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Created: 30 Nov 1999

Last Updated: 29 Dec 2007

Retrofitting COMAND to Mercedes Benz Vehicles

 

 

 

24th October 2006 – Version 1.18

 

1.18 – Change © info, add CLK wiring info, fix link

1.17 – Correct/add to info for AUX input

1.16 – Add CL info, more Comand part nrs, SL programming note, buying info

1.15 – Add some pre’99 ML info

1.14 – Add detail of what dealer must do with Star Diagnosis system

1.13 – Some W210 E-Class notes. Another ML-GPS aerial picture. Some other minor tweaks.

1.12 – A long time since the last update – general additions, pictures, re-arranged to group vehicle specific information together, added some more COMAND part numbers.

1.11 – more C/CLK info, also more nav. Sensor angle info.

1.10 – add C/CLK parts information. CANbus doesn’t need shielded cable.

1.9 – fix part number for GPS aerial

1.8 – additional part numbers for COMAND and various extra information

1.7 – fix speed signal on C2 pin number

 

 

1) Introduction

 

This document describes how to retrofit COMAND to certain Mercedes Benz vehicles, and how to fit COMAND to non-Mercedes vehicles.

 

This document relates to the original COMAND system fitted up until around 2004/2005, where it was replaced by COMAND-APS. The original COMAND system has CDROM, the later system is DVD based. The newer system uses completely different technology to the older COMAND systems.

 

The document is somewhat lacking in pictures, because when I initially wrote this, I didn’t have a digital camera, and there weren’t many pictures of COMAND around.

 

This document applies to European and North American vehicles, and not to Japanese COMAND systems.

 

It is the summary of information that I know (from playing with COMAND systems for a while), and information gained from various discussion boards.

 

I don’t warrant that any of this is correct, and if you damage your car then that is your responsibility. If you have Teleaid/E-Call, be careful to check that all works once you have finished. Do this at your own risk. If you do connect things wrongly you could considerably (and expensively) damage your car. If you are in the US and want Teleaid to work, you must use US COMAND unit not a European one.

 

Retrofitting COMAND to Mercedes Benz vehicles (where COMAND was available but was not ordered from the factory) is not that difficult. It is made considerably easier if the aerial cabling for the GPS aerial is already present (which it is in the M class and for many US vehicles, although some extension cables or a splitter may be needed on some vehicles), or if you are willing to install a separate GPS aerial rather than the “factory fitted” version on the roof/front-window of the vehicle.

 

There are two types of COMAND, with 4 varieties of  one of those types.

 

COMAND 2.5 – the original COMAND unit with a cassette deck used in S and CL, it is 2.5 din units in size. This was installed until the end of MY2002

 

COMAND 2.0 – this unit takes 2.0 DIN units (i.e a double DIN slot) – there are 4 varieties of facia though, and different units have different processing power and features:-

Original:         Square facia as used in ML, original CLK and E classes)

203:                Curvey facia As used in the new CLK/C/G-Wagon

230:                As used in the SL – these have more detailed mapping functions

220:                16x9 Widescreen unit as used in MY2003 S/CL – this is sometimes known as COMAND MOPF.

 

A ML Class COMAND Unit (original COMAND 2.0)

 

 

A C Class COMAND Unit (203 version of COMAND 2.0)

 

 

An SL COMAND unit (230 version of COMAND 2.0)

 

 

 

A S/CL COMAND unit (220 version of COMAND 2.0)

 

 

 

This document really only deals with installing COMAND 2.0 units – i.e. those pictured above.

 


2) Purchasing a COMAND unit

 

The cheapest place to purchase a COMAND unit is from Ebay – there are some useful searches shown in my buying guide at http://www.mercupgrades.com/buyit.htm

 

You can obtain warrantied used units from: -

COMAND.co.uk www.comand.co.uk – speak to Mark

MBenzNL www.mbenznl.com       - speak to Steve or Wanda

Megacomm www.megacomm.de

Audiocomp www.audiocomp.info

 

If you have a relatively new car, you should buy the latest available unit for your model. Mercedes part numbers take the format: -

 

            A XXX YYY ZZ BB

 

The XXX is the vehicle model number that the part first appeared in. Here is a selection

 

203

Current C class

208

Old CLK

209

New CLK

210

Old E

211

New E

215

CL

220

S

230

New SL

463

G-Wagen

 

You should purchase the part starting with the correct code for your car otherwise the catch mechanism will be wrong, the gyroscope angle will be wrong, and at a minimum it won’t work until a MB dealer has re-coded it, and in fact it may not work. This is because different units expect the Speed, Reverse and Lighting signals to be wired either via the car’s CAN bus, or via discrete wiring, and cannot easily be changed.

