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1981 300SD, 430K miles
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I need to fix my dimmer so I used the Search engine and found lots of postings on removal of the instrument cluster; looks feasible even for someone like me, not so gifted in auto repair. However, one of the posts claimed only stiction holds the cluster in, others refer to 5 spring clips. The latter worries me. All this plastic is 29 years old now and very brittle. Stiction suggests less stress on the plastic. And I didn't see any posts on the 1981 300SD. Does anyone know whether I should expect some clips?

Also, some posts referred to removing the steering wheel first. Is this necessary for the 1981 300SD? I assume that to work on the dimmer I need to totally remove the cluster.

Thanks for your help, I had almost given up.
 

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`81 W123 280E, `83 W126 280SE, `85 W126 280SE, `91 W126 500SE, `96 W202 C180T, `99 W202 C220CDI
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511 Posts
I need to fix my dimmer so I used the Search engine and found lots of postings on removal of the instrument cluster; looks feasible even for someone like me, not so gifted in auto repair. However, one of the posts claimed only stiction holds the cluster in, others refer to 5 spring clips. The latter worries me. All this plastic is 29 years old now and very brittle. Stiction suggests less stress on the plastic. And I didn't see any posts on the 1981 300SD. Does anyone know whether I should expect some clips?

Also, some posts referred to removing the steering wheel first. Is this necessary for the 1981 300SD? I assume that to work on the dimmer I need to totally remove the cluster.

Thanks for your help, I had almost given up.
I have done this numerous times...No need to remove the steering wheel and there are no clips there...Neighter in your 1981 300SD.

My tip: remove the speaker from the dash on the cluster side, put your hand throught that speaker hole and push the cluster out!

Good luck! :thumbsup:
 

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W126 420SE & W126 300SE
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389 Posts
I have done this numerous times...No need to remove the steering wheel and there are no clips there...Neighter in your 1981 300SD.

My tip: remove the speaker from the dash on the cluster side, put your hand throught that speaker hole and push the cluster out!

Good luck! :thumbsup:


Yeah, I've done the same. Works a treat, very simple.
 

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1981 300SD TurboDiesel Mercedes
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10 Posts
Dimmer switch? there's a dimmer switch on the instrument cluster? like to make the instrument lights less bright or even make them go away while on long roadtrips at night? where is it?

While we are on the subject of instrument clusters, Have you ever had to fix your odometer? My little gear that drives mine decentegrated 50k miles ago. or are you just so lucky that you have not had to do that yet?

anyway, good luck with the repair. hope its easy.
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
Here are theCluster Removal Tools.

You put the hooks into the 10 and 2 positions and then hook the cluster and pull it out. I have many cluster spare parts so if you need anything, LMK.
 

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2013 MINI Copper S Clubman, '84 300CD-weekend car
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10,152 Posts
Dimmer switch? there's a dimmer switch on the instrument cluster? like to make the instrument lights less bright or even make them go away while on long roadtrips at night? where is it?

While we are on the subject of instrument clusters, Have you ever had to fix your odometer? My little gear that drives mine decentegrated 50k miles ago. or are you just so lucky that you have not had to do that yet?

anyway, good luck with the repair. hope its easy.
Yes, you can make the lights dimmer!

The rheostat is that white item in the lower right of the first pic.
The second one shows the spring coiled in the "U" shaped channel with arrows pointing to a brass tab that sweeps from one end to the other, low to high brightness. Often the spring simply falls apart leaving you without any light, so when a jumper wire is soldered between the two pins on the back, you'll get full bright (albeit, not very bright) lights all the time.
 

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Registered
1981 300SD, 430K miles
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
dimmer is also tripmeter reset in 1981 300SD

The photos above (Rmac58) did not look like there was a physical connection between the dimmer switch and the speedometer. Does the 1981 300SD have a different dimmer? And if so, does this make it harder to repair? (My problem is the common one of only 1-2 sweet spots left, sometimes really hard to find after resetting tripmeter).
 
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