"cool" touch screen stereo installation in less than 5 minutes for under $200 - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 04-27-2012
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"cool" touch screen stereo installation in less than 5 minutes for under $200

I am a cheap simpleton that likes to do things right. if anyone else is a cheap simpleton, here's the guide for you. It cost a whopping $182 total for a 5.6" touchscreen to be running in my SLK. ($2.12 after tax for the switch, $3.68 shipped for adapter, and $176 shipped for the head unit)

Here are 10 steps you can do in 5 minutes (literally) to be on the road in style.

What you need:
A Chinese head unit (I recommend the 5.6" touch screen with bluetooth and ipod. It clears the manual shifter and doesnt block anything)
A $2 switch from radioshack
2 wire splicers
an antenna adapter (Metra 40-VW12 was the cheapest I found that worked)
2.5 feet of spare wire
A drill with a bit the same diameter as the switch base
A set of stereo removal keys for stock stereo
a small flat head precision screw driver.
If you want to watch TV, a TV antenna

Wiring harness note:
The Chinese head units all appear to be fitted with the wiring harness needed for our cars already, so no wiring harness is required.

While inside:

Step 1: First we need to "customize the harness". this takes seconds (literally) by swapping the yellow and red wire. Using the precision screw driver, stick it in the hole above each pin on the pin-side of the wiring harness. slide the wires out the back and swap them. They will click back into place.

Step 1.5: Insert the antenna adapter into the antenna out of the stereo

Step 2: Cut your extra piece of wire in half , and strip all 4 ends. Connect two ends to the switch using either solder, a clip, or ghetto rigged (stuck in and twisted). Some switches also have a self-locking mechanism. Then use electrical tape or shrink tubing to cover up the electrical connections.

Now go out to your car.

Step 3: Drill 2 holes in the glove box on the steering wheel side where there is clearance The SLK seems to be made for it, with plenty of room so there is no wire crunching or accidental button hitting.



Step 4: Insert your two stock removal keys and pull the stereo out. You have to push them all the way in to unlock it. Disconnect all the wires on the back of the stereo.

Step 5:Connect the black side of the harness to the car itself.

Step 6: Stick the switch through the closest to you hole in the glove box, and screw on the back if necessary. Pull the wires through the stereo mounting hole. Using the splices, splice one end to the "brake" wire (usually pink), and one end to the "ground" wire (black).

Step 6.5: Pull the ipod wire through the other hole so your ipod can be in the glove box.



Step 7: slide the metal surround piece off the stereo and into the stereo mounting hole. Put a flat head screw or two in it if you see fit.

Step 8: Pull 3 wires through- the harness for the stereo, the antenna, and the Ipod connection. Connect them to the back of the stereo.

Step 8.5: If your watching TV, also connect your TV antenna at this point and stash it underneith the bracket section.

Step 9: Stick the stereo 1/2 way into the mounting bracket. Put on the faceplate and test it out. If it works, slide the stereo all the way in. if it doesnt work, slide it out and get on SLKworld.com for help.

Step 10: Your stereo is now installed- Connect your bluetooth device, connect your ipod, and set your radio stations- Your good to go! (although you may want to vaccuum up the drill holes!)





Some Q & A:

Does this really only take 5 minutes? yes. It took me approximately 7 but I didn't have the tools together, nor did I think through the switch and such ahead of time.

Why did you put the switch in the glove box? It is against the law in most areas to watch TV/Movies/Etc while driving. The switch allows you to turn off that functionality while you drive.... or you can just not use that functionality, but stereos will automatically prevent you from accessing visual items unless that wire is grounded.

Why did you go with such a cheap stereo? 1 year warranty, and I don't keep cars more than a year. Plus I've bought some chinese stereos before and they worked 6 years + (never had one fail) as long as you get the "better quality" versions. Blue tooth works better than the $2k system in my truck! Lastly, no one knows that but me, it looks like I have a $1k stereo now. Lastly I own so many vehicles, I only put the super expensive stereo in my DD, and with the increases in quality from china, not sure how long I'll even do that.

What about glare? - I made sure I bought a screen with a motorized face plate that allows me to adjust the angles. I think thats important. I also urge you to consider buying an antiglare screen protector. That works wonders in my other vehicles. I typically buy the $1.95 one for the nook color (for some reason seems to be the cheapest) and then simply cut it to size

Are there any hisses or pops or issues with the sound? negative. I heard about these but its significantly better than stock as is. I dont hear any pops, hisses, or hiccups or whatever everyone else complains about.

The stereo appears to cover up the switches- does it? - The stereo is about1" out, so I have no problem seeing or accessing the switches like you may with a 7" screen. I'm also 6'9" tall and 300 lbs, so if I have no trouble with it, I dont see why anyone else would. You dont even notice it because it really doesnt block access at all.

This write-up seems really basic- Why did you waste everyones time on the forum posting it? - Simple, because there were a lot of unanswered questions i had when installign the stereo and I wanted to make sure I helped other people out in my shoes. for example, i bought a wiring harness. I also asked the question "Can aftermarket stereos be installed on these cars" because so many things suggested they couldnt. When it was all said and done, it was the quickest, easiest, best installation I've ever done in my life, and I wanted people to know that.

