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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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Discussion Starter #1
I try to be systematic and though when I work on my cars. Have the factory tool - the hooks - looked up on the Net to see where the serrated edges are so I would know where to grab the ends.

Changed the bulbs in the W210 and everything went fine.

Changed the bulbs in the R129 and....you can see what happened. That sucker was wedged in there after 22-23 years.

Despite the hook being positioned right it slipped after a long pull and caught the edge of the clear plastic lens - and broke a piece.

The good news? Apparently this has happened before and there are 660 of them...all in Germany - none in the US. Apparently this is the same shell that is on the W140.

The lesson? I don't know if this could have been prevented it - was the hook not in the groove but on top? I was pulling pretty hard before things let loose. I had to. That thing was really in there.

If I had it to do over, I would try to restrict my motion - a strong pull but stop quickly - keep working. More of a jerky motion?

I don't know. Apparently this happens pretty frequently by the size of the inventory.
 

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I did the exact same thing. Didn’t have the correct tool. Used hook tools instead of waiting for the factory puller, but it was in there extremely snug. I shredded the plastic sides and broke the glass. Had to put new plastic lens on from a donor cluster. I feel for you. Get a cheap cluster on eBay and use the plastic front


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MB CL500(C215);SL55(R129), SL63(R230)
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487 Posts
Well, do not even use the original hooks!
Its best practice to reach the cluster from underneath and press it out from behind.
When the replacement glass had a pricetag of 30€ it was timesaver and worth a try with the hooks. But since the price rose to 400€... not anymore.

Cheers, Frank
PS: Good news is: The last version of the glas has "hook slip protection shields" left & right ;-)
 

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1995 SL320, 1995 SL500, 1998 C280, 2004 E500 4matic
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I feel your pain, had one broken long time ago as well. But as you said, available and same as W140. Went straight to pick-a-part and full used cluster from R129 for $35 + a spare lens for $10 from W140.

Lesson learned: These clusters can be "stuck" in the opening quite tight after 20+ years. Gently push around the perimeter where those 4 rubber pads attach, that loosens the cluster enough for it to come out a bit easier. Guarantees? Nope, but certainly makes the removal a little easier. Or as Frank suggested, drop the lower carpeted panel and carefully push it out.

Regards,
D
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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3,810 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I did the exact same thing. Didn’t have the correct tool. Used hook tools instead of waiting for the factory puller, but it was in there extremely snug. I shredded the plastic sides and broke the glass. Had to put new plastic lens on from a donor cluster. I feel for you. Get a cheap cluster on eBay and use the plastic front


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I had the factory tool and see where it got me ;-) There is a '96 at a Pick and Pull 40 miles from here; I have gone that route before - but for driving 80 miles the cluster might not be there, or if there, in poor condition.

Apparently the front assembly (with the lens) clips on to the main body - we shall see.

With my discount it will be $225. I figured getting a used cluster from a yard would run $50 -$200 depending on where
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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Discussion Starter #6
I feel your pain, had one broken long time ago as well. But as you said, available and same as W140. Went straight to pick-a-part and full used cluster from R129 for $35 + a spare lens for $10 from W140.

Lesson learned: These clusters can be "stuck" in the opening quite tight after 20+ years. Gently push around the perimeter where those 4 rubber pads attach, that loosens the cluster enough for it to come out a bit easier. Guarantees? Nope, but certainly makes the removal a little easier. Or as Frank suggested, drop the lower carpeted panel and carefully push it out.

Regards,
D
My history with Pick and Pulls is (a) driving 100 miles to find the part gone, or broken (from some clod trying to get something else), or if I don't need the part, then finding it.

If I were to try and push that thing out, I think I would need a 3' pry bar; that thing was so wedged in there. :)

Something I might try for the future - put some silicone on the friction areas - it sure works for spark plug boots making subsequent removal easier.
 

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2002 Black SL500, 1998 Red sport SL500, 2005 Silver (A209) CLK500
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I've removed enough over the years from W140's and R129's....learned as I went along. Before removing, I take a credit card...old throw away one...I spray it with oil on both sides and slide the card between the cluster and the panel. I work the card deep in as possible and work my way all the way around the cluster. I just pulling the credit card in and out and keep oil on it. I don't remove the bottom bolster pr vent and reach up from behind and try and push it out...I'm trying to not remove as much as possible. Anyway, my removal process works for me.
Before reinstalling the cluster, I wipe down the cluster and the housing holding the cluster..
 

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'91 560SEC, '98 SL500
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Good info for the future. Wishing you luck in replacing the broken plastic lens.
I appreciate you sharing.
 

