rear window controls R170 - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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#1 Old 05-24-2018
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rear window controls R170

Last month, I bought a higher mileage 170R (2000 SLK230) basically "sight unseen" with the understanding that the pristine paint and body in some emailed images and short video from the previous owner that it represented what was described as "needs nothing" condition. I traveled over a day to the seller's location in southern Ontario and decided to trailer the car back home because of the possibility of a late spring snow or ice storm. During the inspection, the car seemed to run fine and I assumed that as the car "needed nothing" , I foolishly didn't take any extra time to check some of what I later learned are usual gremlins for these cars. In hindsight I still would have bought the car but missed a negotiating opportunity.



Having said that, I am somewhat mechanically inclined and have always worked on my own vehicles up to and including engine rebuilds/swaps, transmission swaps, front end rebuilds, brakes, bearings, electrical, etc. I had a feeling there might be a few things that would need some tinkering before the nice weather arrived and the car was ready for any top down cruising.

... and, as my previous convertible was a Harley Davidson Electraglide, I was somewhat used to getting my hands dirty on the weekends.

When I got the car home, I immediately noticed the roof didn't want to open at all. Slow blinking red control switch, etc. After doing some reading here within these forums ( many thanks to all those who traveled these hallowed roads before me ) I was able to get the roof to open after (#1. Replacing a missing fuse for the hydraulic pump, #2. Top up the hydraulic reservoir with the requisite fluid, #3. Fabricate and install a donut shaped bushing/spacer on the plastic pin for the trunk open switch S69/12 - so that the right side of the tubular frame would actually make contact with the switch enough to close the contacts and start the second phase of the roof opening sequence.


The diagnosis took several hours of watching the frame and cylinders opening and closing the trunk lid along with extra amounts of reading sprinkled throughout.


When I finally got the car to the point where I could open and close the roof , I started making adjustments and shimming the various components to remove the thuds and clunks mostly from the trunk lid closing and opening.



I learned ( NOT EARLY ENOUGH ) that critical to the whole sequence are the proper folding of the hat shelf wings both when the roof opens and when it closes. I ended up bending the hat shelf brackets enough that the roof started catching the back edge of the hat shelf as it tried to lower into the trunk. Again thanks to another thread, I was able to disassemble and straighten those brackets and get the roof working again but what about the darned quarter windows that were stuck in a full up position. The wings of the hat shelf were always in danger of being re-bent unless I stopped the closing sequence at precisely the right moment then coaxed them to the inboard side of the glass before continuing to the fully closed and locked position.


I started reading some threads about the window opening issues ( cable off pulley , window stuck in down position after opening etc ) . I did some more poking around and after peeking behind the panels covering the interior behind both seats, could see the disconnected connectors for both rear window regulator motors.

Aha - a previous owner must have also experienced a failure for those windows to raise during a roof closure - had a mechanic raise the windows with a pair of jumpers and battery then left the motors disconnected so the windows would not lower back into their hiding spot again !

After a lot more reading and searching for a solution, it occurred to me that somebody else must've found an easy way to control those windows separate from the logic written into the vario roof controller.



Notwithstanding the solution that appears to have gone AWOL here https://www.slkworld.com/general-modifications-r170/18401-rear-windows-control.html



this is my simple approach/fix to the issue.



Attachment 510258


*Disconnect Battery*

In the engine compartment next to the battery is a sealed plastic box. Remove four torx head screws and gasket lid to reveal several electronic components including the N10-3 Multifunction Controller. Locate the Black/Violet stripe wire , Green/Violet stripe wire. Next locate the Black/Blue stripe and Green/Blue stripe wire as pointed out in the photo.





Next step is to cut the wires and cap the exposed ends on the controller side ( I used black tape ) and splice suitable size/gauge wire at least 7 ft length on the side of the wires disappearing below the box. I used butt connectors and a spool of trailer wiring I had on hand as it would be important to identify the unique colours later on. Any size of wire capable of handling 12 volts at 10 amps would be more than sufficient. The suspect the OEM fuse is 20 amps because both rear windows are operated simultaneously when controlled by N10-3.


