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1999 ML430
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1,479 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
If so, I found a great solution this last weekend. My sons' ML430 has a great stereo but over the years the door panels have been gradually falling apart. The pockets are just kinda' resting in the panel with gaps all around and a lot of flex. Also, a few of the door panel clips that secure the panel to the door are broken/missing. Recently, I noticed quite a bit of vibrating coming from the door panels when listening to some classic R&R at mid-volume. I can't be having that with classic Allman Brothers.

Solution:

Pick up 1/2 dozen panel clips at dealer. Get your wallet out for .02 of plastic.

Remove door panel. Incredibly easy ! Google it !!

Make sure existing speakers are securely fastened to good sheetmetal. I had a crossover unit for a sailpanel tweeter just hanging by its wire on the passenger side. Good time to swap speakers if you get the urge and possibly dynamat if you've got some extra bills.

Door panel itself. Resecure pocket into door by epoxying back side and use a couple of clamps to secure till dry. I used a Loctite Epoxy for plastics. One syringe for each door panel. This brings it back to factory sturdiness.

Now for the best part. Pick up a can of GREAT STUFF foam insulation at any Lowe's or Home Depot. Get the BLUE can that does not expand near as much as the all-purpose red can. Thanks to the Lowe's hardware guy for pointing this out to me when I told him what I was using it for.

Shake can for a good 2-3 minutes and then use the straw to slowly inject the foam BEHIND the pocket. Take your time and shoot it in from all sides. Fill the void up till its about 1/2 inch from the edges of the pocket. Leave it alone for a few minutes and notice the expansion of the foam. If neccessary add more or cut off some with a spatula (don't let your wife see you using it for this purpose !!) Let it set overnight and this stuff REALLY stiffens up the pocket and provides support when you accidently slam the door.

Sometimes I amaze myself. I reinstalled the door panels with ALL the clips and now the doors close with a very SOLID thud...think old-school Mercedes quality. Plus, the panels no longer vibrate, so the stereo sounds MUCH better with NO vibrations other than the rear-view mirrors !!!!

One other thing. Mercedes used some pretty good glue in Alabama assembling these things but the black brackets that hold the plastic clips can break free too. Make sure to reglue these back into their proper positions with the same epoxy.

Cleanup.... this material is pretty heddy. NO flames/cigarettes/cigars/pipes/whatever around this stuff. Mineral spirits is good for cleaning tools used. The can states this stuff is to be completely used in one session. You don't need to use much, and I found you can save the rest for a later application if you thoroughly clean the straw and the top of the can with mineral spirits.

This is a very easy project that will improve your stereo's sound and your door's thud when you close them. Ahhhhhhhhhhh...Mercedes quality !! Hope you find this info useful !!
 

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wow!!! talk about timing.. I just epoxyed my door pocket this afternoon. I added kevlar fibers to the epoxy to increase the strength of the bond( may be??). But the expanding insulation foam is a great idea... Thanks...
 

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2000 ML430 SOLD, 2007 BMW 328i Coupe, 2014 BMW i3
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2,982 Posts
I just stuffed upholstery foam in between the map pocket and the door panel and everything's quiet now. (Of course, my map pocket wasn't about to fall out either.)
 

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1999 ML430
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1,479 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The foam goes BEHIND the pocket..in other words..you don't see any of the foam. It is excellent support between the interior door panel and the pocket. Maximum width of this area is maybe 1.5"..... by 8" by 12". If you remove your door panel you will see the area that benefits from the support.

Found a great deal on some Focal coaxial speakers for the rear doors, so this might be a project in the near future. Pretty much the same procedure as for the front doors. The rear doors still have the original Bose, so these babies will be a huge upgrade with the new JL amp and Alpine headunit. Heres a link :

http://www.focal-america.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/130CA1.pdf
 

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Just applied the foam on one pocket/panel today. It is fantastic!!! Zero flex!! I think that's what break the pocket off over time. It provides perfect contact and very stable. Minimal fume after cure. Called the 'stealer' today, they want $200 for the pocket alone and $1500 for the door panel with the pocket!!! I am going to do the other three doors before they break...
 

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2005 E320 CDI, 2007 S550, 2016 E250
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3,199 Posts
Found this thread the other day and forgot I had pics of mine.
 

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2000 ML320
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26 Posts
My driver and passenger side pocket seem to have fall yesterday. Placed a clamp on each pocket for now! Seems to be working haha.
 

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2008 E350 4Matic
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81 Posts
I just but a chap stick in the middle of the pocket, works fine with my stereo and dont vibrate at all
 

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1999 ML320
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273 Posts
I too have been stuffing the pockets with whatever was handy. Might be worth tackling this. Now I wonder if anyone makes a spray in sound insulation product.... hmm...
 

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2000 ML 430
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1,588 Posts
Dynamat is a great sound deadening product, check it out. I have heard of some ML owners using it.
 

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2000 ML430 (Sold)
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1,209 Posts
My drivers side pocket keep falling out of place. The ever reliable 13 year old plastic clips aint cutting it anymore. Im doing this tomorrow.
 

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2000 ML430 (Sold)
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1,209 Posts
Im sure you can. Im also sure its nothing some silicone, a can of Great Stuff, and a DIYer with to much time on his hands can't fix ;)
 

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1998 ML320
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613 Posts
Im sure you can. Im also sure its nothing some silicone, a can of Great Stuff, and a DIYer with to much time on his hands can't fix ;)
you forgot Duct tape! :D

The handy mans secret weapon
 
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