 

Be ware that if you have one of the earliest CLK or E (ie model year 1999 and before) then you need to purchase the exact unit that would have been in the car, or a M class unit – consult your MB parts department for the part number. The older cars do not have CAN bus connected to the radio/command (and nor does the M class).

 

Also, if you are installing in a ML (or a car not designed for COMAND) you must by a ML unit – although some W208 CLK units can be made to function.

 

I believe that the new CLK/C/G-Wagen units may be interchangeable, but they will only fit in Mercedes Benz vehicles as they have non DIN shaped front panels. It may be that the speed signal is on the A connector on the G-Wagen unit, but they may be able to be coded to behave like a C/CLK unit. The SL unit is a different shape.

 


Here is an incomplete list of COMAND unit part numbers – note that this includes COMAND 2.5 systems for the S/CL (upto MY2002) which have very different wiring to that described in this document.

 

A more complete list of part numbers can be found on my website http://www.mercupgrades.com

 

Part Number

Model Year

US/Europe/Japan

Vehicle

A163 820 14 89

2001

Europe

ML

A163 820 36 89

2002-2004

Europe

ML

 

 

 

 

A203 820 91 89

From 05/00

Europe

C (new)

A203 820 96 89

From 03/01

Europe

C (new)

A203 827 36 42

Up to 9/2002

 

C (new)

A203 827 52 42

 

 

C (new)

A203 820 92 89

 

USA

C (new)

A203 827 31 42

 

USA

C (new)

A203 827 37 42

 

USA

C (new)

A203 827 53 42

 

USA

C (new)

A203 827 23 42

 

Japan

C (new), G-Wagen

A203 827 54 42

 

Japan

C (new), G-Wagen

 

 

 

 

A208 820 30 89

From 06/99

Europe

CLK (old)

A208 820 31 89

 

USA

CLK (old)

A208 820 37 89

From 12/99

Europe

CLK (old)

A208 820 38 89

MY2000

USA

CLK (old)

A208 820 34 89

From 06/00

Europe

CLK (old)

A208 820 35 89

MY2001

USA

CLK (old)

A208 820 40 89

From 07/00

Europe

CLK (old)

A208 820 44 89

From 08/01

Europe

CLK (old)

 

 

 

 

A210 820 48 89

From 06/99

Europe

E (old)

A210 820 51 89

From 06/00

Europe

E (old)

A210 820 54 89

From 07/00

Europe

E (old)

A210 820 56 89

From 08/01

Europe

E (old)

 

 

 

 

A220 820 03 89

From 08/98 to 06/99

Europe

CL/S

A220 820 04 89

To 06/99

USA

CL/S

A220 820 34 89

From 12/99

Europe

CL/S

A220 820 35 89

From 09/99 to 06/2000

USA

CL/S

A220 820 37 89

From 08/00

Europe

CL/S

A220 820 40 89

From 07/01

Europe

CL/S

A220 820 41 89

From 07/01 to 09/01

USA

CL/S

A220 820 46 89

From 04/99

Europe

CL/S

A220 820 47 89

From 06/99 to 09/99

USA

CL/S

A220 820 48 89

From 06/00

Europe

CL/S

A220 820 49 89

06/00 to 06/01 MY2001

USA

CL/S

A220 820 58 89

16x9 Widescreen

MY2003 (Dvd?)

Europe

CL/S

A220 820 59 89

16x9 Widescreen

MY2003 (Dvd?)

USA

CL/S

A220 820 60 89

16x9 Widescreen

Japan

CL/S

A220 820 71 26

From 10/99

Europe

CL/S

A220 820 72 26

From 09/99

USA

CL/S

A220 827 04 42

MY2002

Europe

CL/S

A220 827 05 42

MY2002

USA

CL/S

A220 827 14 42

16x9 Widescreen NO NAVIGATION

MY2003

Europe

CL/S

 

 

 

 

A230 820 05 89

Up to 31/07/02 / Chassis F026959

Europe

SL

A230 820 06 89

Up to 29/10/03 / Chassis F069434

USA

SL

A230 820 25 89

From 31/07/02 ; Chasis F026960

Europe

SL

A230 820 28 89

From 31/10/2003 (MY2002)

