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2001 Mercedes CLK430
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I have the standard audio 30 system in my car and want to upgrade the headunit, speakers and add a sub and 5 channel amp.
Looking for some idea's on what people have put in there clk430's and what size speakers and what they think of them.
Also im looking at putting a double din head unit in, so after ideas for that too :)
Thanks
 

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2002 CLK 430
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191 Posts
I put a single din JCV Kameleon in my W208 so the screen would black out an is customization to match the interior. Great DIY instructions are here:
Signal to Noise:Head Units - Marcus Fitzhugh

Word of caution, I threw a Rockford Fosgate amp and 2 12" subs in the trunk. The stock capacitor DOES NOT LIKE this setup. Lights dimming and the whole nine. Taken it to a few audio and aftermarket specialists and the consensus is that there are so many electronics on board, only a larger alternator/re-pull of cable would alleviate the problem.
 

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Mercedes CLK 430
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142 Posts
I'll tell you this right off the bat. I spoke with my Mechanic (MBZ & BMW) and also Corporate for MBZ, and they all tell me the same. If your looking for any type on Benz and it has a after market Radio or anything electric, turn and run away as fast as you can. You do that to your car, something "Electric" is going to come down on you FAST. And were talking BIG Bucks here considering that all the cars now a days have computers running your car......Funny thing I came across two weeks back. Some "Dealer Ship" was selling a 02 CLK-430 equip with a "Supercharger"........I call this guy and ask him, "Are you joking about the car with the Supercharger"? He tells me no, it's the real thing. Which I promptly replied, "are you out of your F....en MIND?? That's a death car, and anyone who buys that car will 1. Wrap around a tree, off a cliff, or certainly loose it in a turn. And 2. The guy will blow the entire engine within two weeks....He never replied...... LOL
 

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02 CLK55 AMG
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60 Posts
I'd suggest that upgrading the stereo doesn't have to be quite as disastrous as you describe. Can you get it wrong and adversely affect the car ? I'm sure you can. Can you do it right, just as true.

There are any number of threads about these upgrades here, and on other boards. Perhaps searching and reading would be an excellent place to start ?
 

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Mercedes CLK 430
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I hear where your coming from.....But when I went looking to buy my CLK-430, I was told by my mechanic, MBZ Dealerships, and Corporate HQ of MBZ that buying any MBZ that has an after market "Stereo" or Electronic device, and I'm just asking for trouble. I'm not saying what he wants to is wrong, (His Car, His Choice) but if he's going to sell it sometime down the line good luck, because anyone that has done their "Homework" on MBZ of any class will n ot touch it with a ten foot poll.....
 

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2001 Mercedes CLK430
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Discussion Starter #6
Mate I have never heard so much rubbish in my life, it was good for a laugh though.
I spose if someone from the dealership said to jump off a cliff you would go and do it yea ?

Adding a sound system to a car no matter what it is, is a very common and safe thing to do. I would like for you to tell me one thing, apart from some donkey blowing a fuse during the install, how can it possibly damage or the car ???

Now can we go back to my original question of seeing what setups people have put in their cars and not what peoples opionons of the subject are. If you wana argue the point by all means start your own thread and I'll be happy to see ya there :)
 

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02 CLK55 AMG
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I hear where your coming from.....But when I went looking to buy my CLK-430, I was told by my mechanic, MBZ Dealerships, and Corporate HQ of MBZ that buying any MBZ that has an after market "Stereo" or Electronic device, and I'm just asking for trouble. I'm not saying what he wants to is wrong, (His Car, His Choice) but if he's going to sell it sometime down the line good luck, because anyone that has done their "Homework" on MBZ of any class will n ot touch it with a ten foot poll.....
Well, you inspired me to call my brother in law in the UK, who happened to be a managing director for MB UK in the late 90's early 2000's. Being that kind of guy, just for kicks he used to browse warranty claims and doesn't remember any relating to problems caused by aftermarket audio equipment.

I'm claiming no expertise; just common sense and referencing an 'insiders' perspective.

He thanked you for giving him his best laugh of the year so far.....

The only major factor using the stock amp is that it expects a balanced output whereas most systems are unbalanced; you can buy a module to solve that problem.
 

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Well, you inspired me to call my brother in law in the UK, who happened to be a managing director for MB UK in the late 90's early 2000's. Being that kind of guy, just for kicks he used to browse warranty claims and doesn't remember any relating to problems caused by aftermarket audio equipment.

I'm claiming no expertise; just common sense and referencing an 'insiders' perspective.

He thanked you for giving him his best laugh of the year so far.....

