Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I purchased a 2005 C230 two weeks ago, but I've been out of town and haven't had a chance to take care of all of the repairs and upgrades I identified prior to the purchase. I'm posting on my progress in the hope that some of the long-time board members will suggest ideas for efficient work process or cost savings.

After a thorough cleaning and waxing, I cracked on with my first two repairs. Both were made possible by a visit to Alex Lozano at Mercedes Benz International in Rancho Cordova, California. Alex was even gracious enough to sell me a part off of a car he had for sale.

Job 1 - Tidy up the engine bay. The engine was missing the front engine cover and the rear engine cover had a hole in it. The air inlet tube is composed mostly of tape. I was able to buy replacement engine covers from Alex and the inlet tube is on order ($47 from mboemparts.com). I am also planning to install the wiring harness extensions that prevent oil from dripping down wiring harness if the magnets leak and change the oil and engine and cabin air filters. The first two pictures show before and after views of the engine covers.

Job 2 - Replace the steering wheel. The previous owner of my car had put a cover on the steering wheel. It fit loosely and it ground off the surface of the leather where it came in contact. I picked up a very nice wheel at MB International and installed it on Sunday. It is huge improvement in an area the driver contacts all the time. The next view attachments show the change. (The first 2 steering wheel pictures show the condition of the wheel that came with the car. The third is the new wheel.)

I plan to provide updates as parts arrive and I have time to work on the car. The next two jobs are fixing the sunshade that is stuck in the up position and installing a back up camera. (There should be some synergies from those tasks since they are likely to require removal of the rears seats.)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I had a few hours to work on the car this weekend. In the engine compartment I installed the wiring harness extensions that are reputed to prevent oil from seeping into the wiring harness. I also replaced the tape-wrapped air inlet hose with a new one. I wasn't satisfied with the results from waxing the car, so I used a clay bar to clean the paint and re-waxed. I think the results met my expectations.

I couldn't remove the oil filter, so that is a task for another day after a trip to buy a bigger wrench.
 

Attachments

·
Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
Joined
·
18,703 Posts
The secret to shine is what's under the wax. Get yourself a random-orbit polisher and some polish. I use Griot's Garage stuff. Wash, clay polish and wax and you will have an unbelievable finish - it will look better than new.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The secret to shine is what's under the wax. Get yourself a random-orbit polisher and some polish. I use Griot's Garage stuff. Wash, clay polish and wax and you will have an unbelievable finish - it will look better than new.
The car looks great until you get about a foot away and the scratches and other flaws are visible. After I complete my initial list of projects, I am planning to spend more time on the paint. I have a Porter Cable random orbit polisher and it is a great time saver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
On Labor Day I took the rear seat out in order to remove the sun shade which was stuck in the open position and to make it easier to route the cables for my back up camera. I made three discoveries during the process. The first is that removing a sun shade that is stuck in the open position is tedious. Second, the car must have experienced an "event" in which the rear window was smashed. You can see the shards of glass in the picture.

The third is that it appears that the radio antenna had become disconnected. My theory is that it was pulled loose during the process of removing and replacing the rear window. (I have attached a picture of it after I reconnected it. The connector is the black object with 4 tubes in it.) During my drive home from purchasing the car, I noticed that the radio reception was terrible. Since I planned to replace the stock radio, I wasn't worried. However, if I hadn't discovered the disconnected antenna, I would have experienced poor reception with the new radio. I guess I will need to consider this a "lucky break" that I happened upon the antenna issue during a related task.

I cleaned up the broken glass tonight and plan to install the back up camera tomorrow. I may also check to see whether I can install the navigation antenna in the rear window. There is some blacked-out glass which is behind the C-pillar trim that may make an excellent hiding place while providing good satellite reception.
 

Attachments

·
Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
Joined
·
18,703 Posts
I would guess that the glass shop neglected to reattach that wiring. The new glass would likely have come with a new antenna amplifier pre-installed.

As for the NAV antenna, there is already one in the car, under the stubby antenna. You might try locating its wiring (which ends up under the dash) and using it. I did this with a Pioneer AVIC install in my old C240. I don't recall which wire it was, but I was able to locate it. I think I had to use an adapter for the connection, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the information on the navigation antenna. I'll search for it and see whether I can get it to work with my Kenwood unit.

