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Old 08-26-2003, 08:45 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dedham, MA
Posts: 58
what will it cost to replace factory system on 92 300E?

I would like a ballpark idea of what it will cost to replace the factory audio system on my 1992 300E. The tuner is unreliable and needs service. In addition, I just learned from Becker that they can no longer get parts for the Becker 10-CD changer, so its useful life is limited (though it works perfectly now). So rather than spend hundreds on repair of the tuner and risk obsolescence of all the units, I am thinking about ripping out the whole system and replacing it. This year 300E has the so-called two-part radio, with the tuner and amplifiers in the trunk. The head unit is thus not connected directly to the speakers, the speaker wires run to the trunk, and the fader is in the pre-amp circiuit, not the amp circuit. So it would be necessary to either run new speaker wires to all speakers from the new head unit, or to put a new amp in the trunk and probably new preamp wires from the new head unit to the trunk.
I am technically able to do this myself but have back and neck problems and cannot do the work from an orthopedic standpoint, so I have to pay someone else to do the install if I take this path. (It is tough to get old.)
If I were to do this, I think the first step would probably be to replace the head unit, tuner, and amps with a new head unit or head unit plus amps, and let the rest ride for now. Speakers could be replaced separately.
By the way, I enjoy good sound but am not a fanatic. I find the 300E original "high power" system adequate (although I thought the cheaper "extended bass" system in the 300D was better).
The question is, what would the labor cost? Obviously the cost of the hardware could range from $100 to a gazillion dollars. So what I am trying to decide is, what is the minimum I would have to spend, and how does that compare to the easy path of having Becker repair the current unit. (Complete Becker-rebuilt radio replacements are available for $595 plus a core charge, from places like Adsit.)
So, you folks that have installed replacements in your W124 sedans, what can you tell me about the costs?
Thanks for the inputs.
Dave B
1992 300E with ASR
35 years of Diesels until now!
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Old 08-26-2003, 10:03 PM
Posts: n/a
Hi David.

What I would do to start is(besides ripping old stuff out).
Start with the head unit and speaker replacement
and add a 5 channel amp and for example a basstube.
This set-up is not overpowering but the tube gives
the music just that little extra feel and fullness.

The new head units these days have higher output
than the older one used to have.(real not inflated)
Pioneer and sony generally are between 22w and 25w
RMS and sound very good with upgraded speakers.

If I read correctly in an other post,the front speakers
are components(midbass+tweeter) so this is what I
would buy and match them to the headunit.(same brand)

Usually installation is about $60/hr but you can most
likely do a deal by having them install the headunit,
front and rear speakers at the same time.(you'll get
a discount)( I would say $120-$150 for all)

And the amp install would be about $60.
The tube $30.
These prices are estimates and could be less or more.
(+ or - $5-$10)

Hope this helps.

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Old 08-30-2003, 01:49 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dedham, MA
Posts: 58
Louis, thanks for the input.
Another change i did not think about before is that the antenna would have to be routed from the trunk (where it now terminates) to the new head unit, if I should go that way. Sounds like too much $$. I think I will stick with the original system for now.
Partly because, I found out from Becker that they charge only $175 for rebuilt radio on an exchange basis (both pieces, head unit and tuner). I had expected it to be a lot more.
Maybe once I have done that I will think about replacing the speakers, which are 11 years old.
1992 300E with ASR
35 years of Diesels until now!
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Old 08-30-2003, 11:50 PM
dakota's Avatar
Moof !
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Seattle WA USA
Posts: 469
David, as far as I know, Becker NA will replace your Becker 1432 components for $175 exchange with refurbished units, last I heard.

I've replaced my 1990 300E (that had a Becker 1480) with a complete Blaupunkdt system, and I'm kinda sorry I did.

The 1992 BE 1432 is far superior to the BE 1480, and I'm very happy with it in my 300CE.

I can't imagine you being able to spend anything less than $500-600 to replace the Becker and changer. YMMV.
1992 300CE Sportline Sophie
1990 300E Emma - in the family
1979 240D Josephine - sold, but not forgotten
2004 Pacifica AWD
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