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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all. I have a 2001 USA spec ML430. I would like to replace the stereo. I have read many threads about this, and I get that I need the metra harness and that there is a distinction between those with an amp and or fibre optic and those without. Attached are pics of my current set up.

What is the easiest make/model for a simple swap? I would like bluetooth and Apple CarPlay also. I am not afraid to crimp wires, and can do some light soldering, but the thread I read where they were doing stuff inside the amp is beyond my skill set. I do not mind bypassing the amp if I have it, I will need to check under the dash.

This is what I had in mind:

Boss Audio BVCP9685A. I'm not an audiophile, and the car is for my daughter. I don't want to put an expensive stereo in a car this old.

And this is what is in the car now:

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Thank you!
 

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w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
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Welcome Beast2, :)

It looks like you have FO on your oem setup (orange cable).

Take a look here, if you you have not already - https://www.benzworld.org/threads/easy-do-it-yourself-radio-replacement-in-1998-2005-ml-w163.1980833/

Also attached pdf should be able to assist you on the pinouts to connect to.
Based on your requirements and abilities, you can bypass your amp without any issues. You will just need to connect to the harness removed from the DS LEFT-side of the amp to your new stereo wiring.
If you can solder, then you can do this.
You will also need a dremel tool to do a bit of shaving on the perimeter of the double din opening (I believe 2001 model ml430 is same as 02 ML500, just guessing) to get the double din kit to fit and fit not-so-tightly either.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you khomer2 that is exactly what I was looking for yet somehow never stumbled over it in the search!
 

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Another question. Is there ignition switched power available somewhere in the rear hatch? I am trying to find a source of power for a backup camera and I would prefer to find it in the hatch rather than run a wire from the lights or the cigarette lighter socket. I was thinking that maybe the antenna would work? Surely there must be something "hot" in the hatch, but I couldn't find anything after an admittedly hurried search.
 

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w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
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Another question. Is there ignition switched power available somewhere in the rear hatch? I am trying to find a source of power for a backup camera and I would prefer to find it in the hatch rather than run a wire from the lights or the cigarette lighter socket. I was thinking that maybe the antenna would work? Surely there must be something "hot" in the hatch, but I couldn't find anything after an admittedly hurried search.
Not in the hatch, per say, but you can run the wires from the hatch thru the grommet line (or zip tied to that rubber line) (on the PS hatch topside), and then down behind the hatch door seal and behind the plastic hatch area trim (all hidden) over to the PS rear wheelwell "bump". There you will see the side panel that opens up to where the dvd/cdrom disk holder is located. In there, you will find a wire harness that you can tap into for the rear lamp. Dont recall the wire color, but you can figure that out simply by looking at the light wiring on the rear lamp assembly. :)

That's how I ran ours. It's all hidden, oem style. :)
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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Therei is no "Easy Way" In fact many have reported that some stereo shops do not want to touch an w163. I went to one shop in town when we first got our 500 they had no interest. Don't get me wrong it just takes more work then they want to mess with.
 
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