I was afraid of this. I will start looking for a new dash. I had this
happen on my 240D, and was able to find a brand new OEM dash--just
can't remember where I bought it!
Thanks very much for the advice.
I have a 1982 300 TDT Mercedes and a 1985 Toyota Corolla GTS Coupe. I
bought the Toyota new and the Mercedes from its original owner in
1993. I park in the shade when possible, and when I lived in Seattle
I had my cars in a garage, but I have lived in the desert here in
California since 1998, and I do not have a garage, but I do have a big
mulberry tree that keeps my cars in the shade. I always use a
sunshade, you know, those cloth things with a flexible frame that you
prop inside the windshield when the car is parked if I am parking in
I always keep the dash protected with a UV sunscreen product like
ArmorAll or Mequars Vinly and Rubber Treatment. That stuff keeps your
vinyl from drying out and it filters the UV part of the spectrum. As
you probably know, the ultraviolet end of the light spectrum is the
high energy end and it is those high energy rays that knock the
molecules of your dash's vinyl apart and evaporate it, resulting in
Neither of my cars have any Sun caused cracks. I think it helps to do
everything you can to keep the Sun off the plastic and those UV filter
coating type products do that.
If your vinyl is already falling apart you could try and find a dash
from a junkyard that is in good shape. Somebody probably smashed up a
300 that was kept in a garage in Seattle (where the Sun does not shine
as much) and a salvage yard has that good dash sitting on a shelf
I have an '89 4Runner too. I bought it on eBay a few years ago for
$3500. The dash is like new because the original owner had a dash mat
and I have left it on.
Here are some dash panels available right now:
Mercedes 300 D CD/TD BLACK A 950402 $150 Sports and Imports USA-
GA(Norcross) E-mail 1-800-831-8292
Mercedes 300 D CD/TD - 242805 $Call A & M Auto Dismantler USA-
CA(Stockton) E-mail 1-209-982-4146
Mercedes 300 TD Station Wagon AA0013 $Call Tom Cat Auto Recycling
LTD Can-BC(Victoria) E-mail 250-474-0253 / 888-866-6797
There's one from a cloudy location.
You can do a search yourself at car-part.com
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