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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any way of getting brighter dash board lights? With the dash lights lit I can barely make out the speedometer; brightness is turned all the way up, is this a standard problem or is it just my bulbs that need replacement?
 
G

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if u are sure that the dimmer switch (on the odometer reset knob) is turned all the way up, then replace the bulbs.........

u have to pull the cluster, disconnecting all the wires and lines, then just unscrew the 3 bulbs out the back of it, they have plastic covers..........

new bulbs cost me like a dollar each at the dealer's parts counter..........he did have to special order them though.........
 

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81' 300SD, 82' 300D
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AMSOIL300CDT said:
if u are sure that the dimmer switch (on the odometer reset knob) is turned all the way up, then replace the bulbs.........

u have to pull the cluster, disconnecting all the wires and lines, then just unscrew the 3 bulbs out the back of it, they have plastic covers..........

new bulbs cost me like a dollar each at the dealer's parts counter..........he did have to special order them though.........
Actually, there are only 2 bulbs that illuminate the instrument cluster. I refreshed my cluster about a year ago, and got great results, this is what I did.

I removed the instrument cluster using the MB hook tools, though you can do it by removing the kick panel and pushing it out from behind. You'll need two 10mm open end wrenches to remove the oil pressure line, one to undo it with, and one to hold the fitting that goes to the guage. Everything else just pulls out. Once you unscrew everything and get the cluster guageless, take a q-tip, dip it in some rubbing alcohol and clean out the white light reflector boxes and clear prisms with it. Then, take some white model paint and paint the inside of the white reflector boxes with it. Allow it to dry, place two new bulbs in the fixtures (get them from the dealer to be sure they're proper wattage, anything too high will do melting damage), and connect everything back together. You should be able to see the numbers at night now with this modification.

Here's the guide I used.
http://www.diymbrepair.com/Dash/
 

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1982 300CD
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I am about to add UV LED's and repaint the needles with fluorescent orange.

Apparently, the needles used to be orange before the sun got to them to make them the yellow they are now.

Has anyone colored the "brights", "e-brake", and the little rectangles at the bottom? Everything seems washed out.
 

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81' 300SD, 82' 300D
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karugs said:
No melting so far w/ 5W PIAA hyperwhites:

Well, keep on the watch then, let us know what happens.
 

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W-1-2-3 Go!
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Greg, I think those are just images on a clear strip that you insert on the side of the instrument cluster housing. I had that idea before but you would have to paint each one individually and be careful not to accidentally paint the others. Same with the right side, but not as faded.
 

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2002 CLK 430 Convt. '91 420 SEL, '80 240D, '93 190E Sportline,
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This info is from mercedessource.com. They are an excellent resource for 123 parts and repair manuals.

"123 Dash Light Upgrade Kit w/ Dimmer
Item # LTS-123DLU

FITS THE FOLLOWING, all 123 Chassis.

Here is how to fix those intermittent dash lights and upgrade to a brighter bulb at the same time. This kit comes with a new dimmer switch for the dash lights (a bad dimmer is the biggest reason for dash lights not working). The kit also includes three Xenon gas bulbs (one for a spare) for brightening your dash lights and four OEM dash indicator light bulbs and an installation instruction sheet. By removing the instrument cluster from the dash you can replace your nighttime dash lights and any bad indicator lights all at the same time. We also carry the factory instrument cluster removal tools. The two pull tools allow you to easily remove the cluster without removing the panels under the dash. If you do not have these tools already I highly recommend them to help you install this dash light repair kit. The part number is TUL-COMDLP. You can quickly find it by putting this number in the search box."
 

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1981 240D
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79-300SD said:
You buy two bulbs at advance auto...use a coat hanger to pull the cluster and Q-tips to clean it....bridge the dimmer reostat and keep it at max and be out all of maybe 2 or 3 dollars.
I know a guy that just bridges it with solder and calls it good enough. seems to work well for him
 

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1982 300CD
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karugs said:
Greg, I think those are just images on a clear strip that you insert on the side of the instrument cluster housing. I had that idea before but you would have to paint each one individually and be careful not to accidentally paint the others. Same with the right side, but not as faded.
I'm wondering if I can slip little gels behind the spaces. Little rectangles of colored plastic school report protectors, maybe. At least blue for the brights. That one is really washed out.
 

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Morpheus said:
I have a problem with the 78' 300D, when the lights are tunred on, the outside lights work fine but inside the whole cab is pitch black. No lights at all! Not even in the center.
bad reostat will do that...however you should still have you dome light work.


reostats aren't that cheap an you really need to have these at max brightness unless you are blessed with the night vision of a cat.

Bridge the two pins the reostat fits on and you have full brightness all the time.
 

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79-300SD said:
bad reostat will do that...however you should still have you dome light work.


reostats aren't that cheap an you really need to have these at max brightness unless you are blessed with the night vision of a cat.

Bridge the two pins the reostat fits on and you have full brightness all the time.
All the fuses are fine, the dome lights doesn't work when the doors open, but if you turn it to the on switch it works fine.

The past owner who had the car was trying to install a radio, all i got is a radio hanging out with a bunch of wires ahngin' from the radio compartment. Also a lot of fuses in the Glove box. I wonder what he messed up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks to all for your suggestions. I don't have the tool to pull the cluster. Any suggestions on how to pull it without the tools. If I buy the tools, is it just a hook that catches the back of the cluster?
 

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W-1-2-3 Go!
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Kevin, you can. Take a small flatblade screwdriver that can easily pry off the 3 plastic tabs that cover 3 philips screws. Remove the screws that line the top edge of the driverside kick panel. Then look below at the corners, there will be 2 plastic screws that you should turn 90 degrees either way to remove. Once those are out, the kickpanel can be removed. You can then reach in and squeeze your hand through the wires and push the cluster out. Left side is easier than the right side as the ignition switch is on the way.
 
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