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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

Upgrade seat to active ventilated seat, how?

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Old 01-09-2011, 03:23 AM   #1
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Upgrade seat to active ventilated seat, how?

Hi there,

I am new to this forum. Recently I bought a second-hand E500 of 2004. I like it very much. However later I found the front seats have no ventilation function. Can I upgrade the front seats to be active ventilated seats? How much it will cost at MB dealer? Or can I do it DYI?

Thanks,

John
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:23 AM   #2
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Hi jkure,

welcome to the forum. Yes it is possible. It is expensive and most likely the dealership won't do this type of work. They are not in business to retrofit cars but rather to maintain it. Trust me even easy retrofits many don't know how to to it. DYI would be one option though.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:00 AM   #3
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I have ventilated seats in my 08 E550. Not worth a dime even during the hottest summer days in SoCal.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:29 AM   #4
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Disagree...love the ventilated nappa seats in our CDI. Most people expect the seats to blow cold air, but they just circulate air to keep your back dry.

Currently looking to retrofit heated/cooled seats from an Infiniti into my Dodge work truck. They'll make hot summers around the orchards much more tolerable.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:54 AM   #5
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I was one that thought the ventilated seats actually blew cold air. I had them on about 5 times without any noticable cooling effect. Then one day, I had a t-shirt on with a little perspiration down my back. The ventialted seats actually made my back feel like a cool breeze blew on it.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:31 PM   #6
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It's not just the cool air, but they also have the massaging feature. Must be a nice feeling when driving for several hours and your back doesn't hurt as much. And aren't they active leveling for curve driving?

Plus they look nicer with the multicontour color.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:43 PM   #7
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I think the ventilated seats has more to do with air circulation than air conditioning per se. I just used this feature in the middle of the winter two weeks ago when I was running a bite late on my way to a major event I had planned. I was running around so much to get stuff prepared that I was feeling really warm and was afraid of perspiration as I had a long 7 hour event ahead of me. The ventilated seats made the drive to the venue very comfortable. It is a great feature to have. I just wish it was more powerful so you can feel it more if you are wearing a suit/tux. I'd definitely look to have this in the next car I buy.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:45 PM   #8
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If someone could report how much the retrofit was when one of our retrofitter did it to their car, I think this would help a lot of us here to determine if we wanna go that route or not.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:48 PM   #9
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I have the active ventilated seats and the drive dynamic seats in addition. The ventilation is just that, it brings in air through two large vent holes in the back of the seat and personally I think they do the job. It's not like the product that Jaguar uses which is a circulated liquid that really does "cool". The drive dynamic seats are probably one of my favorite things as the side bolsters pump up during turns and high speed lane changes. The massage feature is just the lumbar bladder filling and unfilling with air to massage your lower back, but it does the job as well. Kind of feels like someone putting a fist in your back at times...
Good luck on the retrofit if you do it and enjoy.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:56 PM   #10
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Part Numbers would help a lot to begin with
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:28 PM   #11
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Suggest you consider locating a pair of seats from a salvage yard. Also, most have an interchange data base that will show compatibility. Check http://car-part.com/
Another area that you may want to research is the control system & wiring. If your vehicle isn't already wired for this option, it may not be feasable to attempt the swap.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsquad7 View Post
Suggest you consider locating a pair of seats from a salvage yard. Also, most have an interchange data base that will show compatibility. Check http://car-part.com/
Another area that you may want to research is the control system & wiring. If your vehicle isn't already wired for this option, it may not be feasable to attempt the swap.
Thanks for the info here. I know that with more labor involved you can get the drive dynamic active ventilated seats in our cars. Steve did it before. I don't mind putting more labor in to accomplish this. But the ones who know how to do it are silent and don't talk about it for whatever reason.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:04 PM   #13
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Nobody has info because I doubt there are very many people that have attempted it. I believe the member MBenzNL is an expert when it comes to retrofitting factory options to our cars.

FYI, I believe the only ventilated seats for our cars are also drive-dynamic, which is a FANTASTIC feature.

My guess it is will be completely cost prohibitive (several thousand $$$) unless you are able to find some used seats.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickygreen View Post
Nobody has info because I doubt there are very many people that have attempted it. I believe the member MBenzNL is an expert when it comes to retrofitting factory options to our cars.

FYI, I believe the only ventilated seats for our cars are also drive-dynamic, which is a FANTASTIC feature.

My guess it is will be completely cost prohibitive (several thousand $$$) unless you are able to find some used seats.
And i was talking about Steve (MBenzNL). I know he does a lot but unfort. he doesn't help people who wanna do it on their own. All retrofits to my car I did myself btw.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:27 PM   #15
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I have done multiple ventilated seat retrofits (in the 211 E-class, 209 CLK, 230 SL, 221 S-class and even(!) the 203 C-class (that was never available with ventilated seats from factory)

ventilated seats exist with and without the drive dynamic feature...the very first thing that one needs is a set of seats that have the ventilated feature as it is freaking expensive to order all parts separately from the dealership (complete foam and leather is different).

for those interested - I have a set of good & used ventilated seats in stock in:
- designo beige nappa leather (2 multicontour seats)
- anthracite napa leather (multicontiur driverside seat)
- regular anthracite leather (multicontour driverside seat)
- regular gray leather (2 multicontour seats and a reat seat for a station)
...all complete with FOLDING rear seats (that have perforated leather) and the regular anthracite leather set with optional heated rear seat...and all suitable for modelyears 2003 & 2004 (the 2005 and up seats are different and have a weight sensing system in the US)

greetingz,
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:55 PM   #16
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Steve, good to hear from you that you actually wrote in this thread.