USA

SL

A230 820 23 89

Up to 31/10/02

Japan

SL

A230 820 29 89

From 10/09/02

Japan

SL

 

 

 

 

A463 820 10 89

 

Europe

G-Wagen

A463 820 15 89

 

Europe

G-Wagen

A463 820 16 89

 

 

G-Wagen

A463 820 17 89

Upto 31/10/03

USA

G-Wagen

A463 820 18 89

From 31/10/03

USA

G-Wagen

 

 

If you use a European COMAND unit on a US vehicle then weatherband will not work and AM radio reception will be incomplete because Europe uses a different spacing between stations than USA. European COMAND units have a TV button. US units have a blank button instead. The latest US units can be made to work with TV, older ones can’t. Early COMAND 2.5 units do not support TV. US units do not support RDS text, European units do.

 

I suspect that having a US dealer install the latest US software on a European COMAND unit will make weatherband work again, but lose RDS text.

 

The COMAND unit has an inbuilt gyroscope, which must be aware of the angle that the unit is mounted in the dash. On the side of the unit is a special clip – different coloured clips are used for the different angles – if the wrong one is installed, navigation may not work well. These are the clips I am aware off: -

 

Car

Colour

Angle

E Class (W210)

Yellow

25 degrees

CLK Class (W208)

Green

20 degrees

SL Class (R230)

Brown

30 degrees

ML Class (W163)

Yellow

25 degrees

CL/S (W215/W220)

White

22.5 degress

 

 

These are some of the differences that occur between different versions of COMAND, although no one has a public list describing how each is different.

 

a)             Gyroscope angle (see above table)

b)             Software versions originally supplied

c)             Whether CANbus is used

d)             Which signals are on CANbus and which are discretely wired

e)             Mounting brackets (how it fits to the dash board)

f)               Whether they can support DX maps or not.

 

 

3) Normal Radio and COMAND Connectors

 

The standard Mercedes head-unit’s have various connectors: -

            A         Power connector

            B         Speaker connector

            C         Mercedes-benz special connector (CD power, CANbus etc)

            D2B    D2B fibre optic connector

            D         Antenna connector

            F          Diverse Antenna connection (on Audio-30 for instance)

 

COMAND has the following connectors: -

            A         Power connector

            B         Speaker connector

            D2B    D2B fibre optic connector

            D         Main Antenna connector

            F          Diverse Antenna connection (small coax connector)

            E         GPS antenna connector (square grey coax HRS connector)

            C1       Mercedes Benz 18-way high density connector (control signals)

            C2       Mercedes Benz 8-way high density connector (TV RGB, CD power)

 

Note, if you car has the Digital BOSE system, connector B will be empty as the amp connects to the head unit via the D2B fibre optic connection.

 

And, A and B connectors tend to be moulded together on the car’s wiring.

 

 

4) GPS Antenna connector types

 

There are various connector types used for the GPS/Phone antenna.

 

On the back of the COMAND unit is a HRS Connector which is grey in colour.

 

 

 

WICLIC connectors are sometimes used on the GPS antenna and often on phone antenna.

 

 

FAKRA connectors (which are different colours for different usage) are also used.   Blue is used for GPS, Purple for phone. and black for combined usage.

 

 

Mini-UHF connectors are used for the phone sometimes

 

 

 

See the vehicle specific sections below for more information on fitting a GPS aerial to your Mercedes.

 

If you do not have a Mercedes, then Mercedes sell a GPS antenna that can be stuck to the underside of the dashboard (looking up through the windscreen) and use an extension lead which converts it to a HRS connector. See the fitting instructions for the SL later in  this document.

 

I believe Clarion also sell an after market aerial with the HRS connector suitable for COMAND.

 

Be careful with vehicles with metalised tints on their windscreens, these will not pass GPS signals through them. I recommend using a roof mount antenna (or  the correct antenna for your vehicle if a factory fit navigation system was available for it).

 

 

5) Making up the wiring converter loom to connect COMAND.

 

As shown above, the radio connectors are different to those on COMAND in the vehicle.

 

Rather than modifying the car’s loom, it is better to make (or purchase and modify) a wiring loom converter harness.

 

Note that for some Mercedes vehicles (W203/W209/W164 (New C/ New CLK/ ML) there is an adapter loom available from Mercedes, or the original COMAND loom can be purchased cheaply. See the vehicle specific install section below.

