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  #1  
Old 08-09-2004, 10:13 PM
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Location: Monrovia, CA
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'86 300E - Radio/Center Console Question

I've been having an odd problem with my radio that finally culminated in it not working at all the other day. It started probably a year or more ago with the radio cutting out whenever I would open or close the ashtray. You could find almost the exact position while opening it that would turn the radio off. So I simply avoided ovening the ashtray when the radio was on. I pulled the screws and removed it once to see if there was anything obvious but there was nothing to be seen out of the ordinary. Then, while that problem was still happening, it would cut out when my passenger rested their leg against the plastic upright part of the console. It was again sensitive enough that you could apply just enough pressure with your fingertips in the right area to make it cut out. Relieve the pressure and it would come back on. This went on for awhile and then eventually both of those problems stopped on their own but then the radio no longer turned off when the ignition was turned off. I could, until the other day, turn the radio on at any time, whether or not the key was in the ignition switch. I figured I could live with that so no problem, right? Well, that lasted about 6 months and then the other day I parked the car at work, turned off the ignition, turned off the radio and went in to my job. When I came out the radio was simply dead. No amount of coaxing or sweet talking would get it to work. I pulled the horizontal wood center panel and the ashtray and checked for any abvious loose wires. Nothing. Next, I pulled the radio and checked the fuse on the back. Again, nothing. The next step seems to be to pull the entire plastic part of the center console off and check the wiring underneath. Is there a procedure on the Service CD for this, or can anyone give me a step-by-step if it's relatively simple? I'm guessing there's a loose or broken wire somewhere under the right side about where the passenger's knee would rest. Anyone have any other ideas?

Also, while it's out, does anyone know if there's an OE radio that I could drop in using the existing plugs that has a CD player? I'm hoping I might be able to pick up one that someone's replaced for a reasonable sum. Any idea what I should expect to spend?

Thanks for any help

Gary

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  #2  
Old 08-11-2004, 08:49 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Gary:

Becker Grand Prix?

Loose front faceplate, it snaps into place with a large vertical connector just to the right of the cassette slot. Make sure it's completely snapped down (audible shap as the connecter seats). When loose, the radio works without the key on.

If it's not a Becker or Alpine, it's aftermarket and you are on your own (but it's very likely a loose connector). If the wiring has been spliced, for sure it's aftermarket and you have a bad splice.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2004, 08:59 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
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On my '94 E320 W124 I just upgraded my factory stereo to an excellent genuine OE Mercedes Benz single disc CD player - I bought it brand new from Ray at Perfect Audio. It is called the Audio 10. The sound is simply incredible...it will blow you away trust me on that, it is made for Mercedes by Alpine under license.

I paid $400 for it and bought it off eBay. Ray does have hos own website and you can buy online there as well. I will look for the URL for you.

Installation took a few minutes and Ray supplies the keys to remove your old stereo and install the new one. You may need a harness adapter as your 300E is a little bit older.

I had to take my car to the Benz dealer the other day and the Manager, was blown away with the Stereo as he has never seen one like that in a W124 or any other Benz, as the Audio 10s were only available in Europe (Ray imports them and then has them re-callibrated for the U.S stations). It was pretty funny, he kept going on and on about it and where I got it, who installed it, how much did I pay for etc etc....I got a good chuckle!

I am not into the fancy LED, flip around and gymnastic abilities of the new disco ball looking stereos in my Benz so I opted for something classier with parallel sound abilities.

Hope that helps.
Yasin
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2004, 09:50 PM
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Location: Monrovia, CA
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psfred,

Yes, it's the original Becker GP, but the faceplate was on snug. I had to pull it off to remove the radio, and it was tight and sitting flush with the main case. The wiring that I can see all looks factory original, no splices or funny connectors, so I don't think that's the problem.

I'm going to try and pull the complete center console out this weekend to inspect the wiring more completely. Can anyone tell me the best way to go about this?

Also, what voltages should I be seeing at the connectors with the ignition switch on? There's one 4-pin connector with brown, black/yellow, purple and red/white wires and another 4-pin connector with only one wire that's brown/blue.


Thanks,

Gary
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2004, 09:59 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Cambridge MA
Posts: 63
hey slownrusty1, I can't find radio you reference

I'm about to replace the croaked Becker in my 89 300CE, appt tomorrow. I'm spooked about all the fancy LCD stuff on the new radios. Where can I find this $400 number you got? I googled for awhile and couldn't find the guy you bot from. Pls post link. Thanks
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2004, 12:25 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Gary:

I suspect the fader is shot or unplugged --this will disconnect the speakers and may do funny things to the head unit, too. Was the case on the TE when I removed the console.

You can check by removing the trim panel containing the fader and mirror switches -- pull up the carpet in the console (it just tucks under the edges) and remove the screw, them pull up the rear end of the wood trim. It will be very stiff (the two switches are attached to it) but will come up. It is hooked under the front edge. You may also need to pull the trim around the shift quadrant, but mine just pops up. Later models the trim here doesn't come off at all, be carefull.

check the condition of the fader and the contacts -- if the trim isn't seating all the way, contact will be intermittant and you will need to pry the swtich off the trim and install it, then put trim back on. I believe the trim warps a bit.

Otherwise, I suspect you have something making intermittant contact inside the head unit. Repair or replace at your discresion.

Removing the console is a big PITA.

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #7  
Old 08-14-2004, 02:20 PM
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I think you want to contact Ed Ebel(?) @ beckerusa He can set you up with a replacement/upgrade at a great price. I've seen a p/n qouted many times-maybe 4862? 4682?


Michael
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  #8  
Old 08-14-2004, 06:50 PM
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Location: Monrovia, CA
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samiam,

Are you sure about that email address? I checked www.beckerusa.com and they only deal with avionics. There is a http://www.beckerautosound.com/ that seems to be the NA distributor. Would this be where to contact him?

I checked the chassis and the radio is a model #754. I checked the voltages at the connectors and the only place I'm getting 12v is at the 4-wire connector on the red wire with a white stripe. This is with the ignition key on or off. Every other connection to the radio has 0v. I double checked the fuse on the back of the radio itself and it tests ok with an ohmeter. The radio fuse under the hood is also good. Does this more likely point to the radio or to the wiring as the culprit?

Gary
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  #9  
Old 08-14-2004, 09:53 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Hmm.

You do have the single brown with blue stripe wire connected? When I left that one off, the radio only worked partially, as you described (on and off without the key, etc). Upper driver's side next to a four wire connector if I remember correctly.

I do not have a wiring diagram handy, so can't help.

You could also have a loose wire at the ignition switch, the switches do actuall fail once in a while.

Main problem I had was a loose fader so that while the radio was actually on, no sound.

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #10  
Old 08-16-2004, 05:20 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Monrovia, CA
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Yes, the brn/blu wire is connected. Again, though, I'm only getting power to the red/wht wire. Is this correct? I'm trying to figure out whether the problem is with the radio or with the wiring. Anyone know if the red/wht wire is the only one that should show 12v?

Gary
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  #11  
Old 08-18-2004, 07:40 PM
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Location: Rio Rancho, NM. USA
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Gary....check in the DIY section of this forum. There is a very detailed article on W124 stereo removal.
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2004, 04:43 AM
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Thanks plink49, but I've already got the radio out. What I need to know is how to remove the entire center console so I can check the wiring and what the voltages should be on the various radio connector wires.

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