Route the new wires along the firewall and find a suitable entry point into the driver/passenger compartment through an existing grommet or drill a new hole. ( I gave up looking for an existing entry point after two hours searching and drilled a new 7/16" hole through the firewall about 5 inches left of the brake booster near the tunnel for the steering shaft ) There is not much room for an electric drill with a standard length bit anywhere near this area. Be very cautious - I removed the lower plastics for the driver's dash area below the steering wheel and studied where a sharp drill bit entering the enclosed area was least likely to damage anything including wiring harnesses ,AC/heater lines, etc before I proceeded.






The next step is to find a good source of power to operate the windows. I chose to tap into the heaviest red wire supplying constant 12V to the light switch just beside the instrument panel fuse cover. There are also several large screws that mount the instrument panel to the body nearby. I used one screw for a ground wire. I also added a 20 amp fuse and holder to the power wire. You need to divide the power to run to two separate 5 pin power window style switches. The 5 pin switches I purchased for roughly $6 each required spade type connectors to be crimped on the wires ( you can also use 6 pin but any switch less than 5 pins will not work for reversing polarity )... generally center pin or pin #3 on each switch


The ground needs to run to 2 locations on each switch so however you do that is your choice but generally Pin 2 and 4 using spade connectors.


The pairs of wires you ran through the firewall from N10-3 need to be connected as pairs to the respective switch for the window your are attempting to control. But generally green/blue and blk/blu to Pins #1 and #5 on one switch ( or whatever colour they are now ) to control the passenger side rear window and blk/vio, grn/vio to Pins #1 and #5 of another switch to control the driver rear window

With this style of switch if the operation of the window is backward from the desired push (up or down), you can either flip the switch upside down and mount it back into the dash or swap wires at #1 and #5 position to achieve same result

** Reconnect battery , and/or install fuse **



Completed installation of switches. Windows now go up and down , part distance or full distance any time I choose. This now makes opening and closing the roof much easier. Sorry about the appearance of the dash. My next job is to address all the nicks and blemishes from years of abuse by the previous owners. If anybody knows a good place to get the beige coloured dash (interior) paint that is pictured here, I would appreciate a PM
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#2 Old 05-24-2018
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Cool idea.
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#3 Old 05-24-2018
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Don't know/remember how much info you'll get but have you asked for your data card yet? May give you the colour/paint codes you need to start your search.

Vehicle Data Card - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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#4 Old 05-24-2018
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Bingo - had a look at my Data Card and found that colour info ". One Google search later, I now know where I can purchase the touch up paint. Thanks LeonardoDaBenz
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#5 Old 05-24-2018
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Cautions

If you are considering this modification, experience dictates the importance of the following four points to prevent damage to expensive electrical components



#1 ) Always disconnect battery before cutting any wires. Especially those wires connected to a PCM, BCM , MFC, etc.


#2 ) Never cut wires in pairs or groups. Cut one at a time and take care not to touch tool to a ground during the cut.


#3 ) New wires running through fresh body openings (ie; holes through a firewall) should have grommets or at very least, silicone type sealant in hole to prevent future shafing and accidental shorting of the wires on the sharp edges within the metal hole


#4 ) Always use fuses for any new circuit.
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#6 Old 05-24-2018
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I've always just wanted to simply be able to have the rear windows up with the roof lowered and the reverse, the rear windows lowered with the roof raised. Back in September of last Year I had paid another member to make for myself a more elaborate device that allowed remote control of roof functions and other features, including that independent control of the rears. I have still not received that device.
I am interested in what you have done, because it would at least allow myself to enjoy using my SLK as I always have wanted to do.
I do have some concerns, though, and that is the risk of potential damage if the rear windows were in an incorrect position when the roof open/close sequence is initialised? I can see that with the mods outlined in this thread, it is possible to control those windows with the installed switches, but I'm still worried about roof operation?
So could you give me further information, please?
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______________________________________
I am editing this post because I want to add a further question. This is it :-
Why would you want to control each rear window independently? Surely you only need them to be controlled in tandem? If this is indeed the case, then only one control switch would be required and the two wires coming from the control box could be combined?
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______________________________________

I'll look forward to your reply .........