 

It may be possible to purchase a pre-made converter loom from http://www.comand.co.uk , www.megacomm.de or www.audiocomp.info

 

Wiring converter.

 

You need to make a cable up that goes from the C connector on the vehicles wiring harness to the C1 and C2 connectors on COMAND.

 

I suggest that you start with the new C (203) / new CLK (209) loom (correct version for whether your car is left or right-hand-drive), and install that alongside the existing loom. The D2B wakeup (blue/black) interconnect will be in one of the wiring ducts by the front door sill (normally found by removing the door sill), and the CAN distributor in the same duct but in the foot-well. If you have a CD Changer in the trunk/boot, you will have some splicing to do as the CD power lead only reaches the glove-box. If not, put your CD changer in the glove-box.

 

Alternatively, purchase the ML adapter and add the wiring for the reversing signal and the speed signal to it, or purchase the C/CLK loom and obtain the C connector (Male) to plug into the existing C connector – note that the C connector (male) may be hard to obtain.

 

Buying the loom is a slightly more expensive way of doing this then purchasing the individual components and assembling it yourself, but the C connector (male) is often not available. If you start with the ML adapter, you will just need some pins, connector contacts and twisted pair cable.

 

These are the parts you need if you are not installing the C/CLK loom : -

 

Count

Part

Description

1

A016 545 36 26

C connector (male) (Hard to Obtain)

5

A018 545 19 28

Pins for above

1

A034 545 75 28

C1 connector block

1

A000 545 42 30

C2 Connector shell

1

A001 545 48 40

C2 connector block

7

A008 545 55 26

C1/C2 connector contacts

3

-

Assorted 30 cm sections of different colour cable

1

-

30cm Piece of one-pair twisted pair

 

You have to make the following connections :-

 

From

To

Colour

Note

Usage

C pin 1

C2 pin 9

Brown/Red

A

CANbus high

C pin 2

C2 pin 8

Brown

A

CANBus low

C pin 5

C1 pin 6

Red/Black

 

CD Changer +

C

pin 6

C1 pin 5

Brown

 

CD Changer -

C

pin 4

C2 pin 10

Blue/Black

 

D2B Wakeup

 

 

A = These two cables must be twisted pair (to prevent signal interference). If these are the wrong way round, all sort of electrical things may misbehave. It has been reported that some cars are wired the other way round, so it may be worth comparing the cable colours.

 

Note, the colours shown above are those found in the C (203) class. On CLK (208) (for instance) CANbus high is black/white and CANbus low is Black, sometimes CD+ is black.

 

You may also want to add the following wiring when making the loom. These are useful when using a COMAND system that was not the correct one for your vehicle or if making a loom to use in the ML

 

From

To

Colour

Note

Usage

 

C2 pin 15

 

 

Reversing Signal

 

C2 pin 6

 

 

Speed Signal

 

 

5.1) Diagnostic Connection

 

In order for the dealer to configure the COMAND system the head-unit must connect to diagnostic connector.

 

Older European vehicles (pre 2001/2002, except ML, A and new C class) have a large diagnostic connector under a circular cover in the left or right fusebox under the bonnet.

 

Newer cars have only a 16pin OBDII connector somewhere on the panel above the driver’s legs (beneath the steering wheel) – it has a cover on it, and is approximately 2 inches by one inch.

 

Note that there are some W210 (E) and W208 (CLK) cars that have both connectors. I

 

Nothing has to be done if you only have the OBDII connector as a cable is already connected between the COMAND and pin 12 or 13 of this connector, however with the older connector a connection must be made between pin 2 of the A connector at the COMAND unit and pin 34 of the diagnostic connector.

 

If your car had a standard radio, then the cable will already go from pin 2 of the A connector to pin 33 of the diagnostic connector – it is likely to be coloured grey. The diagnostic connector comes apart and the pin-insert can be easily moved from 33 to pin 34.  Be careful as some of the connections have power when the ignition is off.

 

If your car had the older APS system (with separate navigation unit), then you will have to run a new wire from pin 2 of the A connector to pin 34.

 

Part numbers are :-

            Diagnostic connector contact (for pin 34)                       A 003 545 48 26

            A/B/C connector (car side) contact                       A 011 545 80 26

 

5.2) Auxiliary Input

 

COMAND can have an Auxiliary audio input – this is normally found in the glovebox and can be used to connect a cassette/mp3/md player or other music source.

