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Android install in a W215

Discussion in 'Electrics, Vacuum, Ignition and ECU' started by Naraic, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    Your Mercedes:
    2005 CL500.
    When I got my car in May last year the audio was intermittent, meaning it worked when I paid for the car...then stopped on the drive home.

    Eventually, I determined that the BOSE amp was at fault. So, what to do? I could, I thought, get it repaired for about £200, or buy a replacement used unit on Ebay with possible issues...but I couldn't find one anyway.

    At the same time I started seeing threads about fitting Android units to these cars...which looked very very similar to OEM...which was a good thing in my book.

    So, having read some of these threads to get my head around what could be done and what I wanted to do, I decided to purchase a unit and install a 5 channel amp to feed the existing speakers and to give a better sound than the unit’s internal amp. Having made this decision it was also clear that I would be ditching the entire fiber optic system for a hard wired system. No after market FO amps are available.

    This is the unit I purchased along with the bypass cable (more later):

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Android-5...425221?hash=item236e2ef005:g:mUAAAOSw5cNYY1zg

    Removing the existing headunit.

    This is easy on the w220 because it comes out forward, but more involved on the W215. But, thankfully, there are several how to videos on U tube showing how to do it. Here’s one:



    There are only two connections at the rear of the unit, disconnect these and unscrew the unit from the rear. That’s it…you will not be using either of those connections in the new install, so tuck them out of the way.
    [​IMG]


    The wiring loom

    When you buy the unit you will also have the option of buying a by pass extension cable to bring power from the back of the car to the new unit and for connecting the speakers to the new unit. Since I was not using the FO set up I had to buy this. There is an option to buy a FO interface to allow use of the existing amp etc…but this would only allow use of two channels not five…and I’m not sure the cd changer would work.
    It is possible to run the door speakers (not the sub woofer or front dash speaker) from the internal amp of the new unit, in which case you can use the by pass cable to do this…but you will also need to run a couple of other cables:

    A) You will want to run a cable to the unit to for the radio antenna.
    B) You will also want a cable for the GPS antenna. One is provided with the new unit…but the one already in the car will be superior.
    C) You can also run a cable to the unit for the original microphone for the Blue tooth rather than rely on the one in the unit itself.
    I placed the head unit on the kitchen cable and attached all the cables to the unit and then laid them all out and wrapped them in loom tape to make it easier when running the loom from front to rear.
    If you are not going to install a separate amp that’s all you need to do…though an RCA for a reversing camera should also be included if you are going to install one.
    I installed a 5 channel amp so as well as all the above cables I also ran three pairs of RCA cables, 5 for the channels and one for the reversing camera.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Running the loom.

    I recommend removing the passenger seat…it is very heavy, but is only held in by 4 bolts. You will need to disconnect the electrics under the seat and the vacuum pipe. With this out of the way you will need to remove the rear seats also and the front carpet etc etc.
    As you can see there is a natural run for the new loom from the front to the back under the carpet…not along the side, there’s no room there. This sounds quite easy and straightforward…but you will get stuck taking out the rear seat back etc. If you are doing this just ask and I can give some pointers.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The amp install.

    You will appreciate how compact the BOSE amp is when it comes to after market amps. I had to attach mine to the back of the boot:

    I stripped out all the boot panels. This way I could attach the amp to the rear panel, using a sheet metal plate on the rear to provide stiffness. I also made up a small loom providing connection to the speaker terminals so that when I re-installed the rear panel I didn’t have to fiddle about leaning in the boot to make each connection. You will need to include a connection for the blue remote wire to turn the amp on. The RCAs were long enough that I didn’t make a separate connection for them preferring to just but a hole in the back panel to run the cables behind rather than in front for neat ness.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The battery being at the back makes the live connection very easy. Buy an amp connection kit and it will come with an inline fuse. Again, both the earth and the live were long enough that I could pass them through a hole in the panel and cut to fit later.

    I removed all the stuff in the back of the car...Bose amp, Audio gateway, cd changer and DVD drive for the sat nav.