David
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#7 Old 05-24-2018
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Caution

I actually made a thread about controlling these. The thing that I did though was create a button that would activate relays so that the front and rear windows would work in tandem. Why? If you forget to lower the rear windows before putting the roof back on, you could damage them. They are pretty flimsy on their own and use the roof channel for support. If at any point they become misaligned... not good. With my method, they will always be lowered because even when using the front window circuit, the front windows are lowered by the module as well. Therefore, whether the windows are controlled by front switches or module, they will always be lowered. Just food for thought.
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#8 Old 05-25-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAJ 190 View Post
I've always just wanted to simply be able to have the rear windows up with the roof lowered and the reverse, the rear windows lowered with the roof raised. Back in September of last Year I had paid another member to make for myself a more elaborate device that allowed remote control of roof functions and other features, including that independent control of the rears. I have still not received that device.
I am interested in what you have done, because it would at least allow myself to enjoy using my SLK as I always have wanted to do.
I do have some concerns, though, and that is the risk of potential damage if the rear windows were in an incorrect position when the roof open/close sequence is initialised? I can see that with the mods outlined in this thread, it is possible to control those windows with the installed switches, but I'm still worried about roof operation?
So could you give me further information, please?
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______________________________________
I am editing this post because I want to add a further question. This is it :-
Why would you want to control each rear window independently? Surely you only need them to be controlled in tandem? If this is indeed the case, then only one control switch would be required and the two wires coming from the control box could be combined?
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______________________________________

I'll look forward to your reply .........

David
Hi David

Yes , you are absolutely correct. I suppose there is no real good reason not to have both rear windows work in tandem and you could get away with controlling both windows with one switch.
As for the question about potential damage if they were in the wrong position during roof operation. That is exactly why I modified the wiring as in my situation the windows had been disconnected in the "always up" position and interfered with both the opening and closing of the roof when the wings of the hat shelf came into contact with the quarter windows.

They must be in the down position for both opening or closing of the roof. Prior to the mod, I would need to kneel rearward on my driver seat and stop the roof opening or closing just before those hat shelf wings made contact with the rear windows, then gently coax them by inboard or outboard before continuing with the rest of the sequence.

Life is so much better now as long as I am ever mindful to retract those little windows each time I open or close.
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#9 Old 05-25-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1978L82 View Post
I actually made a thread about controlling these. The thing that I did though was create a button that would activate relays so that the front and rear windows would work in tandem. Why? If you forget to lower the rear windows before putting the roof back on, you could damage them. They are pretty flimsy on their own and use the roof channel for support. If at any point they become misaligned... not good. With my method, they will always be lowered because even when using the front window circuit, the front windows are lowered by the module as well. Therefore, whether the windows are controlled by front switches or module, they will always be lowered. Just food for thought.
That would also work, however a secondary reason is that I can open or close either window an inch or two or full way with the roof closed and both main windows full up to allow for a little air flow throughout the cabin if the weather dictates.

I have also found there is less draft on our necks on the cooler top down days if the quarter windows are combined with the door windows. The appearance (although not a major consideration) is also more aesthetically pleasing to the eye when the quarter windows are combined with the door windows IMO
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#10 Old 05-25-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtMyagi View Post


Notwithstanding the solution that appears to have gone AWOL here https://www.slkworld.com/general-modifications-r170/18401-rear-windows-control.html



this is my simple approach/fix to the issue.

Thanks for the heads up on the broken link.
I've left a note in that thread & also added a link to this thread in the first post.


Thanks for your help.
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#11 Old 05-25-2018
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I think I want to do this!... my rear windows are currently blowing the fuse every few times I operate the roof.

doesn't the roof pause unless it reads that the rear windows are all the way down??
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#12 Old 05-25-2018
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Right, I can see in this thread how I could make connections so that using just one switch, I could raise or lower both of the rear windows in tandem. GREAT! So what I now need is some way to ensure that, if I was to press the roof operation button, it would go through it's full sequence and ensure that those rear windows are in the lowered position. Now, say, that the rear windows were ALREADY in the lowered position, then this would not cause any problems with the roof lift/lower action. As I get (inevitably) older, I do find it a bit more difficult to fully understand what is being said in these threads. That's why I'm SO appreciative when it can be made easy for myself to "get-to-grips" with the project in hand!
So, just to recap, I'd like to be able to control the rears, in tandem, at any time. When the roof is to be lowered or raised, then regardless of where the rears are positioned, pressing the operation button will initialise the sequence that ensures that the rears will be lowered and therefore with no risk of damage.
Summer seems to be here and I'd just LOVE to have greater control of the rear windows whilst enjoying using my SLK!