 

The input connections are on the C2 connector and are as follows: -

            Right Signal              4

            Right Ground                        5

            Left Signal                 13

            Left Ground               14

 

Shielded 3-core cable should be used with the shield connected to pin 14 of connector C2.

 

There is a loom available from Mercedes for this which has a 3.5mm jack for  the glovebox and a white connector that plugs into the COMAND wiring loom – this is part number

            A210 440 50 05

It has the 3.5mm jack socket at one end, and a white four pin connector at the other. You can either cut that connector off and connect it directly to the C2 connection to COMAND, or you can make a short loom between C2 and that using the male connector, which is part number: -

            A037 545 06 28

Pins for that are

            A035 545 73 28

 

If you started using the C/CLK loom, then you will not need the male connector as it is part of that loom already.

 

 

6) Vehicle Specific Notes

 

6.1) W163 ML

 

COMAND Mounting.

 

You should also install the rear support bracket for COMAND. It is part number

            A 163 546 16 43

 

GPS Aerial

 

On ML vehicles, a combined GPS and GSM antenna is fitted on the roof at the back of the vehicle. These have changed depending on the vehicle’s Model Year of construction. The model year can be found on a black sticker by one of the front door hinges. Look for the 3 digit code starting with 80X.  MY1998 is 808, MY1999 is 809, MY2000 is 800, MY2001 is 801, MY2002 is 802, MY2003 is 803 and mY2004 is 804.

 

GPS Aerial - MY2002 to MY2004

 

There are separate coax cables already installed from the aerial (Blue FAKRA) to the back of the head unit for GPS (wiclic), and from the aerial (Purple FAKRA) to under the right-hand seat (wiclic or Purple FAKRA), and from the under the seat to behind the COMAND unit (Mini-UHF or Purple FAKRA) for the phone on European models, and from the aerial  (Purple FAKRA) to directly behind the head unit on US models..

 

Some MY2003 vehicles seem to have an older connector in the hole in the roof, if you follow the cable, you will find the new type connector for the GSM antenna, and if you go to the left of the aerial, you will find the blue GPS FAKRA connector.

 

To installing the antenna: - Open the rear door, and pull off the top-centre trim panel, start at left side, and pull down gently to release the first clip and work along. You can then access where the underside of where the antenna fits to install it.

 

Part-Numbers

ML 2002-2004 Combined Antenna                     A163 820 15 75

 

There are apparently some MY2003 RHD ML’s that seem to have the correct connectors behind the dash and under the seat, but only the phone antenna seems to appear in the roof, connected to an older style aerial connection at the grommet in the middle of the roof. In fact, the blue GPS FAKRA is somewhere to the left of that, and if you follow the coax from the aerial connection, you will find the purple FAKRA connector for the phone aerial.

 

Here is a picture of the under-side of “above the head lining” beneath the grommet for the aerial. This one has the phone cable. You need to remove that connector, and follow the cable to identify the GSM connection. If you go to the left of the grommet you will find the blue FAKRA connector for  the GPS.

 

 

GPS Aerial - MY2001 and before

 

On older vehicles there is only one COAX lead from the antenna to the back of the head unit and a splitter/amplifier is needed at the head unit end. These come with 2 different types of connector depending on the model-year

 

This cable plugs into a GPS splitter/amplifier, and cables go from that to the COMAND and to the phone.

 

 

Splitter (FME connectors)              A163 820 12 89

Cable from FME splitter to GPS    A163 540 01 13

 

 

Picture of FAKRA  type splitter

 

 

 

Splitter (FAKRA connectors)                     A163 820 30 89

Cable from FAKRA splitter to GPS           A163 540 09 13

 

 

Aerial (GPS and Phone)                A163 820 06 75 or A163 820 18 75

                                                            (2nd part replaced 1st part at some point)

 

 

Wiring Loom.

 

Purchase the wiring adapter loom from Mercedes, it will save you lots of grief. The wiring loom connects the reverse signal, and the CD changer power to the COMAND unit.

 

MY2002 Adapter loom                               A163 540 78 10

MY2001                                                         A163 540 12 09

 

The MY2001 version is similar to the MY2002 part, but doesn’t have the GPS aerial converter lead (from WICLIC to HRS), as that is fed direct from the GPS amplifier/splitter.

 

Here is a picture of MY2002 wiring, into which the converter loom plugs.

 

 

From left to right, you have  the wiclic for the GSM aerial, the FM/Am aerial, the A/B connector, and the C connector.

