Mercedes-Benz Forum banner
1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
W220 Moderator
2006 S500
Joined
·
1,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back story. The pre amp in my sharkfin died leaving me without GPS. Investigating replacement from MB was a shock, to the tune of 600'ish USD. I don't use the cell phone portion of the sharkfin nor Tele-Aid so all I needed was GPS functionality.

"Egads" thought I ( paraphrased for publication ) "There has to be an alternative" And there is. This info is W220 specific, even more specifically the 03 to 06 models with the Nav unit in the trunk. I left the dead sharkfin in place just because I am too lazy to peel it off and try and reseal all the window rubbers and trim.

Heres what you need:

1. Antenna, if you have Tele-Aid as an option you have a splitter in the trunk on the right hand side. You will need an active GPS antenna with a WICLIC connector and no more than 3 M of cable.

You can Google for one or use my source

Mini GPS Wiclic for Mercedes Sony Becker Traffic 4720 4724 7822 7824 7925 7935 | eBay

If you want to go direct to the nav unit you will need an active GPS antenna with a blue FACRA C right angle connector as linked below

GPS Antenna Fakra C 5005 Bule SMB Female Right Angle 3M Cable MFD2 RNS2 RNS E | eBay

2. Installing the antenna.

You will need to pull the plastic piece over the trunk lock and lip first. (pics 1-3 )
Its held in by several 2 piece plastic push clips as well as the 4 cargo net tie down points. A small slim screwdriver will deal with the push clips nicely

Automotive exterior Bumper Tire Auto part Rim

Tire Automotive exterior Bumper Automotive tire Rim



Use a Torx T-20 bit for the cargo net hold downs. 4 on the back plastic piece and 2 more on the trunk floor forward. After removing all the clips and hold downs, the piece should pull easily straight up.




There are large plastic hold downs under the tops of all the panels. GENTLY pry them out. Now remove the trunk floor mat, both side panels and the center front panel in that order. The right panel does need to GENTLY folded a bit to get it out.

Vehicle door Automotive exterior Vehicle Auto part Bumper


The left panel is a bit easier. Just tuck a finger into the corner and GENTLY pull it out and towards you.

Vehicle door Automotive exterior Trunk Bumper Auto part


The center panel has 3 spring steel clips on the top edge.

Vehicle door Automotive exterior Hand Finger Bumper


GENTLY pull the panel off those and rotate it towards you a bit to get to the trunk lights (2 ) and pop those out of the panel.

Hand Vehicle door

Continue to rotate the back panel towards you and out of the trunk.

Trunk Subwoofer Audio equipment Technology Auto part

Now that the trunk has been stripped, we can take you new antenna into the back seat. There should be a blank side and a printed side. Ensure the printed side is pointed skyward ! Also note that I have IR reflecting glass AND tinting. The IR coating stops about 4 inches from the top of the glass. The head liner actually extends over the glass an inch or 2 also. This allows completely hiding the antenna and still have a full view of the sky without IR coating or the tint film interfering.

Vehicle door Finger Windshield Hand Driving

You are going to be pushing it under the lip of the headliner. In the pics you can see I am going in about 6 inches right of the center line of the back glass. With the coax pointing towards the right C pillar.

Vehicle door Hand Finger Sky Thumb

Push it in GENTLY and it should just disappear under the headliner. If it doesn't easily slide all the way in, jockey a bit left or right to ensure you are going between the arms of the overhead antenna amplifier.

Hand Finger Thumb Sky Vehicle door

Now push the coax under the head liner also going towards the C pillar


Keep pushing the coax behind the trim going along the back glass all the way down to parcel shelf.



GENTLY, using your fingers, pry up front edge starting on one corner or other. Front will pop out keeper by keeper. When front comes up, lift up and pull just a bit towards you to unseat rear C-clips. plenty of slack in the third light wire loom. Reverse to reinstall. Note the coax routing in the second pic.

View attachment 1111849 View attachment 1111857


Drop the connector end and the remaining coax thru the second slot as shown.

View attachment 2281801

Dress the coax away from the fingers on the third brake light housing and press it back into place.


As you can see it all goes back together nicely hiding the coax virtually completely.

View attachment 2281809

Now you get to climb into the trunk and pull the cable. Next pic is with me laying on my back, head on the gas tank and looking up at the parcel shelf thru a large oval hole MB was kind enough to place in a convenient spot.

View attachment 2281817


Run the coax along the side of the cable retractor box towards the front of the trunk. Going to want to stay out of the way of the trunk closing mechanicals.

View attachment 2281825

Then around the end of the cable retractor box to the cable bundle you see next to the gas filler neck.

View attachment 2281833


Cable tie the coax and any excess into that bundle, disconnect the old sharfin lead from the splitter on the single connection side and plug the new antenna in.

View attachment 2281841

Now you can test it BEFORE you put the whole trunk back together. Hopefully you are doing this outside with a clear view of the sky. Fire up the car and check your satellite received number. With this set up I regularly get 6-7 and sometimes as many as 10.

View attachment 2281849

I even get 3-5 parked inside the garage. didn't before.

View attachment 2281857


I should think that this will also work QUITE well for those wishing to add on an XM radio receiver with a cheap antenna, just run your Ebay XM antenna ( with blue FACRA connector ) to the left side of the trunk following the same basic procedure.


