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Awesome write up... I fixed mine with this guide (I did a few things different though) but I ended up with 100% working lcd's. Not even 1 dead pixel. Thanks much man!
 

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Dantus,

Thank you for the very detail procedure. I have the same issue with the gear/clock LCD on my 2002 E320. I took my mine apart and tried different shim method but the best one that worked for me was using the piece of tie wrap (hard plastics) between the pink foam and the flex cable. However, I did not want to take a chance to drill the white plastics part so I used a self tapping screw (.110 dia x .20 long) and jammed the hook against the pcb, a flat head screw would have been better. Luckily my flex solder joint is still OK and it works, hope it will last.

Regards,
 

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CLK 320
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Wow Great JOB. I did something like this when I had a 1999 Nissan Maxima for customization purposes. It was a tough job probably wont do anything like that again. I am having similar issues with my Cluster it is a pain to look at, but i can live for now. Also That steering wheel is Crazy. looks great.
 

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previous 1998 SLK230, 1999 C230, 2016 SLK300
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1999 MB C230 Kompressor - Pixel repair

Glad my internet surfing led me to these forums. I read a lot of the posts regarding instrument pixel problems. I have been having the same problems with my 1999 C230 Kompressor. Thought I'd mention that my original instrument cluster was replaced under a factory recall. I was not having any problems at the time of the recall. However I started noticing the missing LCD segment/pixel about two years ago. First with some of the clock digits (which I didn't like, but could tolerate), then with some of the odometer digits (really annoying). Even though this is a 1999 model I've only got 37,000 miles on it. I'm the original owner. During a dealer visit in 2010, I asked the service writer about the problem. He didn't say anything about this being a common problem, and I understand why they wouldn't. He verbally told me that the problem could be repaired, but it would be expensive. I thought he estimated a repair would cost from $1,200 to $1,500, can't really remember. At the time I was having repair work performed on my 'other' MB, so I let the pixel issue go. But I didn't forget about it. Even though the missing pixels wasn't a saftey issue, it annoyed me every time I drove the car. When I found a link to the same problem in the forums, I read all the posts. I chose to order new mylar cables from Pixelfix.net. Cost $50, came registered mail in about a week from the Chech Republic. I also found some helpful YouTube videos related to cluster removal and disassembly. I wasn't completely successful making a cluster removal tool. But I also found some instructions for access via the tweeter & A/C vent to the left of the instrument cluster. I got the cluster removed w/o breaking or scratching anything. Disassembly went well, pictures from posts sure did help. I carefully removed the old cables (took digital pictures so I knew which cable went to each position), cleaned the contacts, cut and inserted 3 heavy weight paper shims beneath each silicone pad, attached the new cables, reassembled the entire cluster, noticed lint strands from my terry cloth work surface inside the cluster, disassembled again, cleared out lint, reassembled and reinstalled. Everything appears to be working. The whole repair took me about 2 hours since I was trying to be extra careful. I'm about to take the car out for a test run. I sure appreciate the prior posts. I probably would not have tackled this repair otherwise. While I was waiting for the cables to arrive, my LH exterior rear view mirror spring mount broke. Not sure how this happened, car wash camera showed it was broken before going thru the brushes. Bummer! The RH mirror broke about 2 years ago for the same reason. Two years ago, I bought the internal assembly from the dealer ($370) and the tech told me how to remove the cover. So I did my own repair. This time, the dealer part was $570 (LH is auto-dim mirror). I went back to the forums and internet searches and bought a new assembly from MercedesPartsCenter.com for $379 ($404 with shipping). Three days later, received mirror assembly. I had the new assembly on the car in 10 minutes. I've literally saved hundreds of dollars by doing these two repairs myself. Can't beat that. It softened the blow when I paid a garage to replace the A/C compressor for my 1998 SLK. I think I'm set for now. I'll check the forums first the next time something breaks. Jim OBryan Lexington KY
 

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2001 CLK 200 Kompressor w208
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81 Posts
TWO THUMBS UP!

hey great write up man but where did you get you steering wheel from i love it

yeah, great write up, i want your steering wheel, what specific type is that? and where can i buy one? is it easy to install? damn im jealous! :crybaby2:
 

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2001 CLK55
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5 Posts
Great writeup and pics. I did it this morning, but I just put a few pieces of masking tape to put pressure on the connector, as I didn't have a drill and screws handy. Worked like a charm. The hardest part was getting the dials back to the correct position.
 

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2002 CLK 430
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304 Posts
I've done the mouse pad between the board and the connectors - it got better, temp is actually passable. But I'm in the mood to fix it properly. Anyone try these ribbon kits? Looks legit, would probably just buy it in a store, but I hate ordering shit like this from websites i've never heard of.
 

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I've done the mouse pad between the board and the connectors - it got better, temp is actually passable. But I'm in the mood to fix it properly. Anyone try these ribbon kits? Looks legit, would probably just buy it in a store, but I hate ordering shit like this from websites i've never heard of.
Hi we have Non Bond Mercedes ribbons for the w208 and later model w210 with the big MID LCD at £20 including delivery, very easy to fit and you don't need any special soldering - bonding tools, you simple stick them down, the idea behind the non bond ribbons is that because there is no glue or bonding involved, this allows the PCB to expand and contract as it get hot and cold, and does not break the tracks and glue-bonding as happens with the original ribbons.

