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Installing an Auxiliary iPod Input
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Installing an Auxiliary iPod Input

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$40

Talent:

****

Tools:

radio keys, 10mm wrenches, electrical splicing tools

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W210 (1996-03)

Parts Required:

P.I.E. iPod adapter unit

Hot Tip:

Disconnect the battery

Performance Gain:

Rockin' tunes

Complementary Modification:

Replace head unit with an iPod compatible one

Would you like to be able to pug your iPod or iPhone into your Mercedes? It isn't difficult to do and should only take a few hours with the right tools and information.

One option is to replace the factory stereo to a newer unit with iPod or iPhone connectivity already built in. Doing this requires the use of an adapter that splices onto the back of the new stereo. This allows you to plug the stereo directly into the Mercedes wiring harness. The advantage of doing it this way is an interface that allows you to control your iPod or iPhone from the stereo itself.

Another option is to add an auxiliary input to the factory stereo. Adding an auxiliary input to the stock stereo in the Mercedes W210 isn't that difficult to do. It does involve a bit of wiring and taking some of the center console apart, but can be performed by the experienced do-it-yourselfer in an afternoon.

In the case of our project car, we wanted the ability to use an iPod or iPhone without having to change the original stereo. There are two ways to do this. One is to send the factory stereo to Becker and they can install an auxiliary RCA jack input on the stereo. This allows you to plug a cable directly into the back of the stereo and the other end into your MP3 player. The other option is to use the factory CD changer input as an audio source.

There was no CD changer installed in our car from the factory. However the wiring harness for the changer was in the car. This means that adding a changer is as simple as mounting it in the trunk and plugging it in. P.I.E. makes a converter box that mimics the function of the CD changer, allowing you to plug in two RCA cables and plug in your MP3 player. The harness runs along the left rear fender of the car into the trunk, under the trunk lining. If you pull the trunk lining out, you'll see the connector zip tied to the left wheel well.

With the converter box plugged into the harness in the trunk, you'd have to open the trunk every time you wanted to change songs. There are two ways around this. One is to run a really long RCA cable through the interior of the car from the trunk all the way up to the dash. The other way is to cut the connector plug off the rear of the stereo along with about a foot of the wiring harness in the rear trunk. If you splice the connector back on to the short piece of wiring, you can mount the converter box up under the dash and route an RCA cable out through one of the center console storage trays.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with adapting the wiring harness to work with the converter box and installing it in the car. Begin by disconnecting the battery. We will be working around wiring behind the dashboard and it's always a good idea to prevent an errant short circuit by accidentally touching something you shouldn't. Make sure you have the code for the original radio before doing this, as you'll need to enter it into the stereo once you reconnect the battery.

Begin by removing the left inside trunk liner.
Figure 1

Begin by removing the left inside trunk liner. Remove the plastic rivet at the top left in front of the trunk hinge (green arrow) and then work the liner out. If your car already has a CD changer, remove the electrical harness going to the changer.

Behind the trunk liner, you'll find a wiring harness that goes to the stock CD changer as shown here.
Figure 2

Behind the trunk liner, you'll find a wiring harness that goes to the stock CD changer as shown here. You'll need the connector and also about a foot of the wiring harness. Measure back and cut the wire off. Tape off the exposed end of the wiring harness and re-install the liner.

We will now need to remove the radio from the car.
Figure 3

We will now need to remove the radio from the car. This is done by using a set of keys that fit into the slots shown here (green arrows). These keys are available from Pelican Parts. Once inserted, the keys will eject the radio from the dashboard.

Shown here is the radio being removed from the dash.
Figure 4

Shown here is the radio being removed from the dash.

On the back of the radio, disconnect the two wiring harnesses and the antenna lead.
Figure 5

On the back of the radio, disconnect the two wiring harnesses and the antenna lead. The green arrow points to the harness for the CD changer, while the purple arrow points to the main harness to the radio. We will need to snip the connecter off the harness with the green arrow.

Here is the connector cut off of the harness.
Figure 6

Here is the connector cut off of the harness.

You'll now want to splice the connector onto the foot long section of harness from the trunk.
Figure 7

You'll now want to splice the connector onto the foot long section of harness from the trunk.

