Bought A Theft Recovery SL600 - Help! - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Question Bought A Theft Recovery SL600 - Help!

So, like the title says, I purchased an 81k mile 1999 SL600 (production date February 1999). It was a theft recovery and was up on wheel rollers when I bought it because the column was locked.

The exterior is Zirconic Green Metalic (257U) and the interior is 519A (looks like a vanilla shade), but I don't know the true "title" of the color. I have no idea how rare either color is. The convertible top is black and liveable. This thing was ridiculously cheap and based on that factor alone, it comes with a completely stupid upside. That being said, I need to figure out if this thing runs and drives. This is where the help will come in. Probably going to make this a "build" post and it may go on indefinitely, but we'll see. Worst case scenario, I bought a super cheap parts car.

Overall, it's in great shape. The front bumper is cracked and the left front headlight is broken, neither of which is a deal breaker as I can repair both. Under the hood is immaculate, shows great care was lavished on it. I have not, however been able to get it on my lift to check the undercarriage. Need to get it running first!

Interior is a little grubby. The ignition switch is gone and there are some loose cables not connected to anything as well as one wire that has been cut, but don't know what it is. I can't seem to find an OBDII port in this car. I have removed the under-dash panels on the drivers side and don't see one. I can't for the life of me understand why someone would remove that to try and steal the thing. I have no keys of any kind. I removed the column lock so I could maneuver the car off the roll-back. What doesn't make sense, is that the previous owner's insurance company treated this as a theft (recovery). I think it's more like a theft (attempt), as the column was still locked. Probably should have been classified more as a vandalism than theft, but oh well, that's the PO's problem. Either way, it was totaled, yet I have a clean title in my possession. Haven't figured that one out yet either. I have taken pics of the under-dash. If anyone thinks it would help, I will post them up.

Been losing my mind going through the EPC and WIS trying to figure out what I'm missing so I can get it to start. I know I need an ignition switch and key, probably need the "protective sleeve" as that's gone. I may or may not need the transponder coil for the ignition depending on if it's bad or not. Right now it's hanging by it's connecting wire. There is probably more that I don't even know I need and I fully expect to put a couple grand into it, but theoretically it should be worth it.

The big questions:

Is it, in fact, supposed to have an OBDII port?
Generally, what kinds of things should I be looking for under the dash to ascertain how much more "crap" I need to get to make this puppy to run?
I have a Mercedes Star system, I'm just not sure which/where the diagnostic port is for it on this car?

There are probably more questions that I'm missing because the V12 Mercs are a little new to me and I don't know what I'm doing. I do have a 2007 CL600 (totally different animal) and a 2002 SL500, but this is a whole 'nother can of worms as well.

I would appreciate all information, suggestions, ideas and humor, even the part that goes;

"What the hell did you buy that thing for?"

Thank you gentlemen,

Mike
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 02:23 PM
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I don't know much about V12 either.
Is there a 38--pin port in the engine compartment ? as that would be better than any OBD-II port.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 03:30 PM
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OBD port should be closer to the tunnel on the driver side. There is a little flap that closes to keep it hidden. Also, you will need a new ignition, key, theft module, and possibly ecu. That is all part of the theft deterrent system and you’ll have to buy it in one swoop out of the same car. Mercedes does not sell keys now.


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 08:23 PM
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The OBDII or MB diagnostic port won't do you any good if you don't have ignition capabilities.

The OBDII port is where your right knee goes (just above it) if you are sitting in the driver's seat. It's got a little flap that you flop down to view the port.

The diag port is under the hood at the base of the passenger side windshield. You will see the black rectangular electronics box (this is where a new ECU, or rather 2 of them goes, start getting used to a V12 baby) with it's round (sort of looks like an oil cap) cover. Twist the cap off and inside is the round diag port.

None of this will do you any good without a functioning ignition system.

Pray that MB can cut you a new ignition key with transponder sometime in the near future. Pray real hard.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahunt View Post
The OBDII or MB diagnostic port won't do you any good if you don't have ignition capabilities.

The OBDII port is where your right knee goes (just above it) if you are sitting in the driver's seat. It's got a little flap that you flop down to view the port.

The diag port is under the hood at the base of the passenger side windshield. You will see the black rectangular electronics box (this is where a new ECU, or rather 2 of them goes, start getting used to a V12 baby) with it's round (sort of looks like an oil cap) cover. Twist the cap off and inside is the round diag port.

None of this will do you any good without a functioning ignition system.

Pray that MB can cut you a new ignition key with transponder sometime in the near future. Pray real hard.


Ebay. So many of these cars being parted out. Just need to buy the package deal, most likely with one key that will never be able to be duplicated.


