81 300dt - dash rheostat

Can this be refurbished, or must I spend ~$75 for a new one? Is this a fairly easy job? It doesn't look terribly daunting at first blush.
I've seen a kit (from mercedessource) to augment, or brighten, the
illumination as well. Has anybody tried this? They also sell the tools to remove the instrument cluster, but it looks like a wire coat hanger will do the job just fine.
TIA
Tweaks
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Wire coat hanger will do the job just fine.
Considering the rheostat is nearly 26 years old... don't you think $75 is cheap for 26 years of service? Take your out and see if the coil is broken. Mine was broken so I bought a new one.
Haven't tried on those brightening kit... I had the problem on my 380SE... the light was dim... even at the highest setting. Makes no difference... change rheostat, change all bulbs... no difference. I think the fault was at the headlight switch... because I was not getting the full voltage at the cluster.
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Mine is 26 years old and still working. Over time it got to the point where there were just a couple spots on the range that it worked, then it finally quit altogether. Took it out, sprayed it with electrical parts cleaner while working it back and forth. Works fine now.

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Thanks... I tried to respond a couple of days ago, but it didn't take!
Tweaks
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trader4 wrote:

I had my cluster out the other day to fix a diesel shutoff problem that was traced back there. While at it I pulled the rheostat 'cause I only had one brightness (at least it was "on" and not "off". I found that there was a wire soldered between the two metal strips on back and figured that was the "problem", and upon opening the case I found evidence of a once-highly-corroded-but-no-longer-present coil inside... Guess that means no refurbishing it myself! ...although maybe I'll just live with it 'cause the brightness is ok. Not as bright as I'd like, but not too dark to see either, and any resistor thrown in there would only make it less bright, so...
-tom!
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Sounds like somebody was there before you! I think I'll just go ahead and replace the rascal. I hate not having lights.
Now I can't even reset the mileage, so I'm thinking there's also a spring that's sprung.
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Thanks. Yes (sheepish grin) it isn't much to pay. The Mercedessource kit is only $60 or so, and it has the rheostat and the bulbs.
Thanks for the reply...
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I was able to repair mine. The nichrome (?) wire had come off one end. I slipped it back into place and put a dab of JB Weld on it.
It still works.
I took pics of this repair:
http://articles.mbz.org/instrument/dimmer /
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