 

The ML does not have an auxiliary input in the glove box, although it can be added, as described above.

 

Pre Year 2002 MLs.

 

Before MY2001, MLs did not necessarily have the speed signal on Pin 1 of the A connector, or the diagnostic connection on Pin 2 of the A connector, and do not have a C connector with the reverse signal

 

You should look at the A connector to determine what your vehicle has installed. I believe that MY98/99 have neither connections.

 

To install the diagnostic connection (so  that the COMAND can be coded using Star Diagnosis by the dealer) – you need to run a cable from pin 2 of the A connector to pin 12 of the diagnostic (OBDII) connector. The diagnostic connector is above the drivers feet, and is roughly 2 inches x 1 inch. You will need

            2          meters                        Green 0.5mm cable

            1          A012 545 39 26       Diagnostic connector contact

            1          A011 545 80 26       A/B/C connector contact

 

If you need to install a speed signal, then please see Wolfgang’s web page http://www.whnet.com/4x4/vss.html - that will provide speed signal for pin 1, and put the reverse signal on pin 3 – which you should disconnect and then rewire to the COMAND C2 connector pin 15. You may have to connect the speed signal to C2 pin 6 as-well as A pin 1.

 

Other Units

 

Some CLK units, after MY2001 software update has been done, can be coded to function like ML units, but the speed signal must be connected to the C2 connector as-well as Connector A Pin 1.

 

 

6.2) W208 CLK

 

COMAND Mounting

 

You should install the rear supporting bracket for COMAND. It is part number

 

RHD A 208 546 03 43

LHD A 208 546 04 43

 

You will have to carefully cut out the divider between the lower and upper DIN radio slots to allow the double-DIN size COMAND unit to fit.

 

GPS Aerial

 

The aerial is on the roof, at the rear. It is a combined GPS and GSM antenna sprayed to match the car. You should ask your MB dealer for the part number (and colour code) for your car.

 

The GPS aerial cable should run along the roof lining parallel to the rear windscreen on the right of the car. (The phone aerial runs along to the left of the car). It then runs down beside the windscreen, and along the panel to the right of the rear passenger and in the wiring duct below the right hand door sill, across the front of the right hand seat and up into the centre console, and then to the COMAND unit.

 

Note, that it may be easiest to run the cable above the foot-well and into the back of the COMAND, rather than across the front of the right hand seat – that saves some dismantling of the centre console.

 

If you do not mind about the installation not being identical to the factory fit, then use the C/CLK (W203/209) class or SL (R230) class GPS antenna and wiring loom to install the antenna somewhere under the dash board, looking up through the windscreen.

 

Wiring

 

You may need to add a discrete speed signal to connector C2 pin 6 – see the W210 E-Class instructions below

 

Other Units

 

Apparently the later 210 units will function in face-lifted CLKs (i.e. those with steering wheel controls.

 

 

6.3) W210 E-Class

 

COMAND Mounting

 

Part of the plastic dash (under the wood trim) needs to be replaced, its available for a few euros/pounds from MB dealers – there are pictures at www.megacomm.de explaining how to do this.

 

The plastic part is part number

                                                                                    A210 689 09 16

 

You will also need a replacement wood dash surround, as the hole for COMAND is larger than the hole for the normal radio. Your dealer should be able to work out which part this needs, as the dash has different cut-outs for different options, there are a lot of possible part number variations.

 

GPS Aerial

 

There is a combined GPS and GSM aerial on the roof of the vehicle sprayed to the car’s colour. Ask your MB dealer for the correct part for your vehicle.

 

You will then need an extension lead to take that down to the COMAND unit – I suspect the GPS aerial lead from the W203 C-Class will suffice. (see below).

 

If you do not mind about the installation not being identical to the factory fit, then use the C/CLK (W203/209) class or SL (R230) class GPS antenna and wiring loom to install the antenna somewhere under the dash board, looking up through the windscreen.

 

WIring

 

Some (older) E-Classes have a speed signal connected to Connector A pin 1, and some do not. Some COMAND units (such as A210 540 54 89 and A210 540 56 89) need the speed signal connected – i.e. they do not use CANbus  to get the speed signal.

 

You therefore will need to run the speed signal from Connector C2 pin 6 (and potentially Connector A pin 1) and connect it to the speed signal. On a RHD Model Year 2002 E-Class, I found this in the left hand wiring duct. The duct accessed by pulling the plastic sill cover up from the left hand front door, and lifting up the cover of the duct to expose the wiring looms. In there were 3 wires, located near the front of the door sill, with insulation on the end of them. These were Green, Green/White and Green/Black. Connect the Green/Black wire to the COMAND.

