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New Member with Questions

Started by Matt Crouse, 19 August 2005, 02:35 PM

Matt Crouse

Hello all,

I recently joined this group.  I have a 1978 280SE of which I am the third owner.  The car is in excellent overall condition and I have the complete service history from the original date of delivery until now.  She is a California car and shows 163,000 mi on the odometer now (she is my daily driver presently, hence it gets a lot of miles).

Recently, the dashboard clock went out on me and I'd like some help getting it working again.  It started out running slow (losing time over a period of days), then started working only intermittently, and now does not work at all.  I have no idea where to look for something this detailed.

Also, while looking under the hood near the firewall, I noticed a long black cable that had come disconnected from somewhere.  The cable runs along  the firewall and is mounted to a black cylinder on the right side (this is a LH drive car), and that cylinder has "VDO" imprinted on it.  The other end of the cable has a hexagonal bit on it and it seems as though it is supposed to spin inside the black sheathing, like an odometer or speedo cable would.  All my gauges work except the dash clock.  Any ideas what this cable is for, and where it should go back in to?  Thanks in advance for your assistance.



I don't suppose your merc is powder blue? All the other details match my new aquisition.

To get at the clock you hae to remove the cluster panel. Its very easy. First you have to unhook the speedo cable from a junction box that is in the drivers foot well. It should be a silver cable about 1/2 thick. Unhook the connection closest the steering wheel. The you just wiggle the black part of the cluster panel and slowly pull it out. There is a rubber seal that holds it in place and it may get stuck so you might have to use a screwdriver to move the seal free. You will then have to disconnect the various plugs, lights, the other end of the speedo, and the temp guage oil line. I had a lot of corrosion on the various connectors which might cause a slow clock so check and clean those first. If it is not that you will probably have a hard time fixing the clock. I think you will just have to replace it.

The cable in the engine bay is the cruise control. It connects to the throttle arm that is under the air filter canister. So remove the canister by undoing the wing nuts (front and back) and you should see an arm in the thottle linkages that the cable attaches to. There is also a static mount for the cable there where the hex part of the cable will screw in.

Good luck. If you want more info check the online manual for the cruise control. It has pictures of the connection.

Matt Crouse

Thanks.  Mine was originally Astral Silver, but the recent respray looks a tad more bluish than it should.  Where are you located?

I'll check out the instrument cluster and cruise control cable tomorrow.  Thanks again for the info.


Matt- Just wondering if your clock makes any noise?
Mine hasn't worked at all but whilst sitting in the car with everything turned off there's a slight noise, like a little motor churning away behind the clock, that only stops when the battery's disconnected.  I'm assuming it's the clock's motor, very faint noise and if the motor's fine there may be gunk in the works or some linkage broken, who knows.  I suspect that it may be an easy fix to get those clock hands spinning.

I've never ventured that far under the dash before, thanks tinker too for the advice.  This little job is down on the to do list so I'll happily sit back and wait to hear how you get on Matt - good luck.
1973 350SE, my first & fave


Matt, I am up in Nor Cal by Sacramento but my car is from San Diego. I used to live on the east coast so it amazes me to find a car this old with no rust.