Disconnecting Becker Europa Stereo - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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Disconnecting Becker Europa Stereo

Attempting to remove a Becker Europa Stereo radio (FM and BC push buttons) from my 1972 280SE 4.5. There are three connections in the back. Two were easy to disconnect but the 3rd, an insulated wire goes into the back of the radio with no apparent easy disconnect. The wire is quite long so it is easy to pull the radio but not so apparent how to disconnect. I have been to the Becker original drawings/etc but haven't found the answer. Am I supposed to disconnect the other end from a connector? If so where is it located/how do I access? Also, I have a Becker Europa mono (AM and FM push buttons) that appears to be the same size from the front but the thickness is smaller - 1 and 5/8" rather than the Europa Stereo (2"). Can I use this one or will I need to repair and reinstall the orginal? I paid more than $200 to get the Europa Mono checked and repaired.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 07:31 AM
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Call Ed Ebel at Becker North America and he can tell you how to disconnect it.

Good guy, very helpful.

Dan
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwdnp View Post
Attempting to remove a Becker Europa Stereo radio (FM and BC push buttons) from my 1972 280SE 4.5. There are three connections in the back. Two were easy to disconnect but the 3rd, an insulated wire goes into the back of the radio with no apparent easy disconnect. The wire is quite long so it is easy to pull the radio but not so apparent how to disconnect.
The black wire that comes out of the back of a Becker pinstripe is the power wire. Do not try to disconnect it. It should only be about 10" long and have a bullet plug or bare wire that connects to a fuse or other power source. The wire you are talking about stays with the radio.

If you are _not_ talking about a single insulated black wire, then you are talking about a think grey insulated cable that has wires inside. DO NOT CUT THIS. It is the cable that goes to the separate amplifier. The cable is about 2 feet long and has a plug on the end that connects to the amplifier. You must unplug it from the amplifier to take the radio out of the car. The amplifier (if you have a separate amplifier) is located behind the upholstered panel at the very front of the center hump of the car. Under the heating/ac stuff. If you remove the radio you probably should remove the amplifier also and keep them together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwdnp View Post
Also, I have a Becker Europa mono (AM and FM push buttons) that appears to be the same size from the front but the thickness is smaller - 1 and 5/8" rather than the Europa Stereo (2"). Can I use this one or will I need to repair and reinstall the orginal? I paid more than $200 to get the Europa Mono checked and repaired.
You can use the Becker mono. I'm assuming the becker mono does _not_ have a separate amplifier. So what are you going to do about speaker/speakers if you use the mono? A mono radio in an early 108 has a single dash speaker in the center. If you have a Europa stereo then you don't have that speaker but instead you have kickpanel speakers in front and probably a pair of speakers on the hat shelf in back.

If you need more help or if you post pictures I'm happy to tell you more.

Scott

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much. It is the 2 foot grey insulated wire. So does that center panel come off fairly easily? The radio seems to be working ok except for this tuing difficulty. Maybe I will have this one repaired. Thanks.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwdnp View Post
Thanks so much. It is the 2 foot grey insulated wire. So does that center panel come off fairly easily? The radio seems to be working ok except for this tuing difficulty. Maybe I will have this one repaired. Thanks.
This is from memory - there are screws hold in the center panel, probably towards the front of the car on the sides fairly low. Different years are different, and you have AC and the panel might be different because of that also. The screws should be visible though unless there is something about the AC that makes them not visible.

What is the tuning difficulty?

My personal opinion is that a Europa Stereo with a separate amplifier has a much better sound than a Europa Mono without a separate amplifier. If the volume is good out of both channels then there is no reason for you to need to remove the amplifier, just unplug it. You can send the radio for refurbishment without the amplifier if you are sending it to Becker in NJ (I assume at least, there is no reason they would need the amp).

At the end of the grey cable there is a DIN plug that is at 90 degrees plugging into the amplifier. I'm not sure if it plugs in on the top of the amplifier when mounted or the back of the amplifier when mounted. If it is plugged in on the top, you can probably unplug it. The plug is probably held in but a wire lock that should slide over the cap of the plug and allow you to carefully unplug it from the amp. There will also probably be a ground wire coming with the cable but separate from the DIN plug. The ground wire if present has a slide-on connector that is connected to the body of the amplifier. Again, not 100% sure on this but if there is an extra wire with a slide on connector, it's ground from the radio to the amplifier.

Hunt around on the panel to be removed for screws and report back!
Scott

Currently: 1967 250 SL, 1963 220Sb, 1965 300SE Lang, 1971 280SE parts car, 1972 Alfa GTV, 1965 Alfa Duetto, 1993 BMW R100R
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 01:46 PM
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Here's a bad picture of what you are unplugging from the amplifier.
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Currently: 1967 250 SL, 1963 220Sb, 1965 300SE Lang, 1971 280SE parts car, 1972 Alfa GTV, 1965 Alfa Duetto, 1993 BMW R100R
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Scott,

Thanks so much for the comprehensive reply. I did have a look at the section below the A/C and didn't find any screws.

