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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I've been researching high and low trying to find out information about when Mercedes introducted CAN networks to the W210 and in particular, what networks might be present in my 1997 E420. I've found only a few posts that say that loosely that 1996 and 1997 models have an engine CAN network but NOT a body/interior CAN network.

Could anyone say for sure if those posts are correct? They don't say much else other than the W210 didn't get an interior CAN network until 1998. Since they don't provide any other info I am just trying to verify the accuracy of the statement. My W210 was manufactured in January of 1997 in Stuttgart. Another post I found said that there was a major wiring change for cars built starting in March of 1997, but I don't know where they got that info or any other details that might be useful.

I am interested in performing the "facelift" instrument cluster and steering wheel retrofit I've read about in DIY threads, plus I'd like to install a COMAND unit or a stereo that can be controlled via the steering wheel upgrade. Is anyone familiar with these mods? It sounds as if the newer cluster with a larger information display and steering wheel with COMAND controls has been successfully performed a number of times on pre 2000 models but I am unable to determine if it has been done on a 1996 or 1997 model.

And even if the 1997 W210 does NOT have an interior CAN network, is it necessary for these upgrades or will the engine CAN network suffice? It seems as if my existing information display does have a lot of data and faults that would seem to be coming from a network -- and maybe it is more engine type CAN stuff since it deals with the health and operational systems of the vehicle. The steering wheel portion may be another story as it deals with the audio system, which may not be part of the same network. An alternative for retrofitting COMAND into the vehicle appears to be the CAN network simulator wiring harnesses sold on german eBay, I suppose, but it seems like that probably won't enable the steering wheel control upgrade.

Here is the DIY for the steering wheel and instrument cluster upgrade...
http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/interior/56864-howto-retrofit-facelift-wheel-cluster-pre-facelift-w210-w208.html

And here is one of the COMAND retrofit harnesses sold on german eBay for W210 vehicles without a CAN network...
http://www.kufatec.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p470_c80_CAN-Bus-Interface---Mercedes-Comand-2-0.html

There is also this wiring adapter, which on the surface seems to be just that -- a wiring adapter that does not simulate a CAN network...
http://www.comandonline.co.uk/comand2-wiring-adapter.html
 
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