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W221 Harmon Kardon amp repair

Discussion in 'Electrics, Vacuum, Ignition and ECU' started by alexanderfoti, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Hi all

    Can any body recommend a repair place for the rear amp/module on my 221.

    Its giving classic symptoms of being rubbish.

    Intermittent audio and radio stations disappearing. Have heard bad things about BBA reman, so any suggestions?
     
  2. peterws1957

    peterws1957 Senior Member

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    Have you tried Command on line? Don't know if they still do it, but they used to offer an exchange service at a much more realistic price than MB. Seems to be very difficult to find anyone to repair these OEM amps. IIRC there are YouTube vids on repairs. If its an intermittent problem might be worth checking for damaged wiring or disturbed connections. Hope you get it sorted.
     
  3. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    I haven't tried them yet actually.

    It's definitely the amp. It's not sending anything down the most ring.

    I have taken it apart and cleaned the soot from the board where the fan is but it didn't make it any better.

    I can't see any damage on the board either.
     
  4. Submariner1

    Submariner1 Senior Member

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    Hi Alex
    I think this is the place Malcolm Television said to use
    CL 500 AMPLIFIER REPAIRER to 2010
    Softelectronics
    Usta Kolyo Fitcheto str 25a
    9000 Varna
    Bulgaria
    support@softelectronics.com

    http://www.softelectronic.com/item/Mercedes+W221+Amplifier+A2218701789+BE7021-49.html
    Other unitsthey mend as an example
    http://www.softelectronic.com/item/Mercedes+W221+Amplifier+A2218701789+BE7021-49.html

    Think it is £280 including carriage . Not cheap but ..... if it avoids a new one.

    I made a note as these amps are exceeedigly expensive crap , and seem to always break .

    Note I have not used them myself ... but their was a thread and his worked and was a fast turnaround think they have a reasonably priced courier set up.

    I think after 2010 something changed in the amps and they cant repair them.
    Hope they are good for you and please let us know how it went.
    Peter

    NB make sure its well insured ....
    and again note I have not used them.
    Perhaps you can use this search engine and find the thread ... a quick look but I couldn't find it ... sorry I am painting now.
    The thread is long and includes instructions how to find and remove the amp. ( you obviously dont need that stuff )
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
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  5. Submariner1

    Submariner1 Senior Member

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    I also had a note
    "
    Apparently
    These do repairs too, but there is no feed back as yet
    01634687222 ask for Walker.

    No idea if they are any good.

    AND I HAVE NOT SPOKEN TO THEM
     
  6. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Thanks. Will give them all a go!
     
  7. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    comandonline told me a week back they have never heard of one being repaired successfully, three on this forum this year have all had failed repairs and the Bulgarian lot only have very short guarantee....

    one bloke opened up his repaired unit and couldn't see anything any different.... comand also said its NOT only the HK one that fails.... mine just died and its the small std one. Opened up can't see anything wrong, looks like new.

    Diagnostics gives a clue MOST circuit break in module 2 or something.... which again is exactly what command said. Amp starts to go wrong and drops the MOST

    Which makes me think it might be a designed to give up load of components and or a reflow issue



    I've just swapped out for an A221 900 xxxx unit
     
  8. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Hmm interesting but does not hold out hope. A good second hand one would be better.

    I also took mine apart and found no major issues. Lots of soot on the board where the fan is, cleaned with contact cleaner, but no damage underneath.

    Odd thing on mine. If I drive the car every day, no problems at all.

    Leave the car 2-3 days, and it might play up, if it does, it comes back after 30 minutes or so of coming on and off.

    Leave the car a few weeks and it takes a few hours before it comes back.
     
  9. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    moisture ? my circuit board is mostly coated in some "waterproof" blue slime

    oh and the little one is "made in Japan" and contains the AM and FM tuners
     
  10. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Very possibly. I wonder if there are some damaged traces that react badly to lower input voltage.

    May try a generic circuit board repair place.
     
  11. Submariner1

    Submariner1 Senior Member

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    I thought that thread said the Bulgarians fixed it? no?
     
  12. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    I think the one I read where it went to Bulgaria recently died within 3 months

    One at BBA died within a few weeks, went back, came back, went wrong, BBA said sorry can't do any more here's your money back

    another older post talked about going back to Bulgaria .... no news, then a year later (recently) he posted he bought a new amp
     
  13. alex_78

    alex_78 Active Member

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    hi
    im "lucky" who was described above by Botus about BBA experience
    in my opinion if you like keep car just go for new one
    i bought one from merc with 2 years full warranty and so far (few months) is all good

    fixing is around £300 and nobody knows how long last
    second hand i seen for around £700 again no warranty nobody knows how long will be ok

    new is not cheap if i remember right is £1106 but 2 years warranty and in my case was plug and play so no coding required

    if you like car and plan to keep it i think is worth invest but is my opinion

    good luck
     
  14. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Many thanks. I am coming to the same conclusion. All the repair places give a lot of "get out" clauses and give very short warranties.

    Considering they charge so much money it makes no sense.

    I need a new TC and gearbox rebuild too so I have to decide. Box or music! Haha
     
  15. Botus

    Botus Senior Member

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    grit your teeth, wave hot air gun over the non plastic bits for 30 seconds.... let it cool off, spay liberally with ACF50, bung in a new fan

    and spend the money on the gearbox.

    Wayne gates has a nice Romanian cap working for him these days. He likes rebuilding the auto boxes. Most issues are a few O rings on the clutches that need swapping out. Pennies saved during manu for 12hours of fun a few years down the road, he was saying he thinks most of the TC issues stem from dirty transmission oil.
     
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  16. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Yes, Lorenzo, he is very good. That is who I would get to do it.

    Terry uses a reman TC place that are very good, but the 221 TC is specific to the v12's so would worry that the reman places dont put the right number of clutch plates etc, so would probably go MB for the TC.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  17. Submariner1

    Submariner1 Senior Member

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    Thanks, good to know but not what I wanted to hear.
    I thought Television sent one to Bulgari and it was fixed fine???
    But I cant seem to find the thread with this search system.

    For non technical folks like me, a repair plus labour that doesn't work is not really viable.
    Makes one think spending the extra £600 on a new one might be the only option if mine ever failed.

    One of my other hobbies is high end audio, what I cant understand is why cant these units be fixed?
    Most high end audio can be fixed, whats so special in the HK amps .... apart from being exhorbitantly over priced, pretty basic quality and totally unreliable?

    I wonder if the new Burmeister Amps are any better?
    Guess its too early to tell. MB are charging megga bucks for the upgrade system like > £5000
     
  18. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    In other news, its also causing a 1amp battery drain, which is unsurprising.

    Not possible upgrade to the burmeister amp. NTG 3 vs NTG 3.5
     
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  19. OP
    alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti Moderator

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    Current price of the amp is £1390 from MB fyi
     
  20. JBell

    JBell Senior Member

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    What can Grangemouth do it for??
     

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