There is a panel with screws under the glove compartment though when I got my head under there there is an opening that allowed me to view in near where I though I would find the end of gray cable but it didn't look promising so I didn't remove the panel.

The section between the floor and the bottom of the dash at the A/C has sort of a fiberboard curved panel but like I say it doesn't look user-friendly in terms of possible removal.

The "tuning difficulty" is that turning the tuning knob doesn't result in the tuning needle traveling across the band. It sort of sits there and I can only move it by pushing in gradually on the FM station pre-sets. This moves the needle across the dial and if I slowly apply pressure it may stop on a station. So that gets old after a while/not a pleasure/doesn't really work.

Thanks for the photo of the cable end.

This is when a Youtube video of someone locating the exact spot where the cable joins the amp on a 280SE would be a God-send but I have been looking all over the internet for something like that but haven't found anything yet. For those of us with limited experience and mechanical "blocks" this type of resource can be really handy.

Regards,
Randy
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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That's also a good tip about the difference in the performance/sound of the one with the separate amp vs. the other one. Thanks again.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 08:17 PM
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Hi Randy -

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwdnp View Post
Scott,

The section between the floor and the bottom of the dash at the A/C has sort of a fiberboard curved panel but like I say it doesn't look user-friendly in terms of possible removal.
That's what you have to remove. It may be held in by friction, again it's been a while. If you remove that fiberboard panel you will see the amplifier.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwdnp View Post
The "tuning difficulty" is that turning the tuning knob doesn't result in the tuning needle traveling across the band. It sort of sits there and I can only move it by pushing in gradually on the FM station pre-sets. This moves the needle across the dial and if I slowly apply pressure it may stop on a station. So that gets old after a while/not a pleasure/doesn't really work.
Yeah, I'm very familiar with that problem. There is a sort of "clutch" mechanism that allows you to turn the knob when you are at the end of the dial scale and keep turning the knob without damaging anything. Basically there are two metal disks with a fiber or rubber disk in between them, maybe 1 inch diameter and quite thing. The are pressed together with a spring I think. The tension can be adjusted such that you get friction (which you currently aren't getting so the knob does nothing). I have done various things in the past to fix this, I think sometimes I was able to loosen a set bolt and press the disks more together and another time I have separated the disks a little and placed in a fake disk made out of little pieces of electrical tape to increase the friction. If you really wanted to, you could do this without removing the radio from the car. Kind of depends on how comfy you are working on something in your car. Taking off the top cover to the radio is fairly easy, probably two screws in back, then the back snaps up and slides backwards. I don't know if you have to have the pot metal face off of the radio to do this or not, I've never done this when the face still on the radio.

You probably actually are getting _some_ friction -- if you want to check press one of the FM buttons that you know is on one direction but don't press so hard that the needle moves and then augment that force by turning the dial knob. It might move in more graceful increments. Or it might do nothing.

If it were me, I would continue to look at removing the fiber panel and try to unplug the radio. Fixing the clutch would be easier on the kitchen counter, or mailing the radio away. $200 would be very expensive to have just this fixed. The difficult things to fix involve capacitors and stuff that have to be soldered, etc. If you do open it up, you may want to get a spray can of CRC electrical cleaner and spray the hell out of everything under the cover.

Currently: 1967 250 SL, 1963 220Sb, 1965 300SE Lang, 1971 280SE parts car, 1972 Alfa GTV, 1965 Alfa Duetto, 1993 BMW R100R
Past: 1971 250 C, 1985 300 TD, 1967 250 S, 1968 280 S,1981 300 D, 1982 280CE, 3 Facel Vegas, Borgward Isabella Coupe, Alfa 2600 Sprint, Volvo P1900 (yes), numerous less interesting Volvos, ...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 08:27 PM
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Here's a diagram. I suspect the panel you need to remove is either part 296 or part 286. I think that there are two "clips" that hold it in place. Part 316 might also figure into this, but I'm not sure.
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Currently: 1967 250 SL, 1963 220Sb, 1965 300SE Lang, 1971 280SE parts car, 1972 Alfa GTV, 1965 Alfa Duetto, 1993 BMW R100R
Past: 1971 250 C, 1985 300 TD, 1967 250 S, 1968 280 S,1981 300 D, 1982 280CE, 3 Facel Vegas, Borgward Isabella Coupe, Alfa 2600 Sprint, Volvo P1900 (yes), numerous less interesting Volvos, ...
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