Replacing instrument panel light in my W210??

I have one bulb out in the dash of my '97 E 320. Is it worth it to try and replace it, or is this a monster job that should wait until they all burn out?
Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Own the same model and had the same decision to make. Dealer replaced all the bulbs for $140 labor - ouch - but it's done and cosmetically as new.
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I can't speak authoritatively for a W210 as I haven't done this but my understanding is all MB clusters are the same - you pull it out with two bits of bent coathanger (assuming you don't have the proper MB toold which emulate two bits of bent coathanger nicely).
One you get over the mental anguish of actually doing this it's a five minute operation on any car anywhere any time.
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Richard Sexton <See http://rs79.vrx.net for address> wrote:

    I'm probably missing something, but I've done this and was definitely not going to stick a thick coat hanger wire anywhere around the cluster. Instead I used my sparkplug gapping blades... hey, it's the one flat and thin piece of metal I had handy. Worked great and the cluster was easily removed once I had worked it lose a tad.
cheers, guenter
....... yeah Germnay, sorry to see Sweden go.... what a great goaly! Really, really wanted to see the UK, D matchup.... oh well
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OK, so I have a set of gapping blades like you describe, and can visualize what you're saying. Is there a particular place to try to grip the cluster from, like 3 and 9 o'clock?
I'm not going to jam anything bigger than a knifeblade in there, but for reference, how securely is the cluster put in there? How much force should I expect to use without breaking something?
J
Guenter Scholz wrote:

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In the meantime, here's what I found:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Logo-Instrument-Cluster-Pull-Hooks-New_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ43996QQihZ002QQitemZ4631130413QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWD1V
They really do look like a (thin) coathanger!
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Exactly what I used... no problem. Position is about 2" from the bottom of the cluster to insert the tool and pull out one side at a time... it is like snug fit.
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        ? side, maybe you meant
cheers, guenter
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Yes, on the side...
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Yeah, it is. If you look very very very carefully you should see a slight opening that tells you exacly where to put the tools in.
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doesn't matter, especially considering what Richard said. Maybe the dash had a bit of give somewhere and there may be a bit of a better gap at some point on the cluster between it and the dash. re the security. Like richard said, it's really jsut pushed into place and held by friciton. but think about it, the only way it could come out is if you accelerated at a few g's .... we could only hope so.
cheers, guenter

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Somebody should let me know if the W210 cluster is the same as all the other postwar Mercedes. Assuming it is...
It's surprising how much force is required to yank it out considering it's a friction fit, albeit a very precise one.
The cluster itself has a border of soft rubebry foam that makes the seal and holds it in place. There are places on the back of the cluster where a small hook (not a blade) is supposed to catch on, one each side.
The proper MErcedes tool is a black plastic "T" handle with a thin wire attached to it that has a kink in it about 3/4 of an inch from the end. Most poeple use bent coathangers.
You push it in, feel around for something to grab on to and whe you feel like it's found it's place (not hard) you simply pull firmly but gently and the whole thing comes forward. You'll have to undo a wire or two to get it out all the way but you can replace bulbs without it coming too far out.
The tool is documented here:
    http://articles.mbz.org/instrument/renew /
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Won't it be easier if Mercedes-Benz uses the fibre optic to illuminate the instrument cluster and dashboard with one bulb somewhere in a very easy to access location?
If Rolls-Royce is able to use that technology for the mood lights for its 101EX concept car, why not for other applications? That is the day I've been dreaming about! I'm through with taking the dashboard apart to access one burnt bulb and putting everything back only to find another bulb burnt out. Argh!
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Nope... that will only cost more... and a pain to service the car... MB does use fiber optic on older cars to light up all the switches... not sure on newer one.
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They already do this for some lights in the 126 series. But, instrument lights cannot have a single point of failure.
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