Repair Pictures

R107 VDO Clock Repair

W140 Front Centre Console - Removal

W140 Climate Control LCD Backlight Replacement

W140 1992 Bose Beta System + CD Changer + Telephone

W140 1992 Bose Beta System - Aftermarket Stereo Upgrade Kit

MBCluster Stereo Upgrade Kit
Remember: Disconnect battery before beginning!
Removal Steps
Installation Steps

W140/R129 Aftermarket chrome ring set installation

W140 Closing Assist Pump - Removal

W140 Cooling System (1991-1994) - Auxiliary System Test

W140 Trailer hitch installation

  • 1992 W140 500SEL
  • Curt Manufacturing Trailer Hitch - CM118142
  • Curt Manufacturing Electronic Control Module - CME 56146

R129 1994 Bose System - Aftermarket Stereo Upgrade

R129 1991 Bose System - System Removal

W203 Instrument Cluster Disassembly

W210 - Centre Console / Shifter - Removal

Console Removal
Remember: Disconnect battery before beginning!

Shifter Removal
Remember: place selector in "P" before disassembly!
This locks the transmission lever in "P" so it doesn't move out of place when you re-install.

W210 - Transmission Fluid Change, 722.6 - With Converter Plug

Transmission Parts & Assembly

  1. A large cardboard piece under the car is a good idea, as this job gets messy.
  2. Transmission can be drained either cold, warm or hot.
  3. Remove transmission shroud, examine any additional leaks. The electronic plug needs replacement, if its never been done.
  4. Find the torque converter drain plug by bumping the starter. Note: Engine turns clockwise only!
  5. Start with the transmission pan drain plug, should be about 3 liters of fluid. Detach the pan (6 bolts), there will still be about a half-inch of fluid left in the pan.
  6. Remove transmission filter.
  7. Drain torque converter, another 3 liters of fluid.
  8. Electrical plug detaches by rotating the cover by the tab.
  9. Clean everything!
  10. To do the electrical contactor plate & pressure valve spring :
    • Remove the 10 T30 bolts holding the vale body up
    • Put the body on a clean surface, remove the 3 T30 Bolts holding the springs down
    • Remove the solenoids, placing them safely where you remember the orientation!
    • Unhook the plate and pull off.
    • Remove the plate with the 12 T30 bolts, right side, rear plate
    • Replace the second from the rear spring with new Sonnax 68942, if the old one is broken
    • Return plate, torque down bolts 4 Nm
    • Clean everything.
    • Snap on new plate, return solenoids to their original position
    • Screw on three springs, torque down 6 Nm
    • Replace valve body, ligning up the gear selector lever with the valve body. This is a bit tricky, my need to do it a couple times. Test the gear selection before you torque down bolts, 8 Nm.
  11. Re-assemble, plug, filter, pan with new gasket, hand tighten all bolts. Filter snaps into place, requires some force. New gaskets for both plugs.
  12. Torque Specs:
    • Transmission Pan torx bolts :TORX30 @ ~106 inch/lbs
    • Transmission Drain Plug: 5mm hex @ ~18 ft/lbs
    • Torque Converter drain plug: 5mm hex @ ~20 ft/lbs

  • Trans fluid is 236.12 rated, follow dealer recommendations.
  • Refill via transmission tube, it will seep out, so use cloths around neck.
  • Use 4L initially, moving through gears while stationary. Then add 2L, go for short drive to warm things up.
  • Use transmission level checking tool to verify correct level, should be around 7.3L. Check engine warm, idling in Park.
  • Check for leaks, then button everything up.
  • Temperature of fluid determines correct height as measured by tool.
  • If the return spring or contactor were bad, your TCM will go nuts when everything is working properly, expecting things to be bad as before. Its actually resetting its adaptation and starting over, and throw itself into limp mode. You need to clear the TCM errors with CARSOFT, and then everything will be back to normal.

W210 Customization - 1997 E300D Customized Modifications : Stereo, Shifter, Voltmeter

W210 LCD Pixel Corruption Repair

W210 Rear Window Regulator Replacement

W220 Instrument Cluster Disassembly & Lighting Repair

Part I

The lighting from the W220 Instrument clusters are a well known issue, recall honoured up to 10 years from date of manufacture, for registered owners. Afterwards repair is the only option. An aftermarket repair kit is available utilizing a Chinese made replacement transformer, and a few MOSFETs.

Disassembly is a bit tedious, as VDO never intended for these sets to be repaired. The utmost patience and gently coaxing is required to disassemble, otherwise breakage or damage is certain. This type of repair is a bit involved for the average DIYer and should be left to the experts!

Part II

Although the lights returned after the repair, shortly thereafter the lights flickered and died again. The following pictures represent the debugging process to determine cause of further faults. The original problem was a transformer whose primary windings had an open circuit, that was not the case afterwards.

The first Chinese transformer didn't fit, the legs were two widely spaced for the PCB. The second barley fit by forcing it onto the board. The spacing is precise, so it must be flush against the board otherwise the secondary board will not fit. Assuming generally poor quality control, a defective part was thought to be the culprit. Perhaps a defective replacement MOSFET, not driving enough current?

The power circuitry driving the lights is an upconverting transformer, like a buck or boost, similar to a CF bulb. The output voltage was calculated to be in the neighborhood of 4000V. The entire lighting system for the W220 is provided by a mixture of 3 miniature fluorescent tubes, and LED lighting. The fluttering of the fluorescents cause dips and surges in the board, and even caused one of the LED drivers to get hot and smoke for some reason. This is likely the reason why people complain that the instruments blow fuses.

The architecture of a mixed analog, digital and 4000V fluorescent transformer is mind boggling. Realistically, these instruments are not designed to last forever.

Part III

Replacement tubes are non-existent, so this puts an end to the repair. Perhaps a used set of tubes from another defective set would be an adequate solution, although for how long?

Using a bulk of the existing circuitry, and a redesign, it is possible to graft in an LED light strip solution to replace the fluorescent tubes. The solution must :

  1. Be bright enough to sufficiently light the instruments, ideally no worse than before.
  2. Be able to retain the dimming functionality of the knob to the left, otherwise nighttime driving would be uncomfortable.
  3. Be able to withstand the fluctuating and unpredictable charging cycles of the alternator.
  4. Be reliable.

The new lighting circuit is complete. As per the requirements list above :

  1. Very bright, using 5mm white & blue LEDs, running at 20mA max each.
  2. This one was tricky, but eventually figured out how the dimming was done. Modified the circuit to range from 100% to roughly 10%.
  3. Fully regulated, can withstand up to 15V continuous no problem, spikes larger than 16V also OK. Also creates no additional heat.
  4. This one is tough. Hard to wire them together without a PCB, and still fit neatly in the confined space, and still be reliable.
An off the shelf PCB mounted with LEDs would be much nicer than doing everything by hand, will look into that. This would make the reliability factor greatly improved. Finishing up and testing is next...

Part IV

Completed transplant, graft 5mm LEDs white for the gauges, blue for the LCD, reassembly and testing.

2002 VW Jetta TDI - Aftermarket Stereo Upgrade + Cameras + Gauges

  • Replace OEM Premium 6 VW HU with aftermarket 2-DIN JVC KW-NX7000 DVD Navigation Receiver
  • Install backup camera, Bluetooth, GPS antenna, dash camera
  • Install mini digital instrument panel displays for Oil, Turbo, Voltmeter, Ext. Temp, Glow plugs

Reverse Camera



Installation Interior

Installation Engine

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MBCluster | 8 Blacktoft Drive | Scarborough, Ontario, Canada | M1B 2M6 | (416)724-2149 | Email :

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