Replacing dash/instrument lights Revised. - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 10-15-2011
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Replacing dash/instrument lights Revised.

I felt that the current write-ups available were sort of lacking in detail so I took the liberty of following through with my own. Did this on my 2001 SLK320. Feel free to give me any feedback!


First, take the interior fuse panel off using a flat-head.


You'll want to take the side air vent out. This pops off via flat head as well.


undo these two screws you see here.


Underneath the steering wheel and below the telescoping lever, there's a single screw. Take that out.


Once you take that steering wheel cover panel off, you will now see two additional screws to each side of the steering column. er the plastic pieces was already cracked when I took the cover out -___-


Once all the screws have been undone, you can begin to start sliding the lower part of the panel off. Do so carefully as you do not want to break any of the brittle plastic inserts.


Now moving onto the other side, do the same by sliding the lower portion out. Once that has been done, you can carefully and slowly slide the entire lower panel out. Now, it is not necessary to actually take the lower part out, it just needs to slide out so that you can get the top portion of the panel out.


Looking at the cluster faceplate.


Since you can now lower the bottom part of the steering panel out, you can easily slide the top cluster cover faceplate out.


Removing the cluster faceplate.


Cluster without the plate cover.


Once the cluster cover is off, you'll see two screws on top. You know what to do...


Two more on each side on the bottom side of the cluster.


You'll want to pull the cluster out from the side like so.


Be sure to undo this power connector by sliding the guide out. There's also another connector on the other side - Don't forget about it and definitely don't yank the cluster out with the other connector still plugged in!


Cluster is now out and on my lap ready for service.


My now empty dash...


Behind the cluster with all the bulbs exposed.


Everything Re-assembled.


Now everything is illuminated like it should! Happy & safe driving!



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#2 Old 10-15-2011
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Thank you Sir for the nice Step by Step. I gonna print this one because i want to change over to the Blue Lights. And since you got half of the Dash apart it would be a good time to refinish you Dash if it peels. Thx again well done.
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#3 Old 10-16-2011
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as a sidenote, small sized flat heads will be useful in getting the smaller bulbs with the socket base out and you can use a long needle nose pliers to get the 2 larger cambus socket bulbs out (orange base).

No need to replace the actual sockets unless they are burnt or melted...You can just buy the actual bulbs and slide them back in. I bought my bulbs from autohausaz.com but I also hear that Sylvania/Eiko branded 194 bulbs work just as well - although slightly brighter. Not sure if that's an issue or reduce the lifespan since they are higher watts, but it's a thought.
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Nice work. Thanks for the detailed documentation with photos.
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#5 Old 12-28-2011
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Saw your thread on benzworld and found it again here, so I'll ask my question here too!

What bulbs did you use to replace them. I understand that the 2 big bulbs are #194's, but what are the beige base bulbs?

Thanks! Again, awesome write up
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#6 Old 12-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattmintun View Post
Saw your thread on benzworld and found it again here, so I'll ask my question here too!

What bulbs did you use to replace them. I understand that the 2 big bulbs are #194's, but what are the beige base bulbs?

Thanks! Again, awesome write up
You can't buy the bulbs for the beige base lights as far as I know. I bought them with the base together through Autohausaz.com.
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#7 Old 12-29-2011
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12v 1.5 w brown base are sold at the dealer for $8 or autohaus for $2 something.
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#8 Old 10-23-2012
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Photos

I am unable to view the photos. Have they been taken down or do I have a computer issue?

Thanks
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#9 Old 10-23-2012
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Originally Posted by SLK_Wes View Post
I am unable to view the photos. Have they been taken down or do I have a computer issue?

Thanks
Yes, the pictures disappeared... I don't see them either. Need our moderators to look into it! That happened to couple of my posts.
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#10 Old 10-23-2012
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+1 on not seeing the pics
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#11 Old 10-23-2012
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These pictures were direct links into Akamai content servers, and have disappeared from there by now. This is why I always prefer to attach all my pictures to the forum directly. Over time, this will happen to more and more of the older posts...
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#12 Old 12-12-2012
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Originally Posted by Durkatlon View Post
These pictures were direct links into Akamai content servers, and have disappeared from there by now. This is why I always prefer to attach all my pictures to the forum directly. Over time, this will happen to more and more of the older posts...
I'm with you on that Durk! Let's keep everything on our forum! The attachments are not too big since they shrink in size when you upload them, so hope the server storage can manage that ! And they will never go away =)) I don't mind against small thumbnails at the end of the post!
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#13 Old 12-13-2012
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I need to do my dash bulbs can someone please post pics on how to get dash apart

Dave
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#14 Old 12-13-2012
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Originally Posted by Naffdave View Post
I need to do my dash bulbs can someone please post pics on how to get dash apart

Dave
Check this thread: https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-gen...-lighting.html
The lilred320SLK might do this project soon so you can ask him do document.
Or you can follow these instructions: http://www.buellwinkle.com/r170/
I'm also planning on taking my dash apart to swap all my lights to LEDs. But it will be sometime next week when I receive the bulbs. Did take it apart like 3 times already for number of reasons. Just remember - be gentle, the plastic pins are prone to breaking and Do not over tighten screws when you put it back together =) Pretty easy to do though.
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#15 Old 12-14-2012
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On mine my temp gauge at night is very dim(fuel gauge is bright) same for outer right hand edge of tacho are there seperate bulbs in those places ?

