Head Unit Modification - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Head Unit Modification

Does anyone know if it is possible to remove the ashtray and substitute a double-DIN sized head unit?
They are making nice touchscreen units with rear-view cameras for pretty cheap these days.
I know there is a brace separating the head unit from the ashtray, but I wonder if that could be moved back, or the sides simply reinforced if needed.
Has anyone tried it?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 01:42 PM
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Super curious about this too.

This guy moved his A/C, put a double DIN above it and removed (?) the ashtray: PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum - View Single Post - W123 Stereo upgrade?

Can't say that looks good at all but I'm sure there's a better way of finishing/fitting it so long as you can get it in there.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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It looks like he's kept the ashtray. I'm assuming the ACC unit fits into the single DIN head unit space. Is that a full panel that the touchscreen is mounted in? It would probably look better if the screen was mounted higher, with the USB below it.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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How about moving the switches down to the radio opening, and putting a shallow, single-DIN unit with a touch screen up top (where it is visible and practical for a GPS unit location)?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fluorescentbrown View Post
Super curious about this too.

This guy moved his A/C, put a double DIN above it and removed (?) the ashtray: PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum - View Single Post - W123 Stereo upgrade?

Can't say that looks good at all but I'm sure there's a better way of finishing/fitting it so long as you can get it in there.
"This guy" is me, sorry that you're not impressed.


The plastic brace between ashtray and radio din is actually crucial to the structural integrity and it can be fragile. Break it or remove and that part of the dash blows apart.

Shallow double-din touchscreens are very hard to find, especially if you are looking for certain features - Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility were a must for me. Particularly years ago when I first did this mod.
I do have a shallow Alpine that has all the features now but my original head unit was a full-sized Kenwood.

A shallow unit MAY fit higher in the hole, depending on it's depth), but they are several components in the way that can not be moved. Also the switches (sunroof, defrost, etc) are mounted at an angle and dip down in the way a bit.

How the HVAC unit mounts will have to be customized too.

The wood has to be cut to fit no matter what you do. This wood is hard to find and can be incredibly expensive. I bought some Zebrano wood and attempted to match the stain and look, don't bother - I spent a solid month without satisfactory results.

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend it. Obviously you guys are impressed and even though I like it the modding that I had to do just isn't worth it because it's not reversible and if you mess something up you've pretty much ruined the interior of your car. Then again, maybe your cars aren't cherry or you just don't care. Good luck.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jhtanglewood View Post
"This guy" is me, sorry that you're not impressed.


The plastic brace between ashtray and radio din is actually crucial to the structural integrity and it can be fragile. Break it or remove and that part of the dash blows apart.

Shallow double-din touchscreens are very hard to find, especially if you are looking for certain features - Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility were a must for me. Particularly years ago when I first did this mod.
I do have a shallow Alpine that has all the features now but my original head unit was a full-sized Kenwood.

A shallow unit MAY fit higher in the hole, depending on it's depth), but they are several components in the way that can not be moved. Also the switches (sunroof, defrost, etc) are mounted at an angle and dip down in the way a bit.

How the HVAC unit mounts will have to be customized too.

The wood has to be cut to fit no matter what you do. This wood is hard to find and can be incredibly expensive. I bought some Zebrano wood and attempted to match the stain and look, don't bother - I spent a solid month without satisfactory results.

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend it. Obviously you guys are impressed and even though I like it the modding that I had to do just isn't worth it because it's not reversible and if you mess something up you've pretty much ruined the interior of your car. Then again, maybe your cars aren't cherry or you just don't care. Good luck.
Ahhh man I'm sorry, I should clarify that. I'm definitely impressed at the install (I am super jealous you have Apple Carplay) but have super bad OCD about alignment / flush fitment stuff -- that's the only thing I would've finessed but as you say I can't imagine it's easy to get things fitting properly in there with all those components. Major props for doing this though.

What head unit do you have in there now? Any pics?

One of these Alpine Halo's could be sweet up top, but yeah, no idea what's behind there.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 11:00 AM
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hi - i am actually in the middle of figuring out a CarPlay solution, so this thread is super relevant and helpful.

I think a Sony XAV-AX100 will fit, its a single DIN unit with a fixed screen to the bottom, so it is L shaped and won't need to go into the ashtray console space, just sit in front of the area once the ashtray is removed. My car is in the midst of getting suspension done so I couldn't measure things for myself but based on ashtray measurement from another thread I found, it looks like the Sony unit will fit, see the little line diagram attached, the black lines are the inside dimensions of the console, the red lines are the outside dimensions of the Sony unit. If it fits as planned I'll have a small area underneath to have the phone cable and a place to tuck my phone away - will have to make some sort of pocket.

The mount would be a little lower than desired but it keeps the dash clean and I like the rotary dial of the Sony unit.

The Alpine Halo could work as well I suppose, it'll be my next option if the Sony doesn't work.

Stay tuned if interested.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 12:53 PM
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I love the skill and ingenuity. Not being an audiophile I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum.... Give me a working original AM/FM/Cassette and I'm ecstatic.

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