Retro-fit gear shift buttons onto steering wheel - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 11-20-2016
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Question Retro-fit gear shift buttons onto steering wheel

Hi, I've been looking through the postings and am getting very confused about what's required to retro-fit the gear shift buttons onto my SLK350 R171 2007 and I'm hoping some of you might help answer a few questions??
To be clear, this is a 350 and not a 55; it was supplied from the factory with the 7 speed auto but without the sports option so no gear change switches on the wheel.

1st, What I want to do..
option 1 - Fit the steering wheel mounted gear change 'switches' (Up/Down on both sides)
option 2 - I would prefer to fit 'paddle' shifts (UP on the right, DOWN on the left)

I don't want to spend a fortune on this, I'm happy to buy a new wheel off ebay etc. but would like to keep the same airbag so keeping costs down.

From what I've read I'm assuming the following ... can anyone confirm I'm correct?? (Thanks )
1. the wiring for the steering wheel mounted switches is already in place up to the rear of the airbag?
2. the steering wheel mounted gear 'switches' (or paddles) will work without coding but I won't get the 'M' mode?
3. If I get the 428 code added, I'll then get the 'M' options when I press my 'C/S' button a second time?
4. there are 3 wires going to each gear 'switch' (earth, up, down) and 2 wires to each 'Paddle' (earth, up) and (earth, down) so if I fit paddles I just need to check the 2 wires go to the correct pins on each of the 3 pin sockets?.

If I'm correct in the above, can anyone confirm what steering wheel will fit my SLK350 and still use the same airbag. (either with gear 'switches' or 'paddles'). I believe some other Mercs had the same wheel as the SLK with paddles fitted.

I know this is a lot of questions (which have is some ways been covered by other posts) but I'm just trying to get it clear and all my facts right BEFORE I start pulling my car apart!!

If this all works out I'll post nice clear instructions covering every step with photos of wiring and modifications required.

Thanks in advance for any help given.
Mike
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#2 Old 11-20-2016
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Mike, there's another member that did exactly this to his 350 recently ( @i860 ), and he shared some info about it in these 2 threads:
DIY Star coding for shift buttons (428)
What did you do to your SLK 'TODAY'?

I realise you may already have seen these posts from your searches, but perhaps the planning and research that i860 did may mean he's able to help answer some (or all) of your questions (which is why I tagged him here too).
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#3 Old 11-20-2016
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Hi dbgrn, thanksgiving for the info. I hadn't found the post by i860 and this sounds like exactly what I'm looking for.
I'll follow this up. Many thanks.
Mike.
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#4 Old 11-20-2016
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I found a steering wheel on ebay for £72.00 from a slk 55 amg left paddle minus and right paddle plus
I install the steering wheel my self and kept he original air bag from the original steering wheel £0.00
Add the code 428 to data card ( call the dealer or go in ) £0.00
Did the codding to enable paddle shift £35.00
Total £107.00
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#5 Old 11-20-2016
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Thanks i860. This is all starting to make sense now. Looks like I need to find an SLK 55 wheel and a spare weekend.
I'll update via this post once I've found one.
Thanks again to you all.
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#6 Old 11-20-2016
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Check out my post, I fitted paddle shifters into a NON paddle steering wheel, not a hard job if you use a dremel tool.
New Steering Wheel and DSG paddles SLK55 PICS
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#7 Old 11-20-2016
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Originally Posted by mike350 View Post
Thanks i860. This is all starting to make sense now. Looks like I need to find an SLK 55 wheel and a spare weekend.
I'll update via this post once I've found one.
Thanks again to you all.
If you find an SLK 55 wheel that only has buttons, not paddles, you can very easily swap them to a type of paddle called GPaddles afterwards. See this thread for more info and pics...
Paddle shift upgrade, now an easy option for us.
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#8 Old 11-22-2016
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Ok, a quick update and yet again a big thanks to all of you who have helped with useful info.
I've taken the hint from curro101 who said 'Forget the buttons, go straight for the paddles....' and decided to go with the 'up' 'down' paddle shift as it's the way to go (and I have the same on my Lexus IS250 so won't get confused )
I've just purchased a C180 sports wheel on ebay (see pic) for £50, part no. 171 460 45 03 which has the plastic paddles that I'll change once I have the whole thing working.