For those that want to by pass the splitter and plug directly into Nav unit, follow the same steps except slide your antenna in under the head liner 6 inchs or so to the left of center on the back glass and run coax down left C pillar into trunk ( nicely placed large hole in parcel shelf on that side also ) following the cable bundles into the electronics stack area. Pull Nav unit out, (couple of push clips on side of Nav unit need to be pressed to slide it out ) pull sharkfin antenna cable and plug in the new one.

So, there you go. A super cheap alternative to replacing your sharkfin for GPS
 

·
Registered
S500 2001
Joined
·
144 Posts
Well done! Your photos are extremely helpful, also for other applications. It seems that you have the gifts of teaching and service. Much appreciated.

Daniel
 

·
Registered
2005 SLK350, 91 300SL with Pano Top, 04 S500, 2015 Tesla Model S
Joined
·
2,139 Posts
Great step by step procedure.
 

·
Registered
1988 Mercedes 300CE, 1998 E430(sold), 2000 S430, 2003 S55, 1998 VW Golf(sold)
Joined
·
1,582 Posts
Nice Job This Will Help a Ton

I ended up getting the shark fin.
If I did not get the antenna I would have just went with the cover. My GPS still works.
Thanks for you help on my post as well
Cheers
Scott
 

·
Registered
96 and 08 911 turbos
Joined
·
2,988 Posts
how are you finding this new antenna to work out?

My antenna got knocked off and would prefer to not pay for the mb replacement.

Do you find this finds more satellites than the stocker?

thanks.
 

·
W220 Moderator
2006 S500
Joined
·
1,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
how are you finding this new antenna to work out?

My antenna got knocked off and would prefer to not pay for the mb replacement.

Do you find this finds more satellites than the stocker?

thanks.
I have seen 14 satellites on the El Cheapo and never saw more than 11 on the sharkfin. I even get 2-5 parked in the garage and NEVER saw that with sharkfin. So yes, much better.
 

·
Registered
96 and 08 911 turbos
Joined
·
2,988 Posts
awesome, sounds great. Any tips on how to remove the third brake light? is it just held in with clips?
 

·
W220 Moderator
2006 S500
Joined
·
1,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
awesome, sounds great. Any tips on how to remove the third brake light? is it just held in with clips?
GENTLY, using your fingers, pry up front edge starting on one corner or other. Front will pop out keeper by keeper. When front comes up, lift up and pull just a bit towards you to unseat rear C-clips. plenty of slack in the third light wire loom. Reverse to reinstall. Note the coax routing in the second pic.
 

Attachments

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
Joined
·
11,212 Posts
Great writeup, Ex-Fed - despite running into the 15000 character limit for an individual post (in the Encyclopedia section where it is posted), I squeezed it in, right next to your great thread on the antenna systems.

Time to revise the Encyclopedia to make more room for great threads such as this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: expat5

·
W220 Moderator
2006 S500
Joined
·
1,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<<blush>> Thanks Warren
 

·
Registered
2003 S500
Joined
·
3,171 Posts
I would like to add my appreciation for the well-researched, well-written info from Ex-Fed.
 

·
Registered
2000 Mercedes-Benz S500. Sold: 2000 C230K, Sold: 1997 Porsche 944S
Joined
·
1,271 Posts
Absolutely Top Post! Highly detailed information, Photos, Step by Step sequential photos and How To's. Spot on!
 

·
Registered
96 and 08 911 turbos
Joined
·
2,988 Posts
did this today with the same antenna. Really a piece of cake. Only thing i did was add a bit of foam to the back of the antenna to keep it from rattling around above the headliner.

Good trim tools make this much easier as well.

Thanks so much for the idea.
 

·
Registered
96 and 08 911 turbos
Joined
·
2,988 Posts
ok, well install was easy but I acquire zero satellites with this antenna.

The navigation still seems to work just fine, but I'm a bit confused why its not aquiring any satellites.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks
 

·
W220 Moderator
2006 S500
Joined
·
1,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ok, well install was easy but I acquire zero satellites with this antenna.

The navigation still seems to work just fine, but I'm a bit confused why its not aquiring any satellites.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks
Where did you plug into? Splitter or back of the nav unit ?
 

·
W220 Moderator
2006 S500
Joined
·
1,137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
May have a bad splitter.

Try this first, enter a gps destination, any random location will do, start route guidance. This will usually force a re-poll/refresh of the satellites. If that has no effect....

Feel like tossing another $15 at it? Get another antenna with a right angle blue FACRA "C" adaptor, plug it directly into the nav unit. That bypasses the whole splitter/teleaid system entirely. You could find a WICLIC to FACRA adaptor, but frankly, you would pay more for it than a new antenna.
 

·
Registered
96 and 08 911 turbos
Joined
·
2,988 Posts
May have a bad splitter.

Try this first, enter a gps destination, any random location will do, start route guidance. This will usually force a re-poll/refresh of the satellites. If that has no effect....

Feel like tossing another $15 at it? Get another antenna with a right angle blue FACRA "C" adaptor, plug it directly into the nav unit. That bypasses the whole splitter/teleaid system entirely. You could find a WICLIC to FACRA adaptor, but frankly, you would pay more for it than a new antenna.
well, the stock antenna finds 5 satellites in the same location so i'm guessing the splitter still works.

Will give it another shot.

thanks.
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top