I installed the back up camera tonight, but I have not wired it yet. I expect to tap into the reverse light for power and I need to find the wiring diagram before I do that. One nice discovery is that there is already a hole behind the license plate that can be used for running the wire for the camera. It is blocked by a plug held on by an 8mm nut, but it is easy to remove. The pictures have a little too much flash, but it should help anyone else who want to mount a camera a good idea of the location. I smeared some RTV sealant around in the gap between the wire and the hole to prevent water intrusion.

I had to remove the inner lining of the trunk which is relatively easy. The only tricky part is removing the plastic trim over the trunk latch. There is a plastic piece that you have manipulate to remove the trim. I've posted a picture of the clip form the inside (after I removed it) so that you can see how it works.

Overall, I'm pleased with the look. The camera blends in and while it does get in the way of the trunk handle, there is plenty of room around it to put two or three fingers in the handle and open it. I'll take better pictures in daylight to show the results.
 

Attachments

·
Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
Joined
·
18,703 Posts
I installed a backup camera on my SL. I put it into the plastic housing for the trunk handle so it sits off to the side and does not interfere with the handle. I used a video + power cable and tapped into power at the radio instead of the reverse lights. That means the camera is always on with the ignition, but that's OK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the information. The camera I installed does block the handle slightly, but I can still use it and I expect I will usually open the trunk with either the remote or the button on the door. I don't want the camera to be powered all the time because it has LEDs in it and I think it would be odd to have them lit whenever the car is on.

I made a little more progress tonight. I ran the RCA cable for the camera under the passenger side door sill and up to the side of the glove box. Removing the trim is easy, and you can snap open some plastic covers on the wire trays so you can just lay the cable into the wire trays and avoid fishing the RCA connector through narrow passages. I've attached a photo of the open wire trays. You can see the snaps that hold them closed. Very tidy.

I plan to use the ground point in the second photo (it is located on the passenger side of the trunk) for the ground wire from the camera and I will tap into the gray/yellow wire on the passenger-side tail light for power.

I also made an interesting discovery in the right side of the trunk. There are two unused connectors, one is white the other blue wrapped in a black foam material. I think they are Fakra connectors which are used for GPS antennas. I'm also wondering whether they are part of the wiring for the optional amp.
 

Attachments

·
Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
Joined
·
18,703 Posts
The amp would not use a Fakra coax connector - those are only for antennas (cell, GPS, Sirius).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'm curious regarding the purpose of the connectors, but I have no plans to use them. I think you are correct that they would be used for antennas.

I switched gears last night and turned my attention to the sunshade. I had researched the topic on several boards, and I could not find a good DIY for fixing mine. Some people repair their shades with a push and others never have figured out how to fix their's. My independent mechanic agreed to look at mine as he has encountered some with broken parts that he could fix by welding. Mine didn't have any broken parts and he suggested that the problem is in the transmission. (The motor works fine.)

I took the transmission apart and realigned the gears. I hooked it up to the car and it actually ran. Then it made a noise and stopped. I took it apart and the black plastic gear had come off. I reassembled it again. This time I put some tension on the coil spring under the metal gear before inserting the black plastic gear. (The photos show the process.) After putting the cover on the transmission, I looked the unit over and I am beginning to wonder whether a part is missing. The shaft the black plastic gear rotates on is not locked in place on one side. I wonder whether this can allow the gear to wobble and detach from one of the metal gears. In one post I found, someone speculated that the shaft needed a circlip or some other device to hold it in place.

I am going to test the unit again later today. If my current reassembly didn't do the trick, it appears my options are to replace the plastic gear wheel (they are available on eBay or buy a used motor and hope I get a good one.

I have also posted a better photo of the camera installation.

As always, any suggestions or shared experiences are welcome.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I found a motor for sale on eBay. It is interesting to note that the motor for sale on eBay appears to have a flat metal plate (first two pictures) over the same location where my motor has a bare spindled sticking up through one side of the motor (third picture.) Maybe the plate broke off of mine.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I found a set of Mercedes rubber mats on Craigslist for $35. They are a nice upgrade considering the condition of the carpeted mats that were in the car when I bought it. (The right rear passenger mat was missing and the driver's mat was falling apart.) Since this will be my daily driver when I finally get it on the road, the rubber mats are a more appropriate product.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I made some progress over the last couple of nights.

I received the replacement Crux Interface (Crux SWRBM-57C) from Crutchfield and soldered it to my Kenwood wiring harness last night. I've attached some photos including a picture of the "Quadlock" connector that attached to the wiring harness in my 05.

