Join Date: May 2009
Location: Gilroy, Ca
Vehicle: 2003 SL55 & 2002 SLK32
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DIY SLK32 (R170) Paddle Shifters Install with pics
I previously looked around for instructions on this and found none. So I did it and here is the how to. This DIY is not for the timid, and probably far more trouble than it is worth .... but this will get you there.
NOTE: This is primarily a work-around for cars without factory installed paddle shifters (and their wires) and should work for any model with a "5G-tronic" (also know as NAG 1) auto.
SO, there I was,, I had my (2002 slk32) shifter apart for another reason and noticed how simple it would be to tap into the up and down functions (so I added the wires while I had it apart). Shortly after, I was talking with Rob @ needswings about something else and this topic came up. He told me some guys on the crossfire forum had done this, so I went looking there. It seems that a few had been done, but they were switching to paddle shift equipped wheels and then using a small remote transmitter (as there are too few available circuits in the clockspring).
Having an extra steering wheel (and a basic understanding of digital and analog electronics) I decided to do this in my SLK32 with the stock wheel (without the wireless interface) using the AMG aluminum paddles. Instead of using the wireless remote and receiver , I put all of the switch signals (horn, shift down and shift up) on to the horn line and then decoded them under the dash with a module that drives the horn relay and the up and down switches in the floor shifter.
Using the paddle shifters on the wheel shifts Identically as the - and + on the floor shifter.
Sorry, I did not take pics of the floor shifter dis-assy. I would strongly recommend starting there. This part is not rocket science, but it takes patience. ... I may post some pics of that part later as i will be helping a local 2002 s55 owner do this mod to his car shortly and plan on taking pictures of the floor shifter dissasembly, mod and reassembly.
the part number for the aluminum paddle switches I used is 1712670046. This is for a set (right and left) $99 at parts.com
(I opted to install 8-32 helicoils in mine ....)
DON'T turn your car on with the airbag unplugged (this will cause your SRS system to require a dealer reset.
I have been running this set up for more than a month now and the only complaint I have ... is that I didn't do it years ago!!