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Dash Switches Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Dash Switches Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$1 to $10

Talent:

**

Tools:

Philips screwdriver driver, trim removal tool

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W123 (1977-85)

Parts Required:

Bulbs

Hot Tip:

Don't handle the bulbs with bare skin

Performance Gain:

You can see the switches

Complementary Modification:

Detail the center console

Removing the face plate that surrounds the climate control unit is probably more difficult than actually replacing all of the bulbs in the dash, but if you use care and follow these procedures you can easily replace them without causing any damage to the wood surround. If you are replacing one bulb you might as well replace them all. The bulbs are cheap and you would hate to have one you didn't replace fail right after you put everything back together. And remember the new bulbs will be brighter, so this way everything will be balanced.

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.

Removing the cover plate on your W123 might be the most difficult part of replacing the bulbs.
Figure 1

Removing the cover plate on your W123 might be the most difficult part of replacing the bulbs. The wood trim actually has a metal backing (red arrow) on it that holds it to the face shield in front of the climate control unit. Most people try to use their trim removal tool and pry between the metal plate and wood thinking this is how you get the trim panel off but all you will do is separate the wood from the backing and damage both. As you can see in this picture, a previous owner of this project car must have damaged the wood enough that they removed it and just installed the metal backing plate.

There are two cut out areas behind the metal plate that are designed to take the trim removal tool and ensure you get both the wood and metal coming off together (red arrows).
Figure 2

There are two cut out areas behind the metal plate that are designed to take the trim removal tool and ensure you get both the wood and metal coming off together (red arrows).

Get in behind the plate and gently pry it forward until it releases from the climate control plate.
Figure 3

Get in behind the plate and gently pry it forward until it releases from the climate control plate.

With the plate off, you can see the four small openings that the tabs on the plate sit in (yellow arrows).
Figure 4

With the plate off, you can see the four small openings that the tabs on the plate sit in (yellow arrows). The red arrows indicate the cut out areas for your trim removal tool.

Use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the five screws holding the cover plate in place (yellow arrows).
Figure 5

Use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the five screws holding the cover plate in place (yellow arrows).

Remove the cover plate (red arrow).
Figure 6

Remove the cover plate (red arrow).

You can now remove the unit out from the center console.
Figure 7

You can now remove the unit out from the center console.

Remove the bulbs by grabbing them at the their base and wiggling them straight back and out (red arrow), do not attempt to pull the bulbs out by the wires you run the very real risk of pulling the wires out from the sockets.
Figure 8

Remove the bulbs by grabbing them at the their base and wiggling them straight back and out (red arrow), do not attempt to pull the bulbs out by the wires you run the very real risk of pulling the wires out from the sockets. When installing the bulbs use a little clean cloth between your fingers and the bulb. Touching the bulb with your bare skin will transfer the oils from your skin onto the bulb and can cause a hot spot that may lead to reduced life of the bulb.

There is a bulb mounted in the rear of the console opening (red arrow) that you will need to carefully reach in and remove.
Figure 9

There is a bulb mounted in the rear of the console opening (red arrow) that you will need to carefully reach in and remove.

This one bulb (red arrow) provides light to the optical cable that delivers the light everywhere else.
Figure 10

This one bulb (red arrow) provides light to the optical cable that delivers the light everywhere else. Use care and make sure you are only removing the single bulb holder. Installation is the reverse of removal and do not forget to try and not touch the bulb with your bare skin.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 03:04:43 AM