The post by bac on the wiring is great and looks like it will help me sort the cables ...
Up/Down Shift Buttons to AMG Paddles Upgrade (pre-2006)

Also found (thanks to the dealer list posted by i860 for SCN coding) I have an Indy at the very end of my road that I never knew about! Will pay him a visit and see what he's going to charge for adding the 428 code.

That's about it for now, just waiting for the wheel to arive and the rain to stop.
Mike.
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#9 Old 12-01-2016
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Just a quick update.
The wheel has arrived and looks perfect, has the '- down shift' on the left and the '+ up shift' on the right. Wiring is already correct and has the same plugs as is fitted on the rear of the SLK airbag (2 x white 3 pin plugs with 2 wires in each) so should be a very easy job to install.
Hope to fit this over the coming weekend so phoned my local Indy for the price to add in the 428 code ... and fell over when he said £150+vat!!
Does anyone know of someone in the London / SW London area who can do the star coding at a fair cost ( I read that it's only about 15min work). I'm happy to pay but feel £150 is asking a bit much.
Will post some 'how to' pictures once I've Fitted the wheel.
Mike.
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#10 Old 12-01-2016
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This company enabled and did the SCN codding for £35.00
Mercedes vehicle specialists in Reading by Star Motor Service Ltd
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#11 Old 12-01-2016
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I would love to get the M mode enabled on mine, but I need to find a shop that will give me the hook up. $25 fine, $40-$50, maybe...
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#12 Old 12-13-2016
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Ok,so I managed to fit the new wheel today. An easy job once the main 10mm hexbolt is undone!!
Orderof work..
1. Unlock the car.
2. Put the top and windowsdown.
3. Open the bonnet and boot(hood and trunk for those of you outside the UK )
4. Lower the steering wheel andmove it out as far as it will go.
5. Put the key in the ignitionso the steering lock comes off but DON'T turn the key.
6. Remove the battery cover andremove the earth cable.
7. Remove the + cable as welland cover them both so they can't re-connect.
8. Now the IMPORTANT bit, waitat least 30min with the battery disconnected before touching the airbag!
9. After 30min ... and a nicecup of tea (remember we're in the uk) .. start to remove the airbag.
10. Undo the 2x T27 bolts frombehind the wheel, this will release the airbag.
11. With the airbag pointingaway from you, lift up the 2 orange clips that lock the 2 airbag cable plugsand then pull both plugs out, directly away from the airbag, no twistingneeded.
12. Now you’ll need to undo theVERY tight (70Nm) 10mm Hex bolt that holds the wheel on. To do this, as I wasworking alone, I placed a length of wood on the floor of the car and cut tolength so it would sit under the left hand arm of the wheel, being careful notto damage anything and using a cloth to protect all trim. I could now undo themain hex bolt. (NOTE: this is why I said to put the key in the ignition, so thesteering lock was off before disconnecting the battery. You don't want to putthis much force on the steering lock!!)
13. Before pulling the wheeloff, note the marks that MB have given you so the wheel is aligned whenreplaced, there's a dot on the wheel that lines up with a missing spline on theshaft.
14. Fit the new wheel, lining upthe marks and then do up the 10mm hex bolt to 70Nm, plug in the paddle shiftwires (as I said in my last post, the wheel I’ve got already had the correctplugs so nice and easy), plug in the airbag and push in the orange lockingclips. Finally replace the top plug that controls the steering wheelbuttons.
15. Now do up the 2x T27 boltsthat hold the airbag. Check you're happy with everything and re-connect thebattery, + first, then the earth. Note: this will spark as you reconnect it sodo it quickly and firmly.
16. Give the car a few minutesto reset itself while you replace the battery cover, then turn on and checkeverything is working. If you need to reset your windows or seats so they workcorrectly, just move them to both ends of their travel and keep the button pressedfor a few seconds once there, this way the car learns the full travelpositions.

Note:It's very important that you don't reconnect the battery with the airbag stilldisconnected as you'll get an SRS airbag error that requires MB to reset.


