Mercedes-Benz Parts Catalog Mercedes-Benz Accessories Catalog Mercedes-Benz Technical Articles Mercedes-Benz Tech Forums
 
Follow Pelican Parts on Facebook Follow Pelican Parts on Twitter Follow Pelican Parts on Instagram Follow Pelican Parts on YouTube Follow Pelican Parts on Pinterest Follow Pelican Parts on Tumblr
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 >  >
Mercedes Benz Instrument Cluster Removal
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

Mercedes Benz Instrument Cluster Removal

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$20

Talent:

**

Tools:

10mm socket, pliers, Mercedes-Benz tool 140-589-02-33-00

Applicable Models:

 
Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)
Mercedes-Benz W126 (1981-91)
Mercedes-Benz W201 (1984-93)

Parts Required:

Instrument Cluster Removal Hooks

Hot Tip:

Replace your gauge bulbs

Performance Gain:

Reliable, bright gauges

Complementary Modification:

Clean everything while you're in there

There are all kinds of jobs you can do on your W201 instrument cluster - from replacing your bulbs, cleaning or calibrating the gauges, to replacing your speedometer cable - they all require the removal of the instrument cluster.

There are basically two methods for removing the cluster. The first method is really only for people with smaller arms and hands. If you have Popeye forearms and or can palm a basketball, chances are you will be using the second method. The first method also does not involve special tools or getting under the car. I will explain both methods here and in both cases you do not need to remove the steering wheel.

First, the Small-Arm Method.

If you have smaller arms you will be able to reach in through the driver's side air vent opening and release the speedometer cable from the back of the cluster.

Begin by removing the driver's side air vent. It just pulls straight out. Wrap a cloth around some pliers and gently pull it from the vent. With the air diverter removed you have access to the four clips that are holding the vent to the dash. Gently pry up the four plastic clips holding the vent in place and pull it forward. The vent and face plate will come off together. There is a rear cabin light switch attached to the plate that just pulls apart to disconnect.

Once the vent plate is removed, reach through the opening and disconnect the speedometer cable from the back of the instrument cluster. You will be working by feel and are feeling for a round cable that screws directly into the back of the cluster. Just unscrew it counter-clockwise. Once this is done, gently push the instrument cluster forward from the rear. The unit is just held in by friction and will slide out. With the speedometer cable disconnected you can remove the gauge far enough forward to disconnect the rest of the accessories connected to it.

The Second Method:

If you are not able to get your arm into the back of the cluster area through the drivers side vent you will need to do a little more work to safely remove the instrument cluster.

Working underneath the car you will need to release the speedometer cable from its mount on the transmission. Since you are going to be sliding the cluster forward with the speedometer cable attached, you want to free up as much slack in the cable as possible and freeing it from its mount will give you a little more room. If you have large hands and need to pull the instrument cluster completely free of the dash to disconnect the speedometer cable, it is a good idea to take a 10mm socket and remove the cable from where it attaches to the transmission. This will allow you to fully remove the cable and give you as much slack as possible so you can pull the instrument cluster forward without damaging your cable. Just be careful removing the cable from the transmission, you must completely remove the bolt holding it in the transmission to get the cable out, also, wiggle it out of its mount rather than pulling.

Next, you will need to purchase the Mercedes-Benz instrument cluster tool 140-589-02-33-00 or make two metal pullers of your own. Most people take a straight length of coat hanger around eight inches long and bend a 90 degree turn about a quarter inch from the end. Now, while this will work, it is a substantially thicker wire to force through the dash opening than the Mercedes-Benz tool: there is also the possibility of scratching the cluster or the interior if you are not careful. Sitting in the driver's seat, slide your pulling tool in the gaps between the instrument cluster and upper section of the air vents on both sides. Turn your tools handles so the hooked end turns in towards the cluster. There are ridged areas on both sides of the cluster that the tool will hook on to and allow you to pull the unit forward.

With the cluster pulled forward and sitting on the top of the steering wheel shaft you can reach in and disconnect the speedometer cable and all the accessories attached to the unit.

Here is the instrument cluster on a W201 with cruise control.
Figure 1

Here is the instrument cluster on a W201 with cruise control. You do not need to remove the steering wheel as there is plenty of room between the dash and wheel to remove the instrument cluster.

