Mechanics

ELECTRICAL

1973 Mercedes Benz 450sl • V8 2WD Automatic • 84,000 miles

1973 450SL instrument panel lights do not work. Headlights work fine. Where should I start?
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Bettylou
November 19, 2010.



Do you have external Parker lights? If no check the fuse as these will operate off the same circuit.

Mark (mhpautos)

Mhpautos
Nov 19, 2010.
Thanks for the tip. Only one thing. What do you mean by parker lights?

Tiny
Bettylou
Nov 19, 2010.
I think you call them running lights there, here in Australia we call them Parker lights.

Mark (mhpautos)

Mhpautos
Nov 20, 2010.
Thank you.

Tiny
Bettylou
Nov 22, 2010.
I'm guessing you've tried the obvious, and replaced the bulbs? They're old, and bulbs do burn out. Assuming you've done that, and you know the bulbs are good: The most common failure point is the dimmer switch on the instrument cluster. Fortunately the most common fix is cheap and easy - rotate the dimmer switch like a crazy person until it starts working. Corrosion builds up on the wires in the dimmer switch and stops the sweep arm from completing a circuit. Turning the dimmer switch up and down and up and down and up and down.
Well, the sweep arm gradually breaks through the corrosion and things start working again. If that doesn't fix it, a new dimmer switch can be had, but they're expensive. The other solution is to remove the instrument cluster, locate the dimmer switch on the back of the cluster, and solder a jumper wire across the points there. Your dimmer switch will no longer dim, but you'll have dash lights.

Tiny
ScottinSoCal
Dec 10, 2010.