W126 instrument cluster.

Discussion in 'Interior' started by parkman1, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. parkman1

    parkman1 Active Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Car:
    Mercedes E220: W126 500se; W124 260E
    I am very interested to know if anyone has fitted "chrome" rings to their W126, and whether it was straightforward, or as I have discovered, very difficult to impossible.

    I ordered a set from a company in Germany about a year ago, and I presumed that the rings would be made the same as the front of the instrument panel [cluster], but when I decided to fit them, last week the rings would not fit under any circumstances.

    After about an hour trying to manipulate one of the small rings into the hole that corresponds to the rev. counter and clock, I decided that it was not going to fit, whatever I did.

    So I decided that they were made a bit too big for the W126, and I gave them away.

    I have ordered a new set from a company in Sweden that makes them, but I have a feeling that I am going to have exactly the same problem. This problem is being caused by the fact that he sellers state that the rings will fit both the W126 and the W124.

    Unfortunately, and for me, a cost of £120, the two instrument panel fronts are totally different, and there is no way the one set of rings can fit the 126 and the 124.

    The difference is very significant when doing this job - on the W126 there is a raised lip around the edge of the instrument hole, and it has a 45 degree chamfer, to wards the instrument dials, when they are in place.

    On the W124 there is no such lip, it is a plain flat panel.

    So, if a set of rings is made to fit the 124 the rings will have a flat base, to allow the rings to sit flat on the panel, and perhaps allow for some adhesive.

    These were the type of rings that I got from Germany, last year.

    To fit the 126 instrument panel they would have to be a "V" shaped ring, to allow for the raised lip on the panel. The ring would have to sit over the raised lip, and cover it, a bit like a chrome wheel arch cover sits over the existing wheel arch edge.

    I have e-mailed two companies who say that they stock chrome rings for the W124/126, and asked them does the same set of rings fit both cars, and both companies have said "yes", but that is not possible. One company in Australia that I bought chrome gear shift surrounds from actually say that they have never seen a raised lip on the 126 instrument panel.

    So I would suggest that they haven't looked at one !!

    If anyone can suggest where I can pick up proper metal "chromed" instrument rings, that they have actually fitted to a W126, I would be most grateful. I would be extremely interested in how they were fitted. Did the instrument binacle have to be split, and the rings fitted from the front, or was a Dremel cutter used to remove the lip from the front of the panel ?

    I would really appreciate any idea's on this, as I can think that the only method for fitting chrome rings is to buy an instrument binacle from a W124, and then fit them.

    I am attaching three pictures, just to prove my point. The 126 instrument panel is the one fitted in my car at this moment, and is the original panel. The second 126 panel is from the internet, and the124 panel is also a picture downloaded from the internet.

    parkman
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ianrandom

    ianrandom Active Member

    Messages:
    998
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Berks mainly, UK. Devon too a lot of the time.
    Car:
    1986 420SE, 1990 420SEC, 1989 2CV6.
    Odd. Mine went in very easily. Through the opening where the speedo pod normally is. No alterations needed at all.
    No idea about the W126 cluster difference though.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    parkman1

    parkman1 Active Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Car:
    Mercedes E220: W126 500se; W124 260E
    Hi, as I said in my post, I don't believe that most people realise that there is indeed a difference between the two panel fronts.

    But it is there, in the pictures. And I don't believe that one set of rings will fit both the 124 and the 126, it just doesn't make sense when you look at the pictures.

    Ian, can you remember what your rings looked like, or where they came from. The set that I disposed of, last week, sat into the panel hole and had a flat back, which would have allowed them to sit on the front of the panel, such as the 124 panel face.

    But they couldn't possibly fit the 126 due to the raised lip, absolutely no way. In fact the rings would not even sit down on the lip, at the bottom of the panel, where the plexi-glass meets the panel face. There was no room at all, to let the ring into the tiny gap. It would have to had an upside down "V" shaped dimension, to sit over the lip.

    parkman
     
  4. ianrandom

    ianrandom Active Member

    Messages:
    998
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Berks mainly, UK. Devon too a lot of the time.
    Car:
    1986 420SE, 1990 420SEC, 1989 2CV6.
    It was so long ago, no idea where I got them from sorry.

    They did fit the lip though. They could have done with being slightly 'deeper', but it doesn't really show in use. And obviously the flat bit at the bottom worked ok I think.
     
    1 person likes this.

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