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Old 09-12-2005, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Oct 2002
Vehicle: 2002 ML 500
Location: Chicago, IL
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Removing 2002 ML500 Center Console.


Hi,

I'm looking a way to remove the center console of my 02 ML500 (where the huge cupholder is at). I'm planning to fish a power cable for the iPod and dock the iPod at the huge cupholder at.

Thanks.
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Old 09-12-2005, 02:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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RE: Removing 2002 ML500 Center Console.

I believe the entire console has to come out. I did this for my 02 320 during the VES install so here I go from memory. You can do this with the -ve battery end disconnected (make sure to have the radio code in hand) or you can take your chances with the battery connected and be careful not to short anything, as you'll understand in step 5) below.

Now you can ignore all this and go to Paul's site where he explains everything in details with pics. He is at: http://home.earthlink.net/~phdwebsite/

1) Take out the shifter casing (the black OEM one) - you can use the MB tool to avoid scratching the wood trim or do like me and most do: press on any two opposing sides on the black trim and as they start to buckle, pull up. There are 4 clips that hold the plastic piece in place. Don't be afraid to pull the thing out. The tool, which I have, BTW, just makes things easier. I realized I never needed it!!!!!

2) Once the console is out, you'll see screws to take out. Locate them - don't recall how many, type or size. If they are torx type, get the correct wrench.

3) Look in the deeper pocket of the center storage compartment. There are two plastic clips towards the rear. Take them out (if you break them, no problem, they're cheap and I believe I have a couple of xtras if you need them)

4) Pull the console trim out - if there is resistence, check to see if there are any other screws to take out. I don't think there are any others, and I believe the storage compartment cover will come along for the ride.

5) Now at there rear wall of the bare console are two phillips screw. Take them out and now you can pull out the entire center console along with the skeleton of the storage compartment. You may have to disconnect the blower motor to pull things out. One of the connectors is a pain in the neck to get out. You can keep it connected but be careful not to short anything there - I did short the blower motor and fried a whole bunch of console lights!!! Luckily for me, my SA repaired the short at no cost to me.

Now you can iPod as much as you want.

BTW, (and I know I'll get flamed for this by the sound experts here!!!) out of curiosity becasue I plan to iPod my ML also, why not go with a FM tuner or FM modulator? The sound is not as crisp, but it seems to be a lot easier to integrate the iPod that way.

Here also is a link where I displayed my audio system ignorance to the world. You may find it very useful, if not already: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/foru...22238&posts=12
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Old 09-12-2005, 06:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Date registered: Jun 2005
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RE: Removing 2002 ML500 Center Console.

Hi Guys,

From an audio quality perspective, the order is sipmply as follows:

1. First and best is obviously direct input to the existing Command system.

2. Second is the FM transmiter.

3. Last and least desirable is the cassette option. The sound quality does suffer considerably as firstly the frequency response of any magnetic head [unless its a Nakamichi !] is less than that available via FM modulation.

Secondly the casette adapter being a mechanical device attempting to couple a magnetic field across to the magnetic pickup head in the existing cassette player unit has many difficulties. The most critical is correct alignment between the two magnetic heads which is hardly ever achieved, leading to further reduction in high frequencies.

I have recently used the FM option and it didn't sound too bad at all. Granted not as good as CD quality but given the ease of simply plugging the FM transmiter adapter into the cigarette lighter, tuning the FM radio to the required frequency and presto !

These little FM transmiter adapters have such a high RF output, forcing the radio unit to capture its FM signal even though the antenna is located all the way at the back of the ML. I also experimented by selecting an existing station on the FM band and the FM transmiter adapter still swamped the radio station, therefore didn't need to find a quiet spot on the FM band.

The only thing you need to note is that on the iPod/MP3 player etc, volume is not turned up too high. If this happens it will over driving the FM modulator leading to severe audio distortion.


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Old 09-12-2005, 06:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Date registered: Oct 2002
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RE: Removing 2002 ML500 Center Console.