    When you have everything connected, except the earth and power for the amp, you are ready to go. Now…disconnect the negative from the battery. Make your negative connection to the amp and then attach the live to the battery…only then attach the battery negative back on.

    When I did this I got no sound because I had spliced into one of the blue remote wires in the boot from one of the discarded pieces of the old kit…but it didn’t provide the full 13 or so volts so it didn’t turn the amp on. I had to then run a blue wire from the front to back to provide the required voltage. I attached this to the cigar lighter for a switched turn on. It then worked and all I had to do was adjust the amp to suit my taste.

    Conclusion

    It had been many years since I had ever done anything like this and it did take a couple of days to do…but well worth the effort. The best thing is to do your homework, look at videos, get it straight in your head what you are going to do…then go at it slowly and logically. I have since added a reversing camera and it is easily as good as any I have experienced ion other cars where it is oem.

    The unit also has two usb outputs for whatever. I don’t know if I will use them but I did run two cables to the cubby under the arm rest where the HFP BT device used to sit…just in case.

    I sold the full Comand system on Ebay and, except for the amp which Santa bought, I made a little on the whole install. I accept that I may have been lucky since there isn’t always someone out there with a W220 wanting to install the later gear.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W215 CL500 Garage Queen; W212 E220 AMG Night Edition; W211 E320 Avantgarde Estate Designo Edition
    Superb writeup there Ciaran! Now, how much would you charge to do mine? :D
     
  3. M80

    M80 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    Viano 3.0 ExLWB (09)
    It looks good,
    How are you finding IGO Primo, I'm assuming there, I'm just getting my head around mine and liking it more as I learn better how to use it.
     
  4. JBell

    JBell Senior Member

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    An impressive install Ciaran, the unit does look good in the dash
     
  5. OP
    Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    2005 CL500.
    The biggest cost would be the flight or ferry. :)
     
  6. OP
    Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    It seems to work well...but I don't go far and where I do go I know like the back of my hand.
     
  7. OP
    Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    On a 200 mile round trip today however the sound came and went at the end...I am blaming the amp. It was hot even though the music was only at back ground level. It may be that a Class D would be better because they run cool.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  8. John Laidlaw

    John Laidlaw Senior Member

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    Brilliant work Ciaran , youre absolutely right on the look, but with very up to date features....gotta feel pleased with yourself after that and rightly so...
     
  9. alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Excellent write up. Lots of work there for sure.

    What happens to the dashboard display?
     
  10. OP
    Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    It doesn't work.:(
     
  11. alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    No real loss, couldn't do much from it there anyway.
     
  12. OP
    Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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  13. Flyinspanner

    Flyinspanner Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    Hi Ciaran,
    Does the unit come with a complete replacement facia? If so, I assume you have to specify the wood colour required?

    My current drain may be the Comand not shutting down correctly, and so this update may well be a cheaper fix!

    What were the approx total installed costs - inc amps/harnesses/cameras/etc?

    Do you have DAB enabled, as I wondered what type of DAB aerial you used & positioning.
     
  14. OP
    Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    Flyinspanner likes this.
  15. Calgarycl55amg

    Calgarycl55amg New Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2003 CL 55 AMG 5.4L V8 kompressor
    Nice post Naraic


    I am in the process of installing an 9" Android unit in my 03 CL55 with the BOSE factory system. It is a Chinese Android system with a 4gb Octa Core processor. It comes with the harnesses for the w215 Mercedes CL, I also ordered the 6M long bypass cable, and the rear camera.

    I am hoping you can answer a few questions about the install. The pictures you posted are no longer available for viewing.

    1) how exactly did you wire the Chinese systems long antenna cable to the factory Mercedes antenna system. I am under the impression that it is a amplified antenna therefore it needs voltage somehow. How did you go about this? And how is the sound quality of the radio? Any special adapters required?

    Also, how did you use the factory GPS antennas with the Chinese head unit?

    2)I have connected all the harnesses but not started the speaker wiring yet. Right now I'm getting power to the unit without the use of the 6m cable, the steering wheel controls are working for volume up and down and phone icon button.