The connector that would have originally gone to the CD changer now plugs into the end of the adapter module.
Figure 8

The connector that would have originally gone to the CD changer now plugs into the end of the adapter module.

We will now need to remove the front console panel.
Figure 9

We will now need to remove the front console panel. Begin by removing the climate control unit. Like the radio, this uses the keys to eject it from the panel (green arrows).

Once removed, disconnect both of the wiring harnesses by pushing the tab (green arrow) in and rotating the grey lock handle (purple arrow) down.
Figure 10

Once removed, disconnect both of the wiring harnesses by pushing the tab (green arrow) in and rotating the grey lock handle (purple arrow) down. This will eject both harnesses from the climate control unit.

Remove the two Phillips head screws that hold the front panel on (green arrows).
Figure 11

Remove the two Phillips head screws that hold the front panel on (green arrows). At this point, set the front panel aside.

Remove the gearshift knob by turning the bottom portion (green arrow) counter clockwise, and then pull the knob up and off.
Figure 12

Remove the gearshift knob by turning the bottom portion (green arrow) counter clockwise, and then pull the knob up and off.

Pry the lower center console trim panel off from the rear using a screwdriver (green arrow).
Figure 13

Pry the lower center console trim panel off from the rear using a screwdriver (green arrow). Carefully maneuver the panel up and off of the shift lever.

Carefully turn the lower center console over to remove the electrical connections on the bottom of the panel (green arrows).
Figure 14

Carefully turn the lower center console over to remove the electrical connections on the bottom of the panel (green arrows).

Remove the two trim screws shown here (green arrows) and pull the ash tray assembly out of the center console.
Figure 15

Remove the two trim screws shown here (green arrows) and pull the ash tray assembly out of the center console.

Pull the electrical connector off the back of the cigarette lighter (green arrow).
Figure 16

Pull the electrical connector off the back of the cigarette lighter (green arrow).

To remove the tray in the middle of the console, you'll need to reach up and under the tray in the center until you feel the release tab (green arrow).
Figure 17

To remove the tray in the middle of the console, you'll need to reach up and under the tray in the center until you feel the release tab (green arrow). Press the tab to release the tray and then pull it out of the center console.

Now we will need to remove the glovebox to mount the iPod module behind the dashboard.
Figure 18

Now we will need to remove the glovebox to mount the iPod module behind the dashboard.

The glovebox is held in place by six Phillips head screws.
Figure 19

The glovebox is held in place by six Phillips head screws. The green arrows point to the screws along the top edge of the glovebox. The purple arrows point to the screws hidden up inside the glovebox inside the top edge. The yellow arrows point to the rubber covers over the screws on the bottom of the glovebox.

Open the glovebox and remove the light assembly from the top by carefully prying out the right corner first, then disconnecting the electrical sender.
Figure 20

Open the glovebox and remove the light assembly from the top by carefully prying out the right corner first, then disconnecting the electrical sender.

Pry out the two rubber covers on the bottom of the glovebox to access the screws underneath.
Figure 21

Pry out the two rubber covers on the bottom of the glovebox to access the screws underneath.

Give the glovebox a good tug to pull it out of the dashboard.
Figure 22

Give the glovebox a good tug to pull it out of the dashboard.

Once the glovebox is removed, you'll see a small amount of space available in-between the dashboard and the center air vent.
Figure 23

Once the glovebox is removed, you'll see a small amount of space available in-between the dashboard and the center air vent. In this instance, we are using an RCA to mini jack cable as an input. Route both the constructed adapter harness and the RCA cable down through the dash near the stereo opening.

Shown here is the adapter module installed and held to the dashboard structural member using zip ties.
Figure 24

Shown here is the adapter module installed and held to the dashboard structural member using zip ties. There isn't a lot of room to work with here, so take your time. Once in place, re-install the glovebox assembly.

In order to conceal your iPod or iPhone in the center tray, you'll need to drill a hole in the back of the tray to route the RCA cable through.
Figure 25

In order to conceal your iPod or iPhone in the center tray, you'll need to drill a hole in the back of the tray to route the RCA cable through. In our case, there is a molded depression in the back of the tray.