The only major factor using the stock amp is that it expects a balanced output whereas most systems are unbalanced; you can buy a module to solve that problem.
Exactly right.

Ranger Vet, years ago I personally changed my head unit and haven't had any issues. My CLK is a daily driver so I would know if there were problems. I know of several others who have also changed head units in W208s. As for resale, if needed I could reinstall the original head unit in about 20 minutes. No factory wires were cut, so its all plug and play.
 

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2000 CLK 55 AMG
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Changing from the standard HU or Comand system is def the way forward. The only slight issues I found were the loss of the steering wheel volume controls (fixable but expensive) and the loss of power to the underbonnet OBD port which seems to have a power feed from the the Comand unit.
The advantages of the trade off had been far superior sound quality & better audio control, full Ipod control, full GPS & up to date Sat Nav, and DAB radio.
Has anyone else experienced any of these issues?
 

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2001 Mercedes CLK430
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
At present I have the standard non Bose system. It's a audio 30 head unit with a 6 cd changed in the boot. I don't have a amp in it either.
One of the double din ones I was looking at is the dynavin system. Would be intrested in hearing from anyone who currently has one of these installed ?
And if that system has a subwoofer RCA output ?

If a head unit only has 4 RCA preouts ( front left, front right, rear left and rear right) is there any way of adding a subwoofer as well ? If so how ?

Thanks
 

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2002 CLK 430
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I swapped head units. I kept my steering wheel controls... expensive is relatively, I think it cost me $80. I'll admit my steering wheel controls are a bit flakey though. I probably need to crack it open and look for a loose wire, but it works just well enough that I'm too lazy to do so.

The only problem I had was the wiring pattern on the harness crutchfield sent me was messed up. Specifically the ignition lead was in the wrong place.

Like mattakaspeeedy said, make sure you buy the headunit with the preamp outputs.

Now, if you start putting in a new amp and new speakers and new everything, it does start to get a little awkward because the wiring is all for a balance system ... it almost makes sense to re-run the wires from the head unit to the amp. Personally that was a bigger project than I was willing to undertake so I'll exit the conversation now :)
 

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2001 Mercedes CLK430
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Discussion Starter #12
I don't mind running brand new cables throughout the car. In fact i would prefer to do so because that way I know I'm getting the best signal I can.
 

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2000 CLK 55 AMG
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I swapped the headunit, ran new wiring & RCA's and put in two amps, new speakers and a subwoofer. Its def easier in the long run to put in new wiring.
 

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mattakaspeeedy,
I believe your missing the BIGGER PICTURE here. But I'm not going to take the time to explain or hold your hand through doing "Homework" Believe what you want to believe....
 

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2001 Mercedes CLK430
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Discussion Starter #15
Mate why would I listen to someone like you who has absolutely no idea what there talking about. You think upgrading the sound system on a car will cause major electrical problems. Everyone is most likely laughing at you right now.

Do yourself a favor and don't reply in this thread again. Your lack of knowledge is a joke.
I have upgraded sound systems in all my cars including Porsche, Mercedes and a maserati and guess what ? No problems with the car and defintly no problems selling them. I still have my Maserati 3200gt and it runs as good as I first bought it !!!
 

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2002 CLK 55 AMG
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Hi all.

Im interested in upgrading my audio system over the next few months as well - i have a 02 CLK55 with Bose. From browsing these forums and reading everything i can, it seems 'simple' enough, and i was planning a double DIN with Nav and intergrated stereo bluetooth. What im interested in is the steering wheel controls, which i understand you can buy additional control modules for from Metra or PAC etc (i think i need 2 - one to convert my Mercedes steering wheel button outputs to a generic format, and then one to turn that generic format (car specific) into something my head unit can understand (head unit specific)). So far so good.
What i cant figure out and would appreciate hearing from someone who has done this, or who knows more than i do: Will I lose the visibility of what radio station/ CD track im looking at on my dashboard, or can that be preserved somehow? If i lose it, what will i see instead? Aything? Nothing at all when its on the audio mode, and then the same as usual for everthing else?
Thanks in advance.
 

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Correct. You loose the display. The buttons change the track, station and volume as programmed (from my experience with the PAC modules), but the screen is just blank when on.
 

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Same result on my 2002 CLK430 that didn't have command.

My understanding is that some newer models may pop up the word "AUDIO", but still don't display any track/volume information.
 

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True as well - when the screen doesn't detect or detects a low voltage, it will show "Audio." This was the tip off my grounding was coming loose as the car wasn't getting the right voltage and this was showing up (i.e. in my experience with an '02 CLK430, seeing this was a 'poor wiring' notification).
 
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