SLK aftermarket radio installation instructions with pictures - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 05-28-2010
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SLK aftermarket radio installation instructions with pictures

Since I couldn't find all the information needed to make this work in one location: Here is everything with pictures when I installed a Kenwood unit today.

The stock Bose system uses an amp that is then splitting front and rear for the speakers. There are only 4 wires from the stock radio going out: Lpositive | Lnegative and : Rpositive | Rnegative. There is no distinction between the wires until they run through the amp which then splits them between front and back.

Unless you are rewiring the entire system you will only need the one set of stock output wires from the aftermarket radio or use the pre-amp RCA outputs if you radio comes with them. I test wired everything together and use the regular speaker wires instead of the pre-amp RCA outputs.The first three pictures are not mine so credit goes out to MB and whoever made the third one. I can remove them and make my own but figured to just use and post them instead of reinventing the wheel.


This shows the location of the audio system components.



Beside the connection for the B part the above is correct.


This is the wiring approach I ended up using.




stock radio


Insert the radio removal tools on the bottom left and right. The above shows the clips that will be disengaged with the clips.


another blurry clip picture


the connections on the stock bose radio: power and phone cables, optical cd changer cable and the antenna cable from left to right




close up of the stock 2 piece wiring connectors 2x5 and 4x4


the two pieces of scosche stuff you need to get: antenna adapter VWAB and VW01B Wiring harness




the VW01B wiring harness has two connectors that need to be switched: the red and yellow


each connector wire is held in the plastic harness with a small bend metal piece, use a very small screwdriver or bend paperclip and push in on the clip and push the connector out.


this picture shows how the red and yellow wire had been swapped. their are constant 12V and switched 12V by the way


old radio with the adapter harness. in the background you can see the "dentist" tool i use to play with the pin wiring.



another look at the stock harness adapter prior to removal of the excess wires.


this is the stock mercedes connection you will connect to.


once everything is cleaned up and your connector should look like this:
the 4 greyish wires are the speakers and the bottom row is the power connection stuff.
The pink wire is for the phone which I ended up removing as well.


now comes the time where you connect everything and TEST the setup prior to soldering to make sure everything works!!!


twist and solder all the wires together and then use heatshrink around the connections for a clean install






ziptie the adapter harness and the aftermarket radios wires together to keep clutter to a minimum.




use the VWAB adapter and push that into the stock antenna cable


push the old not used fiber and telephone wiring out of the way



connect everything up and enjoy a new radio.

I had the options in the radio to change the speaker output voltages and dB so I had no issues with crackling or popping as some of the other people reported in their threads. Volume works fine and doesnt sound distorted under loud music either.

good luck

Last edited by jbanks15; 10-31-2017 at 10:08 PM.
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#2 Old 05-28-2010
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Wow! This is an awesome help. Thanks for taking the time and effort!
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#3 Old 05-29-2010
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EXCELLENT work and documentation. Thanks for taking the time to document with pictures and share your expertise. Well done.
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#4 Old 05-29-2010
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Final step: in-dash stereo adapter?

Quick question on the final step:

I notice that the adapters are surprisingly inexpensive (4.95 ea the lowest I found on-line).

Did you buy an in-dash stereo adapter to go around the stereo? (Last photo)

And, for anyone wondering... I found the radio removal tools on eBay for $3.99 total (pair, including shipping)

Thanks!
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#5 Old 05-31-2010
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Awesome

I was hoping for a step by step Thanks so much. I do have a question. In other threads I have read about installing an amp intergration harness. I see you didn't use one, why and if a person was to use one, do you know where in the setup it would go?
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#6 Old 06-05-2010
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I saw an adapter on e-bay, which has the connectors for an amp. Search, All categories, Mercedes stereo. I found it a couple weeks ago, but I C it's not listed now. However, that at least tells me they exist. You can try a general google search too.

Last edited by mmsobyak; 06-06-2010 at 12:10 AM. Reason: Added additional info
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#7 Old 06-06-2010
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Got a bit of a fly in the ointment...

I got the scosche VW01B connector. On the back I read, "Not for use on 'factory amplified' sound systems." Uh-oh, my JVC is 50 amps per 4 channel. Am I in deep doo-doo now?
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#8 Old 06-06-2010
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Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmsobyak View Post
Quick question on the final step:

I notice that the adapters are surprisingly inexpensive (4.95 ea the lowest I found on-line).