    The more I think about it I don't know why the 6M long bypass cable,is required. The other harness that is supplied with the unit already has the speaker out wires as well as pre out options for 4 speaker channels. I am thinking to just run the 8 speaker wires from the short harness supplied with the unit as well as most of the pre outs and video inputs.

    Was there any particular reason you used the 6m long cable to power up the Android head unit from the back of the car?

    3) I got a backup camera with the car, it is for an S class license plate light mounted mounted, it looks Factory and I think I might have to do some trimmings to get it to work with this CL. My question is does the can bus box that comes with the Android head unit recognize when the vehicle is in reverse and automatically switch to the camera or do you have to wire it to the reverse light or something?


    I would appreciate any help or guidance you could give me with the install of this Android head unit for my 03 cl55 w215.
     
  16. M80

    M80 Senior Member

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    I'm not sure I understand, is the head unit the one designed to fit your car?
    The recent units I've fitted will pick up power supply requirements via the quadlock connection. I have needed to pick up the aux 12V from the front 12V socket for earlier HU's though.

    The quadlock should provide output to the radio antenna amp when the radio app is selected.

    I dispensed with the chinese supplied GPS antenna by using one of these
    Fakra C Adapter Plug to SMA Male Antenna GPS Extension Cable Pigtail RG316 | eBay
    It does the same job though as there is no discenable difference in functionality. It is a little tidier cable wise.

    The can bus to the HU should also switch to reverse view automatically. On the Chinese style reverse cams the power for them can come from the HU or the reverse lights, installers choice. The cam connects via a phono plug. I'm not familiar with the Merc cams to know if or how different but would imagine it would plug via fakra. I would have been surprised if there was one available on a 2003 model, could this be an after market Chinese cam?

    Be wary of low quality electronic plug in gadgets that cause rf interference to the radio, USB chargers are a typical example.
     
    Calgarycl55amg and GLK like this.
  17. Calgarycl55amg

    Calgarycl55amg New Member

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    Yes the headunit is design for the w215 Mercedes CL. It fits into the bezel of my 03 CL.
     

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  18. Calgarycl55amg

    Calgarycl55amg New Member

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    In fourth picture, I'm trying to show wires that come out of the harness from the Chinese head unit, they say B1, B2 and B3.

    Only the B2 is connected, I could not find places to put the B1 and B3 small harness clips. Do you know what these are for?

    Also I am a little confused about the GPS and radio antenna still.

    The cable that you referenced in your last post shows one end being a coaxial cable and not sure what the other end is called but but none of the original command head units connections were coaxial cables. So where is this going to and from, to get GPS signal?

    For the radio antenna, are you saying that as long as I get the adapter for the original OEM antenna cable and plug it into my Chinese head unit that the radio should work and I would not need to run a power wire for the antenna amplifier in the car?

    The radio antenna that was supplied with the Chinese head unit plugs into the back with of the HU and the other end is the commom aftermarket head unit antenna plug-in, is there a place to plug this in or is this useless?


    Also, in one of the pictures I'm showing the 6 meter long cable that I ordered with the head unit, one end plugs into the head unit while the other end does not match up with the harness at the rear of the car. That is why I am thinking that the 6 meter long cable does not really need to be installed. You could just run RCA cables to the back and use a aftermarket amplifier to send Amplified power to the speakers.
     
  19. Calgarycl55amg

    Calgarycl55amg New Member

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    2003 CL 55 AMG 5.4L V8 kompressor
    Couple more pictures, first one showing the can bus box that came with android head unit. Second one is the antenna inputs for the new headunit.

    Thanks for the help
     

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  20. OP
    Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    I was well up on this when I did it this day last year...must be getting old because I forget some of the things I did.

    In my car all the connections for speakers, power, antennae are in the boot. I ran cables to the HU from the boot so I could use the existing radio and GPS antennae.

    I ran RCAs for the amp and camera and wired the speakers into the amp.

    It all just worked...
     

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