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Pelican Technical Article:

Instrument Cluster Bulbs Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$10

Talent:

*

Tools:

Mercedes Benz instrument cluster hooks

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R129 (1990-02)

Parts Required:

Instrument cluster bulbs

Hot Tip:

Move adjustable steering wheel fully away from the dash and to the lowest position

Performance Gain:

You'll be able to see the instrument cluster at night

Complementary Modification:

Upgrade gauge faces with AMG style

At night we rely on the bulbs inside our instrument cluster to illuminate. This lets us see how fast we are going, how fast the engine is turning and also to keep an eye on the gauges. In addition to illumination there are warning lights in the instrument cluster that illuminate to indicate to the driver that there is a problem that needs attention. This not only improves vehicle safety but it also helps warn the driver before more extensive damage is done. In this tech article we will go over all the steps needed to remove the instrument cluster and the bulbs in it.

You do not need to remove the steering wheel to remove the instrument cluster.  Almost all 500 and SL 500 came with electronically adjustable steering wheels.  Extend the steering wheel fully away from the instrument cluster and set it to its lowest position.

This picture illustrates the special Mercedes Benz instrument cluster hooks (tool #140 589 02 33 00 or aftermarket: M0333) inserted on the left side of the instrument cluster.
Figure 1

This picture illustrates the special Mercedes Benz instrument cluster hooks (tool #140 589 02 33 00 or aftermarket: M0333) inserted on the left side of the instrument cluster. Slide the tool in sideways a few inches and twist it 90 degrees. When you pull back on it the tool will hook on to the base of the instrument cluster. If you donÂ't have the special tool, you can a fabricate one out of a 90 degree pick. Grind off the point leaving about 3mm remaining. This will work almost as well as the special tool.

This picture illustrates the special Mercedes Benz instrument cluster hooks inserted on the right side of the instrument cluster.
Figure 2

This picture illustrates the special Mercedes Benz instrument cluster hooks inserted on the right side of the instrument cluster. Slide the tool in sideways a few inches and twist it 90 degrees. Firmly pull back on the tool and the bottom of the cluster will pull out of the dash panel opening. It may be easier to pull out one side at the time.

Lift the instrument cluster out between the steering wheel and the upper dash board pad.
Figure 3

Lift the instrument cluster out between the steering wheel and the upper dash board pad.

Twist the instrument cluster so you can see the back of it.
Figure 4

Twist the instrument cluster so you can see the back of it. This photo illustrates the back of the right side of the instrument cluster. Take a firm grip of the round electrical connector (green arrow) and pull it all off of the instrument cluster.

Believe it or not but you can pull on the wiring harness of the square electrical connector and it should unplug from the instrument cluster.
Figure 5

Believe it or not but you can pull on the wiring harness of the square electrical connector and it should unplug from the instrument cluster. There is no room to grab the connector itself since it is recessed in the receptacle.

This photo illustrates that we have rotated the instrument cluster so that we are now looking at the left side of it.
Figure 6

This photo illustrates that we have rotated the instrument cluster so that we are now looking at the left side of it. Take a firm grip of the round electrical connector (green arrow) and unplug it from the back of the instrument cluster.

Once again, you can pull the wiring harness of the square electrical connector and it should unplug from the instrument cluster.
Figure 7

Once again, you can pull the wiring harness of the square electrical connector and it should unplug from the instrument cluster.

Pull the instrument cluster out of the car and position it so you can see the back of it.
Figure 8

Pull the instrument cluster out of the car and position it so you can see the back of it. There is a black cover on the back of the instrument cluster but you do not need to remove it to change the individual bulbs. The two bulbs at the top (green arrows) are for the turn signal indicators.

The four bulbs along the middle of the cluster (yellow arrows) are for illumination.
Figure 9

The four bulbs along the middle of the cluster (yellow arrows) are for illumination.

The row of bulbs along the bottom of the instrument cluster (between the red arrows) are for the warning indicators.
Figure 10

The row of bulbs along the bottom of the instrument cluster (between the red arrows) are for the warning indicators.

The two bulbs in the middle (green arrows) are the backlighting for the odometer and trip meter displays and are located at the bottom of the speedometer.
Figure 11

The two bulbs in the middle (green arrows) are the backlighting for the odometer and trip meter displays and are located at the bottom of the speedometer.

You can grab the sides of each bulb with a pair of needle nose pliers.
Figure 12

You can grab the sides of each bulb with a pair of needle nose pliers. If you look closely you can see the required wattage reading (green arrows) for that bulb position.

Twist each bulb 90 degrees in the counterclockwise direction.
Figure 13

Twist each bulb 90 degrees in the counterclockwise direction.

You can now pull the bulb out of its socket.
Figure 14

You can now pull the bulb out of its socket. This same process can be used for each bolt in the instrument cluster. There are a few different bulbs types at the back of this instrument cluster. Be sure you have the right part number for the bulb you are trying to replace. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Position the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and plug in each of the four electrical connectors. Fit the instrument cluster into its housing and push backwards until the instrument cluster is fully seated. Turn on the ignition and verify the warning lights come on during the bulb check.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Sonny Comments: My #2 13 wire plug came apart can you tell me the color codeed wires that correspond to each numbered hole. I have a 1992 SL 500. Please Sonny
July 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have that info. I would grab a repair manual. It will have it.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
G Comments: How many bulbs for the cluster?
July 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle?

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
 
Lloyd Comments: how do the small warning bulbs get replaced?
March 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See figure 10. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Charlie C Comments: Can you disconnect the instrument cluster without worry of loosing the milage shown on the display of a 1998 car?
December 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, it will be stored. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Slim Comments: would it make sense to replace most or all bulbs at once?
Would this brighten a 15 year old display
September 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, plus it will save you the time of having to go back in there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
peter Comments: Do you know if the outside temp bulb is soldered in or tuned in on a 1992 300 sl
July 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't believe it is replaceable. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Benge Comments: How do you tell which bulbs are inop.
February 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They will be the bulbs that do not illuminate. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:27:11 AM