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#13 Old 05-25-2018
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Yes, I too can have all windows up, down, or a bit open. Also, do not worry about module. It does not know where the windows are at. It simply sends the rears the desired direction of voltage for a specific amount of time (like 3 seconds). As mentioned, my setup has the windows sharing power with the fronts. No issues.
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#14 Old 05-26-2018
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Now, AGAIN, excuse my ignorance, but the instigator of this thread "SgtMyagi" seemed to have cut the wires normally controlling the rears during the roof operating sequence(s) and then fed an independent power supply, via a switch, to allow independent control of them? Am I correct in that? SO, there is no longer any control of them via the normal roof lowering/raising sequence? I had wanted there to be some way that that sequence was still effective, thus ensuring that the rear windows could not have been accidentally left in an inappropriate location.
"1978L82"? I do seem to recall yourself being part of quite a long thread regarding this topic? That was what had sparked my interest in this and has led to my long, long, wait to receive from another Member a device that not only controls these windows, but allows a wide range of roof operations remotely from the fob. In the mean-time, if through my own efforts and with this club's help I can get control of the rear windows, then I'll be happy!

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#15 Old 05-26-2018
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Yes. You are right David. There is now no control of the windows via the factory multifunction controller (N10-3). As explained earlier in this thread, any number of errors in the system logic can prevent the rear windows from raising or lowering (ie; a defective microswitch) after the vario roof is opened or closed. So once the wires are severed using the mod, you must lower or raise the windows manually.

Also, I should mention I considered removing the carpet to search out the blk/vio, grn/vio, blk/blu, grn/blu wires that must run under there somewhere to the rear windows, rather than cut them right near the N10-3 module. This would have saved having to drill a hole through the firewall but removing the carpet looked like a job I didn't really want to tackle. I suppose if somebody knew the exact location those wires are routed through the firewall in the first place ( near the passenger footwell ????? ) They could tidy this modification up a bit and eliminate the new hole through the firewall

Now to address the question about leaving the factory controller intact and adding this modification to supplement the operation of the windows manually when desired. I do believe that is a possibility. One could use wire taps instead of actually cutting the factory wires. Because the new circuits are normally open, this should have no effect on the N10-3 opening or closing the rear windows but would give you the option to raise or lower the windows as desired whenever you want.
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#16 Old 05-26-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtMyagi View Post
adding this modification to supplement the operation of the windows manually when desired. I do believe that is a possibility. One could use wire taps instead of actually cutting the factory wires. Because the new circuits are normally open, this should have no effect on the N10-3 opening or closing the rear windows but would give you the option to raise or lower the windows as desired whenever you want.
Yes, that was exactly what I was wanting to do! So I wonder if you might be able to do this for myself? Do you know those wires that you had cut, coming out of the control box? You simply capped them off, didn't you? Well, if you just remove the capping and re-connect into your new circuit, then you should have both manual control and full sequential operation of the roof lowering/raising program?. Is that not the case? So this would be the next "experiment" ...... manually lower the rear windows with the roof raised and and press the main roof-control switch to start the lowering sequence. Observe what then happens and be ready to hit the stop switch if there is any motor strain or conflict in the normal sequence of operations. Now have the roof in the lowered position, but with both the rear and main windows raised. Again, press the roof-control switch to initialise the roof-raising sequence. As before, observe what now happens and be ready to quickly halt the process if there are any perceived problems.
It would be so helpful if you are able to perform these tasks for myself ..... and I think that you should benefit yourself, too? It should be easier for you to do this, because you already have everything else in place. It would be just a matter of removing those cappings and adding the wires back into circuit?
This could prove to be the perfect modification, with both rear windows operating in unison and controlled by a single switch. The standard roof control would be retained, leading to safe and reliable operation. I hope that you are able to help, here .... Thanks!

