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91 MB 420sel, 93 190E 2.6
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I can't really decide. What I want is to update the cluster but still preserve the evergreen class of the interior. What I don't want is cheesy-ness. My needles are still nice and orange, but if I install white gauges overlays the orange clashes with the white and will have to be changed to black or very dark grey. What if I add chrome rings to the mix? Or should I go chrome rings only and no white overlays? Please share your opinion and throw in a pic if you have one (photoshop is good as well). Thanks in advance!
 

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1991 w126 420SEL, 1986 w126 Euro 560SEC (option 822), 2000 E55, 2003 E55, 2003 SL55
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512 Posts
I can't really decide. What I want is to update the cluster but still preserve the evergreen class of the interior. What I don't want is cheesy-ness. My needles are still nice and orange, but if I install white gauges overlays the orange clashes with the white and will have to be changed to black or very dark grey. What if I add chrome rings to the mix? Or should I go chrome rings only and no white overlays? Please share your opinion and throw in a pic if you have one (photoshop is good as well). Thanks in advance!
I love white put I stay keep the stock look on the 420. No chrome. No white. Euro lights.

Just an opinion
 

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1989 560SEL, 1979 Cressida MX32, 2006 F150 Lariat
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1,510 Posts
I think white would look awesome with orange needles, if you had black or dark grey interior. The cluster in the pic below is similar to the one I am going to use in my 560SEL when I get done with the black interior swap in a few months.
 

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91 MB 420sel, 93 190E 2.6
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
this cluster has the kmh in black which is nice. The one you can buy on ebay has the kmh in red which combined with the orange doesn't work that well. I will sleep on this idea...the vehicle is perfect mechanically and now I am itching for some cosmetic updates-I just don't want it to look out of place. As for the euro lights - I am always on the look out for a set but since I installed hids I am more than happy with the light in front of me and I simply keep pushing it to the back of the list....
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
Here is how my car looks:

I did these myself... I did a DIY as I recall.
 

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1986/1990 W126
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14,102 Posts
Mine are pretty much like Mclares. White gauges with red needles. Only difference being i put walnut background to the gauges too. But of a pain that though.

I had red LEDs for night time but they arent that bright despite being ten LEDs on each one, and i repainted the light tunnels too. Also the red light with the red needles is not to be recommended as you can hardly see the needles at night sometimes. Shame cos i love the look. It would work okay if your needles were black, for instance.
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
Ian - I too tried the 10 LED replacement bulbs thinking they would be brighter, but they are not. I think the reason is that the light coming out of those LED elements is focused in a beam and not spread out in all directions. Incandescent light radiates out in all directions, but LED light does not. It's not as focused as a laser beam, but not as broad as an incandescent source.

The light canals rely on that spread spectrum and angles to scatter the light in all directions over the faces of the gauges.

I almost did the wood too.
 

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1986/1990 W126
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14,102 Posts
Yup i think youre right about the spread. I tried lining the light tunnels with silver reflective foil too but it didnt much too much difference.

The wood is good but you have to break the cluster to get it open so you can fit it. I tried on a spare first. Both ones i tried broke in the right places but i suspect i was just lucky.....
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
Yeah, I know what you mean. Back then I only had the one cluster and wasn't diving the yards yet. Now I have at least 10 of them lying around.
 

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1990 SEC
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4,188 Posts
I added the white stencils, the chrome rings and the burled walnut background.

I decided on flat black for the gauge needles.

The biggest mistake I made was not to mark where the needles are at rest before I removed them. :eek:

Turned out to be a very important step in the process.........:(
 

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Premium Member
87 Euro500HVSEC. 88 Euro 560HVSEC. 89 Euro 560HVSEL
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4,278 Posts
I installed chrome rings and white LED faces that glow blue at night and later i also installed blue LED globes as the white gobes where throwing a whitish tinge in places. (as seen in the pic)

They look just sensational at night now and i can adjust the brightness of the LED faces from bright down to low.
Best investment i made to really bring these gauges alive at night

Unfortunately the pic below at night was taken before i added the blue LED globes to compliment the blue LED facia.
(let me know if you want an updated pic taken)
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts

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Premium Member
87 Euro500HVSEC. 88 Euro 560HVSEC. 89 Euro 560HVSEL
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4,278 Posts
Kim, Yes please.
Here you go Mike.
I could not get the camera in focus (i am hopeless with camera's) but you get how vivid they look at night
 

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1989 560SEC
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2,056 Posts
Wow!!! Looks great. Can you post a parts list and sources?

Mike
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
Wow!!! Looks great. Can you post a parts list and sources?

Mike
+1 Kim, those do look great and that's the look I was going for too... Where did you get those bulbs?
 

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Premium Member
87 Euro500HVSEC. 88 Euro 560HVSEC. 89 Euro 560HVSEL
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4,278 Posts
Mike (and Trooper Mike) i got the blue LED bulbs off ebay (just the 2 prism ones)
I have to track back dig up the seller details for you as i bought them some time ago.

Mike You have the LED Dial seller details (he doesnt show up on ebay anymore when i searched his ebay name) but here is his last email address i had - [email protected]
 

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91 MB 420sel, 93 190E 2.6
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the great ideas guys but I decided to stick with stock for now. I like the white gauges and rings but I can't tie them to anything in the interior and for my taste it looks a little out of space. The only one that I really like and would consider is KRH's glow gauges but only if they were in warm yellow colour. Thanks again for all your contribution to my topic.

p.s.
this thread should be stickied since it contains almost all the possible combo's in regards to gauge combinations.
 

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1986/1990 W126
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14,102 Posts
My clock broke so I had to swap the right hand pod in the cluster. The face of the unit has to come off to fix the capacitators in the clock, and I have broken every needle I've ever tried to remove so I couldn't bring myself to do that. So swap just meant I had to put a white face overlay on that unit and paint the needles.

Then the overlays arrived from over the pond and I see they have changed. Now matte finish rather than shiny. The print quality is perhaps slightly less good, but the matte finish is SO much better. Apart from it obviously wouldn't match the other two dials. So I had to peel off the overlays on those and put new ones on, so all matte finish now.

Look what happened when i peeled off the speedo overlay. It didn't happen on the other dial I peeled the overlay off, but the speedo face printing just peeled off. Left a bit in one corner for me to clean off. It does mean the overlay looks super though with no bumps from the printed numbers underneath.

Much preferring the finish on these. A side benefit is the 'V8" I'd put on the dial (see previous pics) is gone now too. I liked it at the time but it was making me want rid recently, tacky..
 

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