Darkmann,

Thanks for the reply. Is there a thread that includes pictures ? I saw Paul's website, but he has 2001 ML which has different center console than 2002 and up.

The reason I don't use FM modulator because I can't get any good frequency to sync with the iPod. I got constant interference when using the FM modulator (I live in downtown Chicago).

The cassette adapter is the best solution for my opinion. And pairs it with Auto Kit for iPod w/ Dock Connector from Belkin (http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_ID=149006), it produces the best result. The reason is, the cassette adapter actually plugs in to the power adapter instead of the headphone jack on the iPod. It produces clearer sound and the volume control on the iPod itself doesn't affect the sound output. In this case, when you accidentaly change the volume when forwarding or backwarding songs, it doesn't affect the output.

And spending $400.00 with www.dension.com (ice>Link) just too much hassle IMHO.

Thank you again.


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Old 09-13-2005, 08:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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RE: Removing 2002 ML500 Center Console.

FYI
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File Type: jpg 29_1595134_9132005111658AM.jpg (60.0 KB, 518 views)
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Old 09-13-2005, 08:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 2004 ML350
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RE: Removing 2002 ML500 Center Console.

Quote:
helicopter - 9/12/2005 9:15 PM

Hi Guys,

From an audio quality perspective, the order is sipmply as follows:

1. First and best is obviously direct input to the existing Command system.

2. Second is the FM transmiter.

3. Last and least desirable is the cassette option. The sound quality does suffer considerably as firstly the frequency response of any magnetic head [unless its a Nakamichi !] is less than that available via FM modulation.

Secondly the casette adapter being a mechanical device attempting to couple a magnetic field across to the magnetic pickup head in the existing cassette player unit has many difficulties. The most critical is correct alignment between the two magnetic heads which is hardly ever achieved, leading to further reduction in high frequencies.

I have recently used the FM option and it didn't sound too bad at all. Granted not as good as CD quality but given the ease of simply plugging the FM transmiter adapter into the cigarette lighter, tuning the FM radio to the required frequency and presto !

These little FM transmiter adapters have such a high RF output, forcing the radio unit to capture its FM signal even though the antenna is located all the way at the back of the ML. I also experimented by selecting an existing station on the FM band and the FM transmiter adapter still swamped the radio station, therefore didn't need to find a quiet spot on the FM band.

The only thing you need to note is that on the iPod/MP3 player etc, volume is not turned up too high. If this happens it will over driving the FM modulator leading to severe audio distortion.

Helicopter,
Why don't you try an in line FM modulator. I'm waiting for my Ipod to arrive and then I'll try it. The in line unit plugs into the radio antenna jack and is installed in series with the existing antenna. By injecting the signal through the antenna jack you get a signal that is not subject to interferance from local stations because the in line modulator cuts off the external antenna during use.

Check this out.
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1173653&posts=8

Joe
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Old 09-13-2005, 04:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Pleubner. The sketch says a lot.

MikeH, I believe the only hardware difference with pre MY02 models are screw #3 in the middle sketch.
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Old 09-13-2005, 05:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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RE: Thanks Pleubner. The sketch says a lot.

Quote:
Darkmann - 9/13/2005 5:06 PM

MikeH, I believe the only hardware difference with pre MY02 models are screw #3 in the middle sketch.
This post shows the center consoles of the different model-years.

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1222670&posts=5&fid=29
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Old 09-13-2005, 06:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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True. I don't know what the model year slashes mean. But I know for sure

from my VES install instructions, the only difference between US spec MY02+ trucks and the pre MY02 ones were screws #3. I think they had to reinforce this area due to the rear passenger compartment blower motor which is incorporated in the center console.
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Old 09-13-2005, 06:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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RE: Removing 2002 ML500 Center Console.

Thanks 2bmj for the info and forum weblink.

I will certainly look into the hard wired antenna option proposed.

Helicopter

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