useful for pulling rear axle half shaft clips on the inside of the diff. They work well for that.
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