Refurbishing a W124 instrument cluster – Part 4: Installation and testing

Last night I finished the installation of the refurbished W124 instrument cluster.    I’m really happy with it, and its really lifted the car.

I ended up installing it as part of my failed attempt to change the centre vent.   Even after changing the bulb, the vent illumination was not working.   I realized that it must require the instrument cluster to be plugged in.    This proved to be the case, and also fixed the illumination for the outside temperature gauge.

Before I re-installed the cluster, I added more ATF to the speedometer cable.   This is an attempt to lubricate it and stop the speedometer needle bouncing around at low speed.   I then plugged in all the electrical connections.   Most of them had plenty of slack, so this part of the job was quite easy.    Re-attaching the speedometer cable is more fiddly as there is minimal slack.

I didn’t push the cluster all the way in and did a test drive around the industrial complex.   It was soon apparent that the bulb that illuminates the left hand side had blown.   I had one left in my box of bulbs, so I quickly swapped it over.    If you own these cars, its really handy to keep spares like this on hand.    On the less positive side, I can’t say that the ATF has really helped my speedometer needle a great deal.  It is improved, but not by very much.  It was worth a try.

refurbished W124 instrument cluster

Given that you are sitting in front of the instrument cluster the whole time you are driving the car, I think is a very worthwhile improvement.  I find these sort of projects really make a big difference.  My refurbished W124 instrument cluster wasn’t all that expensive and only a few hours work.     It is especially apparent when compared to how it was.

refurbished W124 instrument cluster

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