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2000 ML320
278 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just installed an ipod/iphone harness kit to my 2000 ML320. Music sounds great and charges as well.

Here is how i did it. (note: you must have CD changer for this to work!!!!!!!)

1)I bought an 5-volt RCA ipod/iphone harness kit (has fuse) from ebay and a simple red/white male-female rca cable from radio shack.

2)Pop the hood and unhook the battery

3)pulled out the MCS head unit using the special radio keys (can be bought from ebay for $2.99)

4)Disconnected the MCS from all the cabling and placed head unit aside.

5)Using the MCS pinout guide(see pdf)
Connect Ground wire from ipod harness (black color) to Wire A08 (brown color) and then connect the power wire (red color) to either Wire A04 (red color) or Wire A07 (pink color). I choose Wire A08 since it's the battery which is constantly on unlike the Wire A07 which is the switched ignition line.
Make sure to use electrical tape to seal your newly connected lines.

6) Since the good old MCS does not have an aux you have to use the CD changer connector row. In my case I have a CD changer and I didn't want to disconnect it from behind the unit so I just split the lines between the CD changer harness and ipod rca cable.

7)From the separate rca cable cut the male heads off and strip the ends of the red/white of your RCA cable so that you have exposed the wires on the male end while retaining the female ends intact. Then on the MCS harness, a few inches away from the connector) expose wires C01 (gray aux audio right), C02 (white aux audio left), and wire C03 (black common/coax shield for C01 & C02). Then with the RCA cables you just prepared, tie Red rca center line to C01 and seal with electrical tape, tie white rca center line to C02 and seal with electrical tape. Then tie together the coax shields from both RCA white/red making one line and then tie it to C03 on the harness. Make sure everything is fastened well and no bare lines are exposed.

8) Now you are left with female ends from the rca cable which you had just connected to C01, C02, and C03 so connect the female ends by color to the males ends from the purchased ipod harness rca cable.

9) By this point you have connected your power and ground lines in row A and your audio cables in row C. Now reconnect the radio hanress cable back into the MCS head unit. Don't forget to reconnect the antenna line and the gps line (if you have it). Neatly tuck the ipod cable into the dash and fish it through right side so that the line will come from the passenger side and bring it on the center in front of the transmission shifter. Then Gently push the MCS head unit back into the dash until it is firmly flush with the bezel which then it should click in. This part may be tricky due to the cables blocking the pathway. Take your time with this you don't want to rush this as you may damage your wires.

10) now everything is hooked up and all is well, however, if you are like me and wanted to keep using the cd changer you have to disconnect the the CD changer from the the back near the tail gate (very very easy). The MCS needs to be tricked into think it has an actual CD changer or else you wont hear anything from your ipod/iphone. You cant have them run at the same time unless you like to hear two different songs being played at once :rolleyes:

11) Reconnect the battery and input the radio code to re-activate MCS. Turn on the engine. BAS/ESP light will turn on (normal don't worry) just turn the steering wheel a few times and the light WILL turn off. Connect ipod/iphone, it should start charging, then press CD on MCS, play a song on your ipod and enjoy :D.

12) Unfortunately apple has made it so that when you use third party charging devices you might get annoying pop ups stating that your "iphone is not supported by this device blah blah blah." This does not mean it will not work at all it just means is that apple is not happy that you did not buy their expensive car charger to charge your iphone/ipod. To get rid of this issue you need to jailbreak your device and install cydia and install a popup blocker which will prevent that message from popping up. However jailbreaking is another beast to deal with and I will leave that for you to figure out :thumbsup:


Black 1999 ML320
1,204 Posts
This is awesome. This may have just saved me a lot of work. I am planning to replace my entire radio etc with a built in custom made iPad... Thanks for the guides.
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