Hope I could answer some of your questions regardless of what stereo you purchase!
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#2 Old 04-27-2012
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Would appreciate more photos on the install, like:

1. the connection from the switch and ipod wires to the cavity of the OEM head unit,
2. back panel of the new head unit,
3. OEM connectors,
4. the red and yellow wires-of-interest on the wiring harness/loom,
5. connections to the back of the new head unit.
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#3 Old 04-27-2012
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very slick writeup! I'm especially jealous to see that you have a manual tranny...i wonder if this writeup also works for single din flip screens....I imagine that there would be more clearance when the screen is not out.
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#4 Old 04-27-2012
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Originally Posted by etyu View Post
Would appreciate more photos on the install, like:

1. the connection from the switch and ipod wires to the cavity of the OEM head unit,
2. back panel of the new head unit,
3. OEM connectors,
4. the red and yellow wires-of-interest on the wiring harness/loom,
5. connections to the back of the new head unit.
I'll try to get to these when I run the wires for my radar / laser jammers. The switch is spliced right into the stereo harness. You can also just ground the brake wire if you dont live in a place where police check for it. The only OEM connector I used is the main connector which snaps right into the provided harness with the stereo. The red and yellow wires are just because for some reason mercedes has things backwards between "always on" and "inition only". I'll get the pics though, but if your in a rush tell me and I'll go out of my way to do it today.

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Originally Posted by poohlikeshunny View Post
very slick writeup! I'm especially jealous to see that you have a manual tranny...i wonder if this writeup also works for single din flip screens....I imagine that there would be more clearance when the screen is not out.
Thanks! (and I can't own cars without manual trannys.. haha) I dont see why this wouldnt work with the flip-ups I spent some time specifically looking for one that WASN'T a flip up because I didn't want to block the air controls. Most the 7" flip down ones interfere with the shifter and the under-stereo buttons. Thats why I jumped on the 5.6" when I tracked it down, but your right about the lower profile when its in the "down" position! I had one of those on my FJ Cruiser.
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More info please. What brand, where do you buy them... kind of an interesting solution to the aging Alpine in my W202.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arachnyd View Post
I'll try to get to these when I run the wires for my radar / laser jammers. The switch is spliced right into the stereo harness. You can also just ground the brake wire if you dont live in a place where police check for it. The only OEM connector I used is the main connector which snaps right into the provided harness with the stereo. The red and yellow wires are just because for some reason mercedes has things backwards between "always on" and "inition only". I'll get the pics though, but if your in a rush tell me and I'll go out of my way to do it today. .....
Thank you in advance and no rush. I am interested in learning how things are done, even if I don't own a R170.

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#7 Old 04-27-2012
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#8 Old 04-28-2012
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how visible is it in the sunlight? I can't read mine..


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#9 Old 04-28-2012
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Originally Posted by Arachnyd View Post
Thanks! (and I can't own cars without manual trannys.. haha) I dont see why this wouldnt work with the flip-ups I spent some time specifically looking for one that WASN'T a flip up because I didn't want to block the air controls. Most the 7" flip down ones interfere with the shifter and the under-stereo buttons. Thats why I jumped on the 5.6" when I tracked it down, but your right about the lower profile when its in the "down" position! I had one of those on my FJ Cruiser.
I thought the same with the air controls...but I figure that it really won't be up the majority of the time anyway. If I can do this with a flipup, I may be able to use your writeup to figure out how to stash the blueooth module in the glovebox. But I do like the one you have too...the screen is bigger than the ones I have seen on strictly single din touchscreens. And I'm with you on the manual...this is the first car in a long time I have had in auto...and it makes me miss standard very much!
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#10 Old 04-30-2012
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Originally Posted by paultalb View Post
how visible is it in the sunlight? I can't read mine..
Its been cold here (40s) so I haven't had a chance to have the roof down during bright light. We the weather looks up the next 2 weeks or so I'll check in again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by poohlikeshunny View Post
I thought the same with the air controls...but I figure that it really won't be up the majority of the time anyway. If I can do this with a flipup, I may be able to use your writeup to figure out how to stash the blueooth module in the glovebox. But I do like the one you have too...the screen is bigger than the ones I have seen on strictly single din touchscreens. And I'm with you on the manual...this is the first car in a long time I have had in auto...and it makes me miss standard very much!
I thought about that. some of the flip up ones look and operate fine flipped up. (The one I had you had to have it flipped up to control volume and stuff, but I know a lot allow you to do that with it flipped down). My thought process was that I knew I'd leave it open otherwise whats the point (for me- I know other people use things differently).


