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Lower Center Console and Switch Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Lower Center Console and Switch Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$20 to $200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Philips head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W123 (1977-85)

Parts Required:

Switches

Hot Tip:

Do not pry the switches out from above

Performance Gain:

Working switches

Complementary Modification:

Check all your bulbs

Depending how your W123 is optioned will determine the number and type of switches located in the lower center console. Removing and replacing these switches is easy once you know how to do it. Most people are confused on how to remove the switches and just try and pry them up from above. While this will usually get the switches out, this also usually ends up damaging the wood around the switches. The trick to replacing them is to first remove the lower center console.

Over the years your car may have been serviced by multiple people including previous owners and this can lead to parts replaced with different size fasteners and hardware. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. If something is different on your vehicle please let us know and share your info to help other users. If you have any questions or comments or even a different procedure you would like to share please leave it below and please leave your vehicle information.

If you are changing out the lower center console switches (red arrow) do not attempt to just pry them out from above the wood piece; this will just lead to damaging the wood around the switches.
Figure 1

If you are changing out the lower center console switches (red arrow) do not attempt to just pry them out from above the wood piece; this will just lead to damaging the wood around the switches. The best way to change them is to first remove the lower center console.

While there are no visible forms of retaining the console in place it is very easy to remove.
Figure 2

While there are no visible forms of retaining the console in place it is very easy to remove. Begin by setting the parking brake and putting the transmission in neutral. Next open the ash tray and press down on the center clip (red arrow) until you can pull the tray all the way forward on out from the opening.

Use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the two screws at the back of the ash tray housing (red arrows).
Figure 3

Use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the two screws at the back of the ash tray housing (red arrows).

Pull the ash tray housing out; if your vehicle is optioned with an ash tray light make sure to disconnect the electrical connection on the left side (red arrow).
Figure 4

Pull the ash tray housing out; if your vehicle is optioned with an ash tray light make sure to disconnect the electrical connection on the left side (red arrow).

Push the center panel a little forward and then lift it up (red arrow).
Figure 5

Push the center panel a little forward and then lift it up (red arrow). With the front section up slide the panel to the rear; there should be a small plastic stud that sits in an opening in the center console that you need to move far back enough until it clears. Some vehicles may be missing this stud as lots have been broken off over the years by people not knowing it was there.

Gently lift the panel up on one side and disconnect the window switches first (red arrow), this will then allow you more access to separate the other wiring connections.
Figure 6

Gently lift the panel up on one side and disconnect the window switches first (red arrow), this will then allow you more access to separate the other wiring connections.

You can see in this picture that our project cars panel is missing the stud (red arrow) that usually sits in the opening in the console (yellow arrow).
Figure 7

You can see in this picture that our project cars panel is missing the stud (red arrow) that usually sits in the opening in the console (yellow arrow).

On the underside of the panel you can see the small tabs that hold the switches in place (red arrow).
Figure 8

On the underside of the panel you can see the small tabs that hold the switches in place (red arrow).

Depress the tabs and push the switch out of the panel.
Figure 9

Depress the tabs and push the switch out of the panel. Now would be a really good time to clean up around the shift lever and the area inside the console. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
sunnyintx Comments: Very nicely done. I've seen too many mangled lower center consoles from people trying to pry the window or hazard switches out from the top, not to mention the number of broken rear tabs on the console cover - the car is simple, but not STUPID simple! Such clear instructions and pictures will keep a lot of our w123s in their best possible condition for years to come.
March 27, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for your feedback! We love to hear this kind of stuff... - Casey at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 11/17/2017 03:18:37 AM