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Lower Left Dash Interior Panel Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Lower Left Dash Interior Panel Removal

Tom Morr

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

Phillips screwdrivers, 6mm socket, ratchet, wrench, nut-driver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R170 (1998-04)

Hot Tip:

Move the seat all the way back, telescope the steering column outward to maximize workspace.

Performance Gain:

Creates access to switches.

Complementary Modification:

Remove other interior pieces and clean or possibly repaint them.

In left-hand-drive R170 SLKs, the lower interior panel must be removed in order to access the heater core, instrument cluster, and more. The job isn't difficult.

Granted, reaching some of the screws requires doing the under-dash limbo. Also, the plastic interior parts are fragile. Molded-in screw holes break easily, and the panels themselves can crack if over-flexed. Be particularly careful if using an electric screwdriver.

On our project car, a 2000 SLK230 Kompressor, the lower panel is held in by a pair of 6mm-headed screws and various other Phillips screws. Mercedes-Benz also used T20 Torx screws to secure the lower panel in some models during this era.

If the panels won't be reinstalled in the near future, consider marking the screws' locations or threading them back in their holes after the various components are unfastened.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Two quarter-turn plastic fasteners (green arrows) secure the side cover.
Figure 1

Two quarter-turn plastic fasteners (green arrows) secure the side cover. They can be undone with a quarter, then the panel can be lifted off.

The under-column cover is held on by a single screw (green arrow).
Figure 2

The under-column cover is held on by a single screw (green arrow).

The lower panel screws also secure the instrument cluster cover to behind-dash support ribs on either side of the steering column (green arrows).
Figure 3

The lower panel screws also secure the instrument cluster cover to behind-dash support ribs on either side of the steering column (green arrows).

The air nozzle/vent housing is held in with a screw at its top.
Figure 4

The air nozzle/vent housing is held in with a screw at its top. A small screwdriver might fit in with the grille pointed upward. We slid the grille off its pivot studs and removed it to create a straight shot with standard screwdriver.

Once the screw is removed, the vent housing pulls out.
Figure 5

Once the screw is removed, the vent housing pulls out.

Screws that hold the lower panel and instrument cluster to the support structure (yellow arrow, upper already removed) and light/fuse module (green arrow) are accessible with a stubby Phillips screwdriver.
Figure 6

Screws that hold the lower panel and instrument cluster to the support structure (yellow arrow, upper already removed) and light/fuse module (green arrow) are accessible with a stubby Phillips screwdriver.

Two screws (green arrows) hold the light/fuse module to the lower panel behind the vent housing.
Figure 7

Two screws (green arrows) hold the light/fuse module to the lower panel behind the vent housing.

The lower panel and black plastic pedal cover can be removed together.
Figure 8

The lower panel and black plastic pedal cover can be removed together. We removed the pedal cover to yield a little more working room (two screws, green arrows),

Next, the hood-release handle (green arrow) and data link connector cover (purple arrow) are unscrewed.
Figure 9

Next, the hood-release handle (green arrow) and data link connector cover (purple arrow) are unscrewed.

The hood release cable (green arrow) is pulled out of its groove and de-coupled from the handle.
Figure 10

The hood release cable (green arrow) is pulled out of its groove and de-coupled from the handle.

A slide lever disconnects the data-link connector (OBD-II port) from its under-dash cover piece.
Figure 11

A slide lever disconnects the data-link connector (OBD-II port) from its under-dash cover piece.

Two screws with 6mm heads (green arrows) support the lower cover on the bottom.
Figure 12

Two screws with 6mm heads (green arrows) support the lower cover on the bottom.

The various screw holes are indicated by arrows.
Figure 13

The various screw holes are indicated by arrows.

Removing the lower dash panel is a preliminary step for instrument cluster access (see that article for details), heater core repair and more.
Figure 14

Removing the lower dash panel is a preliminary step for instrument cluster access (see that article for details), heater core repair and more.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Becca Comments: The lower dash of my 99 slk 230 has completely fallen apart. The instructions for removal are helpful, but where can I find a replacement part?
November 30, 2016
taguato1 Comments: Incredible enough, my 2001 slk 230 DOES NOT have a button to adjust the steering column. Is that normal?
April 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, it may have been an option the original owner did not purchase. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
joejohndavid Comments: I have a slk 230 want to no a easy way to remove heat or core out
December 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dreamer Comments: Hi. I hit a deer with my 2010 SLK 300. The car is all fixed but the bodyman can not find anything on how to replace the drivers knee airbag. Anything you can help me with would be much appreciated. Help !!!!
November 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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