David

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#17 Old 05-27-2018
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OK. I may get a chance to try that sometime this week however, what I am likely to encounter is exactly the same issue that a previous owner must have experienced before disconnecting the rear window motors by pulling out the connectors.

My front windows (still connected) retract into the doors normally during the opening sequence but "stay" down in the closing sequence. I need to use the manual front window switches to roll the windows up. No biggy.

This is possibly due to one or more of the microswitches failing to close entirely or some other error. Who knows?

I would bet money that the rear windows will behave the same way and retract but fail to raise without using the new switches just installed.

I will send you a message once I have tried it.
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#18 Old 05-27-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turdo2 View Post
I think I want to do this!... my rear windows are currently blowing the fuse every few times I operate the roof.

doesn't the roof pause unless it reads that the rear windows are all the way down??

I don't think so. I'm not aware of any sensors or microswitches in the rear quarter window wiring to communicate that sort of information to the MFC. As explained by others and from what I read the N10-3 controlled simply activates the up/down circuit for 3 seconds. If the window fails to move the roof continues to open or close normally until you release the button
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#19 Old 05-27-2018
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Originally Posted by SgtMyagi View Post
OK. I may get a chance to try that sometime this week however, what I am likely to encounter is exactly the same issue that a previous owner must have experienced before disconnecting the rear window motors by pulling out the connectors.


I will send you a message once I have tried it.
Yes, stupid of me! You installed the manual control of the rears for the obvious reason that you were experiencing problems with their operation during the roof sequences! So if you re-connect, as I have suggested, the problems will just re-appear again! It looks like the way to check-out my ideas is to simply do them myself! I've got nothing to lose .... I'll get stuck-in, soon. Oh, I looked for the box that you described at the start of your thread. This is the box that is accessed to cut the feed to the rear windows. Its location didn't seem to be very obvious to myself? I wonder if you could show a photo that makes it clearer? I recently installed liquid LPG injection equipment on my SLK. I had to find a permanent live and ignition live. I also found an easy route through the fire-wall. I've also exposed the rear windows' mechanism fully in the past, because the feed-wire on one of them had jumped a pulley. All the wiring was there to see. (they are very easy to get-at, too) So maybe those wires are best accessed there, too? Anyway, what I am saying is that this earlier work (LPG conversion) should make it easier to emulate your project? The moment that I AM able to fully control those rear windows will put a HUGE smile on my face!

David
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#20 Old 05-28-2018
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Originally Posted by DAJ 190 View Post
Yes, stupid of me! You installed the manual control of the rears for the obvious reason that you were experiencing problems with their operation during the roof sequences! So if you re-connect, as I have suggested, the problems will just re-appear again! It looks like the way to check-out my ideas is to simply do them myself! I've got nothing to lose .... I'll get stuck-in, soon. Oh, I looked for the box that you described at the start of your thread. This is the box that is accessed to cut the feed to the rear windows. Its location didn't seem to be very obvious to myself? I wonder if you could show a photo that makes it clearer? I recently installed liquid LPG injection equipment on my SLK. I had to find a permanent live and ignition live. I also found an easy route through the fire-wall. I've also exposed the rear windows' mechanism fully in the past, because the feed-wire on one of them had jumped a pulley. All the wiring was there to see. (they are very easy to get-at, too) So maybe those wires are best accessed there, too? Anyway, what I am saying is that this earlier work (LPG conversion) should make it easier to emulate your project? The moment that I AM able to fully control those rear windows will put a HUGE smile on my face!

David

Ok. Your arrangement might be a mirror image of mine if it is a right hand drive car but the N10-3 is inside the water resistant box (where the STAR data connector is located) The module for my car is the one closest to the battery. I will attach a photo for reference. In the photo, the N10-3 is directly below my finger (not where I'm pointing) and has a large grey wire connector toward the front. The window control wires are near the rear of the module and hidden beneath some heavier gauge wires but if you use a flashlight (torch ) you should be able to identify the colours very easily. and pull make enough slack to cut them.
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manual window operation, modifications, n10-3, quarter windows, rear window

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