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Discussion Starter #1
Dome Light Spring Replacement?

'99 ML320 Overhead Light Panel has two dome lights that you push to turn on and push to turn off. The passenger side dome light was on the other day while my ML was sitting in the garage. I was afraid it was going to drain the battery and so went to push it turn it off. I figured my girlfriend turned it on and forgot to turn it off. Well, it wouldn't push in....it was stuck in the on position. I pryed the dome light cover off BOTH driver and passenger sides. Stared and compared....the "spring plunger"(for lack of a better name) was pushed all the way in on the broken side and stuck out on the good side. I took a key and pushed on the recessed "plunger" on the broken side and the whole thing fell apart...the little white plastic housing, that is. Basically I was left looking up INTO the space in the roof where the overhead wiring resides and there was part of the little white housing for the "spring plunger" and three wires that were loosely attached to it. One was green, one was red, and the other was black. I took it to my mechanic and he said I made a bad situation worse with my actions and now the only fix is to replace the ENTIRE OVERHEAD LIGHT PANEL HOUSING. You know...the plastic thing that has the dome lights, the trip computer, the integrated garage door opener, etc. He said that whole thing has to be replaced in order to get the passenger side dome light to work properly. When I heard that, I replaced the dome light covers and the end result is that the passenger side dome light just doesn't work. The driver's side works just fine. I have searched this forum for instructions/pics/related info and found nothing. Does anyone have any info on a fix? Cost of parts or service? Pics? Instructions? Just wondering....
 

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It is one big single piece of molded plastic. You mechanic is correct. If he is good it should
be aboit 1-1.5 hours labor. The part should be available used from Potomac for about
$65.
 

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that spring thing should just slide to the side and you can pop it out. Both of mine broke over the winter and although it was pretty frustrating, I was able to get it all back together and superglue the plastic squares that hold the base together, back together.

The problem with mine was where the plastic snaps together, the tabs broke off so it had no way to stay attached. I figured out how everything fit together and got it glued, haven't had a problem since.
 

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Simple switch like this should be easy to fix; as long as
a-) you can find the parts
b-) have simple skills to remove the panel and install it back.
 

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Purple Moderator
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I thought he broke the whole panel that mounts everything. If that switch can be obtained
then it should be be much cheaper on labor.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all of you that replied. Referring to that picture posted by Merzatt...it's the Switch. WHen I took off the clear lens dome light coverI saw that the "nipple" or "plunger" part of the switch was pushed all the way in. That's when I took a key and pushed it. I thought I could make it come back out by doing that. Instead, the whole switch housing fell apart and I could see the bottom/back of the switch with the wires still loosely attached. However, it's back up inside the roof space. I can get it with some needle nose pliers or even a straightened coat hanger. As far as tackling the job...I don't feel confident replacing the entire panel. However, if I had the parts for the switch itself, I think I could put THAT together and slide it back into the base( just like Brettriehl101's post about how he fixed his). That's what my mechanic was saying I CAN'T do...or he can't do. He said the whole flippin' OLP had to be replaced. I tried probing it and removing all the screws in an effort to see if I could take the whole panel off. Not knowing enough about how it attaches to the roof, I could see myself possibly doing damage. Would rather not.
 

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Before taking the picture, I removed the white switch from its base. Here is the problem. The lamp switch is fixed part of to the entire wiring. Only way to replace it is to replace the whole cable set or cut the cable at the switch and solder the new one. I think both ways will require removing the console.
 

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Thanks to all of you that replied. Referring to that picture posted by Merzatt...it's the Switch. WHen I took off the clear lens dome light coverI saw that the "nipple" or "plunger" part of the switch was pushed all the way in. That's when I took a key and pushed it. I thought I could make it come back out by doing that. Instead, the whole switch housing fell apart and I could see the bottom/back of the switch with the wires still loosely attached. However, it's back up inside the roof space. I can get it with some needle nose pliers or even a straightened coat hanger. As far as tackling the job...I don't feel confident replacing the entire panel. However, if I had the parts for the switch itself, I think I could put THAT together and slide it back into the base( just like Brettriehl101's post about how he fixed his). That's what my mechanic was saying I CAN'T do...or he can't do. He said the whole flippin' OLP had to be replaced. I tried probing it and removing all the screws in an effort to see if I could take the whole panel off. Not knowing enough about how it attaches to the roof, I could see myself possibly doing damage. Would rather not.

Here are the instructions to remove the overhead console.
 

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Hey all:
I am looking for someone parting a W163 who might have the actual switch that goes inside the front passenger-side dome light? Mine was rough-handled and broke.
PM me, or email me through the forum.

(if it matters, my truck is a '99 ML430)

Thanks!
 

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I ordered replacement switches from Digi-Key. Digi-Key. They are made by Judco (they make the original switch for Mercedes). Digi-Key part # 527PB-ND. 2 switches cost less than $10 including priority mail postage.

Digi-Key Part Search

Very easy to install without removing the dome light assembly:
1) Remove the dome light lens
2) Note the location of the wires going into the old switch and cut them at the connection on the old switch.
3) Connect wires on new switch to the same location using butt connectors.

Don't worry about the wire colors on the new switch not matching the dome light wiring harness colors. Just connect them to the same place they were on the old switch: looking down on the switch connect left to left, center to center, and right to right. You may have to shave a little off the inside hump on the dome light lens where it touches the switch plunger.
 

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I ordered replacement switches from Digi-Key. They are made by Judco (they make the original switch for Mercedes). Digi-Key part # 527PB-ND. 2 switches cost less than $10 including priority mail postage.

Digi-Key Part Search

Very easy to install without removing the dome light assembly:
1) Remove the dome light lens
2) Slide old switch out of dome light assembly
3) Note the location of the wires going into the old switch and cut them at the connection on the old switch.
4) Connect wires on new switch to the same location using butt connectors.
5) Slide new switch into dome light assembly. It will lock into place exactly as the old switch

Don't worry about the wire colors on the new switch not matching the dome light wiring harness colors. Just connect them to the same place they were on the old switch: looking down on the switch connect left to left, center to center, and right to right. You may have to shave a little off the inside hump on the dome light lens where it touches the switch plunger.
 

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Dragon986, Thanks so much. you did all this homework for me. I just ordered the switches. You have no idea how grateful I am. I also went to remove the switch and the whole thing exploded in my hand. I am glad I do not have to try to fix the switch.
 

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did it work? I ordered switch 527PB-ND and installed them with the same color wires. I only have on-off function! when I open the doors the light does not turn on. could it be that the wires are not connected in the same order but rather connected by color? thanks
 

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Hope ya'll get your dome light issues sorted out. Nice of Dragon986 to supply the link to the manufacturer and availability.

I think the W163 overhead console is one of the best conceived designs out there. Granted it is a pita to remove (had to replace the trip computer) but I love the design and the functionality of the console. By far the easiest to use. I like the fact that you just push the entire light lense, either left of right, for immediate light right in your lap. Trip computer is remarkably accurate and when set to kilometers, gives a very accurate display of kilometers remaining, instead of just blinking FUEL......
 

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I received the switches and I used a hemostat to pull the wires down and wire stripers to cut them to the right length. I also used three small wire nuts to attach the wires. Worked the first time. Lights functioning correctly and I did not have to do any modifications. Thanks a lot guys :smile
 
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