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Rear Center Console Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Center Console Removal

Tom Morr

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

**

Tools:

Phillips screwdriver, socket, ratchet, extensions, nut driver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R170 (1998-04)

Hot Tip:

Squirt spray lubricant under parking brake handle.

Performance Gain:

Necessary for painting, repairing, or replacing console, accessing switches for the Vario top, cigar lighter plug
Center consoles are a common headache in R170 SLKs. The factory paint doesn't stick well to the console's flexible ABS plastic. Many SLK owners get tired of the splotchy appearance and eventually remove the console to replace or repaint it. 

Console/interior painting is its own story. Here, the focus is on the rear center console. This piece must be removed first before the rest of the console can come out.

The rear center console also houses the switches/controls/plugs for the Vario roof, side mirrors and cigar lighter. Some cars also have hard-wired cell phone connections here. The rear center console must be removed to troubleshoot some electrical problems in these systems.

Four fasteners hold the console in place. On our project car, the most challenging part of the job is removing the parking brake lever handle: the rubber boot on the e-brake. Over the years, our coastal car's rubber boot bonded itself to the metal lever. We eventually freed it by squirting spray lube under the rubber at the lever's release button. Then we carefully ran a thin-blade flat screwdriver between the boot and lever. The rubber was no longer supple and will tear easily if gouged or stabbed with a sharp edge.

The only other issue we ran in to was a brittle fitting for the vacuum-actuated console lid locking mechanism. The fitting broke while turning the console on its side to unplug the electrical connections. This vacuum system locks the storage bin's lid while the car's top is down. We capped the vacuum hose while sourcing the replacement fitting.

These photos show the necessary steps for removing the SLK's rear center console.
The shift-lever cover plate must be removed to access two screws.
Figure 1

The shift-lever cover plate must be removed to access two screws. (See that article for details.)

Some owners claim that the console can be finessed over the parking-brake lever with the rubber handle still in place.
Figure 2

Some owners claim that the console can be finessed over the parking-brake lever with the rubber handle still in place. However, the manual recommends removing it. Ours wouldn't budge with elbow grease, so we squirted spray lube between the rubber and metal, then gently pried the rubber away from the metal below the release button. The rubber was brittle and can easily tear, so use caution.

Two screws (screwdriver tip, arrow) secure the rear center console to the front console.
Figure 3

Two screws (screwdriver tip, arrow) secure the rear center console to the front console.

In the storage compartment, peel back the carpeted insert at the rear.
Figure 4

In the storage compartment, peel back the carpeted insert at the rear.

Pierce the plastic liner to access the two rear retaining nuts.
Figure 5

Pierce the plastic liner to access the two rear retaining nuts. Purists might want to cover the holes with plastic food wrap during reinstallation.

The rear center console has two molded-in â€Ã...
Figure 6

The rear center console has two molded-in "arresting hooks" per side that interlock it to the main console. It de-couples by lifting upward, then rearward.

Next, the console is slid up and over the parking brake lever.
Figure 7

Next, the console is slid up and over the parking brake lever.

The plugs for the side mirrors, Vario roof and lighter are accessible from the passenger's side.
Figure 8

The plugs for the side mirrors, Vario roof and lighter are accessible from the passenger's side. The vacuum tube is likely easiest to disconnect at the rear fitting (arrow) by carefully prying the socket away with a small screwdriver. (Our under-console fitting broke while unplugging the electrical connections.)

We plugged the vacuum line with a screw while sourcing a replacement fitting.
Figure 9

We plugged the vacuum line with a screw while sourcing a replacement fitting. The cell phone connections weren't used on this car.

Four fasteners and four plugged-in components are all that's involved.
Figure 10

Four fasteners and four plugged-in components are all that's involved.

No special tools are required.
Figure 11

No special tools are required. A soft wedge is helpful for prying off the shifter cover plate. Small flat-blade screwdrivers can help when disconnecting the vacuum line. Our car's rear retaining nuts took a 10mm socket.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Sailor1942 Comments: Are there any instructions for removing and replacing the lighter socket?
September 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
network engineer guy Comments: thank you, I just bought my slk230, I plan to paint mine this fall. Thanks again I will have a look at your parts available next.
June 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
SJ Comments: Great post, it really helped for the used car I just picked up here in Canada. Do you have a link to remove the center console / stereo assembly/climate control/cup holder piece?
March 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If it isn't here we do not:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MBZ_Tech_Index-R170.htm

If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ace Comments: thanks for your help. I was stripping all the consul and dash to paint them and couldn't find those last two nuts under the carpet in the cubby box.
February 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
lads Comments: I thought the wear on my charcoal interior looked bad... Red paint.... wow
December 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yeah, it's pretty bad looking. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: Excellent! Now I can either fix or replace the vario roof switch.
August 31, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jack Comments: Excellent directions and photos. Thanks. Rather than trying to remove the vac line under the console I think it would be easier to cut it off the fittings and then replace it. Is the vac line size 4mm OD and 1mm ID? That's the size I see most advertised for '99 SLK230 replacement.
June 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure of the size.

Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.


Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Annie Comments: Thank you for the very useful info.
May 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Virg _._ Comments: I was very surprised to see the vac line under the rear center console. Naturally am curios of it's purposes. My 98 SLK230 doesn't have that vac tube-- ?? Question is did the car ever have one or was it removed???
December 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Your vehicle may not have been equipped. There would be signs of it, even a bit further up the center tunnel if removed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
john Comments: Thank you. Perfect! Finding the two screws under the carpet was the trick.
August 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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