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1991 300SE 250,000KM Award Recipient
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468 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Had a curveball thrown to me this weekend at the stereo shop. Went in looking for a replacement head unit/CD player and the kid there said my 1991 300SE had to be "totally rewired because it has amps" . The question is, if I want to replace just the head unit is there a wiring adapter to connect a typical CD player to the factory harness? And can I run the speaker leads directly to the console fader and use all 6 speakers? Anybody been down this road with a W126 with 6 speakers (2dash 2 doors and 2 rear shelf)Any help would be greatly appreciated because I trust you all more than the kid at the stereo shop.
[8D]
 

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1986 560sec
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65 Posts
Hi,
I saw that you had said you'd been to a stereo shop and they told you to rewire it? just out of curiousity were did you go? i live in sac, and i work at circuit city the one up sunrise at greenback, right by the sunrise mall. The car audio dept. is not really my department but our roadshop guys put a new alpine unit into my SEC and it works with the fader in the console as well as the fader in the headunit, and to be honest i am pretty sure they did not have to pull my amps either, just a thought, but i'll talk to the guys to double check and get back to ya, oh yeah by the by i have the alpine cda9835 and i think very highly of it no crazy dolphins or racecars that jump across the screen distracting you from the buttons [:D], and it has an interface that links directly to my ipod and let's me control it through the headunit and see all the display as far as title artist and track. like i said i'll double check but i am pretty sure they didn't pull my factory amps.
Jared
 

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1991 300SE 250,000KM Award Recipient
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468 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Jared,I'm in Carmichael and have been in your store many times. I'd appreciate any info you can get for me on how yours was done. I want to keep everything as stock as possible. I'll drop in and look you up soon

Al
 

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300E
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100 Posts
My 300E doesn't have amps, but umm, any aftermarket radio is going to come with wiring, and if you order from Crutchfield or CarDomain.com they can send you a vehicle-specific wiring harness for your stock wiring harness in your car. I did this to my car, and the results are great.

1) Take aftermarket stereo, plug in its wires
2) Take said wires, connect them to wires on vehicle-specific wiring harness
3) remove stock stereo
4) connect vehicle-specific wiring harness to your stock wiring harness
5) zip-tie the wires together and put the radio in.

So I guess my point is, with a vehicle-specific harness, you could retain the use of your stock amps, sounds like the guy is trying to get another 2 hrs tacked onto the install time/pay. Any experts wanna chime in?
 

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If you buy a head unit that has a line out, you can connect this to the factory amps without much challenge. I replaced the factory unit in my 1988 300 SEL with an Alpine 9847 with no problems once I learned what was going on. In this car, there are a set of three wires (blue, brown and green) that are the line inputs that go through the fader and back to the amplifiers. I don't recall the order, but the blue and green are the left/right signals, and the brown is a common ground.
In the case of the Alpine, you can set the internal amplifier off, as well, to reduce the power draw.

I bought from Crutchfield, but had to modify the install kit slightly - aside from making my own line out to MB fader input, in my car the antenna power and amplifier are joined together, but need to separated and connected independently to the antenna and amp-switch outputs of the head unit.
 
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