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05 500
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MY05 ML500
I have had this unit repaired 4 times (by that NJ shop), all for unable to read NAV DVD error, @ ~$200/repair. Interestingly, I actually like the old school nature of COMAND and since I don't drive the ML that much at all, I don't pay much attention to its quirks. But after it failed on my trip to SC a couple weeks ago, and I had to use my phone for NAV, I think I have had it. I know I am behind the game here. I did do a search a few months back, but what options are currently available for my model year? Thanks.
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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Bose FO system in this ride?
You need a work-around this & it's doable.
As for double din HU options, pretty much any feature you desire with the HU these days.
 

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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2017 C43 AMG,1929 Victory 6 roadster, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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MY05 ML500
I have had this unit repaired 4 times (by that NJ shop), all for unable to read NAV DVD error, @ ~$200/repair. Interestingly, I actually like the old school nature of COMAND and since I don't drive the ML that much at all, I don't pay much attention to its quirks. But after it failed on my trip to SC a couple weeks ago, and I had to use my phone for NAV, I think I have had it. I know I am behind the game here. I did do a search a few months back, but what options are currently available for my model year? Thanks.
Any 2din head unit will fit in its replacement and there is so many options out there now.
I hooked mine straight up to the original Bose system but as time went by I ended up replacing everything. Speakers aren鈥檛 great after 20 years of service the foam deteriorates around the edges. Have a good look at them for there features as you can get them with car play and all that stuff now. You鈥檒l wish you did it years ago once you take the jump.
 

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1998 Franken-ML, 2002 ML55
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My recommendation: a used Pioneer AVH or AVIC 2DIN unit, somewhere in the 4100NEX to W8500NEX range. They have varying capabilities, but the baseline is:
HD Radio
CD/DVD player
USB input x2
SD card slot
HDMI input
Aux input
Backup camera input
Second camera input
Bluetooth
Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
Rear seat display output

鈥淲鈥 models have wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

AVIC models have built-in navigation that doesn鈥檛 require a cellular connection. The AVH models can be upgraded with a navigation module.

There鈥檚 pretty much no feature I can think of that they don鈥檛 include, and I haven鈥檛 found anything from any other manufacturer that incorporates so many features.

With an adapter cable, the models with built in GPS functionality (which includes the AVH models from the 4400NEX and up) can interface with the W163 rooftop GPS antenna. The Pioneer dash mount unit is a 5V GPS antenna with the power supply duplexed on the data line, same as the rooftop unit, and a GPS signal is a GPS signal. The models with GPS connectivity and no built in navigation can give your phone鈥檚 internal navigation apps a GPS signal boost.

This 4xxx and 8xxx series are frighteningly expensive new ($700-$1200), but used models in good working order can be found from $100 (if you鈥檙e really lucky) and up.
 

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1998 Franken-ML, 2002 ML55
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501 Posts
As far as the speakers go, I really like Focals. Even their less expensive lines sound great, and for reference my main stereo speakers in the house are a pair of vintage B&W 802s.

Whether or not you have the stock tweeters in the sail panels, get component speakers for the front doors so you can bring the tweeters up to a reasonable height. If you do have the sail panel tweeters, it鈥檚 easy to convert the sail panels to hold aftermarket tweeters. You can go with coaxials for the rear doors. The fronts are 6.5鈥, the rears are 5.75鈥.
 

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05 500
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much everyone. I'll look into these options Several years ago, there used to be an issue integrating aftermarket units with fiber-optics cables in the ML500. Is that still an issue or can it be easily bypassed?
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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And oh ya, recall that wannabe
Thanks so much everyone. I'll look into these options Several years ago, there used to be an issue integrating aftermarket units with fiber-optics cables in the ML500. Is that still an issue or can it be easily bypassed?
I still think it is an issue. Proprietary FO, from my understanding.
I could be wrong since it's been a few years (2018) now, when I swapped/bypassed the FO.
(Im also presuming Matt's Bose was non-FO? when he posted his comments)
 

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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2017 C43 AMG,1929 Victory 6 roadster, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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And oh ya, recall that wannabe


I still think it is an issue. Proprietary FO, from my understanding.
I could be wrong since it's been a few years (2018) now, when I swapped/bypassed the FO.
(Im also presuming Matt's Bose was non-FO? when he posted his comments)
I think it was just my CD changer that was FO. The rest was just hooking up wires. But I didn鈥檛 use that they are like LP鈥檚 these days aren鈥檛 they really.
 

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1998 Franken-ML, 2002 ML55
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Thanks so much everyone. I'll look into these options Several years ago, there used to be an issue integrating aftermarket units with fiber-optics cables in the ML500. Is that still an issue or can it be easily bypassed?
I鈥檇 just go around it. Either install a small amp where the stock unit was and run RCA cables from the head unit to it, or extend the speaker wiring from the adapter harness to the far side of the stock amp and disconnect it. The stock wiring is sufficient for just about any install. Bose stole the speaker connectors from the GM parts bin, so adapters are cheap and easy to find.

The stock CD changer is pointless when you can put a huge music library on an SD card. I鈥檓 mounting a 1200W power inverter on its hinged mount in the Franken-ML. I may do the same in the AMG.
 

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05 500
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I鈥檇 just go around it. Either install a small amp where the stock unit was and run RCA cables from the head unit to it, or extend the speaker wiring from the adapter harness to the far side of the stock amp and disconnect it. The stock wiring is sufficient for just about any install. Bose stole the speaker connectors from the GM parts bin, so adapters are cheap and easy to find.

The stock CD changer is pointless when you can put a huge music library on an SD card. I鈥檓 mounting a 1200W power inverter on its hinged mount in the Franken-ML. I may do the same in the AMG.
Thanks. Please keep me(us) posted on the Franken-ML install. I'm slowly getting how to update COMAND to 2021 audio/video standards. Again, thanks.
 

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05 500
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think it was just my CD changer that was FO. The rest was just hooking up wires. But I didn鈥檛 use that they are like LP鈥檚 these days aren鈥檛 they really.
LOL! Yes, they are like LPs these days. Kind of surprised you even remember LPs.
 

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The amp I鈥檓 going to install in place of the stock amp is the MB Quart NA2-320.4. It鈥檚 a 4-channel Class D amp intended for powersports applications, but it鈥檚 reputed to have very good sound, and the footprint is a bit smaller than the stock amp. Since the stock amp is held in by a tab on one side and one bolt on the other, it鈥檚 easy to get in and out. Obviously, this requires running a bit of new wiring for power and such.

Being stubborn and kind of crazy, I figured out how to properly use the D pillar speakers last year, but it requires running new wiring to them (or at least one side), as the stock speakers back there are running in mono off of one channel. Since the external amp is handling the door speakers, I鈥檓 going to drive them from the rear channels of the head unit鈥檚 internal amp. The Kicker 47KSC2704 is the only 2.75鈥 speaker I鈥檝e found on the market. The stock speakers can be cut up to make mounting brackets for the Kickers, I posted a thread on it last summer. The upgraded D-pillar speakers will provide some nice rear fill.

There are a large number of integrated amp/subwoofer units on the market that can replace the stock sub under the driver鈥檚 seat with something much improved. Some wiring required.
 
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