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Pelican Technical Article:

Instrument Cluster Removal

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$2 to $500

Talent:

**

Tools:

Instrument cluster removal tool #140-589-02-33-00

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz 260E (1987-89)
Mercedes-Benz 300CE (1988-93)
Mercedes-Benz 300E (1986-93)
Mercedes-Benz 300TE (1988-92)
Mercedes-Benz E320 (1994-95)

Parts Required:

New bulbs, instrument cluster

Hot Tip:

Slide the steering wheel as far away from the dash as it will go

Performance Gain:

Reliable, bright gauges

Complementary Modification:

Clean everything while you're in there

Removing the instrument cluster on your Mercedes W124 is not a difficult job; you can even do it without removing the steering wheel. The gauge cluster is a friction fit and is pulled from the dash with two cluster removal tools. While you can buy these tools from Pelican Parts you can also make your own from metal coat hangers; just be careful not to scratch the trim with any sharp edges.

PLEASE NOTE: NEVER, NEVER connect your battery before you've connected the airbag. Otherwise you'll get an SRS error and need to visit dealer for clearing it. In other words, the SRS controller will not find your driver airbag connected and turn on the SRS dashboard light which will never go away by its own even after you've connected the airbag.

The cluster is pulled from the dash by inserting the removal tools between the vents and the cluster (red arrows).
Figure 1

The cluster is pulled from the dash by inserting the removal tools between the vents and the cluster (red arrows).

Some vehicles have the speedometer cable clipped to the pedal box (red arrow).
Figure 2

Some vehicles have the speedometer cable clipped to the pedal box (red arrow). You are going to need to free up some slack in the cable either way. So, remove the kick panel and release the clip. Gently pull the cable up through the floor.

Insert the hooked end of the tool between the vent trim and the cluster trim with the end pointed up or down (red arrow).
Figure 3

Insert the hooked end of the tool between the vent trim and the cluster trim with the end pointed up or down (red arrow). Use care not to scratch the trim.

Turn the handle so that the hooked end is facing the instrument cluster (red arrow).
Figure 4

Turn the handle so that the hooked end is facing the instrument cluster (red arrow). There are ridged edges to the cluster that the hooks will catch on.

Pull the cluster out far enough so that you can reach in behind it and unscrew the speedometer cable.
Figure 5

Pull the cluster out far enough so that you can reach in behind it and unscrew the speedometer cable. The sheathed cable (red arrow) is connected to the cluster by a large brass screw (yellow arrow). Unscrew the brass ring. That will separate the cable from the cluster.

This photo illustrates where the speedometer cable (red arrow) attaches to the gauge cluster (yellow arrow).
Figure 6

This photo illustrates where the speedometer cable (red arrow) attaches to the gauge cluster (yellow arrow). Note: the steering wheel has been removed for photographic purposes only; you do not need to remove the steering wheel to perform this work.

All the wires are held to the top of the cluster by a clip.
Figure 7

All the wires are held to the top of the cluster by a clip. Release this clip (red arrow) with your hands.

The large 16-pin circular connection pulls straight back from the cluster.
Figure 8

The large 16-pin circular connection pulls straight back from the cluster. There is a cut out in the cluster that assures the plug can only fit into the cluster in one way (red arrow).

The rest of the connections are just squeeze and pull connections (red arrow).
Figure 9

The rest of the connections are just squeeze and pull connections (red arrow).

Bulb replacement is easy.
Figure 10

Bulb replacement is easy. Simply pull the plastic bulb housing from the cluster (red arrow). When replacing the bulbs do not touch the surface of the bulb with your uncovered hands. The oils from your skin can cause a hot spot to form on the bulb and reduce its life. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Dave Comments: Is it advised and/or necessary to disconnect the battery before removing the instrument cluster?
March 20, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, I would disconnect it before unplugging the electrical connectors. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Reluctant Mechanic Comments: I am driving my 87 300E while I have the gauge cluster out to get the odometer fixed. I've done this before with no problem, but today the battery died while I was driving. I stopped for gas and it wouldn't start. I got a jump and it started, and now I have parked it and put the battery on charge. Does anyone know if removing the gauges can cause the battery to discharge? I was planning on driving 30 miles back to my technician to pick up the gauge cluster in a few days, but am now having second thoughts! Of course, it could be an unrelated problem. Thanks.
March 7, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if the charge light is not connected, the alternator may not charge correctly. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jalil Comments: Hi, can you tell me whether the Mercedes W124 instrument cluster are the same for all models. I need to change the cluster for my E220 model.
Thank you.
January 12, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't believe so. I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Fri 11/17/2017 02:46:26 AM