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E-Class (W124) 1984-1995: E 260, E 300, E 320, E 420, E 500 (Includes CE, T, TD models)

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Old 12-19-2006, 03:28 PM   #1
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Odometer modification for 190 MPH faceplate?

Hello,

I want to put a gauge face on my stock speedometer that has a higher speed range than stock. From the factory, most MB speedos go to 160mph, or 260kmh. I can get a gauge face custom made that reads to 190mph, or 300kmh (see Brabus sample below).

HOWEVER! After using an electronic conversion box to adjust so the speedo indicates the correct vehicle speed (approximately 19% reduction)... the odometer will then read 19% less than actual distance traveled.

So... how can I recalibrate the odometer to indicate the proper distance, relative t the new speedo faceplate? Brabus, AMG, and others have obviously done this but I'm kind of at a loss as to how to do it myself. I contacted a VDO speedometer shop in SoCal, here was their reply:

Unfortunately neither VDO nor MB make parts or know how available to service
or recalibrate their instruments. We also don't have any leads for you.



That's not looking promising. I'm awaiting a reply from a different shop - no answer yet.


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Old 12-19-2006, 04:04 PM   #2
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i don't get the point but hey.... whatever. my car won't fly anyways....
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:08 PM   #3
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My car is gearing-limited to about 162mph at redline, and I'll be installing taller gears in springtime... that will bump top speed up to a drag-limited 172-175mph top speed. The stock 160mph speedo just bugs me. I want the speedo's max speed to be higher than the actual top speed of the car, instead of the other way around...

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Old 12-19-2006, 04:09 PM   #4
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go for it then...
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:12 PM   #5
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I don't understand. Why have a speedo that says 190mph when the car won't do that speed and when you will rarely ever go half that speed with the car. If you look closer at your supplied photo, this Brabus speedo is in km/hr, not mph, hence the higher numbers. Don't forget the AMG V12 Kompressor badges as well.

why?
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:32 PM   #6
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That Brabus gauge looks cheap. Why bother?
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:23 PM   #7
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I'm not using the Brabus style faceplate, that was just to show a sample. I'm using a modified AMG Hammer faceplate which reads to 190mph and is very, very, very rare (like, two dozen or so worldwide... it was used on a handful of AMG W126's as well.) The car will be capable of legitimate (read: GPS-verified) mid-170's with the gearing change, so I think it's justified. I'd like to do a 6.0L conversion in the future which would allow top speeds in the mid-180's with 2.47 gears. The only badge, lol, consists of a license plate that reads "QSHIP" which nobody can seem to figure out. Heh-heh.

Anyway - that's not the point - how do I re-calibrate the odometer?

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Old 12-19-2006, 08:27 PM   #8
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http://www.speedometerplus.com/
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:29 PM   #9
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Go for the gold! Get that 6.0l and rip!
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:07 AM   #10
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Dude if you ever pull off that 6.0 I will you forever and built an altar in your name.

Gl anyways...
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:37 AM   #11
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Wow...that oil pressure is high at idle.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:52 AM   #12
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engine still cold probably?
seems reasonable enough to me
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Old 12-20-2006, 12:19 PM   #13
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1) MFB, thanks for the link. I called them and talked to a nice fellow named Jacob. He thinks he can help me. I need to email him some photos of the speedo along with the "K" number. I'll post more info here when that's done.

2) Shadow, I'm still kicking myself for not buying that new-in-crate, zero-miles, AMG M119.974 6.0L engine that was on eBay Germany last October. I think it sold for about $7k. I'll never find that deal again...

3) Big Bronc, yeah, cold engine on the Brabus shot.

Thanks everyone!

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Old 01-15-2007, 10:19 PM   #14
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UPDATE:

I just discovered that the Hammer speedo has more range/sweep than the stock speedo, which is a major problem I hadn't noticed before. Drat! I think it still can work, but the needle may top out at an indicated ~170mph or so instead of going all the way to 190mph. Creating yet another custom faceplate to compensate for this would require some *serious* Photoshop work, to compress the range into the normal sweep. Basically, AMG added an extra 1/4-inch to either end of the speedo face. Look carefully at the number placement and you'll see what I mean. On all 124 speedos, at rest, the needle points to the dash illumination shaft at the left. On the Hammer, it points a good 1/4-inch below that, to the bottom left corner of the faceplate!

