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Heh, old Benz 'discoveries' continue. I bought an '82 300TD, great shape, except for the obvious oil seal leak. (I have the part for it already, the parts guy at the dealership was VERY cool, giving me tips on what to look for)

So, my recent discoveries. . . . The odometer doesn't work the way it's supposed to. It works, then doesn't for some miles, then works a little bit. (Makes me wonder how many miles are *really* on this car) Also, driving it for the first time at night, I found the dash lights don't work. (IP, climate control, upper dash switches) but the shift console illumination does work. I checked all the fuses and they're OK, I pulled the instument panel and the bulbs are OK there, too. I thought it might be a corroded dimmer control, so I lifted and lightly filed the copper wing on that. I put it all back together and it's the same.

Would a shot instrument panel take the console lights with it?
 

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No. Basically, the instruments are independent of the lights.

From what you have said, my guess would be to start troubleshooting at the dimmer knob. It sounds as though you started there, but cleaning the connections might not be adequate. These do often fail, and are probably available from our sponsor.

To troubleshoot it, first make sure that it is recieving power. Then, remove it, and check it with an ohmeter. As for electrical connections, it is often best to clean them with a pencil eraser rather than a file.

The odometer problem is also fairly common, though I have yet to fix one myself. Usually what happens is a plastic gear that is pressed onto a metal shaft is slipping. The gear can be removed and the shaft "splined" by just squeezing it with some pliers and pushing the gear back on. The other option is to put a drop of loctite on it to keep it from spinning. I'll have to dig up a reference for you on that one.

-Neil
 
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