Did you buy an in-dash stereo adapter to go around the stereo? (Last photo)

And, for anyone wondering... I found the radio removal tools on eBay for $3.99 total (pair, including shipping)

Thanks!
i ended up getting both items off ebay for 11$ shipped which is way cheaper than anything i found locally or online.

what do you mean by in-dash stereo adapter? the vw01b harness is what connects the aftermarket stereo to the factory connector.

instead of buying the removal tools you can just make your own with a thin blade or using a nail file.
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#9 Old 06-06-2010
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Quote:
Did you buy an in-dash stereo adapter to go around the stereo?
A plastic housing made to fit a stereo which is smaller than the factory unit into the dash opening. Most commonly used for Chevy, GM, etc which have very large factory stereos. Referred to as an in-dash stereo adapter or mounting kit. I was trying to judge by the photo and the face plate trim piece, but that's difficult to do. Looking at my JVC, it appears it doesn't need the in-dash mounting adapter/kit. But, we'll see once I actually pull the OEM stereo.

I know that the VW01B is the harness adapter.

More importantly, I need to know about the harness adapter tech note about it not being for use with factory amplified stereos. But, there's a tech support # they provide 1-800-621-3695 XT 3 which I'll call tomorrow if nobody already knows the answer.

Last edited by mmsobyak; 06-06-2010 at 07:08 PM. Reason: addtional text
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#10 Old 06-07-2010
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I called the tech help number today. Wasn't much help. All the guy said was that the harness wasn't for a Mercedes. No duh, so I explained that it only requires the switching of a couple wires and it can be used for a Mercedes.

As for an answer to the reason I called: the packaging note about not be able to use this connector with factory amplified stereos... no help there either. "Wellll... I dunno...." was the answer. I envisioned a deer staring into my headlights.

It would seem to me that it shouldn't matter. I put a factory amplifed stereo (4x50 amps) in another car, using a harness adapter, and it didn't look to be any different other than the wiring pattern and, there was no "Note".

Anybody know anything about it?

Last edited by mmsobyak; 06-07-2010 at 10:35 PM. Reason: grammatical corrections
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#11 Old 06-08-2010
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Nice work, I could have used this back in April.. You did a much better job documenting than I did.


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#12 Old 06-08-2010
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I dont what the problem is about the amplified system since its a VW harness not a MERCEDES one. So i wouldn't worry about that statement and go and install a new radio in the car.
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#13 Old 06-08-2010
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Sounds good to me. Couldn't figure any reason why it couldn't be used. Got the butt connectors 2 day. Will go ahead with the installation. Can't miss with such excellent documentation.
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#14 Old 06-23-2010
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Installation pics

BSK,
Just to mirror the previous compliments -- GREAT JOB. Thanks much for the details. I have been struggling with my set-up, off and on for months.

For some reason, however, I cannot "see" the excellent pictures on my computer at work, where I have a color printer to print them out.

I wonder if you could send me your pics in a separate email, if you have the time? I am at [email protected]

I suspect that the pictures are being blocked from download at work.
Thanks.
steve
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#15 Old 06-24-2010
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Soem

Can anyone tell me how the SOEM is wired in? Some of the wires are not carried through, like the red one, so do you just bypass it and hook those wires harness to harness? I belive it goes in between these two harnesses though. Anyone shed some light? Pictures?
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#16 Old 08-25-2010
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what do you mean by soem? the stock wiring is in the pictures in forms of diagrams and on the stock radio
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#17 Old 11-21-2010
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BSK,
Awesome job on this!!!
Just a quick question about the wire swap for 12V switched and 12V constant. Since the VW01B has flying leads, couldn't you just attach the the wires accordingly to the proper terminal number rather than swaping the wires in the connector?
Are the wires a different size for current draw considerations?

TIA,
Bud
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#18 Old 11-22-2010
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Bud,

there is NO DIFFERENCE in wire gauge. However if someone else is working on the car in the future and decides to go by the imprint on the wire (each wire is labeled) and things that each wire is what they say; it will be switched.
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#19 Old 12-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSK View Post
Bud,

there is NO DIFFERENCE in wire gauge. However if someone else is working on the car in the future and decides to go by the imprint on the wire (each wire is labeled) and things that each wire is what they say; it will be switched.

Ahh, How very thoughtful of you. Fair enough so I'll follow your lead there. I should have my HU waiting at home for me tonight and with this awesome tutorial, be listening to my new stereo tomorrow.
Thanks again,
Bud
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#20 Old 12-08-2010
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OK so I finished the install of my Kenwood KDC-HD545U head unit three nights ago using this tutorial. The new Kenwood didn't have a wire for diming with the dash ilumination so that orange wire was removed from the adaptor. I just use the dimmer setting on the Head Unit and that's fine for this time of year. The power side on my 1999 SLK was only four wires. the red and yellow were switched. I used the front speaker pos and neg circuits of the new unit to send the music signal to the bose amp so eight wire solder joints and heat shrink did the job.

I am getting nothing but clean sound from this install without any of the popping or other noise some have complained of. It is very nice being able to take advantage of a later head unit with usb and aux. features. Who needs a CD changer when a 16 Gb flash drive holds way more music than 6 CDs.

I am a happy man. Thanks again BSK.
102 MB, mx5boy, lstregis and 1 others like this.
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