 

 

6.4) W203 C-Class and W209 CLK

 

COMAND mounting

 

You will need 4 screws to fasten the COMAND,

A001 984 64 29

 

There is some copies of MB service information on how to remove the centre section of the dash here

 

http://www.buellwinkle.com/Comand/COMAND install and removal WIS.pdf

 

GPS Aerial

 

The antenna is at the top of the rear windscreen. On US vehicles the aerial wiring is all in place and the connection for COMAND is already behind the radio (along with the diverse FM antenna for command (small coax connector).

 

The GPS aerial is stuck to the rear windscreen at the top in the middle.

 

The following parts are needed (note that the GPS aerial and aerial lead is probably in place on US vehicles): -

            GPS aerial                                                    A203 820 09 75

            GPS lead from aerial to front of car          A203 540 70 06

 

Wiring

 

The original wiring loom is available which includes the auxiliary audio input connector and wiring. It does not include the GPS cable or the reversing signal, so should not be used on the ML.

 

            New C/CLK Adapter loom RHD               A203 540 10 09 

            New C/CLK Adapter loom LHD                A203 540 09 09 

 

The new loom has the C1/C2 connectors for COMAND, the power connector for the CD player in the glovebox at one end, and connectors to plug in the Auxiliary audio input, the CAN bus distributor and the “D2B” wakeup distributor (which connects to the other components such as phone/bose-amp/voice-recognition).

 

I would remove the existing wiring loom for the “C” connector, and lay in the new harness at the same time, that way you can follow the wiring back to the CAN distributor and the D2B wakeup distributor, which I believe are in the sills.

 

The CAN wires are brown/brown-red and the D2B wires are black/blue. The AUX connector is white, and you will also need to purchase the small loom described in the “Auxiliary Input” section below.

 

 

6.5) R230 SL-Class

 

COMAND Mounting

 

You will need 4 screws to fasten the COMAND, A001 984 64 29

 

GPS Aerial

 

GPS Aerial, sticks to windscreen behind mirror, part

A230 820 08 75 or A001 920 76 75

 

You will also need the GPS antenna harness to connect the aerial down to the COMAND unit.

                                                            A230 540 38 07

 

Wiring

 

The adapter loom will function fine, but if, for some reason, you want to install the original wiring loom, it is

 

            COMAND (Europe)             A230 540 50 09  (From chassis F071048)

            COMAND                              A230 540 34 07 (Not Japan. MY2002)

            COMAND                              A230 540 44 06 (Not Japan, MY03/04)

 

Coding

 

The dealer should also code the System Diagnosis (or Central Gateway depending on model year) to tell it that it has COMAND (see section 7).

 

6.6) W220/C215  S/CL Classs

 

In MY2003 the widescreen version of COMAND 2.0 was supplied in S/CL class vehicles. This has the same wiring as the COMAND in other vehicles. Before this date, COMAND units were very different – they had integrated tape (cassette) player, and very different wiring – these units were known as COMAND 2.5 (as they were 2.5 din units high).

 

However, the standard fit system (in Europe) for MY2003 does not support navigation – its seem to have all the correct connectors, and parts inside, they just seem to have Navigation disabled, and it can not be turned on with Star Diagnosis. (In fact, Star Diagnosis warns that that version of COMAND does not have Navigation). I do not know if the vehicles actually had the GPS aerial installed.

 

As an option (527 in Europe, 530 in USA), a COMAND with Navigation was available

 

See the parts list at the top of this document and on http://www.mercupgrades.comfor the MY2003 COMAND units.

 

 

 

7) Dealer Programming

 

Once you’ve installed your COMAND, it should mainly work – however you really need the dealer to plug in their Star Diagnosis computer and perform various settings and configuration. They need to configure the D2B bus to tell COMAND what phones/CD/amplifier etc is connected. And if you have a phone etc, configure the phone settings as well. They should also check the COMAND is correctly coded for your vehicle type, steering and seats (leather/fabric), otherwise lighting may not work, and navigation may not work because COMAND may not know what speed you are going.

 

If you have a information display in the instrument cluster, the dealer should program the cluster to tell it that there is COMAND – then you will be able to view routing information in that display.

