W163 2002 ML350 instrument cluster Fried

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by SClass11, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. SClass11

    SClass11 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Car:
    W220 320CDI
    Hi

    I’m looking for guidance on replacing a fried W163 2002 ML350 instrument cluster, specifically unit part number compatibility.

    Without wishing to bore the members of this forum, I’ll briefly explain the circumstances which lead me to require a new cluster and the pain of sourcing a used part and in doing so prevent other owners suffering the same fate.

    A couple of weeks ago my wife informed me the ML headlights had failed and assuming this was a simple bulb replacement scenario, I opened the bonnet and proceeded to remove the headlight covers and inspect the bulbs and oddly enough, both bulbs appeared to be OK and I confirmed this with a simple continuity test. Assuming this may be a fuse issue I removed the panel cover and hit the Internet to find the fuse detail. However in the time it took me to locate the information, my ‘HELPFUL’ Son had proceeded to remove random fuses in search of the suspected offending component. Now I’m assuming he pulled the fuse for the cluster (F5) and in doing so, spiked the unit which resulted in the following symptoms with ignition on.

    1. Engine temp gauge hits end stop
    2. Petrol gauge not functioning
    3. Outside temp indicating '-38'
    4. Speedometer not functioning
    5. Tachometer not functioning
    6. Check Engine and ABS lights on
    7. Dash tone sounds when door is opened (with or without lights) and stops with key inserted

    I took the ML to a friend’s Mercedes garage and he confirmed the car had suffered a ‘major power serge’ which had burned the headlamp wiring at the bulb socket. He also confirmed the cluster was defective and needed to be replaced and obviously programmed with millage correction etc.

    My problem now is obtaining a used cluster with the correct part number which I have validated using the VIN/Chassis number ‘163 540 93 11’. Having spent a week trolling the Web, eBay Scrappy’s etc, I can’t seem to locate the this part number, however there seems to be a few ML320/430 cluster kicking around which have part numbers such as ‘1635403811’ and ‘1635401147’. So my question is, are these units compatible or is there a part compatibility matrix for the W163?

    I have used this great site many times for help with the ML and S320 and have always been blown away with the wealth of knowledge and assistance provided by its members!

    Any help would be gratefully received.

    Dave
     
  2. Ted

    Ted MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    5,597
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Location:
    Bourton on Dunsmore
    Car:
    SLC 250D AMG Line, Yamaha XVS 1100, Jeep Renegade
    First of all, I'm not questioning your Indy's diagnosis as he has seen the car and I haven't but
    I took the ML to a friend’s Mercedes garage and he confirmed the car had suffered a ‘major power serge’ which had burned the headlamp wiring at the bulb socket.

    I find that unlikely. This sort of thing happens over an extended period of time and is usually the result of a poor contact or bad design for the purpose.
    This was quite possibly your original problem.

    I don't think your son did anything wrong. Pulling and replacing a fuse should not 'spike' anything. That doesn't of course explain why your cluster has failed.
    The cluster needs to be checked on STAR. If that has happened then all well and good and a replacement is in order, but personally I would double check all of the fuses are in good order. I would also disconnect the battery for a few minutes to reset everything (you will need your radio code and you may need to reset windows and SRS (turn wheel from lock to lock a couple of times).

    Worth a punt and could save you time and money.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    SClass11

    SClass11 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Car:
    W220 320CDI
    Thanks for your reply and advice Ted.

    I did in fact disconnect the battery a couple of times prior to taking to the shop, but it made no difference. Also went through the fuses one-by-one and couldn't find any failures but didn't check the relays and I believe there is a cluster related relay?

    Have to agree on your prognosis with headlight wiring; wish I had checked/noticed it when looking at the bulbs!

    Most annoying aspect is that we had decided to trade the car in a week before!!!! Stuck with a repair decision and cost now..

    Regards

    Dave
     

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