Puddle lights - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

General Modifications R170 Details that make your car different

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  • 6 Post By Christopher Goodwin
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#1 Old 11-13-2018
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Puddle lights

OK I found it really annoying that the R170 has no door lights, every other Mercedes has door lights, red on the side so that travvic can see the door is open and white on the bottom to light the area you are stepping into when getting out of the car.

For some reason they decided not to install them in the R170 chassis. In Seattle where you can easily step out of your car into human feces downtown and where Uber drivers compete for the door prize (hitting your door and driving away) it seemed like a good idea.

I connected wires to the leads going to the dome light by dropping the light from the top of the windshield and tapping into the wires with gel filled telephone line splices and ran the wire down the passenger side A pillar between the rubber weather seal and the plastic - no removal required.

I then ran a wire into each door next to the speaker wires by using a Mercedes flexible dip stick pushed through from inside the car accessed by removing the footwell side panels, once inside the door I ran the window up and reached inside the door by removing the plastic liner, and tucked the dip stick through the hole where the speaker wires exit the door. Taped a length of wire to the end and carefully pulled it back threading the wire into the car on both sides.

On each door panel I cut a small hole in the bottom back corner for the lights and installed them. I soldered and heat shrunk a short length of wire to each door light and installed bullet connectors on the wire and one the end of the wire I had run into the door. The wire runs along the top of the speaker and across the lower part of the door panel and most the the slack is taken up as the door panel is installed by pulling it into the car and leaving a small coil of wire in the body behind the kick panel so that in the future it will be possible to remove the door panel, or to remove the light from outside and replace it.

I ran the wires under the dash to a spot under the fascia above the passenger foot well and connected both door lights to the lead from the dome light and presto! Working door lights.

Being a complete knob, I bought door lights for a later model Mercedes which project the Mercedes logo onto the ground under the door - I also bought a set that project the AMG logo, but the Mercedes Logo looks better and is more detailed... Looks great in my opinion.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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#2 Old 11-13-2018
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#3 Old 11-13-2018
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I noticed a lot of R171's with them, but for that installation all you have to do is unplug the factory ones and plug in new ones. The R170 had none to begin with and I found no reference to anyone installing them in a R170, hence my post.
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#4 Old 11-13-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Goodwin View Post
I noticed a lot of R171's with them, but for that installation all you have to do is unplug the factory ones and plug in new ones. The R170 had none to begin with and I found no reference to anyone installing them in a R170, hence my post.
Just in time for this member who posted 4 days ago
I posted this thread link in his post

https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-ge...ml#post4451005


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#5 Old 05-08-2019
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Looking for Dome Light wire

Hey Christopher, love the lights. I am doing something similar and I don't quite understand how you hooked up the power. Would love to know anything you do, thanks!
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#6 Old 05-09-2019
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OK so there is a lot to be said on this subject and I have to admit I put about 20 hours into mine if not more.

1) I just bought some cool projector LED type lights on Amazon, they are great and were very inexpensive.

2) Orignially I simply wired them into the dome light at the dome light itself and ran the wired down the windshield pillar on the passenger side and into the dash - simple enough. To install the lights I removed the door cards and cut a hole the right size and popped the lights in located in the lower outside corner. I ran about a foot of wire and installed a connector so if I ever want to remove the door card again, I can do so, the other end of the wire I fished through the flexible wire chase tube between the door and the body. I did this using the Mercedes flexible transmission dipstick, a great tool for pulling wires.

3) This created issues: When I hit the remote unlock button once it would unlock the drivers door and turn on the dome light , and therefore the puddle lights just as intended. However when I pushed the button again to unlock the passenger door, the SAM for the remote would ignore it so I could no longer open the passenger door or trunk from the remote - this also rendered my smart top module useless. I went through everything over and over before I realized that the SAM would not respond to the remote until the dome light timed out and shut off, then it would work again. I disconnected the puddle lights and the remote worked again... I ran a separate fused wire from the yellow wire on the stereo, this is power to the stereo memory and is always hot regardless of key position, I used this to supply power to the lights and used the dome light ground circuit to switch the lights on. It worked but again rendered the remote useless.