On the old mechanical speedos, there wasn't a hard stop for the needle on either end, so it probably worked OK on the Hammer. On the electric speedos, there is a hard stop on both ends - that's the problem. Also, on the mechanical units there is a peg for 'zero', on the electrical units there is not.

I contacted Speedometers Plus, and I'm waiting for a reply. If they can't make it work, I have one last idea that might just work. I'll wait and see though.

Photos of the 500E speedo, and other 124 speedos, including the internals, are at this link:
http://www.w124performance.com/images/W124_speedos/

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Old 01-16-2007, 04:17 PM   #15
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UPDATE:

I got a call from Jacob and he cleared up some of my questions. First, after the speed signal enters the circuit board, it is split between the odometer and the speedometer. So, he can simply adjust the speedometer signal, leave the odometer alone, and it should work fine. That is great news - no mechanical changes required.

The bad news is still the sweep/range. Basically he'd have to start the needle at 10mph (approx 1/4-inch CCW from stock), and it would max out at the ~170mph area on the new Hammer faceplate. This is a limit of the stepper motor and it's not possible to modify it. If you check out the Brabus 300kph speedo faceplate on my website, you'll see Brabus made their sweep/range same as stock, to match the max sweep/range of the electric movement. The problem stems from the fact that I'm trying to use a Hammer faceplate from a mechanical speedo movement (which does NOT have the same range/sweep limts) on an electronic speedometer.

Jacob was adamant that I'm not gaining anything here but looks, and he's mostly correct. However, the one thing I *do* gain is relocation of the speed range that I normally drive in. With my Victor Sportline steering wheel, the top of the stock speedo (the 70-90mph area) is cut off from my field of view. This mod, while not allowing top-speed readouts past ~170mph, would move the common freeway speeds back into view, at least for my height & seat position. So, I think I'm going to go ahead and do the mod. Cost is $125 for him to tweak the circuit board and calibrate the unit.

Assuming I decide to go for it, I'll let y'all know how it turns out...

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Old 01-19-2007, 04:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMGDave View Post
UPDATE:

I just discovered that the Hammer speedo has more range/sweep than the stock speedo, which is a major problem I hadn't noticed before. Drat! I think it still can work, but the needle may top out at an indicated ~170mph or so instead of going all the way to 190mph. Creating yet another custom faceplate to compensate for this would require some *serious* Photoshop work, to compress the range into the normal sweep. Basically, AMG added an extra 1/4-inch to either end of the speedo face. Look carefully at the number placement and you'll see what I mean. On all 124 speedos, at rest, the needle points to the dash illumination shaft at the left. On the Hammer, it points a good 1/4-inch below that, to the bottom left corner of the faceplate!

On the old mechanical speedos, there wasn't a hard stop for the needle on either end, so it probably worked OK on the Hammer. On the electric speedos, there is a hard stop on both ends - that's the problem. Also, on the mechanical units there is a peg for 'zero', on the electrical units there is not.

I contacted Speedometers Plus, and I'm waiting for a reply. If they can't make it work, I have one last idea that might just work. I'll wait and see though.

Photos of the 500E speedo, and other 124 speedos, including the internals, are at this link:
http://www.w124performance.com/images/W124_speedos/

