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1988 300E
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
radio has no sound for 300e w124

Hey everyone, So i've got my '88 300e that has had a radio problem ever since i got it, which is about 3 years ago. It started out as it was just not turning on, well that's an easy fix. I went down to the dealer and got the code put in and it turns on just fine. Unfortunately there is no sound. Right now i'm in the middle of replacing my dash so i've checked the speakers and they work fine. My Antenna goes up and but has a slight bend in it so it doesn't go all the way up all the time. also, The radio will constantly be searching for a signal (station) but it never stops, so i grabbed one out of a w123 and hooked it up and it didn't make a difference. I checked the fuse in the back and its fine too and the wires are all hooked up correctly.
Ive done plenty of reading and search on the forums and cant find anything that matches my problem, although i'm sure i've missed something.
does anyone have any ideas?
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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12,744 Posts
Send the unit to Becker for service/refers. They are located in NJ. Use the search function and you'll find their service center address and ph number.

Good luck

Jayare

Sent from my DROID2 using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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W124
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You may have two problems. Insert a cassette (remember them - a quaint recording method used during the last century). If you get sound and volume with a cassette in it, you have proven that the amp works. The constant searching for a signal is a tuner problem. This could be related to the antenna/antenna connection (you said a 123 radio did the same thing?) The way these radios work is that the tuner needs to find a station before it drives the audio signal through the amp. So its not unusual to hear silence if the tuner isn't sure it has found a station.

Overall though, these radios have reached the end of their useful life by now. Even if they still work, the sound quality of an early 124 sound system is weak at best and the internal NiCad battery will soon fail and you won't be able to keep a code in it. If you want originality then invest a few hundred dollars in a Becker refurb/repair. If you just want good tunes, get a $100 Sony that will look totally out of place but that will rock the stock speakers, allow an MP3 connection, and accept CDs too (another quaint recording technology) ;)
 

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1987 300TD, 2002 ML 320, 1991 500SL
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141 Posts
I had the exact same problem in my 87 300TD. After I finally fixed the hatched job the PO had done on the wiring and put in a Becker 754, I was horribly frustrated that I couldn't get a signal. All the tuner would do is constantly seek and if tried to tune manually-no sound. I was getting sound through the tape player, but no radio.
Well, a few weeks later, I stumbled across another 124 wagon at the local pull a part, and on a whim, decided to grab the antenna cord that plugs into the back of the radio and runs under the carpet back to the antenna. BINGO. Plugged the pull a part cord in the back and connected to my antenna and radio worked like a charm. The only bad part was installing the cord correctly (I had to pull the front passenger seat, back seats, some carpet and a few pillars to lay it in correctly.
After this I noticed that front speaker would go in and out and the back ones would short out very often. Was about to pull the dash because I thought the speaker wiring had also been done incorrectly by the PO, but my brother suggested replacing the fader switch. I had cleaned the years of crap that built up on the switch, but he said these go out after several years and sure enough, he was right. Grabbed one from pull a part and now my radio sounds like it did in 1987. I like having everything as original as possible, even though I know a Sony or Blaupunkt would sound much better.
Hope this has helped and good luck
 

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1988 300E
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Send the unit to Becker for service/refers. They are located in NJ. Use the search function and you'll find their service center address and ph number.

Good luck

Jayare

Sent from my DROID2 using AutoGuide.Com Free App
yeah i was thinking about that, think itll cost much? also i wanna get a aux cable hard wired in so ill do that when i send it for the refurb i recon.

You may have two problems. Insert a cassette (remember them - a quaint recording method used during the last century). If you get sound and volume with a cassette in it, you have proven that the amp works. The constant searching for a signal is a tuner problem. This could be related to the antenna/antenna connection (you said a 123 radio did the same thing?) The way these radios work is that the tuner needs to find a station before it drives the audio signal through the amp. So its not unusual to hear silence if the tuner isn't sure it has found a station.

Overall though, these radios have reached the end of their useful life by now. Even if they still work, the sound quality of an early 124 sound system is weak at best and the internal NiCad battery will soon fail and you won't be able to keep a code in it. If you want originality then invest a few hundred dollars in a Becker refurb/repair. If you just want good tunes, get a $100 Sony that will look totally out of place but that will rock the stock speakers, allow an MP3 connection, and accept CDs too (another quaint recording technology) ;)
haha, yeah i remember them. I'm not that young, but putting in a cassette was actually the first thing i tried and it didnt work. I also dont know where the amp is located. I read on here that it was in the trunk on the right, but ive taken out the interior in the trunk plenty of times and have never seen such a thing. I also would like to keep it original, honestly aftermarkets are too flashy for these cars and i heard that the beckers are of great quality. If its a couple hundred to get it fixed i might just see what it would take to get a becker mexico. those are stylish =)

I had the exact same problem in my 87 300TD. After I finally fixed the hatched job the PO had done on the wiring and put in a Becker 754, I was horribly frustrated that I couldn't get a signal. All the tuner would do is constantly seek and if tried to tune manually-no sound. I was getting sound through the tape player, but no radio.
Well, a few weeks later, I stumbled across another 124 wagon at the local pull a part, and on a whim, decided to grab the antenna cord that plugs into the back of the radio and runs under the carpet back to the antenna. BINGO. Plugged the pull a part cord in the back and connected to my antenna and radio worked like a charm. The only bad part was installing the cord correctly (I had to pull the front passenger seat, back seats, some carpet and a few pillars to lay it in correctly.
After this I noticed that front speaker would go in and out and the back ones would short out very often. Was about to pull the dash because I thought the speaker wiring had also been done incorrectly by the PO, but my brother suggested replacing the fader switch. I had cleaned the years of crap that built up on the switch, but he said these go out after several years and sure enough, he was right. Grabbed one from pull a part and now my radio sounds like it did in 1987. I like having everything as original as possible, even though I know a Sony or Blaupunkt would sound much better.
Hope this has helped and good luck
wow, this is the first ive seen with someone have the same problem. Ill remember this, and im probably going to try the fader switch first and get a new antenna since i need one anyway. I saw your new ride btw, i like the turbo diesel.
 

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1988 300E
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Just wanted to let everyone know, that i ordered a Hirshmann universal antenna AND it WORKS! it was definitely my problem, now my thread can be used as feasible resource for outdated factory radios. BUT i did NOT expect the hirschmann antenna to be the universal kind that you'd have to splice and wire connections together, i wasnt too happy about that but i'll manage.
thanks for all the advice
cheers.
 
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