How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

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j_v8merc

How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by j_v8merc » Sun 04 Nov, 2007 10:13 pm

I have recently spoken to a Mercedes Benz stealership about replacing one of my instrument panel light globes in my 1985 w126 Benz. They stated that it is a dash out job which requires hours of labour!!! Is this true or is there an easier/ cheaper way??? Please help!!!

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Re: HOW DO YOU REPLACE DASH GLOBES IN W126.

Post by 420 SE » Sun 04 Nov, 2007 10:35 pm

It is a very easy job, which the stealership is either too lazy or stupid to undertake.

Which specific globes are out and I will talk you through their replacement having replaced ALL of mine.

There are basically 3 procedures, 1 for instrument cluster, 1 for center panel and 1 for the gear shift area.
Ross
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Re: HOW DO YOU REPLACE DASH GLOBES IN W126.

Post by 420 SE » Mon 05 Nov, 2007 12:43 am

First thing to check is your fuses, make sure they are all copper/ceramic (which is what the car came with) not aluminium/ ceramic. Clean the fuse contacts as well.

Second, it may well be the dimmer rheostat, on the left side of the cluster is the knob which resets the trip odometer, turn this all the way to the right for brighter illumination, you would be surprised how ofter this gets turned down and dims the lights.

OK, I have read your PM and it is the RHS of your cluster which is out, lets treat it as a blown globe, not a burnt prism - I will get to that further on.

First you either need to buy a set of cluster removal tools, from the dealer, John or ebay - or make your own. To make your own, get a good old fashioned wire coat hanger, you need about a 30cm straight piece, bend one end at right angles 0.5 - 1cm the other end a handle of about 10cm,, you need 2 of these.

You now need to either bring your steering wheel all the way out, if it is electric, or remove the steering wheel (pain if you have to do that - easy but a pain), to remove the wheel, GENTLY remove the star from the wheel boss, under that is a (IIRC) 18mm nut - it is Loctighted on, and will take some getting off, ensure your steering lock is not engaged if you don't want to break it.

Remove the negative lead to your battery.

Imagine your cluster is a clock face, slip the 2 tools in at 10 and 2 o'clock and turn the small hooks towards the cluster, pull like mad, the cluster is held in by tension.

Disconnect all the cables and fittings (label them with masking tape) and remove the cluster.

Now you have the cluster out you can see the small bayonette fittings which are the illumination globes.

Image

If however, someone has fitted bulbs greater than 3w then they may have well melted the light refracting prisms and you need a new cluster frame.

Image

Image

Cheers
Ross
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Re: HOW DO YOU REPLACE DASH GLOBES IN W126.

Post by arkenstone » Mon 05 Nov, 2007 7:34 am

This is a great thread, thanks Ross for your input.

Do you know of anyone who's replaced the globes with some LEDs? Do you know how this affects the dimming function?

I think i'd like 'brightest' to be a little brighter and this isn't sounding like too hard a job.


Thakns!
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Re: HOW DO YOU REPLACE DASH GLOBES IN W126.

Post by 420 SE » Mon 05 Nov, 2007 8:20 am

Hey Chris

I don't know of anyone who has done it, but I am planning too when exams are over in a couple of weeks (and I have some time - yeah!!!).

Narva now have some LED bulbs which fit, according to their website.

My fear is they will be too white, rather than the sort of yellowy/orange glow there is now. The fibreoptic octopus light I am also thinking of going LED on, as those lights are much dimmer than the switches with their own light source.
Ross
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220 SEb - 1962 (Hilda - sadly gone to which there is no return)
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ML 400 - 2015 (the new Doha desert Dame, or is that Princess?)
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The 126 - undoubtedly the last, best large body MB

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Re: HOW DO YOU REPLACE DASH GLOBES IN W126.

Post by arkenstone » Mon 05 Nov, 2007 8:59 am

420 SE wrote:The fibreoptic octopus light I am also thinking of going LED on, as those lights are much dimmer than the switches with their own light source.
The what?

Sounds good, Ross,

Please please keep us up to date and include lots of piccies :)
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Re: HOW DO YOU REPLACE DASH GLOBES IN W126.

