W211 2007 E320 CDI - Fitting Front Parking Sensors

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I have purchased a 'Meta - Front Park 4' front parking sensor kit which is cleverly mounted behind the number plate on the front bumper. The instructions are ok and I have fitted both front and rear sensors to others cars in the past. However, this kit is different in that it needs two connections to the car's electrics. One to the ignition circuit and one to the reversing circuit. Yes, I know its a front sensor but it is the reversing circuit that needs to be connected to.

In the past I have simply grafted a lead onto the cable coming out of one of the reversing lights at the back of the car. However, this is all mainly situated at the front of the car and I know what a devil of a job it is routing a cable from the front of the car to the back - especially as the reversing lights are in the tailgate (think about it). So, it occurs to me that the cable to the reversing lights might actually start in the vicinity of the gear shift. Before I start attacking the centre console to take a look does anyone know whether my theory is correct or better yet do they know of a location at the front of the car where I can tap into the a cable that is connected to the reversing lights.

Many thanks
 

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The reverse lamp switch is in the gear shift housing :D
 
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Television, you are a font of all knowledge. Thank you.
 
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This may seem a numpty question but when you say 'in the gear shift housing' is it accessible? I stupidly assumed it was one of the wires in the connector attached to the gear shift (under the trim panel and in front of the ashtray). However, having spent an hour or so messing about with a multimeter prodding the wires I drew a blank.

Could somebody describe exactly where I find the switch (reverse gear lamp) and how I get to it.

Thank you in anticipation.
 

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On this later car it is probably part of the control, the cable that goes to the reversing lamps must be there somewhere
 
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Ok, thank you. Another daft question: How do I remove the gear knob. Tried twisting and pulling but no go - is there a trick?
 

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Prise the gator up from the base and pull it up over the gear shift, there is a collet nut at the bottom, give this ½ a turn anti ccw and the knob pulls off, keep your head clear when pulling it off.

I will look on WIS and see if I can find the wire
 
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Hi Television

Did you have any joy in locating the wire/reverse light switch please?
 

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Malcolm is an absolute legend. If only there was an easy non invasive way to send you a bottle of wine / spirit.
 

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No I am not having much luck the switch is all part of the control unit in the selector box.

What are the first 6 vin number 211820 ????
 
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Yes I totally agree, Television you are a star. However, don't worry, there's now no need to check for the wiring/reverse light switch. I have come to the conclusion, having scoured t'internet and 'the Russian site' (which wasn't a great deal of help in this instance) that the only switch is located under the car on the actual gearbox. I took the view that a) it wasn't a good idea to start grafting wires together where they are exposed to the elements and b) actually getting beneath car wasn't something that I could or even want to do.

So, for any one fitting on of these 'Meta FrontPlate 4' kits, to an E Class (and probably any other Merc of this vintage) here's some advice:

The Meta kit is not only fired up by selecting reverse but it also has a manual 'on switch'. So, I connected up the positive (+) (red) wire from the kit's control box to the red (+) lead behind the cigarette lighter/power socket (in mine it is just a 12v socket) and connected negstive (-) (black) wire from the control box to the brown (earth) wire behind the cigarette lighter.

The result of all this is that whenever I need to make use of a parking sensor when forward parking I simply press the little switch and there they are. It stays live for 20 seconds. If you haven't finished parking by then, simply switch it on again.

The only alternative (IMHO) to hooking it up also to the reversing light circuit is to run a wire all the way from the control box to the rear light cluster in the tailgate (boot lid?) which is not a job that I fancied doing especially how to actually satisfactorily run the wire into the tailgate.

Anyway, the details of how I installed it are as follows:

1. Following the instruction that came with the kit - Remove the front number plate, drill a hole through the centre of the front number plate mounting and the bumper.

2. Poke a stiff piece of wire through the hole, into the polystyrene material behind the bumper, angling it upward so it comes through between the top of the bumper moulding and the steel cross piece (the real bumper). Keep working it using a screwdriver or similar to make a big enough 'tunnel to take the wire and connectors. Thread those through using a wire 'puller' or similar.

3. The cables than run from the connectors to the kit's control box need then to be run around the o/s edge of the engine bay and then through a large rubber 'grommet' that is found in the bulkhead, behind some rubber pipes. The grommet is the entry point for the car wiring loom into the cabin. I made a small slit in the grommet and fed the cables though and then sealed it again with silicon sealant. Tighten up the cables, having neatly threaded them around any wiring in the engine bay and so on, using small cable ties where necessary.

4. In the cabin, remove the passenger floor mat and pull back the carpet from the bulk head. You will find a metal footplate with a thick moulded polystyrene piece covering the footplate. It comes out easily by lifting it upwards and then away from its retaining brackets.

5. Undo the plastic nuts holding the footplate in and remove the footplate. This has space behind it where I have placed the kit's control box.

6. Remove the trim that runs under the glove box (remove the two screws under the front edge and pull it out).

7. Remove the gear change trim plate by pulling it up at the ashtray end and move it out of the way. I also removed the gear knob and lifted the whole thing off.

8. Take out the ashtray - It clips into place so just carefully prise it up from the bottom and lift it out.

9. Take a piece of stiff wire or similar 'puller' and slide it into the recess behind twhere the ashtray lives and fiddle it though so it comes out above the tunnel in the passenger footwell. Attach the red, black and grey cables from the kit's 'loom', together with the switch end of the switch cable to the end of the puller (in the footwell) and pull the lot through into the ashtray recess.

10. Graft the red wire onto the red wire at the back of the cigarette lighter/power socket and the black wire onto the brown. I soldered the joints and carefully wrapped them in electrical tape. (I also wrapped these wires around the wires leading to the cigarette light for neatness.) As for the grey wire (this is the one that should go to the reverse light circuit) I wrapped it into a coil and taped it up, placing it in the void under the ashtray (it's there if I ever find a way to hook it up!). Then pull back the ends of the wires (with the multi connector on the end) still in the footwell to take up any slack and re-fit the ashtray being careful to ensure the that the wire to the little switch passes through a small gap on the right hand side at the bottom of the ashtray.

11. Replace the gear change surround and gear knob. The little switch, which has an adhesive pad on the back, can then be stuck on the gear change surround on the right hand side at the front by the ashtray. An easy access point for when you want to use the switch.

12. The various cables can then be connected to the kit's control box, including the sounder speaker which I stuck on the plastic trim which is at the left hand side of the passenger footwell. I placed it out of the way in the top corner near to the top of the footplate.

13. Tidy up the cables using cable ties and place the whole lot and the control box behind the metal footplate which can then be re-fitted and and the nuts tightened. Replace the polystyrene peice, the carpet and the footmat.

14. Essentially, that's it although it would be sensible to test everything and set up the kit's 'system' before hiding the control box behind the footplate etc.

These kits do come with full instructions (that need to be read carefully) as to how to set up the kit's system, adjust the sounder volume and so on.

Good luck - the sensors work quite well. They're not Parktronic but they work and cost me about 50 squids from fleabay.
 

television

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That was clever and fooling it, well done :D
 


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