Side note, unrelated benefit. I can fully control the station/touch control without taking my hand of the shifter- kind of cool.

this is a cheap head unit though, and you can certainly get much nicer flipups. You couldnt fit a bigger flip down one though.
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#11 Old 05-01-2012
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Great write up!!! If this only had gps id be on it!!
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#12 Old 05-01-2012
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Great write up!!! If this only had gps id be on it!!
I think its $40 more for the GPS version. The same deck comes in a GPS and non-gps version. This is the non-gps version.
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#13 Old 05-09-2012
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Single DIN 5.6 GPS

Hi!
I searched and searched for the GPS version of this on Ebay...could you please post a link?
Thanks in advance!!
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#14 Old 05-10-2012
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Here is the GPS unit : 5.6 Detachable Touch Screen 1 Din Car DVD Player GPS-Dual Zone-TV-Radio-iPod-Bluetooth - US$ 299.99

This is from the same buyer I bought it from, but I bought it from their ebay account. They told me they were having a hard time keeping them in stock (I have bought other stuff from them in the past- parking sensors for my truck, cell phone jammers, etc.).

Heres the non-GPS version on their website, which is the same one I bought: 5.6 Inch 1Din Car DVD Player with IPOD Bluetooth TV RDS - US$ 193.99

Using the same mark down percentage as the non-GPS version, it would suggest their ebay price for the DVD will be about $250. You may have luck just emailing them and asking them.
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#15 Old 05-10-2012
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Appreciate the continued input! Dont think i need the switch, what wire would i need to ground if i dont use the switch? Would the cd changer still work? Where do i get the stock stereo removal tools? I have 99 slk230, anyone know if the stereos are the same as the 2001? Thx again
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#16 Old 05-10-2012
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Appreciate the continued input! Dont think i need the switch, what wire would i need to ground if i dont use the switch? Would the cd changer still work? Where do i get the stock stereo removal tools? I have 99 slk230, anyone know if the stereos are the same as the 2001? Thx again
I paid $1.50 to have the stereo removal tool shipped from ebay. Just ground the "brake" wire if you dont use a switch. CD changer won't work unless you had one of the ones that taps into your radio input or into the auxillary input on the stereo. People still listen to CDs? haha....

can't vouch for the 01/99 stereo situation, but I think they are the same.
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#17 Old 07-22-2012
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Still happy with the radio?? This one is high on my list now. Any ideas on where to mount the gps antenna? Do you have to use the supplied antenna or can i get a nicer one? Thx again
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#18 Old 07-23-2012
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Still happy with the radio?? This one is high on my list now. Any ideas on where to mount the gps antenna? Do you have to use the supplied antenna or can i get a nicer one? Thx again
Mine didn't come with the GPS, but I probably would just mount it where the current one is on the trunk and use the existing mounting holes... haha.

As far as "Am I still happy with the radio" - Yes, I am. Its certainly not as nice as the $2000 stereo I have in my truck, but for a total cost of $200, its exactly what I needed in my SLK and I have no regrets... However, if your looking for a $2000 stereo, this might leave you lacking a bit, mostly on ease of use/clean interface. Quality of sound still seems fantastic (I had someone ride along and asked if I put subwoofers in the car- never got a comment like that with my stock stereo!) and the phone quality is fantastic- Its better than the quality of the bluetooth in the truck or the stock one in my camaro. Phone calls with top up or going under 45 are perfect. Highway with top down are manageable but there's wind noise as you'd expect.

No problems with interfering with driving (as the 7" screens have) for me, although my other half had to modify her shifting slightly because she flick-shifts with her hand on top.
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#19 Old 07-23-2012
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I'll try to get to these when I run the wires for my radar / laser jammers. The switch is spliced right into the stereo harness. You can also just ground the brake wire if you dont live in a place where police check for it. The only OEM connector I used is the main connector which snaps right into the provided harness with the stereo. The red and yellow wires are just because for some reason mercedes has things backwards between "always on" and "inition only". I'll get the pics though, but if your in a rush tell me and I'll go out of my way to do it today.
I haven't gotten to this yet, I know. Still no laser jammers either because I cant seem to find a good place to mount them, and since the SLK is just one of my toy cars I really put most my time and attention into the cars I'm more passionate about (like my bikes and my 2nd gen camaro) But I'll get to this as soon as someone helps me figure out where to mount the laser jammers on these things!
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#20 Old 07-26-2012
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Ordered the gps version, anti glare and antenna adapter. Let u know how it goes. I do not have a gps antenna on my car. Ill have to get creative thanks again



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Mine didn't come with the GPS, but I probably would just mount it where the current one is on the trunk and use the existing mounting holes... haha.

As far as "Am I still happy with the radio" - Yes, I am. Its certainly not as nice as the $2000 stereo I have in my truck, but for a total cost of $200, its exactly what I needed in my SLK and I have no regrets... However, if your looking for a $2000 stereo, this might leave you lacking a bit, mostly on ease of use/clean interface. Quality of sound still seems fantastic (I had someone ride along and asked if I put subwoofers in the car- never got a comment like that with my stock stereo!) and the phone quality is fantastic- Its better than the quality of the bluetooth in the truck or the stock one in my camaro. Phone calls with top up or going under 45 are perfect. Highway with top down are manageable but there's wind noise as you'd expect.

No problems with interfering with driving (as the 7" screens have) for me, although my other half had to modify her shifting slightly because she flick-shifts with her hand on top.
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