 

Later vehicles (such as the SL) may also need the “System Diagnosis” control unit and possibly the EIS to be told that the vehicle has navigation – although I am not sure what is necessary.

 

Don’t forget that on older cars you will have had to move the diagnostic connection in the diagnostic socket under the bonnet, or the Star diagnosis will not find the COMAND system.

 

Many Mercedes dealers are not used to detailed configuration of COMAND, here is what the dealer must do (this was done on a W208CLK)

            a) Start Star diagnosis, and select the correct vehicle

            b) In the Main Groups screen, select “Control Units”

c) In the Control Unit Groups screen, select “Information and Communication”

d) In the “Information and Communication” screen, select “D2B – COMAND or Audio”

e) In the “Cockpit management and data system” screen, first select “Retrofitting of D2B Components”

- run through that process and select YES when it asks whether to actually write the new configuration

            f) Return to the screen in (e), and select “Control Unit Adaptations”

            g) Select “Read coding and change if necessary”

            h) Select “configuration of components (not D2B)”

                        Enable the following: -

                                    Telephone with enlarged functionality

                                    TV Tuner

                                    Instrument cluster with automatically centering text ***

                                    Analog BOSE (IF YOU HAVE ANALOGUE BOSE only)

                                    SMS transmissions permitted

                        And save the changes to the COMAND system

                        (*** I think this is true for all models)

            i) Return to the (e) screen, and select Radio parameters

Set the “Tuner ident” to the correct country for you (Europe/Japan/North America/South America)

            k) Return to the (e) screen and select “Variant Coding”

set the Model/Series correctly, and the FADER ON if your vehicle has front and rear speakers (most vehicles except the SL).

l) Return to the menu in (c) above, and select “ICM – Instrument cluster”

m) Select “Control Unit adaptations”, then select “Variant Coding”, then select “Optional Equipment”

            n) Set “Navigation” to “PRESENT” and save the coding.

 

On each of the steps (e), (h) -> (k) and (n) Star Diagnosis will ask for the coding to be transferred to the vehicle, which should be done.

 

On the SL (R230) the System Diagnosis or Central Gateway should also be configured to tell it that COMAND has been fitted.

 

8) Installing COMAND in other vehicles, or I bought the wrong COMAND

 

In order to install the COMAND in other cars, you need to do the following: -

 

a)    Purchase a COMAND system that is “without CAN”, or one from a ML – I suggest one from an ML, as it tends to have the latest features.

b)    Use the wiring description above to supply power/wakeup to the MB fibre optic CD player if you have one.

c)    Ensure speed signal from car is connected to connector A pin 1 AND to pin 6 of the C2 connector.

d)    Connect reversing signal to connector C2 pin 15 if you can.

e)    Connect pin 2 from connector A to car’s OBDII diagnostic connector pin 13 – if you don’t have a diagnostic connector, make one up it will need + on pin 16, ground on pin 4 and COMAND on pin 13. Then the MB dealer will be able to configure the car if he tells COMAND that it’s in a ML (163) – good luck persuading the dealer to plug his Star Diagnosis system into a non-Mercedes vehicle.

 

If you already bought the COMAND and its not one without CAN or from a ML, but is from a CLK (i.e. part number starting with A208 540 xx xx), then if it has late enough software, it may be usable: -

1)    Have the dealer upgrade the software on the COMAND to MY01 software using their update disk.

2)    Have the dealer “code” the COMAND using Star Diagnosis to tell it that it is installed in a ML (W163) vehicle.

3)    Ensure speed signal is connected to both possible speed sensor connections as described above.

 

If you purchased an E class COMAND unit, you will need a CANbus adapter from www.megacomm.de or www.audiocomp.info - This has some connections for lights/speed-signal/ignition/reverse signal, and a CANbus output to connect to the CANbus input on COMAND – they come with the C2 connector to make life easy.

 

 

9) Further information

 

See my Comand FAQ at http://www.mercupgrades.com/comand/faq.html for answers to questions that I am regularly asked.

 

See http://www.mercupgrades.com for other Mercedes retrofits.

 

10) Help

 

Please take photos of what you are doing and note any errors in the above, or parts you used on different vehicles and send them to me, then I can update this document for all to use. I will try and answer questions sent to me by email (rpa@ibex.co.uk), but I may be slow.

 

 

© 2002-2006 Richard Almeida.  All rights reserved

Please do not include parts of this document in your own documents

Feel free to reference the document at my website http://www.mercupgrades.com

 

 


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