Hi , the Hammer speedo must be a modified 300E meter if they have "spread"
out the sweep area for the needle, the true 500E 6.0 or E60 meter doesn't
it has the same swept area the std instrument has, one thing I would like
to do is "blacken out" the revcounter red-field 6000-6500, i.e reprogramme
the LH to allow the motor 500 rev-s more without cutting off at 6200.Roger
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:42 AM   #17
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2) Shadow, I'm still kicking myself for not buying that new-in-crate, zero-miles, AMG M119.974 6.0L engine that was on eBay Germany last October. I think it sold for about $7k. I'll never find that deal again...
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Old 01-19-2007, 12:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxi driver View Post
Hi , the Hammer speedo must be a modified 300E meter if they have "spread" out the sweep area for the needle, the true 500E 6.0 or E60 meter doesn't it has the same swept area the std instrument has, one thing I would like to do is "blacken out" the revcounter red-field 6000-6500, i.e reprogramme the LH to allow the motor 500 rev-s more without cutting off at 6200.Roger
Roger, you are absolutely correct. I really like the genuine, electronic-driven AMG 300kph speedo you show in your photos. But it wouldn't be very practical here in the USA where everything is in MPH instead of KPH. I wonder how hard it would be to modify that faceplate in Photoshop to create a similar one in MPH. Hmmm. If you would be able to remove the faceplate and make a high-res scan, please let me know... I'd be very interested in experimenting with this. Send me a private email if you're interested.

About the tach, yeah, I agree. My engine will pull to an indicated 6400rpm, it would be nice to remove the red, or change it to yellow from 6000-6400, or something. This is easy if you don't mind converting to the "white face" gauges, which are an overlay... you can tweak them in Photoshop to fix the colors. That's what I have in my car, but without the modified tach face. Maybe I'll do that after the speedo mod!

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Boise, ID
1997 E420 - 131kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 117kmi (Unnamed)
1994 E500 - 114kmi (Q-ship)
1992 500E - 177kmi (Mach 5)
1987 300D - 324kmi (Sportline Stage 2)
Click here for my "website"
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Old 01-19-2007, 12:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMGDave View Post
Roger, you are absolutely correct. I really like the genuine, electronic-driven AMG 300kph speedo you show in your photos. But it wouldn't be very practical here in the USA where everything is in MPH instead of KPH. I wonder how hard it would be to modify that faceplate in Photoshop to create a similar one in MPH. Hmmm. If you would be able to remove the faceplate and make a high-res scan, please let me know... I'd be very interested in experimenting with this. Send me a private email if you're interested.

About the tach, yeah, I agree. My engine will pull to an indicated 6400rpm, it would be nice to remove the red, or change it to yellow from 6000-6400, or something. This is easy if you don't mind converting to the "white face" gauges, which are an overlay... you can tweak them in Photoshop to fix the colors. That's what I have in my car, but without the modified tach face. Maybe I'll do that after the speedo mod!

Dave, I SWORE that AMG M103 was a scam! It wasn't until I read your post regarding that very same engine that I realized it was authentic.

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Old 06-26-2007, 04:59 PM   #20
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The speedo mod is complete. I ended up buying a used 500E cluster to obtain the elusive "K" number. The whole project ended up being a lot more expensive that I anticipated though, the speedo shop cost was almost double what they initially quoted me. And I wasn't planning to buy a whole spare cluster either. Better yet, I goofed up by putting the new faceplate on a spare 300E/ASR faceplate, not realizing that the odometer windows are 2mm different between mechanical and electronic speedos... so the odo window doesn't line up properly. I obtained another spare (electronic) faceplate and will need to install my spare 190mph overlay on that, and swap them out. I'll post photos when it's complete and looks mo' better.

So far, I really like it... even with the 2mm window offset (which isn't all that noticeable anyway). At normal speeds (under 80mph) I now have full view of the speedometer needle. Before, the top of the steering wheel would interfere with the view above approx 55-60mph, very annoying. On the freeway I was always trying to look "under" the steering wheel to see how fast I was going. Now I only need to do that over 80-90mph, which isn't that often, lol!


BTW - the speedo actually reads to about 185mph, which is more than I expected - very cool. With a 6.0L conversion the actual top speed of the car would likely be mid-180's. (Not that I'll probably ever be able to do the engine transplant, but it's nice to dream...)


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Boise, ID
1997 E420 - 131kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 117kmi (Unnamed)
1994 E500 - 114kmi (Q-ship)
1992 500E - 177kmi (Mach 5)
1987 300D - 324kmi (Sportline Stage 2)
Click here for my "website"

Last edited by AMGDave; 06-26-2007 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:59 PM
 
 
 
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190mph, 2003, 60l, amg, civic, face, faceplate, gauge, modification, odometer, plate, plates, speedo, vdo, w126, white



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