R172 AMG Seats into an R171 - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

General Modifications R171 Details that make your car different

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#1 Old 06-20-2016
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R172 AMG Seats into an R171

My biggest complaint with my slk55 since I got it was the uncomfortable seats. As a bigger guy, with broad shoulders, they just don't work right for me. I found a set of seats out of an R172 slk55 on ebay, so I picked them up. I'll update this thread as I go with what's needed to retrofit them into an R171.

I found a couple threads on here about people putting R172 seats in, confirming that physically they'll bolt up. What I haven't seen is anyone that has retrofitted the electric seats with memory.

The seats that I bought showed up yesterday.


Bengal red seats, complete with seat heaters, air scarf, and adjustable lumbar support.

For reference, the layout of the components on the bottom of the seat



The goodies in the back of the seat





Close up of the seat controller plugs



Prior to ordering, I spent quite a while going over the seat control boxes to make heads or tails over what it going to be necessary wiring wise to change things over. The biggest issue being that the R172 seat control switches are mounted remotely and get appear to get their signals via CANBUS.

On the bright side, the seats have the same wiring connectors coming off the motors, going to the same pins on the seat controllers, etc. A close examination of the 172 seat controller shows that it has all the pins for the 171 seat switch. My current plan is to pull the seat switches off a 171 seat and try them out with the 172 seat controller. If this works out, I will mount the seat switches into the side of the 172 seats. If this doesn't work, I will wire up a 171 seat controller. The 171 seat controller is shared with other MB vehicles that have lumbar support, so I believe I can make that work in a backward compatible way.
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#2 Old 06-20-2016
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Morning

I looked into the electrical side of this a while ago - I got as far as being fairly happy that the 171 controller would interface to the 172 seat motors, that I coould fit the 171 seat buttons to the side of a 172 seat, and that the heater / airscrf stuff *SHOULD* hook up to the 171 ECU with (possibly) just a change of plugs ...

It'll be interesting to see how you get on - I'd do the same if / when I find a cost effective set of seats ....

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#3 Old 06-20-2016
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I know there are others that have successfully fitted 172 seats into the 171 by now right? Wouldn't it be nice if there were a magic set of instructions for purchase? Go here, buy this type, pay this guy to put them in..tadahh.. Where is Bradley when I need him.

Commenting to follow-can't wait to see how it turns out.


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#4 Old 06-20-2016
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Very interesting, subscribing to this.
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#5 Old 06-20-2016
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Originally Posted by slk320chick View Post
I know there are others that have successfully fitted 172 seats into the 171 by now right? Wouldn't it be nice if there were a magic set of instructions for purchase? Go here, buy this type, pay this guy to put them in..tadahh.. Where is Bradley when I need him.

Commenting to follow-can't wait to see how it turns out.
There are others that have fit the mechanically adjustable ones in. They bolt right in. It's all the electrical goodies that are different in this case. Hopefully this will become the instructions for how to make them all work.
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#6 Old 06-26-2016
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I ended up getting a pair of GL550 seat switches for cheap on ebay.



They look like they ought to work as a good substitute for the silver painted r171 seat switches at a fraction of the cost. I'll try to mount them up to the 172 seats like the stock seat switches and go from there. I also ordered a pair of seat wiring harness from an E class. Just something to scavenge some wiring connectors from.
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#7 Old 07-02-2016
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Well, it should come as no surprise that they pass the test fit test




All the wiring connectors hook right up. I'm currently sorting out the mounting of the adjustment switches to the side of the seat...

Do I keep the 172 side trim panel, and try to mount the seat switch? If I do, it'll end up quite a bit further back on the seat and may have some clearance issues.

Do I adapt the 171 side trim panel and try to mount it to the seat? The switch already is mounted, and it fits the space right, but I'll have to make new mounts and find a way to mount the lumbar adjuster.

Do I put the seat switch somewhere else entirely? Makes the mounting issues easier, but means cutting up something else which I'm hesitant to do.
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#8 Old 07-03-2016
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So the bases have changed them - the side panel mounts are different on the 172 seats .?

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#9 Old 07-03-2016
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Sounds like a brilliant project, looking forward to seeing how it progresses !!


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#10 Old 07-03-2016
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So the bases have changed them - the side panel mounts are different on the 172 seats .?
Correct. I'll take some photos later today to show the differences.
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#11 Old 07-03-2016
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Test number 1:

R172 seat controller plugged into GL550 seat switch - doesn't work. Doesn't totally shock me, as the R172 seat controller is likely looking to the CANBUS for signals for seat adjustment, but figured it had the connections for the 171 seat switch, so might as well give it a shot. Oh well. Next step, swap in the R171 seat controller.
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#12 Old 07-03-2016
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Test number 2:
R171 seat controller, R171 seat switch - Still no luck. Seat doesn't want to move. So much for the super easy solutions. I might actually have to burn some calories on this one.

On the bright side, both the seat heaters and the air scarf work perfectly.
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#13 Old 07-03-2016
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Test number 3:

R171 seat controller, GL550 seat switch... all 3 plugs actually plugged in.

Everything works, including the lumbar adjust. Apparently if you actually plug in everything, things work a lot better.
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#14 Old 07-03-2016
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Test number 4:

R172 seat controller, GL550 switch with everything correctly plugged in and verified... no movement.

So that's the answer to how to make the electricals work... you need to replace the R172 seat controller in the seat with an R171 unit and wire in a compatible seat switch to plug #7 on the seat controller. The part number for the plug that plugs in to #7 on the seat controller is 0395456528.
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#15 Old 07-04-2016
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Do you have access to STAR? Are there any fault codes reported?

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#16 Old 07-04-2016
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Do you have access to STAR? Are there any fault codes reported?
I do not have any STAR access, but no errors are showing up on the dash. I would be curious to find someone with STAR to investigate further though.
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Going by the electrical diagrams, I'd figured that a 171 seat controller would be needed to keep things straight forward - keeps the seat controls simple and removes the need to fiddle with the coding (you could extend the short wiring on the 171 seat controls if you wanted them elsewhere in the car ....)

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#18 Old 07-04-2016
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Originally Posted by Seanhump View Post
Going by the electrical diagrams, I'd figured that a 171 seat controller would be needed to keep things straight forward - keeps the seat controls simple and removes the need to fiddle with the coding (you could extend the short wiring on the 171 seat controls if you wanted them elsewhere in the car ....)
That's essentially what I am doing. Using the 171 seat controller box and the gl550 seat controls. They're nearly identical to the 171 seat controls except they're black instead of silver and have one extra degree of freedom that the seat doesn't have. I could mount them pretty much anywhere, but I think a position similar to the 171 seats will be the winner.
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#19 Old 07-04-2016
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Nice job that man!
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#20 Old 07-04-2016
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Opted to mount the seat controllers to the 172 side trim pieces. So I made a template off the 171 side trim pieces



and after a while with the dremel and a file

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