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· W210 Section Moderator
1998 E320 base sedan @ 242 kmiles
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11,117 Posts
It should be possible, as long as the seats are compatible with your car (for 1997, you need 1997 or 1996 seats). Assuming the wiring is in place (fuses, wiring from the rear fuse panel) , and you have the control buttons at the doors installed, and wired to the seats. In your model year the seats are not networked, that means they are hardwired to the controllers under each seat.
 

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E290 TD Wagon
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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This is my fusebox under the rear seat. It seems to be missing the other half, which I suppose is for anything related to power seats. Is it impossible to retrofit then? Or if I buy a donor car with those kind of seats installed, is it possible then to rewire it?
 

· W210 Section Moderator
1998 E320 base sedan @ 242 kmiles
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11,117 Posts
It should be possible, if you bought seats from a 96 model (97 too for the USA). The seats will then be connected directly to the control switches. You may have to version code the Combination Control Module, to tell it that the electrical seats are available. If you do not, the seats may work but the memory seat function will not work.
 

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E290 TD Wagon
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't think that any of the wiring is in place for my car for the power seat. Not even it's fuses/fusebox as the picture shows. I think I would have to rewire everything. But I'm willing to take everything apart inside, except for the dashboard.
 

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E290 TD Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I looked a bit deeper in my car(removed seats, carpets and door cards) It doesn't have the wires, but I think i could rewire it. I don't think any of the wires go inside the dashboard, because it seems to go from the battery all the way to the door all under the carpets, and up to between the door hinges and into the door. I don't see any reason why it would go inside the dashboard. Please correct me if I'm wrong
 

· W210 Section Moderator
1998 E320 base sedan @ 242 kmiles
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11,117 Posts
The seat control button units are on the front door panels. So you need to install these switch assemblies on the door panels (or replace the door panels with those switches already on. Not sure what your door panels look like without seat control. You have 7 wires coming out of each switch assembly, two of which are for the switch lighting which you may eliminate. The wiring needs to go through channel near the door hinge to the body, and then to the seats. All you need from the rear is fused power. Then you have a two-wire CAN bus connection (at the door sills).

The N32 is the controller and the motors shown at the bottom left are inside the seat along with the controller. The seat switches are bottom left near fuses.
 

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· Registered
1997 Mercedes-Benz E290 TD Wagon
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's not as easy as I thought. You see this car is 1997, so it already has the smart key and the door control units. Is it still possible then if I buy a donor car with the door control units and the seats to cope with, or would I need to buy the previous type from before this update?
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this last image shows the cables that come from the door control unit through the door into the cabin.
 

· W210 Section Moderator
1998 E320 base sedan @ 242 kmiles
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11,117 Posts
So your 1997 model has the DCMs and the DAS3 key fob. This is different from the USA versions. You can transfer the DCMs the ESA seats but you may have to transfer the SAM unit, and version code the electronic ignition switch (EIS) to include the ESA.

Simpler way would be to transfer earlier model seats and the door panel switches for seat control and hard-wire them to the seats through the door hinge. The system (DCMs, EIS, SAM) will be unaware of the upgrade, so it will not impact anything else. But you should expect that the memory functions may not work in this case as the ESA module will not be connected to the CAN bus.
 

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E290 TD Wagon
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Would that be plausible if I buy the power seats from a w202, wire it, then put the w202 motors in the place of the w210 motors. So the w202 motors would be in the w210 power seat .It would then be hard wired, I could then according to my theory eliminate the whole Memory module, DCMs and other problematic areas and much less cables to manage. It would firstly use the w202 seat switches at first, then i could blend it in the door card and also the whole wiring would be from the w202.
 

· W210 Section Moderator
1998 E320 base sedan @ 242 kmiles
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11,117 Posts
There are two types of W202 power seats. With or without memory. With memory looks like the W210 with its own ESA module. The without version is controlled directly from the switches (my understanding). You could transfer the motors and the switches provided that the W210 seats will accept the motors (I assume you have non-power W210 seats). Or, are you planning to use different W210 power seats ?
 

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E290 TD Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would buy the w202 seats without the memory function. And I would use w210 power seats to put the 202 motors in. And i could mechanically modify the w202 switches, to be in the right order and then lay the wood trim over it.
 

· W210 Section Moderator
1998 E320 base sedan @ 242 kmiles
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11,117 Posts
As long as the motors are in the same size, it should work. If you try to upgrade and install the ESA module to control the motors, the ESA and the motors may not be compatible. You need to check the part numbers and and compare.
 

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E290 TD Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't think it would be that big of a problem if the motors didn't perfectly match. I can always modify it mechanically, like changing the gears between. I only have issues with the electricity part of the whole ordeal, since Im not good at it. If i was, i would have just used the normal w210 seats
 

· W210 Section Moderator
1998 E320 base sedan @ 242 kmiles
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11,117 Posts
Then why not use seats from a 1996 E series with no DCM ? You have a 1997 with DCMs (Euro model). Possibly the 1996 model will not have DCMs (like the 1996/1997 models in the USA).
 

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E290 TD Wagon
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, the pre 1997 models were without the dcms aswell, but It's horribly difficult to find '96 models with power seat. On the European market it wasn't a stock option like in the NA. It's quite a rarity. This option is still a rarity here even in newer models. Im in Hungary, i would be willing to go to other countries just for that, but it's rare. Even rarer in w202s but i managed to find one.
 

· W210 Section Moderator
1998 E320 base sedan @ 242 kmiles
Joined
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11,117 Posts
Well then :) You have to try what you can get. Personally, seat adjustment is something I rarely do. If the seat is in place and in the current settings, it would not bother me that much. One of my Toyotas had a passenger power seat problem. If the passenger moved the seat all the way to the front, it would blow the fuse. Sick and tired of replacing the fuse, I put the seat in the mid position and pulled the fuse out :). I rarely had passengers that would fuss about seat adjustments, so it was not worth fixing it. It was an interesting problem. Once I removed the seat and with external power, moved it back and front with the switch. No problem. It only caused the problem when it was installed in the car. Possibly something making a short to the ground. This is the bad side of power seats. If something goes bad with seat stuck in some undesirable position, the driver then posts in sites like this for a solution :)
 

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E290 TD Wagon
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80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for every bit of help you provided. I will try what I can. I personally would like to have those seats because height adjustment is worn out, so when I get in the car, it always drops a few levels. And its fairly difficult and tiring to lower the backrest with that damned dial crammed between the armrest and the seat itself. If I fail i will then use the partially electric seat from the facelift models, which can only adjust the height and backrest.
 
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