Nowall I need to do is to get the '428' code added so the paddles work.
TheIndy recommended by i860 has quoted me a much better price of £35 but said thatI first need to get the paddle option added to the official MB spec sheet formy car.
I’mtold I just need to contact MB for this, can anyone confirm that MB will knowwhat I’m talking about and be willing to help?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Airbag coming out - 3 plugs.JPG (54.4 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Airbag plugs.JPG (75.7 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Airbag cable locks.JPG (44.0 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Airbag going back - 5 plugs.JPG (46.9 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Plugs on new wheel.JPG (30.9 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Shift plugs on new wheel.JPG (32.6 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Shift paddle.JPG (35.2 KB, 12 views)
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#13 Old 01-20-2017
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Hi, I've been a bit busy since fitting my new wheel with the paddle shifts and so only just getting round to getting my car coded with the '428' option.
I'm booked in at Star Motors on Wednesday and have called MB parts dept for the code to be added into VeDoc for my VIN number. They called me back 2 days ago and said it had been added.
My question is... should the 428 code now show up on my Option list when the VIN is checked?? I've checked against the online decode sites and can't see the option added.
I don't want to turn up at the garage on Wednesday and them to say that they can't do the coding as it's not on VeDoc.
Any help appreciated.
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#14 Old 01-20-2017
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not the expert but like for a new car, the datacard might take a few weeks to be updated or available


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#15 Old 01-21-2017
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My question is... should the 428 code now show up on my Option list when the VIN is checked?? I've checked against the online decode sites and can't see the option added.
I don't want to turn up at the garage on Wednesday and them to say that they can't do the coding as it's not on VeDoc.
Any help appreciated.
Hi can anyone confirm this for me??
Once MB have added an option code (in my case 428) onto VeDoc, against my VIN, does this code then show up on my data card? If so, how long does it take to appear and will the Indy still be able to enable the option to my car via Star without is showing on my data card (assuming MB have actually added the option as they told me).
I still don't really understand the link between VeDoc and Star when an option is being enabled and why we need to ask MB to add options into VeDoc before anyone can enable it on a 9 year old car using Star??
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Does anybody knows if there is the wiring for the steering wheel mounted switches is already in place up to the rear of the airbag in SLK 200?
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#17 Old 01-23-2017
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Does anybody knows if there is the wiring for the steering wheel mounted switches is already in place up to the rear of the airbag in SLK 200?
Hi. As Jeff said, please update your car and location details so that we know if you're asking about a R170, R171 or R172 SLK. Once we have the details I'm sure someone will be able to answer your questions.
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General discussion is about R171, that's why I wrote a post here Of course I'll update my car in my profile. The answer is R171 2004 SLK 200 kompressor with automatic 5 gear transmission. I can buy same steeringwheel from W203
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General discussion is about R171, that's why I wrote a post here Of course I'll update my car in my profile. The answer is R171 2004 SLK 200 kompressor with automatic 5 gear transmission. I can buy same steeringwheel from W203
You are correct. R171 general discussion (which you are in now) is for your generation (r171) vehicle

But until you updated your profile, you might have had another generation and accidentally posted here. That is why we asked you to update, model/year/location.

General discussion section is for slk discussion, but not model specific (R170,R171,R172).

These are 2 separate discussion forums. This is an fyi for you, our new member

Please post an introduction thread here:

Join the gang! Your 1st thread should be your introduction so we can welcome you properly so post an introduction in the ‘New members introduce yourself here’ section, if you haven’t already. New Members Introduce Yourself Here - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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#20 Old 01-24-2017
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Originally Posted by Maciej Gawryszewski View Post
General discussion is about R171, that's why I wrote a post here Of course I'll update my car in my profile. The answer is R171 2004 SLK 200 kompressor with automatic 5 gear transmission. I can buy same steeringwheel from W203
Hi Maciej, thanks for confirming and updating your profile. I can confirm from all my research that all the airbags on the r171 seem to have the connections for the paddles already there. Mine certainly did and all others who have done this mod seem to have had the connections in place ... so all you should need is the correct wheel with paddle shifters, some time to fit it and a friendly garage with Star access to update your settings (after you've got MB to add option 428 to your VeDoc.

CORRECTION - I've just seen you have the 5 speed box and I don't think this supports having paddle shift. Can anyone else confirm this??
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