Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the process of converting an '03 ML350 from original tan interior to the dark/charcoal/anthracite interior. Because of this, I needed to swap the steering wheel, the airbag pad/cover, and the steering collar trim, and well as the entire dash, center console, door panels, etc.

Here is a video of the full steering wheel and airbag pad swap -- I tried to make it very detailed for people who have never done repairs before. It is easy, and anyone can do it, but it helps to have a friend when you're breaking free the steering wheel bolt (it is tight). The Pinned Comment under the video has all the timestamps for more experienced viewers to skip around:


As seen in that video, I have already completed the full dash swap. I am exporting that video today and should have it up tonight. That video will show every screw and clip for the remove/install process, so even an inexperienced person can confidently remove the entire dash (upper and lower) by following that video. It will also show the Blend Door Motor/Actuator swap procedure. I'll post a second thread for that video and reply with the link in this thread, too.

There are already other videos on youtube for the door panels and center console, so I didn't make videos for that.

I hope this helps anyone who's doing this! Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,537 Posts
It's really nice to watch a how-to video chronologically displayed with all the details/comments/pauses for a DIY. Too many garbage how-to videos out there with missing links/pieces to the puzzle.

Well done demoder. (y)

I wish I had this to view when I had swapped my SW over the the woodgrain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
404 Posts
My daughter better not see this she wish’s the 350 with grey interior and silver exterior, had a black interior. She wants me to change the seats to black at a minimum if we ever find a good set.

Are you searching for each trim piece or did you get a whole ML with all you need? That’s a lot better of work.

Keep up with the videos, on other parts, you may of gotten to it but a good video on the wind shield A pillars would be nice there are some out their but none to detailed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I wish I had this to view when I had swapped my SW over the the woodgrain.
Thanks, khomer2! I tried to make it so anyone can follow along. And those woodgrain steering wheels are beeeeautiful! I've never seen one at the junkyards. Are they all aftermarket wheels?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
My daughter better not see this she wish’s the 350 with grey interior and silver exterior, had a black interior. She wants me to change the seats to black at a minimum if we ever find a good set.

Are you searching for each trim piece or did you get a whole ML with all you need? That’s a lot better of work.

Keep up with the videos, on other parts, you may of gotten to it but a good video on the wind shield A pillars would be nice there are some out their but none to detailed
Haha! Your daughter is like my sister, then!

The seats are easy to change -- I'm also making a video on that. I had to swap Memory seats to non-memory seat tracks/motors (requires an easy re-wire), so I'll show that too when I get that video done. If her seat tracks/motors are good, then replacing just the seat is cheaper, and if you have it shipped, the seats are much lighter without those heavy steel tracks. I'll post a video that shows how to remove the seat from the track later in the week.

As for the parts: I am very, very lucky to have two LKQ yards in my area. I'm not sure why, but LKQ always manages to get two or three ML's a month. There are six ML's at one yard right now, three of which are black interior, and one of those was in near-perfect shape (the one I took the steering wheel from -- it was super clean, like brand new). I have taken parts from all three to make the Frankenstein ML, haha

At a different local yard (Littleton U-Pull), you can buy a "complete interior" for $250. That's everything -- dash, consoles, all door panels, all trim (even big trim like the hatch trim), steering wheel, all seats, carpet, headliner -- everything. It is a great deal, especially on a vehicle as big as an ML. But that yard hasn't had too many ML's lately, and they get stripped quick when they do come in.

LKQ doesn't offer the "complete interior" single price, but you can probably negotiate a price. I'm doing it a-la-carte: this is my sister's car, and she doesn't want to change the carpet or the rear area (she had me remove the seats in the rear so that she can put her dogs kennel back there). I'll change out whatever else she wants, but so far its been the dash, steering wheel, front door panels, front seats, center console, etc.

The prices (from LKQ) were:

Steering wheel and airbag pad: $11
Door panels: $17 each (x2)
Complete center console: $22
Complete dash with glove box and cupholders: $80
Front seats: $30 each (x2)

So that's about $207 -- call it $220 after tax and environmental fee. There are some core returns I could do, but I'm going to sell what I can instead, because I can get a little more back that way than through core returns. (Most of the pieces are pretty shot, though! The seats were terrible.) I think I'll be able to sell the door wood trim, the dash cupholders, the airbag pad, the steering wheel collar trim and side panels, a few parts of the dash. I'm thinking I might net about $60 from selling the other parts, which would put us back to about $160.