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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 05:44 AM
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I saw this resurrected thread on the W163 forum on how to duplicate keys https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w16...keys-sale.html

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahunt View Post
The OBDII or MB diagnostic port won't do you any good if you don't have ignition capabilities.

The OBDII port is where your right knee goes (just above it) if you are sitting in the driver's seat. It's got a little flap that you flop down to view the port.

The diag port is under the hood at the base of the passenger side windshield. You will see the black rectangular electronics box (this is where a new ECU, or rather 2 of them goes, start getting used to a V12 baby) with it's round (sort of looks like an oil cap) cover. Twist the cap off and inside is the round diag port.

None of this will do you any good without a functioning ignition system.

Pray that MB can cut you a new ignition key with transponder sometime in the near future. Pray real hard.
Thank you for this information. I thought the OBDII port was located there as it is in my '02 SL500, but I sure don't see it. As for the diagnostic port, haven't looked as yet due to not knowing what I was looking for. My Star system has a butt-load of different cables so didn't know which of those may be the one to use. Thank you again.

I'm starting to get the impression that this is going to be a GIANT PITA. I'm more used to BMW's (I have 13), three of which are V12's, so I'm used to the "two six cylinder engines stuck together" school of engineering. The ignition systems (I believe) are different, in that Mercs are way more anal about theft protection. Hypothetically, can the ignition switch and key be purchased as a pair, then any ancillary doo-dads that relate to theft protection be purchased separately and they will (hopefully) work together, or is there an "alignment" process via Star that will need to be done to make the system work?

I have been following the whole "key" drama. Gotta love old cars and manufacturers that don't support them. I'm going to the stealer today and see if I can get the whole thing, key and lock/tumbler whatever. I believe that will be my first hump. The car came with a steering column in the trunk, like somebody wanted to repair it, but the ignition that was with the column was for a "start button" car, so there was no "run" position.

I'll let you guys know how this "key" drama unfolds.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 08:17 AM
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You can order a new tumbler for your car and it will come with a master key.

The master key just unlocks the locks and can turn the ignition switch, but it won't start the car as it doesn't have a transponder.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Figures.... I was under the impression that there was a non-remote key that did come with a transponder. I'm probably wrong due to the fact that there seems to be a butt-load of conflicting information on the 20,000 "key" threads on this and other forums.

Well, heading over there now and will report back on what goes on.

Thanks again for all the help. Can't tell you how much I appreciate everyone here.

See ya
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:14 AM
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Mike,

Nothing is easy in this world, and one has "pay to play"(physically/emotionally/monetarily) so do you have the skin to see this through? Nothing and I mean nothing will be "plug n play"(like most auto shops see it).

Option 1:

A) I would entertain the key/tumbler at the dealer, and find one that has patience for you as some just say "NO". On this key/tumbler they will need for the car to be there at THEIR shop.

B) For them to touch your car. You will need to fix all the mechanical problems with the steering column including landing the wire in its proper place(which sounds like the black wire going to the security module behind the instrument cluster from the key transponder module). Take you 2002 SL apart and it will be the same

C) You hope the dealer can get you the tumbler/key assembly. Get ready to dish-out four-figures ($$$$)

D) Dealer comes back and "Sorry Mike it is no longer available"(not the end of the world)

E) The work of lots of patience is about to begin....

F) Find a locksmith that knows how to make a mechanical key from your existing door and trunk locks

G) Hopefully this locksmith can reset the key pins from a junk (from a junk SL) to re-key it from your existing locks- The car still not going to start-get it......

Option 2

A) The other option it buy a crashed SL600 of the 98/99 vintage from

https://www.iaai.com/Search?filter=RFB

https://www.copart.com/

https://erepairables.com/

With TWO or more keys/fobs, and swap over the two-ECU's, one-Security module behind the instrument cluster, one- possibly the RF module for the FOB on the passenger rear quarter panel, and of course the the key tumbler from the column with trunk and door locks...

Understand, that the moment you do this if you need to do any kind of state testing the VIN will not match when they hook up to the OBD port

Option 3

I'm electronics guy by trade, but someone here on the forum has bypassed the whole Mercedes Security system on a late model SL, and will not elaborate on how it was done, but threw out some "feelers into the air", and good guess is he has a "Julie module" installed.

https://support.carlabimmo.com/julie

Understand, that there are four hurtles you need to achieve

A) steering column tumbler mechanical key
B) mechanical keys for the door lock and trunk
C) Electronic key to start and drive the car which has the transponder, or the "Julie" to bypass the transponder...
D) optional remote connection to the car...

Arm your self with a parts list to these cars. Their was a list, but no longer available. I have a condensed version of what EPC has with part numbers and prices from yester years..... You have MB Star, so somewhere there is EPC, and you can see parts break down....

Hope it helps,

Martin

Last edited by MAVA; 08-13-2019 at 09:18 AM.
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