Method One: Remove the air diverter from the vent by wrapping a cloth around some pliers and pulling the diverter straight out.
Figure 2

Method One: Remove the air diverter from the vent by wrapping a cloth around some pliers and pulling the diverter straight out.

Gently pry up the four plastic clips (red arrows) holding the vent and face plate to the dash, and then slide it forward.
Figure 3

Gently pry up the four plastic clips (red arrows) holding the vent and face plate to the dash, and then slide it forward.

Disconnect the rear light switch from the face plate.
Figure 4

Disconnect the rear light switch from the face plate. It pulls straight off

If your arms are thin enough reach in behind the cluster through the opening in the air vent and disconnect the speedometer cable from the instrument cluster.
Figure 5

If your arms are thin enough reach in behind the cluster through the opening in the air vent and disconnect the speedometer cable from the instrument cluster. Once the speedometer cable is disconnected, push the cluster out from behind enough so you can grab it and pull it forward from the front.

This photo shows what the end of the speedometer cable looks like.
Figure 6

This photo shows what the end of the speedometer cable looks like. This is what you will be feeling for, and unscrewing when reaching through the vent opening.

Method Two: If you have larger hands you are going to be pulling the instrument cluster out of the dash with the speedometer cable attached.
Figure 7

Method Two: If you have larger hands you are going to be pulling the instrument cluster out of the dash with the speedometer cable attached. To do this you first need to remove the speedometer cable from the transmission. Take a 10mm socket and unscrew the bolt holding the cable in. Gently wiggle the cable out, if you just grab it and yank on it, there is a good chance you will damage it.

Next, remove the clip holding the speedometer cable to the transmission (red arrow).
Figure 8

Next, remove the clip holding the speedometer cable to the transmission (red arrow).

Insert the Mercedes-Benz pulling tool, or your own homemade version the tool between the upper part of the air vent and the instrument cluster.
Figure 9

Insert the Mercedes-Benz pulling tool, or your own homemade version the tool between the upper part of the air vent and the instrument cluster.

Turn the tool so the hooked end rotates in towards the cluster.
Figure 10

Turn the tool so the hooked end rotates in towards the cluster.

The insert lower left shows what the Mercedes-Benz pulling tools look like that Pelican Parts sell for under $15.
Figure 11

The insert lower left shows what the Mercedes-Benz pulling tools look like that Pelican Parts sell for under $15. As mentioned, you can always make your own. In the main photo you can see the area on both sides of the instrument cluster that the tools hook onto (red arrow). With the tools hooked on you can pull the cluster from the dash.

Here is the back of the instrument cluster with everything unattached.
Figure 12

Here is the back of the instrument cluster with everything unattached.

