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· Registered
60 Posts

Does the big odometer work? Usually when one goes the other does as well. You may want to take the instrument cluster out (not very fun) and check to see everything is all together in there, something might have come loose or slipped. It might sound stupid, but flick the cluster on top of the trip OD. My tach doesnt come up all the time and a light flick and it comes to life.

· Registered
1995 E420
10 Posts
Courtesy of Trex.

Registered: Sep 2001
Location: Bryn Mawr, PA
Posts: 27

Courtesy of Trex.

Registered: Sep 2001
Location: Bryn Mawr, PA
Posts: 27
SEARCH for some help

This appears to be a very commen problem. I have a similar problem on my 1988
190 E and a SEARCH brought some helpful information. But I have not acted upon
it since I don't have a garage and it's too cold to work outside.

You'll need to get the instrument cluster out and if your speedo is a cable driven
unit (not electic), you'll need to disconnect that cable. Getting to the instrument
cluster and popping it out seems to be the hard part. Some suggest starting at
the bottom, under the dash, and popping the cluster out from behind. On some
models, it appears that the side vents flanking the instrument panel can be
removed and that will give access for nimble fingers to pop the instrument cluster
out. I have the CD for my 190 E and it clearly shows kneedle nose pliers (with
rubber pads) about to clamp down on one of the plastic vanes on the vent, with
the intent to yank it out (I always hate to do stuff like that). Another method of
removal is to get the Instrument Panel Removal Kit (I have no idea what the cost
is) which appears to be a half dozen thin metal reeds (they look like feeler guages)
with hooks on them. They have to be inserted strategically to pull the instrument
panel. It looks to be one of those Catch 22 repairs - if you could take the
instrument panel out to look for the proper positioning of the metal feeler gauges
with hooks, then it would be no problem to place them correctly and pull the
instrument cluster out. My Indie Wrench says he just grabs ahold and yanks it

The main problem seems to be a plastic gear on a thin metal shaft and that gear
cracks and gets loose and starts to slip or fall off. Some recommend putting the
gear back in place and adding a dab of contact cement to hold it in place. In a
severe condition, sending it to VDO is the only alternative.

All of this may sound odd - I know about the repair and, yet, I have never
performed it. I'll tackle the task soon when the weather warms up. Then I'll
REALLY have something to say. Good luck with whatever you do and don't forget
to tell us what you did and how you did it.

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