W126 Outside temperature LCD screen repair attempt 1

The W126 outside temperature display was standard in all Australian delivered series 2 models.   The little LCD screen is not really compatible with the Australian sun as most of them start to bleed and become unreadable.   My 300SE and 560SEC both have unreadable LCD screens.   The 560SEL, which was garaged all its life still has a good screen.

Buying a used one is not really a good option.   They are not particularly cheap, and even if a cheaper one from the USA can be sourced, it would be in Fahrenheit.   There is somebody in Europe who is selling replacement LCD panels so I thought I would give it a go.

Obviously to get to the LCD, the instrument cluster has to come out.   I find the easiest way is to remove the drivers side speaker and push it out from the back.   The W126 outside temperature display is screwed into the bottom of the cluster and can be removed without any other disassembly.

Replacing the LCD is as simple as taking the front off and then swapping the panels over.

W126 outside temperature displayThe little contacts on each side of the panel also need to come too.   When doing it, I couldn’t work out which side was the top.  I ended up guessing and I was wrong.   I guess I had 50/50 chance.

The backlight is also broken on my 300SE, so I dismantled the W126 outside temperature display to see if I could change it.   At first glance it looks like the little bulbs used in the dashboard.   However, its actually soldered to the circuit board.   My soldering skills are not up to this task so I don’t think I will replace it.

W126 outside temperature displayI got it back into the car and found two problems.   The first one is simple, I had the LCD upside down.   The second is more serious.   I didn’t read the description properly of the LCD, so didn’t specify I wanted Celsius.   The panel I have is for Fahrenheit which is useless to me.    So I guess that is about $65 down the drain, although I might be able to sell the panel.

I’ve now ordered two new panels to do the job properly and learn from my mistakes this time.

W126 outside temperature displayDespite my careless buying I feel good about this improvement.  The repair can be done without soldering, and seems to work quite well.   I should now have working temperature displays in these cars once the new LCD panels come in.

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