Dave
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#16 Old 12-14-2012
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Originally Posted by Naffdave View Post
On mine my temp gauge at night is very dim(fuel gauge is bright) same for outer right hand edge of tacho are there seperate bulbs in those places ?

Dave
I can't confirm this yet, hopefully still this week end . . . maybe . . . The two larger bulbs provide most if not all of the background illumination of the cluster. The smaller bulbs provide all the indicator lights. (23 I'm told.)

Looks like there are;

7 warning lights on the left and
7 on the right side panels,
1 Fuel low light
2 Blinkers
1 attention

And I'm assuming 1 each for the LED displays? (Alternately they might illuminate the needles and/or as well . . . ??)

That still means it has to be one of the two bigger bulbs out if there is a background illumination issue . . . (That would appear to be the case on mine.)

Since I will have to do all the work to get to them, I'm replacing all of the bulbs; for about $25 in bulb costs.
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#17 Old 12-31-2012
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Hi there!
While I took my dash apart I decided to change my instrument cluster lights to LEDs!








There are two big T10 type LED bulbs
Update:

I would also recommend not to use T10 bulbs since after couple weeks one bulb lost contact and now I need to disassemble it again =( My best advice is to order another set of B8.5D from superbrightleds.com (which I'm going to do now) to replace the T10 ones! Costs just $2.59 each and you need just 2 =)
B8.4D and B8.5D replace the hassle of swapping the bulbs, especially those B8.4D with (t5 wedge equivalent) which are soldered to the contacts...


and 5 of B8.4D (sometimes simply called B8.4) LEDs that illuminate the main part of the instrument cluster.
Here's a picture to compare the B8.4D with the regular Mb bulb and the T5 type that I inserted to match the regular bulb.
From left to right: B8.4D LED, OEM MB bulb, OEM MB socket with T5 SMD 5050 LED.
Now, the problem here is that the OEM bulbs are soldered to these small metal pieces on each side of the bulb socket and they just slide in. Save yourself time and money, and simply buy LEDs with the sockets. They run about $2.50 each. But if you Ebay it they have a pair of 3528 SMDs for $3.00. But it takes a while to receive them =)



I didn't bother changing the other ones on each side. Just checked them. I did change one for the "Low fuel". Thus, I used 6 of B8.4D leds. I ordered mine from Superbrightleds.com
http://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/i...cluster-gauge/

So here's how it looks like at night:




They are a lot brighter. I just don't like that old school yellow look
And I used these T5 LEDs for my air conditioner switches:
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Last edited by JaysonM; 01-14-2013 at 10:55 PM.
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#18 Old 12-31-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaysonM View Post
Hi there!
While I took my dash apart I decided to change my instrument cluster lights to LEDs! . . .
I just haven't had the time to get to mine with all the traveling for the holidays. So:

How many bulbs are there in total? (I know there are the two big ones . . . couldn't quite count from the pictures I've seen for the small ones.)

Were there any particular difficultings in getting the panel out? (I've heard a couple of versions of that; particularly if you have to unfasten the upper dash from the center console?)

Thanks,
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#19 Old 12-31-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilred320SLK View Post
I just haven't had the time to get to mine with all the traveling for the holidays. So:

How many bulbs are there in total? (I know there are the two big ones . . . couldn't quite count from the pictures I've seen for the small ones.)

Were there any particular difficultings in getting the panel out? (I've heard a couple of versions of that; particularly if you have to unfasten the upper dash from the center console?)

Thanks,
Ok, there are:
2 - T10 type
5 - B8.4D type for center and left/right side illumination.
1 - low fuel B8.4D
14 (7 on each side) for the warning lights. B8.4D
On mine the upper bulbs on each side were not present as you may see from the pictures.

You need to get the lower part of the dash off. Then the upper dashboard cover and that's it. Just be careful! I spent more time gluing the plastic back rather than assembling it back together =)
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#20 Old 12-31-2012
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Originally Posted by JaysonM View Post
. . . . On mine the upper bulbs on each side were not present as you may see from the pictures. . . .
Ah, that's perhaps why I kept coming up short on the bulb count looking at various pictures.

The risk of breaking the 11-12 year old plastic is very high!
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