Post by 420 SE » Mon 05 Nov, 2007 9:07 am

The octopus feeds a couple of the switches on the center panel, like the rear light and a couple of others and the illumination for the 3 vent sliders in the center as well.

It's buried down behind the ashtray on top of the transmission tunnel and requires very small fingers, or really good artery forceps, to get at the single little bulb in the center of it.
Ross
"I don't know, it's just some random dude..."

220 SEb - 1962 (Hilda - sadly gone to which there is no return)
420 SE - 1988 (Lucy) - back into service!
ML 500 - 2008 (the Doha desert Dame) - retired
ML 400 - 2015 (the new Doha desert Dame, or is that Princess?)
A couple of others not worth mentioning

Beware of fundamentalists
#73

The 126 - undoubtedly the last, best large body MB

j_v8merc

Re: HOW DO YOU REPLACE DASH GLOBES IN W126.

Post by j_v8merc » Mon 05 Nov, 2007 5:17 pm

Thank you very much for your information and time to explain this to me!!! I am going to try some of the things suggested right now!!! :D
Thanks,
Jeremy.

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Re: HOW DO YOU REPLACE DASH GLOBES IN W126.

Post by AMG » Mon 05 Nov, 2007 5:27 pm

High Quality post.

I will need this for my 126 library...

thanks!
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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by Simon Dove » Wed 27 Feb, 2008 10:28 pm

What are the chances.....the other day i blew a brake wear idiot light and thought id take a few pics as i pulled the instrument cluster out today.

My high tech tools
Image

In they go
Image

Out she comes (bit of effort reqd)
Image

Electrikery!!!
Image

Hope these pics help someone.

Cheers,

Simon
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78 W123 300D
88 W126 420SEL

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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by 420 SE » Thu 28 Feb, 2008 7:37 am

Great pics Simon, I would only suggest that the two tools are inserted a little further down the sides of the cluster closer to where you can see the 'louvering' on the side in your pic.

When the cluster is out, you can see a few 'teeth' behind that side part that the tools are meant to grip onto...
Ross
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220 SEb - 1962 (Hilda - sadly gone to which there is no return)
420 SE - 1988 (Lucy) - back into service!
ML 500 - 2008 (the Doha desert Dame) - retired
ML 400 - 2015 (the new Doha desert Dame, or is that Princess?)
A couple of others not worth mentioning

Beware of fundamentalists
#73

The 126 - undoubtedly the last, best large body MB

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Remove instrument cluster without special tool

Post by Volker_W126 » Fri 14 Mar, 2008 4:00 pm

Hi everyone,

you do not really need those tools to remove the instrument cluster.

You could also unscrew the right front speaker and than push the cluster out from behind.


Volker

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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by dan500se » Fri 14 Mar, 2008 4:57 pm

Hello Volker,
Do you know how difficult is to exchange the TRIPCOMPUTER (Reiserechner) from one car to another...?
I crushed my W126 and I maybe buy another car and I want to put there the whole interiour,electronics... 8)
1981 Mercedes W123 280E Blue Green Metallic

1983 Mercedes W126 280SE Champagne Metallic
1985 Mercedes W126 280SE Blue-Black Metallic
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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by Volker_W126 » Fri 14 Mar, 2008 5:20 pm

Hi Dan,

no sorry.

But as you have definetly all needed parts from your old car you have a good start.

If you buy the WIS (Werkstatt Informations System) Software from Mercedes Benz (or ebay) you will get a wiring diagramm for the Trip Computer
which also helps.

Reiserechner is quite seldom, so its worth a bit of effort, I think.