Looking online I found a company who made lighted door sills, I found their installation instructions and found that they were powering the lights with a separate fused line run to the battery and using the door switches which go to ground when opened to provide the ground for the lights. I tried that - same issue.

Looking at the schematic I found that most things on the car have constant positive and are switched on or off by the control module by switching the ground and most of the inputs to the control modules are ground signals. The car also controls it's systems on a can bus and from past experience with can bus cars (I am a professional mechanic specializing in German cars for 40 years), anything on the can bus with poor connections, increased resistance or loads in any way at all will cause the control module to behave in unpredictable ways.

4) I used the stereo constant lead with an in-line fuse to provide power to both lights, I then installed pin door switches just below the factory switches. These go to ground when opened and complete the circuit to the puddle lights and are completely independent of the SAM in the PSE and the entire can bus. If they fail they will take nothing out with them and can no longer interfere with anything else in the car and work perfectly.

These are the type of pin switches I used, I just picked them up from the local car stereo and alarm installer as it was simpler to walk a block than to order them

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JVBR5KG...3-c7fc26cb216e
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#7 Old 05-15-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Goodwin View Post
OK so there is a lot to be said on this subject and I have to admit I put about 20 hours into mine if not more.

1) I just bought some cool projector LED type lights on Amazon, they are great and were very inexpensive.

2) Orignially I simply wired them into the dome light at the dome light itself and ran the wired down the windshield pillar on the passenger side and into the dash - simple enough. To install the lights I removed the door cards and cut a hole the right size and popped the lights in located in the lower outside corner. I ran about a foot of wire and installed a connector so if I ever want to remove the door card again, I can do so, the other end of the wire I fished through the flexible wire chase tube between the door and the body. I did this using the Mercedes flexible transmission dipstick, a great tool for pulling wires.

3) This created issues: When I hit the remote unlock button once it would unlock the drivers door and turn on the dome light , and therefore the puddle lights just as intended. However when I pushed the button again to unlock the passenger door, the SAM for the remote would ignore it so I could no longer open the passenger door or trunk from the remote - this also rendered my smart top module useless. I went through everything over and over before I realized that the SAM would not respond to the remote until the dome light timed out and shut off, then it would work again. I disconnected the puddle lights and the remote worked again... I ran a separate fused wire from the yellow wire on the stereo, this is power to the stereo memory and is always hot regardless of key position, I used this to supply power to the lights and used the dome light ground circuit to switch the lights on. It worked but again rendered the remote useless.

Looking online I found a company who made lighted door sills, I found their installation instructions and found that they were powering the lights with a separate fused line run to the battery and using the door switches which go to ground when opened to provide the ground for the lights. I tried that - same issue.

Looking at the schematic I found that most things on the car have constant positive and are switched on or off by the control module by switching the ground and most of the inputs to the control modules are ground signals. The car also controls it's systems on a can bus and from past experience with can bus cars (I am a professional mechanic specializing in German cars for 40 years), anything on the can bus with poor connections, increased resistance or loads in any way at all will cause the control module to behave in unpredictable ways.

4) I used the stereo constant lead with an in-line fuse to provide power to both lights, I then installed pin door switches just below the factory switches. These go to ground when opened and complete the circuit to the puddle lights and are completely independent of the SAM in the PSE and the entire can bus. If they fail they will take nothing out with them and can no longer interfere with anything else in the car and work perfectly.

These are the type of pin switches I used, I just picked them up from the local car stereo and alarm installer as it was simpler to walk a block than to order them

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JVBR5KG...3-c7fc26cb216e
Thanks for the follow-up post, Christopher! Much appreciated!!

Kevin ><>
'00 SLK230 Designo C_opper (2 of 26 - Yes, I have 2 of the 26...interesting story), '17 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate, Cessna 172/182 (pilot)


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