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Pelican Technical Article:

Radio Removal

Tom Morr

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$10

Talent:

*

Tools:

Radio Hooks

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R170 (1998-04)

Parts Required:

Radio Hooks

Hot Tip:

Search the web for the radio security code

Performance Gain:

Restores power to the radio if a blown fuse is replaced.

Complementary Modification:

Upgrade the head unit to accept an iPod input, remove

surrounding dash trim for painting or replacement

Many Mercedes-Benz factory sound systems are protected by a security code. The apparent rationale: the head unit would be worthless if stolen from the car. In the pre-Internet era, a trip to the dealership was often required to "unlock" the radio if the power was interrupted to it; when changing the car's battery, for example. These days, radio security codes are readily available on the Internet. Simply enter the radio's serial number and get the code.

The radio's serial number can sometimes be cross-referenced through the car's VIN. However, removing the radio and visually retrieving the serial number is the most foolproof way to ultimately obtain the correct security code. The process is quick and easy once the proper radio removal hooks/"keys" are in hand. Pulling the radio out of the cluster and reading the serial number might even be faster than tracing it via the car's VIN.

You will need a set of radio removal tools to get the unit out .Pelican Parts sells two-hook sets individually (TOL-MOO91-SIR for the cars listed above). More comprehensive kits containing hooks for multiple vehicles are also available. The hooks are used to release the side clips that hold the radio in the center cluster. The radio can then be slid out. The radio's backside contains the 10-amp fuse, the first place to check if the radio is dead. Connections for the antenna, CD, phone, and main harness are also plugged in the back.

After the fuse is changed and/or aftermarket upgrades are performed, the radio re-installs by reversing the removal steps. When the radio is powered up for the first time after power is restored, the display will request the security code.

Always disconnect the negative battery cable when doing any electrical projects.
Figure 1

Always disconnect the negative battery cable when doing any electrical projects. The OEM radio's security code will need to be re-entered each time power is restored after being interrupted.

The radio has slots in each lower corner (green arrows) for the removal hooks.
Figure 2

The radio has slots in each lower corner (green arrows) for the removal hooks.

The hooks are inserted with their straight edges facing outboard.
Figure 3

The hooks are inserted with their straight edges facing outboard. The notched sides will click into place. Use the tool's loops to pull the radio out of the center cluster.

The radio's serial number is either imprinted on the bottom or is on a sticker on the rear.
Figure 4

The radio's serial number is either imprinted on the bottom or is on a sticker on the rear. The arrow points to this Alpine/Mercedes Audio 30's serial number. Take care to not kink or stretch the orange fiber-optic cables.

Unlike many other cars that have the radio's fuse in the fuse panel, the R170 and many other Mercedes-Benz factory radios have their fuses plugged directly into the head unit (green arrow).
Figure 5

Unlike many other cars that have the radio's fuse in the fuse panel, the R170 and many other Mercedes-Benz factory radios have their fuses plugged directly into the head unit (green arrow). So, changing a blown fuse requires removing the radio.

If the head unit needs to be removed, the various wires and cables are unplugged.
Figure 6

If the head unit needs to be removed, the various wires and cables are unplugged. The optional CD harness and main power plug attach on the left in this photo, the phone cable to the console connects in the center, and the antenna port is on the right.

Radio-hook engagement is visible from underneath (green arrows).
Figure 7

Radio-hook engagement is visible from underneath (green arrows).

The hooks pull the radio's retaining springs inward, allowing the unit to be pulled out of its mounting slot.
Figure 8

The hooks pull the radio's retaining springs inward, allowing the unit to be pulled out of its mounting slot.

If the radiounlockcode isn't with the owner's manual, it can be found on the web or obtained through a dealership.
Figure 9

If the radio unlock code isn't with the owner's manual, it can be found on the web or obtained through a dealership.

To release the radio hook, press the retaining spring
Figure 10

To release the radio hook, press the retaining spring (left finger in photo) and pull back on the hook's loop.

Slide the radio back into position and reconnect the battery.
Figure 11

Slide the radio back into position and reconnect the battery. When the radio receives power, its display reads CODE.

Enter the code and hit OK.
Figure 12

Enter the code and hit OK. If the code is entered incorrectly three times, the radio goes into "lock"mode for a certain period of time. This Audio 30 unit imposes a 10-minute "wait" period after the first three failed-code sequences, then increases the penalty to 60 minutes after that. The radio must receive power during these wait periods.

The radio hooks are affordable, even if they're only used once.
Figure 13

The radio hooks are affordable, even if they're only used once.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Paully Comments: I have a 1998 SLK 230 Compressor - What do I need to do so that I can plug in my I Phone and listen to my music?
August 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There should be an adapter kit. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dutch Comments: We are unable to remove our CD holder. Pressing the green button doesn't release the holder ? Any other ideas ?
1999 230SLK CD player is in the trunk
May 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The changer may be faulty or jammed. You may have to pry it out, which will likely damage the player. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rt1092 Comments: Worked fine.
Thanks Pelican
August 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
erf Comments: #3 and #7 seem to contradict each other inboard/outboard...
June 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes they do, thanks for catching that. I will have the article updated. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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