Volker

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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by dan500se » Fri 14 Mar, 2008 6:23 pm

I just wonder-maybe I can strip the whole interiour,electronics,engine and put it back on another car ( or body )...Because everything on my crushed car is in a good condition I only need a good body and I can start to rebuilt...
1981 Mercedes W123 280E Blue Green Metallic

1983 Mercedes W126 280SE Champagne Metallic
1985 Mercedes W126 280SE Blue-Black Metallic
1991 Mercedes W126 500SE Midnight Dark Blue

1996 Mercedes W202 C180T Tourmaline Green Metallic

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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by Volker_W126 » Fri 14 Mar, 2008 10:20 pm

Tough Job

But nothing is impossible :)

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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by dan500se » Sun 16 Mar, 2008 1:12 am

Volker_W126 wrote:Tough Job

But nothing is impossible :)
I just start to strip my car today-I will put some pictures with the process soon... :D
1981 Mercedes W123 280E Blue Green Metallic

1983 Mercedes W126 280SE Champagne Metallic
1985 Mercedes W126 280SE Blue-Black Metallic
1991 Mercedes W126 500SE Midnight Dark Blue

1996 Mercedes W202 C180T Tourmaline Green Metallic

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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by BenzLover » Sat 04 Oct, 2008 3:14 pm

Nothing could be easier.... :D
Have a look at this site and refer to* Add a little color to the old instrument panel*
http://www.benzguy.piczo.com
Good luck
Big Dan :idea:
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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by Black Beauty » Thu 13 Nov, 2008 8:19 pm

That's all good but my 'light switch' illumination has blacked out..
How do you pull the Headlight switch out to get to the switch illumination?

I bet it's a 'walk in the park' but I can't find where to start! :?

Reg

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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by rad » Sun 08 Nov, 2009 11:53 pm

thanks now i know how to get my dash out

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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by CraigB » Tue 26 Jan, 2010 10:57 pm

i didn't know whether to start a new thread but it is relevant to here. Is there a definitive list of just how many globes are in the dash, console etc? I have all my dash etc. apart and thought I would go buy a stack of bulbs and replace them while it is all apart, seems to be 4 in the air con controls, the octopus one, cigarette, gear changer...........
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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by carina » Sun 12 Dec, 2010 8:30 pm

I wonder if you can change the colour of the globes? I like the blue in my VW Bora.
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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by 280SEL_guy » Wed 21 Dec, 2011 1:08 pm

The owner of a Merc workshop once told me that he removes the instrument panel using suction cups on the glass. Anyone tried this method?

Also, hope this isn't too silly a question, but...

With the instrument panel out and all cables disconnected, and the steering wheel back on, can the vehicle still be started and driven ?

As the 380SE is my only wheels it would be useful to be able to drive it to a workshop if I got into trouble while working on the dash, or if I found I needed to drive to a supplier for some parts.
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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by 280SEL_guy » Sun 25 Dec, 2011 6:23 pm

280SEL_guy wrote:With the instrument panel out and all cables disconnected, and the steering wheel back on, can the vehicle still be started and driven ?

As the 380SE is my only wheels it would be useful to be able to drive it to a workshop if I got into trouble while working on the dash, or if I found I needed to drive to a supplier for some parts.
Can no one give me some guidance on this?
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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by 420 SE » Sun 25 Dec, 2011 7:02 pm

I have never done it, but I don't see why you could not - bar not having any driving data to go by.

Really, the thing goes in and out in 5 minutes flat, it takes nothing to put it back in if you needed to drive somewhere and take it out again.

Just remember to disconnect the battery before taking it out.
Ross
"I don't know, it's just some random dude..."

220 SEb - 1962 (Hilda - sadly gone to which there is no return)
420 SE - 1988 (Lucy) - back into service!
ML 500 - 2008 (the Doha desert Dame) - retired
ML 400 - 2015 (the new Doha desert Dame, or is that Princess?)
A couple of others not worth mentioning

Beware of fundamentalists
#73

The 126 - undoubtedly the last, best large body MB

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Re: How do you replace Dash globes in W126?

Post by Richard46 » Mon 04 Nov, 2013 8:42 pm

I replaced the dash globes with one high-intensity white LED mounted on top between the speedo and tacho. It involved removing the clear plastic lens, and the results were fantastic, the dim illumination was solved. While I was about it, I replaced the warning lights with high-intensity white and red LED's, well worth the effort. Cost? about $10 for the LED's and resistors. Highly recommended.

Richard

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