Now re-fit the front center console panel and route the new wiring harness so it passes through the hole for the stereo.
Figure 26

Now re-fit the front center console panel and route the new wiring harness so it passes through the hole for the stereo.

Reconnect the electrical connectors to the climate control unit and pop it back into the center console.
Figure 27

Reconnect the electrical connectors to the climate control unit and pop it back into the center console.

Take the new wiring harness to the iPod module and plug it back into the rear of the stereo along with the antenna lead and also the power and speaker harness.
Figure 28

Take the new wiring harness to the iPod module and plug it back into the rear of the stereo along with the antenna lead and also the power and speaker harness. Once in place, slide the stereo back into the dashboard until it pops in place.

Reconnect the electrical connection going to the ash tray and slide it back inside the center console.
Figure 29

Reconnect the electrical connection going to the ash tray and slide it back inside the center console. Refit the small screws holding it in place.

Reconnect the electrical connections going to the lower center console panel and pop it back into place.
Figure 30

Reconnect the electrical connections going to the lower center console panel and pop it back into place.

Refit the shift knob by sliding it down onto the gear selector lever all the way and then turning the lower portion clockwise.
Figure 31

Refit the shift knob by sliding it down onto the gear selector lever all the way and then turning the lower portion clockwise.

Now feed the RCA cable through the hole you drilled in the back of the center console tray.
Figure 32

Now feed the RCA cable through the hole you drilled in the back of the center console tray. Push the tray back into the dash until it pops in place and you're all set. Just reconnect the battery, enter the radio code and turn the stereo on. Press the CD button to activate the auxiliary input and you'll be listening to your favorite artist as you roll down the road.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Jay_bob Comments: There is another adapter on the market
BlitzSafe MB/AUX DMX V.1B
It plugs directly in the back of the radio so you don't have to hack the harness.
It has 2 RCAs for you to plug in a patch cord or tie in a Bluetooth adapter

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/car-audio-multimedia/336476-analog-cell-phone-update-1998-w210.html

Note this is for the 1996 to 1998 W210s only, after 1999 they went to the D2B fiber based Becker 3302 and this will not work.
December 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
all tecnics Comments: My radio car is mod. MF2910 i' need the splicing kit for aux imput. I'am not live in america , tanks
June 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We may be able to ship to you.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
all tecnics Comments: please help, I need this adapter or cables are connected to an auxiliary input, this is my radio, thanks
June 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bryce Comments: What's the splicing kit you were talking about at the beginning?
April 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The splice kit is no longer available. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JoeVee Comments: Can I connect a siris radio to this CD aux?

JoeVee
July 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think so. You will have to check the instructions with the sirius receiver. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
turbo Comments: I want to replace the factory radio in my 99 s320 with a new alpine head unit. Will this effect anything or cause any problems? I know it will on a Honda Accord because of the anti theft.
May 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you connect it correctly it should be OK. Just be sure to follow Apline's instruction in conjuction with a wiring diagram for your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
victory3201 Comments: Where can I get the adapter that you are connecting? Can you recommend a place to purchase this from?
March 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
friday567 Comments: gromaudio.com sale really easy adapters that plugs into the stock system. i had some minor issues with my install and the help from GROM was very helpful. it does replace the 6-disk changer. does anyone know where i can find the stoage tray for a 1997 W210
January 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the info.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right tray. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
condenada Comments: Excellent! You save me $$$'s and EU’s
December 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Andy Comments: ?... I have a 1999 MB C280 with a factory radio [CD player in the trunk]; available functions are RADIO, CD, TAPE, and TEL. Is it possible to use the TAPE input to simply playback music from an iPod, iPhone, or iPad? Is a special adapter required in order to hook up a standard 3.5 mm cable from the radio to a device for playback?
August 10, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes your going to need the tape adapter that can be found at electronics stores. - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
Edmund de Beer Comments: A lot of the 210 models interfaced with the CD changer using a fibre optic backbone that was also used for the telephone system. Is it possible to buy an adapter to interface with the fibre optic system? Where did you source your adapter, maybe they will stock this item?
May 30, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry but I don't remember where we sourced the cable from. I would recommend visiting some of the car audio forums and asking around there- Steve at Pelican Parts  

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