We need to get in touch about those drive dynamic/ventilated seats!
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:12 PM   #17
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OMG, how exciting to see so many kind response and information! Salute!

While I was looking for a car, I tested Lexus E350 and was impressed by the ventilation function of the seats. I also tested a 2008 Benz E350 and noticed that the seats are also ventilated. However I ended up 2004 E500 from a private party. I didn't check very carefully for the ventilation function in the front seats. When I got it home, then I found that there is no such function on this car.

I will first look for a used one from salvage yard as Bobsquad7 suggested. Well, it sounds very difficult to DIY, I hope I could find a way to insert a small fan down the seat and blow the air through those tiny holes

Anyway I enjoy this car very much, and thanks again for warm concern and kind information!
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:31 PM   #18
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBenzNL View Post
I have done multiple ventilated seat retrofits (in the 211 E-class, 209 CLK, 230 SL, 221 S-class and even(!) the 203 C-class (that was never available with ventilated seats from factory)

ventilated seats exist with and without the drive dynamic feature...the very first thing that one needs is a set of seats that have the ventilated feature as it is freaking expensive to order all parts separately from the dealership (complete foam and leather is different).

for those interested - I have a set of good & used ventilated seats in stock in:
- designo beige nappa leather (2 multicontour seats)
- anthracite napa leather (multicontiur driverside seat)
- regular anthracite leather (multicontour driverside seat)
- regular gray leather (2 multicontour seats and a reat seat for a station)
...all complete with FOLDING rear seats (that have perforated leather) and the regular anthracite leather set with optional heated rear seat...and all suitable for modelyears 2003 & 2004 (the 2005 and up seats are different and have a weight sensing system in the US)

greetingz,
Hello I'm in the U.S (VA) & I'm interested in retrofitting dynamic front seats in my w211 350 wagon (facelift) nappa leather. Is this possible ??
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:36 PM   #19
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Long time ago since we talked about this. I'm retrofitting drive dynamic multicontour seats (massaging/heated/ventilated) in my E55 AMG and will then take the multicontour seats (heated only) from the AMG and put them in my E320.

Lots of work ahead. The drive dynamic seats are already here. Bought a bunch of extra parts and still plan for the second retrofit to make are I have everything I need.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:10 AM   #20
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Please take step by step pics (I know I the heat of the Install) that's easier said then done but try thanks!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackhack View Post
Long time ago since we talked about this. I'm retrofitting drive dynamic multicontour seats (massaging/heated/ventilated) in my E55 AMG and will then take the multicontour seats (heated only) from the AMG and put them in my E320.

Lots of work ahead. The drive dynamic seats are already here. Bought a bunch of extra parts and still plan for the second retrofit to make are I have everything I need.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:45 AM   #21
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+1 for detailed pics and installation steps
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:01 PM   #22
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I'm back with the retrofit. Only took months. I bought the seats in September of last year and since then tried to find out what else was needed. I didn't take any pictures because I had no time nor was it feasible.

My conversion was from multicontour seats with heating to drive dynamic seats with heating, ventilating, massage.

The seller of the seats didn't give me all of the plastic covers, wiring harnesses and other parts. Some of the covers broke when he completely disassembled the seats to ship them. All in all I spend about twice as much money in the end because of that. If you think these small plastic covers are cheap, you're wrong. Plus many colors are not available anymore. The seats are in anthrazit gray and some of the covers are in black now. Thanks.

I didn't like the fact that I got nice seats with slight wear in a pile of spare parts. It saved on shipping and I'm thankful but after all I spend more money (about the same as I paid the seller just for the seats and frames which he sold to me separately) in replacing parts that didn't come or were broken than I anticipated. And the few extra $$$ if he would have shipped them fully assembled would have saved time, money and frustration beyond you guy's dreams. That being said, I'm still missing a few parts because I simply cannot locate them in EPC. But that is more of a cosmetic issue right now.

Ok now we got that out of the way. The seats are in and working. It took about 8-10 hours total with some short breaks to remove the old seats, take the old wiring harnesses out, put the new ones in, swap about 15 pins on various wiring harnesses to match the new seat control module with the remaining and new wiring harnesses inside the car and putting everything back together. New pump with wiring harness needed and air reservoir as well as the swap of the upper control unit had to be installed. Everything has to be coded, normalized and the WSS has yet to be calibrated with a special tool. I might build it myself.

I had to buy a ****load of extra parts that I wasn't aware of when I started the whole retrofit project because I thought I have it all already since the car was equipped with multicontour seats. I was mistaken. And locating the right parts when you don't know all the details is hard, despite the fact that I work with WIS, EPC and other tools all the time to help others. Many things were very specific and others obvious in 20/20 hindsight.

This all being said, I'm ready to put the multicontour seats that I removed from the AMG in my E320 and replace the old MBtex artificial leather seats. I'm happy to do the retrofit in CA and surrounding if my help and expertise on that topic is needed. I know what to look for and what parts exactly are needed (though depending on the car). Of course it all depends on what car you have and what year because there lies the devil in the details. Many things were changed over the years. My car is an 2004 E55 and the seats came from a 2006 E55.
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