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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Believe me - this took longer to take the pictures than it took to do the swap!

No need to dismember the car or take apart the dash. If all you want to do is swap the drinks holder for a tray module then this is what you do:

  • Unhook the drinks/tray unit from the car with a thin screwdriver
  • Unhook the tray/drinks unit from your donor unit with the same screwdriver
  • Swap them over, clip your tray/drinks unit into place and slide it home. Job done.
For bonus points you may want to swap the leather front over too - this is done by undoing two screws on the underneath of the two units and unclipping the front. Be wary tightening the screws - you are only screwing into plastic. Try to find the old threads before doing them up by turning the screws anti-clockwise until the screws click into place then tighten them gently.

Once more with a few pictures:
The sliding frame for both drinks and tray units slides along two runners helped by a spring. You can see the spring in the centre of the unit and the two runners.
pic 01 Donor Tray.jpg


The spring is attached to the tray frame underneath as shown by the screwdriver in this picture. You don't need to worry about this - this self disengages.
pic 02 Spring clip.jpg


One of the the two runners is shown here
pic 03 tray runners.jpg

You unclip the tray by sliding a thin screwdriver into a slot lining up with the runners and easing the housing up over the tray. Remember not too much pressure.
pic 04 unclip tray.jpg

Ease the tray out until is is separated from the frame
pic 05 separated.jpg

Now in the car you repeat the process - put the screwdriver into the slot, ease it upwards and gently pull the tray out of the slot. You'll need to ease both slots before the tray will move mind...
pic 06 unclip in car.jpg

Then align the replacement unit with the frame in the car, slide it in and ease the tray under the plastic frame to engage the runners. The spring clip will engage itself as the tray is pushed home.
pic 07 line up tray.jpg

pic 08 fitted tray.jpg


Job done - but for top marks you may want to swap the tray fascia front to keep the finish matching your dashboard. If so, take out the drinks unit from the car first. Then undo the two screws shown here underneath to remove the fascia and swap the between the car unit and the donor unit.
pic 10 facia screws.jpg

pic 09 remove front.jpg

As I said. It took longer to photograph and write this than it did to carry out the work.

Any questions?

 

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questions,..where do I get a donor unit?
When I wanted to swap my cupholder for a tray, some info I found indicated that most US vehicles were fitted with cupholders by default and most UK vehicles were fitted with trays by default. So, being in the US, I found a UK user who had a tray and wanted a cupholder, and we shipped our units to each other. Donor problem solved!

However, it turns out this creates another problem. It is difficult to see just by looking at these units in place, but I believe the fascia is not completely symmetric, that is, the left side is slightly different than the right. This is to accommodate the start of the curve in the dash going into the driver instrument panel...that side of the fascia is slightly more curved and elongated than the other. Because the driver side is the left side in the US and the right side in the UK, the UK fascia I received does not quite fit properly in my vehicle, and the left and right edges of it are not smoothly flush with the adjoining dash. Visually, it looks like if the fascia was the mirror image of what it is, it would fit perfectly...thus, my hypothesis about the US vs UK fascia differences. It does not create a mechanical problem; the tray functions fine. It's only an aesthetic issue (and fairly small at that).

The suggestion in the thread of removing the fascia before doing the swap would have completely eliminated this problem, as well as addressing issues like differing amounts of dash fade across the two vehicles (this did not turn out to be an issue for me). However, at the time I didn't know you could remove the fascia (oh why didn't I look??), and it didn't occur to my trading partner in the UK either.

It looks like a new replacement fascia part from some online MB dealers is less than $40, so if the part is still available (I don't know), I may buy a new one so that it will fit properly. The one I have is not a horrible fit, but I notice it.

cheers,
rich
 

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Super Moderator UK 2002 SLK320 Blue
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2,963 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
questions,..where do I get a donor unit?
My suggestion is to try a Breakers' Yard or a dismantler via eBay. I found one this morning. Prices can be a bit greedy but that's the way of the world it seems. Or you can post in the 'Wanted - SLK parts' forum

When I wanted to swap my cupholder for a tray, some info I found indicated that most US vehicles were fitted with cupholders by default and most UK vehicles were fitted with trays by default. So, being in the US, I found a UK user who had a tray and wanted a cupholder, and we shipped our units to each other. Donor problem solved!

However, it turns out this creates another problem. It is difficult to see just by looking at these units in place, but I believe the fascia is not completely symmetric, that is, the left side is slightly different than the right. This is to accommodate the start of the curve in the dash going into the driver instrument panel...that side of the fascia is slightly more curved and elongated than the other. Because the driver side is the left side in the US and the right side in the UK, the UK fascia I received does not quite fit properly in my vehicle, and the left and right edges of it are not smoothly flush with the adjoining dash. Visually, it looks like if the fascia was the mirror image of what it is, it would fit perfectly...thus, my hypothesis about the US vs UK fascia differences. It does not create a mechanical problem; the tray functions fine. It's only an aesthetic issue (and fairly small at that).
I'd not thought of that when I made the 'swap' statement - I was trying to maintain the colour of the dash and the fascia, but what you say makes very good sense for LHD and RHD tray swaps. Thanks.
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK32 AMG
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617 Posts
My suggestion is to try a Breakers' Yard or a dismantler via eBay. I found one this morning. Prices can be a bit greedy but that's the way of the world it seems. Or you can post in the 'Wanted - SLK parts' forum


I'd not thought of that when I made the 'swap' statement - I was trying to maintain the colour of the dash and the fascia, but what you say makes very good sense for LHD and RHD tray swaps. Thanks.
Thanks dude, however I have rethought it <strong> and </strong> I have decided not to worry, they hold the large McDonald milkshakes quite well..

I don't really drink that often when driving (any kind of beverages, I don't drink booze and drive ever....anymore) and usually they would be on the passengers seat/lap plus if I put another storage compartment in just another spot to leave clutter in the car!
 

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Hi

I'm a newbie and just got my first slk r170 2001 , occasionally my water light comes on , coolant level seems ok and fan appears to work ok , any more suggestions, is it common ?

Paul
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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96,648 Posts
Hi

I'm a newbie and just got my first slk r170 2001 , occasionally my water light comes on , coolant level seems ok and fan appears to work ok , any more suggestions, is it common ?

Paul
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