It seems to be working well although I have not tested all the controls. Here are a few observations - I will appreciate any extra information anyone can offer on these issues:

1. The illumination of the head unit does not appear to dim when I dim the gauge cluster. I connected an orange wire marked illumination on the Crux harness to the orange with white stripe wire on the Kenwood harness which is designated for the illumination connection. So, I think I have it connected correctly. It may be that the Kenwood unit is unable to interpret the signal from the Mercedes harness.

2. I can change the volume and radio station using the steering wheel controls. I can also change the track on a CD. The Ipod I connected to the system was not compatible with my navigation unit, so I don't know whether the steering wheel controls work with the Ipod.

3. I was able to answer and hang up my cell phone using the steering wheel controls.

4. The rear camera turned on when I put the car in reverse.

5. When the car was connected to the OEM radio, the radio station and CD track information displayed in the center message center. It does not display through the Crux interface. I suspect that task was just too complex for an aftermarket solution that is required to work with many different cars. However, if there is a way to address this, please let me know.

6. I cannot think of any way to retain the OEM 6-disk changer. However, I think the extra space in the glove compartment will compensate for any disappointment I feel on that issue.

7. When I turn the key to the first position, the system sounds good. When I turn it to position two, I do hear a high-pitched hum in the system. I hope that does not persist when the car is running.

8. With regards to the problems some folks have with radio reception, I offer the following. Although I was inside a garage, the radio reception was about as good as it is in my other cars. I'll wait until I drive it outside and have an opportunity to fully assess it. I connected a blue wire from the Kenwood unit designated as the power antenna turn on lead to a blue wire on the Crux harness. I think this turned on the antenna amplifier in the car.

Taken as a whole, I think the Crux interface exceeded my expectations and I appreciate the support the Crux technical staff and Crutchfield provided in helping me install it properly.

Tomorrow night I plan to complete the installation. My major issues are locating the GPS antenna and the blue tooth microphone.
 

Attachments

·
Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
Joined
·
18,703 Posts
Instead of using the Crux illumination circuit, try tapping into the ashtray light. That should fix the dimming issue. i think the Crux only does on/off - no dimming.

You will not get display on the cluster's MFD - that is just beyond most of these aftermarket interfaces.

You may need to install a "ground isolator" to solve the ignition switch static issue. It's just a capacitor, but sometimes when you have multiple voltage inputs (like the vehicle wiring and the Crux) , you get this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks as always for the guidance. I sent a question to the Crux technical support team. If they don't have a fix, I'll switch the illumination to the cigarette lighter before I button everything up.

I read some more about the Kenwood units and Ipod interface. Many people reported that they experienced problems when using generic cables for the Ipod that were solved when they switched to a Kenwood cable. I may need to shell out a few more bucks and use a real Kenwood cable.

I also want to check if the hum/ground loop only occurred when the Ipod was in the system and charging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I went out to finish the installation tonight and the system started acting strangely. I lost the steering wheel controls, and the unit would suddenly begin to cycle on and off as if the power was being cut. I'm planning to contact Crutchfield tomorrow and see if they have suggestions. The "black box" that holds the electronic components was hot to the touch and that may be part of the issue.

From what I can tell, there is a pretty high failure rate on these units and I may have gotten hold of one that was defective. It was better to find out now than after I closed up the dash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The sunshade motor arrived Thursday and I attached to the sunshade mechanism last night. I put the parcel shelf back into the car this morning. It's time to check that one off my list of fixes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
The rear seat is back in the car. I'm glad I fixed the sunshade, but the amount of labor involved was outrageous.

The wiring for the GPS antenna, microphone and back up camera have all been run to the space in the dash behind the head unit. I'm waiting for the replacement Crux "black box" to show up. I decided to add the HD radio module to my Kenwood DNX 6180. I found a used unit (KTC-HR300) on eBay for about $75 shipped. That is scheduled to arrive Thursday. So, the car should be on the road next weekend.

I will still need to fix a rip in the driver's seat, but the upholstery shop is booked until mid October.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
About this Discussion
40 Replies
2 Participants
KevinH2000
Mercedes-Benz Forum
BenzWorld.org forum is one of the largest Mercedes-Benz owner websites offering the most comprehensive collection of Mercedes-Benz information anywhere in the world. The site includes MB Forums, News, Galleries, Publications, Classifieds, Events and much more!
Full Forum Listing
Top