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1998 ML320
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all, I'm new to the forum and have a couple of questions about my '98 ml320. The car currently has a standard am/fm cassette, but my plan is to retrofit an MCS with a DVD Nav. system, per Benza's guide, as well as a CD changer. I thought it would be prewired for the cd changer (so that dealers would have the option of adding a changer after taking delivery), but I see no cable in the jack compartment in the right wall of the cargo area. Did models sold without the changer lack the wiring, or am I missing something? If it is not prewired, how difficult is it to wire in a changer?

Also, if it turns out not to be prewired and a hassle to wire it, am I correct that I could use the the Nav. DVD drive in the dash to play music CD's, but that I would have to take out the Nav. disc everytime I wanted to do so? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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My understanding is that all ML were prewired. The cable may have fallen further down into the body panel and you may have to fish it out.
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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First of all, you may not be able to easily add the MCS, NAV and CD changer to your MY1998 as it does not have the D2B fiber option system in it. Of course you can add that, but your talking about a significant cost. I am just curious as to why you want to add the MCS? It’s not a bad system, but there are tons of great aftermarket units out there that are so much better. For example, I’m thinking of replacing my MCS with a Kenwood Excelon DDX7015. For around $2500 retail, it includes the in-dash 6.5� touch-screen (it takes up the double-DIN opening in the ML), with DVD player and navigation. It also has controls for a 10-disc CD changer, Music Keg and satellite radio.

- RODNEY
 

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1998 ML320
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My understanding from reading the navigation posts on the site is that you can retrofit a 2000 ML MCS unit on a 1998 ML because that MCS is not fiber optic and, therefore, will still allow you to control the cd changer through the non-fiber optic line in a 1998 ML (assuming it is, in fact, pre-wired). It seems there are enough around that you can shop around and get a decent deal. I thought it would be nice to stick with factory stock (and hopefully also deter thieves), but I'd be curious to know about problems or weaknesses with the MCS. I'll check out the Kenwood you mentioned, too.
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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I am fairly certain that all MCS units use the D2B fiber optic bus. As for weaknesses of the MCS, it is mainly related to its proprietary characteristics. There is no (economical) way to connect a hard-wired auxiliary input for an MP3 Player, satellite radio or video entertainment system. The only input options (besides a factory CD changer and the internal CD or DVD player for the NAV) are an RF modulator or a cassette adapter. The most often used controls are on the “wrong� side of the unit (unless you are in a right-hand drive model). If you can live with all that, then I guess having factory equipment is good and it probably is less likely to be stolen. Personally, I like the Kenwood system and might also consider the similar Eclipse AVN2454.

- RODNEY
 

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rudeney - 2/10/2005 6:24 PM
I am fairly certain that all MCS units use the D2B fiber optic bus. RODNEY
Rodney, the MCS was not FO until '01. Check Benza's pub for model numbers.

I put a FO MCS in my '98, then later wired the FO to the back, using C model FO harness, and installed a FO CD changer.

Click on the links in my sig for more info and install pics.
 

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cavallino - 2/10/2005 8:48 AM

Greetings all, I'm new to the forum and have a couple of questions about my '98 ml320. The car currently has a standard am/fm cassette, but my plan is to retrofit an MCS with a DVD Nav. system, per Benza's guide, as well as a CD changer. I thought it would be prewired for the cd changer (so that dealers would have the option of adding a changer after taking delivery), but I see no cable in the jack compartment in the right wall of the cargo area. Did models sold without the changer lack the wiring, or am I missing something? If it is not prewired, how difficult is it to wire in a changer?

Also, if it turns out not to be prewired and a hassle to wire it, am I correct that I could use the the Nav. DVD drive in the dash to play music CD's, but that I would have to take out the Nav. disc everytime I wanted to do so? Any help would be appreciated.
Yes, it should be pre-wired. Stick to the model numbers in Benza's pub for the MCS. Click on MCS in my link for model number info, links and install pics.

If you end up with a '01 and above MCS, it will all work but the CD changer. A FO CD changer can be retrofitted. Click the CD in my link for install pics and info.

Its a nice NAV system, and an interesting project! Good luck!
 

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MBs
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Ah, great info, UncAl and Rodney. [:)] Here are some more files lying around on the server:

http://www.whnet.com/4x4/cd-install.html

http://www.whnet.com/4x4/mcsdvd.html

The OEM Mercedes CD-Changer in a 98/99 M-Class works fine with the MCS from a model year 2000 M-Class. It's just plug and play. Instead of the changer one could also use the fiber port on the MCS for an iPod, and use the changer commands to control it.. [:)]
 

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1998 ML320
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wolfgang - 2/10/2005 8:05 PM

Ah, great info, UncAl and Rodney. [:)] Here are some more files lying around on the server:

http://www.whnet.com/4x4/cd-install.html

http://www.whnet.com/4x4/mcsdvd.html

The OEM Mercedes CD-Changer in a 98/99 M-Class works fine with the MCS from a model year 2000 M-Class. It's just plug and play. Instead of the changer one could also use the fiber port on the MCS for an iPod, and use the changer commands to control it.. [:)]
Do the pre-2001 MCS units also have a fiber port?
 

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1998 ML320
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've looked high and low and there is no sign of a CD changer wire in the right panel of the cargo area.[:(] Any suggestions?
 

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Then pull the radio out and look behind there if anything is plugged in. That's easy if you have radio removal tools, otherwise stick a small knife or something similar in into the removal slots on either side of the radio faceplate, then pull it out.
 
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