Her A-pillar trims are pretty bad: I'm going to have to replace those (those A pillars are very hard to find in good shape: what a terrible design!). They are such a pain. I'll make a video for that, but the best tip I can offer is to look through the windshield from the outside when you're lining up the tongue and clip, so you don't break the tongue!

Much thanks to the forum for everything I learned here. I'll post back on this thread with some more links as the other videos go up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,537 Posts
Thanks, khomer2! I tried to make it so anyone can follow along. And those woodgrain steering wheels are beeeeautiful! I've never seen one at the junkyards. Are they all aftermarket wheels?
Gifted from my daughter. From Taiwan - Walnut finish. I love it. :)

I will get her one for her recent ML430.

IMG_8077.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
404 Posts
Gifted from my daughter. From Taiwan - Walnut finish. I love it. :)

I will get her one for her recent ML430.

View attachment 2604376
Khomer

Do you know which mls had the wood/leather steering wheels (55's)? I like that and the white gauges.
They would look great in our white 500. I think you posted that photo before may of even mention where you got them from, I just can't remember.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
404 Posts
Haha! Your daughter is like my sister, then!


Her A-pillar trims are pretty bad: I'm going to have to replace those (those A pillars are very hard to find in good shape: what a terrible design!). They are such a pain. I'll make a video for that, but the best tip I can offer is to look through the windshield from the outside when you're lining up the tongue and clip, so you don't break the tongue!

Much thanks to the forum for everything I learned here. I'll post back on this thread with some more links as the other videos go up.
Got to love pick a part yards, I got a Mercedes Benz hitch with frame brackets, and matching wire harness and trailer light plug, mud flaps, total cost with tax 26.00
\
The Pick a Part which is walking distance from my house has 3 MLs in the holding pen. Exterior wise; black, white and wouldn't you know silver. We could see the badge on the White is a 430. Not sure on the other 2. Keeping tabs on them to get first crack. The Black is a police impound they said it takes a long time to get title on them.

But yes every A pillar I have seen has peeling fabric, our 500 which we think was garage kept even has it. So debating pulling them off or waiting for when we have the windshield replaced. Finding a patient installer that will give me a bit of time to spray headliner adhesive on them and set the fabric back while the windshield is out?

But on Friday I scored a walnut shift knob for the 350, from a yard same company but in a different town, to replace the existing leather wrapped, 4.00
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,537 Posts
Khomer

Do you know which mls had the wood/leather steering wheels? I like that and the white gauges.
They would look great in our white 500. I think you posted that photo before may of even mention where you got them from, I just can't remember.
I have only seen the wooden (walnut) wheels in the 00-2003 ML55 and some special edition MLs with the amg body bumpers. At the pickn pulls (in our neck of the woods), the yard owners have told me these were the first items to go (hence they removed these ones themselves to prevent damage, theft.
The white gauges - here for mph version and amazon too
The plastic chrome rings - fleabay.

The ones I received were from Germany, I recall - actual plastic printed and dye-cut. The cluster gauge back-lighting bleeds thru just like oem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,537 Posts
That is really neat, is it an easy install, that is getting the plastic cover off the gauge assembly?
Quite simple - just need to be delicate with it when dismantling the cluster shell and removing the dial needles (note its position and firmly pull straight up and off)

here's one we did on the w202 cluster (converted from basic black to white cluster (off a donor cluster at the pickn pull - a $15 part). The donor cluster had a 45kKm lower mileage reading so we kept it for a rainy day

Screen Shot 2019-09-16 at 7.51.41 PM.png
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Quite simple - just need to be delicate with it when dismantling the cluster shell and removing the dial needles (note its position and firmly pull straight up and off)

here's one we did on the w202 cluster (converted from basic black to white cluster (off a donor cluster at the pickn pull - a $15 part). The donor cluster had a 45kKm lower mileage reading so we kept it for a rainy day

View attachment 2604396
That looks GREAT! The wheel with those white dials -- really, really nice!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
But on Friday I scored a walnut shift knob for the 350, from a yard same company but in a different town, to replace the existing leather wrapped, 4.00
Nice, those are hard to come by! The first thing gone at our yards is the radio, then the side mirrors, then the gear selector, then the center console switch panel. Often, someone just destroys the center panel trying to remove the radio, not know how easy it is to remove if you just do it correctly. I can see why the owners would intercept those steering wheels, because that would be very nice to have, so I'm sure they sell them for more than $11!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I forgot to post this -- here is a link to the new thread I started for the dash swap, which includes the dash DIY video:
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top