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1997 SL600 Brilliant Silver Sport with grey/dark metal interior, 234K miles
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No chances with my car when I removed the cluster and dashboard for the evaporator/heater RR.

I removed the bolster by gently pressing a bit on each side from the rear, slowly working the cluster forward until it came free. I would also swap out the capacitors while I had the cluster out just to be proactive.
 

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97 E-420 (180K miles), 97 SL500, (93K miles) 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD CC/SB/4x4 Duramax(55K)
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I've removed enough over the years from W140's and R129's....learned as I went along. Before removing, I take a credit card...old throw away one...I spray it with oil on both sides and slide the card between the cluster and the panel. I work the card deep in as possible and work my way all the way around the cluster. I just pulling the credit card in and out and keep oil on it. I don't remove the bottom bolster pr vent and reach up from behind and try and push it out...I'm trying to not remove as much as possible. Anyway, my removal process works for me.
Before reinstalling the cluster, I wipe down the cluster and the housing holding the cluster..
I do the same, either with a credit card or a thin plastic putty knife. what I found is that over time the area that has the rubber "bumpers" end up over time almost forming a glued joint between the cluster and the car frame. Once a thin card goes throught that joint it becomes much easier to remove the cluster. I don't use oil, usually some silcone spray.

before reinstalling I put a dab of silcone grease or MB sunroof lube on each of the rubber pieces. Did this on both the W210 and SL. much easier to remove the next time. BTW removing the W210 cluster was much easier, the R129 seemed to be a much tighter fit.
 
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1996 SL320
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Good day, people are not realizing that there are to clips in the rear of the cluster that have to be removed, in order for the cluster to be pulled out properly without damaging the lens. The reason the clips are installed is to keep the cluster from sliding out. Good luck for future removals.
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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Discussion Starter #14
I've removed enough over the years from W140's and R129's....learned as I went along. Before removing, I take a credit card...old throw away one...I spray it with oil on both sides and slide the card between the cluster and the panel. I work the card deep in as possible and work my way all the way around the cluster. I just pulling the credit card in and out and keep oil on it. I don't remove the bottom bolster pr vent and reach up from behind and try and push it out...I'm trying to not remove as much as possible. Anyway, my removal process works for me.
Before reinstalling the cluster, I wipe down the cluster and the housing holding the cluster..
Not a bad idea but I will also put a dab of silicone grease on those rubber pads to make it easier if there is a next time
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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Discussion Starter #15
Good day, people are not realizing that there are to clips in the rear of the cluster that have to be removed, in order for the cluster to be pulled out properly without damaging the lens. The reason the clips are installed is to keep the cluster from sliding out. Good luck for future removals.
This is what I am ordering from the dealer - but how do you undo the clips without pulling the unit out? Knowing this old plastic as I have come to know it there's no guarantee the clips wouldn't break too...
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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Discussion Starter #16
If you use the silicone grease on the rubber pieces, no more worries to remove the IC in the future.
It's a trick an old master mechanic taught me Frank - and being silicone and not petroleum-based, doesn't harm the rubber
 

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1995 SL320, 1995 SL500, 1998 C280, 2004 E500 4matic
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1,011 Posts
The cluster comes out as one unit, once its out, there are clips on the top and bottom, plus 2 screws on the top, all of these holding the lens to the cluster. Dorian, otherwise, not sure what other clips are there? Picture? These are the rubber pads/tabs that keep the cluster firmly fitted in the dash:

20190102_085142 by Duh_Vinci, on Flickr

BTW, while not the best video, should give you an idea of those contact points, up util about 4min into it


Regards,
D
 

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93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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Bill Bill Bill Bill Bill.... Not everything Mercedes says to do is correct. I have seen so much of that with those tools.

Push from behind-Use a pry bar or small hammer. Remove the side vent, or the carpet knee guard....

Remove those rubber squeak guards from the top of cluster as they can roll on you then you screaming bloody murder because the cluster will not come out...

Time to look for a W140 - not many in the yards lately...

Martin
 

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Premium Member
97 E-420 (180K miles), 97 SL500, (93K miles) 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD CC/SB/4x4 Duramax(55K)
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4,268 Posts
Good day, people are not realizing that there are to clips in the rear of the cluster that have to be removed, in order for the cluster to be pulled out properly without damaging the lens. The reason the clips are installed is to keep the cluster from sliding out. Good luck for future removals.
neither my r129 or w210 had any clips. they both do have the rubber bumpers which eventually will glue themselves to the surround. even EPC doesn't show any clips.

but those rubber "bumpers" another story may as well have used glue!

Now once the cluster is partly out you do need to unfasten the wiring harness to complete removal.
 
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