Thanks AKSpeedo
 

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2002 CLK 430
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304 Posts
Hi we have Non Bond Mercedes ribbons for the w208 and later model w210 with the big MID LCD at £20 including delivery, very easy to fit and you don't need any special soldering - bonding tools, you simple stick them down, the idea behind the non bond ribbons is that because there is no glue or bonding involved, this allows the PCB to expand and contract as it get hot and cold, and does not break the tracks and glue-bonding as happens with the original ribbons.

Thanks AKSpeedo
If you send me one I'll write a nice review in the W208 forum :)

Kidding, I just ordered... $31 shipped, plus I think Amex will ding me .5% for the currency conversion... can't you Brits work on dollars?

Thanks, I'll let everyone know how it works - though I'll only be applying the clock and the temp. since my center display works fine.
 

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If you send me one I'll write a nice review in the W208 forum :)

Kidding, I just ordered... $31 shipped, plus I think Amex will ding me .5% for the currency conversion... can't you Brits work on dollars?

Thanks, I'll let everyone know how it works - though I'll only be applying the clock and the temp. since my center display works fine.
Hi, yeah the big middle MID display does not go faulty on these models (W208 W210 face lift) as it already has a Non Bond mechanical pressure join on the PCB, it is only the two outer display bonded ribbon that fail.

So you only get the two outer ribbons in the W208 W210 kit.

Thanks speedodash AKSpeedo
 

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2000 E320
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49 Posts
Finally I fixed mine woo hoo. All I did was removed the old pixel cables. Replaced them with new ones only $15. Cleaned all contacts REALLY good till I saw all gold! Then put it all back together then bam works great. Now I cant stop looking at them. It too me a few hours to do it.
 

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2002 CLK 430
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304 Posts
Hi, yeah the big middle MID display does not go faulty on these models (W208 W210 face lift) as it already has a Non Bond mechanical pressure join on the PCB, it is only the two outer display bonded ribbon that fail.

So you only get the two outer ribbons in the W208 W210 kit.

Thanks speedodash AKSpeedo
Two new non-bond cables from akspeedo.com, one new bulb temporarily borrowed from my low fuel light (I'll get a new at the dealer soon), and I have all my pixels.

The installation couldn't have been easier, the instructions provided by akspeedo were great. One word of warning is what the above post says - clean those contacts til you see all gold, otherwise it won't work (trust me, I tried). I used a spot of nail polish remover to get the last of the solder off.

Non-bond was awesome, cause I consider myself a decent tinkerer, but just slightly above a total novice when it comes to working with solder. This gave me the chance to get it right without that worry. I know it's a very minor fix, but I tell you, it just makes the car feel like it's in better shape to have all the proper lights on the dash.

Now if only my upcoming catalytic converter replacement could be so painless.

Random side note, I had some issues getting my mail because I placed the order in the middle of a move, akspeedo was awesome about working with me and I also give them a thumbs up for their customer service.
 

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2000 E320
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6 Posts
I just wanted to say thanks to all of the folks who have gone before me and taken the time to document this pixel fix. I just finished mine this morning and I am very pleased with the results. I had tried using foam to add some additional pressure to the ribbon connectors with limited success. I finally decided to replace the ribbon connectors. I found a source where they were only $15 for all 3 connectors with free shipping.
Mercedes Benz Pixel Repair Tools Dashboard Cluster
:thumbsup:


Also here is a link to a Youtube video that is pretty thorough.

 

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previous 1998 SLK230, 1999 C230, 2016 SLK300
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Pixel Repair finished 14 months ago

Follow up report for 1999 C230 instrument cluster pixel repair. It's been 14 months since my repair. No complaints at all. I'm very happy to see all the digits still working. I couldn't have finished that repair w/o the forum posts.
 

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Took the cluster apart 20 times

So after becoming an expert taking it apart and trying the fix the mentioned in the beginning by applying a piece of foam or mouse pad it became apparent the ribbon cable on the time and temp side was barely hanging on to the motherboard.

**probably a bad solder to begin with***


So the only other choice was to order a new ribbon set and just swap it out. Or order a used cluster that will soon have the same problem given the weak solder job. Given my new found skills for taking this thing apart it will be a cake walk once I get the new set in.

On a side note I spent a good 40 min figuring out why the dials were not lining back up. You have to adjust them to the stop point from when they begin and stop prior to putting the cluster back in. Im going to do a full write up from removal to install when I get the ribbons in with videos and pics.
 

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2002 430 CLK
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195 Posts
Clock display illumination?

I Have a partial display on temp, but the clock/gear indicator is totally black. Is the display back-lit with a bulb or an electroluminescent panel? If it is an electroluminescent panel, is it powered by the ribbon?
 

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Reply

If you are getting half led display on one side it is a ribbon issue...

If you are getting no led display with no back light Id say it was a bad bulb on that side..

If you are getting no led but a back light I would assume the ribbon is bad.


If it was a bad bulb you would get a fading led of no led with no backlight. Usually when you are getting pixel issues with a backlight it would have to be the ribbon is bad since it is getting light.
 

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2002 430 CLK
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195 Posts
Thanks for the quick reply. I just wasn't sure if the back light came from a bulb. I guess you ought to know after having the cluster out 20 times :). I'll pull mine out of the dash tomorrow to see what color base that bulb has.
 

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speedometer jumpy

d I adjusted all the other gauges and they work fine. For some reason the Speedo doesn't work and when it does it reads randomly and jumps. Any other way to adjust it and or fix it?
 
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