Bookmark and Share
Comments and Suggestions:
190ANDY Comments: Sorry
November 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Looks like an unused wire to me. No sheathing or terminal on end. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
190ANDY Comments: Here it is
November 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Nothing attached. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
190ANDY Comments: Hey Nick
This all really helped, thanks. After disconnecting all the plugs on the back of the cluster. I noticed that there is one white wire going in with the others, but this one doesn't disconnect so I just cut it. I'm just wondering what that is? And why is it hardwired into the cluster?
November 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure, I would need to see the wiring to figure it out. Any chance you have some to share? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
hans Comments: Should the battery be disconnected before removing cluster on an 87 300E?
October 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: yes - Nick at Pelican Parts  
David Comments: I tried the thru the vent method of disconnecting the speedometer cable but was unsuccessful. Instead, I pulled the light switch down and the wiring out of the way. Then I was able to reach up from under the dash and disconnect the speedometer. Not easy, but doable.
October 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
EuroClassics Comments: ..and here's the pic for the blue/brown wire I referred to previously.
-Henry
August 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I looked through what wiring I had for the instrument panel, I didn't see anything in similar configuration or color. It may be for a switch or light on the instrument panel. My suggestion is to locate the wiring diagram for your vehicle and compare it to what you found. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
EuroClassics Comments: Hey guys great tutorial! Trying to reinstall the instrument cluster back on my 92 190 E 2 6 but I can't seem to find where this one blue/brown wire connects to. It comes out of the left side near the vent but I can't seem to find what it connect to. Everything else has been accounted for in the cluster accept this. Please help!
Thanks,
Henry
August 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Responded to your other comment. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Josh Comments: This tutorial is fantastic. I have the cluster out, and was careful to note the location of the plugs. However.. I can't figure out where these wires go! Is it possible they were never connected? These two copper posts - brown/grey and brown/green. Thanks!
January 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you are working on. Those wires look like they were pulled out of an electrical connector by accident. Check for a connector with open slots or damage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
FreddyH-K Comments: I have bent the clips and I get the vent out. But just a little bit. Its like its stuck further in. It seems like the vent and the thing just behind the thing the air goes through is stuck together. I dont want to pull hard because Im scared something will get broken. Is it because I have AC in my car? Can I just pull this whole thing out? Its seems like the thing air goes through goes behind the cluster
Or is it "The Second Method" for me?
September 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the vent open / close lever up? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
old timer Comments: Lot work for guy hands not girly hands Thanks great pictures.
August 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ron Comments: Removed my dashboard cluster to replace some burnt out bulbs and the 15 pin coulpling came apart at the wrong place and now I cant figure out which wires go to what, I have looked for wiring diagrams all over the place but none for my vehicle. 1991 Mercedes 190E 2.6L, can you help?
July 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry, I don't have the wiring for that vehicle.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Abagail Comments: I need to replace the odometer on my 1986 MB 300E. Can I do this without removing the instrument cluster? Thanks
March 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bennycrooze Comments: What size are the dash bulbs and how many are there? I would greatly appreciate the info :
January 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have that info handy.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
wakim Comments: This site is not user friendly ...Displays part but can't order
October 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We are constantly updating the site, there may be an issue with the page. I will have it looked in to. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
injuhneer Comments: Another important note about the vent.

Mind the metal frame of the dash one the right hand side of the hole after taking the vent. It is sharp and will cut your wrist easily.
August 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
steve Comments: Is there such a thing as an Alternator Trigger wire that goes to the instrument cluster? I read that this wire triggers the alternator to start the charging process, is this true?
April 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. This is the wire that runs to the bulb in the cluster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cambreaker Comments: Another tip: I covered the steering column and cruise control stalk with a piece of thin foam to prevent damage, and to keep the cluster from catching on the stalk. Also, the best way to get the cluster out without scratching the dash fascia is to pull straight out to the steering wheel, then rotate the cluster down and to the right of the steering column, until there is enough clearance to get it out from behind the wheel.
March 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
fmarton Comments: If you have an economy meter and want to drive the car with the gauge cluster removed, drive a screw into the end of the vacum pipe that is attached to the economy meter, otherwise you will run with a leaking vacum system.
February 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
fmarton Comments: Very useful, thanks so much for this and all the other guides!
Highly appreciated!! :
February 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
kliszz Comments: A good hint for bulb removal - if you want to replace one broken bulb - replace all of them. It's no bigger effort and will spare removing cluster once again in the future.

PS. You could also remove dash cover below steering wheel to release speedo cable tested on EU versions. And some models have this speedo cable long enough to pull IC with it.
January 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Beryl Comments: Having just bought a nice old 1990 190D with a few dash bulbs broken I was at a loss as to how the dash came out. Not any more! Very useful, thank you.
January 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback, glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
steven Comments: At the bottom of the cluster, there is a group of 3 wires: 2 which clip and 1 that just runs into the firewall. How do I disconnect that random wire which is keeping the entire cluster from being removed?
December 24, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The wire should be attached with a separating point. I would follow it to the cluster or the dash, and disconnect it. May take some searching to find the connection. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Scott Comments: Do I need disconnect the battery before removing the cluster?
Thanks Scott
December 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, that would be a good idea. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
datila Comments: Thanks very much for whom has made that tutorial.

It helped a lot to understand the basics of disassembly.

Your efford have been appreciated a lot
October 8, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
topper Comments: Can i drive the car while the cluster is removed
September 4, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would advise against it. You won't have a speedo or other warning lights. It sounds unsafe. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Project/Wish List]
  [Privacy Statement]  [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Careers]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc. -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page

Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:25:05 AM