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Procedure for coding replacement instrument cluster?

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

Procedure for coding replacement instrument cluster?

 
Old 08-10-2018, 02:06 PM
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Procedure for coding replacement instrument cluster?

I have a 2011 W212 sedan that I am upgrading with a color virginized cluster and I also have Star C3, but can't find procedures for getting SCN data from the old cluster into the new one or if it is even necessary with a virginized cluster. I do not have a lot of experience with Star, but given a virginized replacement cluster, this should not be a difficult thing to do.

Is there a DIY guide on instrument swaps using Star on late models?
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:17 PM
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First have you confirmed that the new IC part number is compatible with the cars coding capability?----not based on your girlfriends advice!
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:20 PM
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Yes
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:25 PM
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Well then simply plug in run a quick test-------then go to IC adaptions(offline) and follow the screen instructions
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:48 PM
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This is vague. There is no instrument cluster programming procedure involving the old IC still in the car? Install new IC and just follow P-B-54.30/141 (which is SLK)? Or is there a completely different procedure for 212?

Last edited by Skeechan; 08-11-2018 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:13 PM
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I've been searching for a step by step also. I've a virginized cluster and MB STAR C4 ready to go.
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Skeechan View Post
I have a 2011 W212 sedan that I am upgrading with a color virginized cluster and I also have Star C3, but can't find procedures for getting SCN data from the old cluster into the new one or if it is even necessary with a virginized cluster. I do not have a lot of experience with Star, but given a virginized replacement cluster, this should not be a difficult thing to do.

Is there a DIY guide on instrument swaps using Star on late models?
Did you ever figure it out? I'm looking at doing that as well but couldn't find any helpful info anywhere. I guess these guys like to keep the non vague info to themselves, which kinda defeats the purpose of this forum.

Last edited by Oda112; 01-31-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:09 PM
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Chris at CKM hooked me up with remote programming using my Star C3 and teamviewer. Took just a few minutes, and the new IC added some features that were not in my black and white IC and since doing it back in August or early Sept, has been perfect, no problems at all. Between the new IC and the 10.25 screen (also picked up from CKM) it is like driving a totally different car.
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Skeechan View Post
Chris at CKM hooked me up with remote programming using my Star C3 and teamviewer. Took just a few minutes, and the new IC added some features that were not in my black and white IC and since doing it back in August or early Sept, has been perfect, no problems at all.
Lol, that's where I was looking too. The color clusters are around 350$ which isn't bad so I was thinking of grabbing one. I emailed his company and I'm currently waiting for a reply. What exactly did he do over team viewer?
Also, what new functions did you get?
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:21 PM
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I don't remember which functions exactly, nothing crazy, just small stuff like being able to disable the honk when locking and unlocking, ambient light control, things like that. As for what was done it teamviewer it was done too quickly for me to really follow, but it was basically copy out the old cluster, over-write my NON-virginized cluster. According to Chris, the cluster doesn't need to be virginized which is something contrary to everything I read but he did it no problem. When I ordered from Chris, I just asssumed it was virginized but he said nope, it is done remotely as part of the process of writing the data back. My replacement IC was obviously more than a few hundred mile cluster (which I understand is, there abouts, when the IC's cherry gets popped) but didn't verify what mileage it was before doing the swap. I just waited until swap time to actually plug it in for the first time.

If you have Star C3, it is just easier to do it remotely though someone who knows what they are doing like Chris+friends.

EDIT - also part of the process was temporarily pulling a fuse then plugging it back in after programming.

Last edited by Skeechan; 01-31-2019 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:41 PM
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That would be interesting to watch. I'm trying to learn how to do stuff like that too (coding, flashing, progressing and all the good stuff).
You connected to your car via your C3, with the old IC in, he copied the info, you unplugged the fuse, put the new IC in, put fuse back, copy the info into the new IC, would that accurately describe the chain of events? I'm guessing he didn't have to do any SCN coding or initialisations, correct? I was reading on mhh that copying info from the old IC required some sort of EEPROM reading capable adapter with it's respective software, I'm guessing again you didn't need that.
It's very difficult to find accurate, reliable tutorials on how to do things like this, most people I asked were only concerned about how much money they could make from telling me how they did it. They seem to believe I would somehow make a fortune by selling that knowledge. Their attitude is very frustrating and defeats the purpose of a forum. With minor exceptions, mhh is a shady marketplace rather than a true forum. There's folks like that here as well.
I usually share my knowledge, never for profit as I've been helped by others who have shared their findings too.
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:59 PM
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It was back in August so I don't remember at which point I pulled the fuse, if it was only for the write, if it was the read and write. I just remember doing it. There was no disassembly of the IC and doing an on chip read, burn, chip swap or anything like that.. Only plug in C3, read out the old IC, swap ICs, write to the new IC...and somewhere in there pulling the fuse. It literally took less than 10 minutes from start to finish, maybe 5 including the process of swapping. It took me longer to put all the tools away than the actual process of read-swap-write.

As for money for knowledge, they are running a business and knowledge is a product they sell to make a living, so I have no problem with someone keeping that valuable product to themselves. I am especially amazed when people get bent about Chris not wanting to run a free 24/7 technical support desk for all the buyers who do an end run and go direct to carlife or wherever, as if his time has no value.

If someone where to ask technical questions about the engineering of the products I make and sell, they too get nothing unless they are a customer. I am not going provide free engineering services just to have them take that knowledge to a manufacturer that is only capable of building to print. If they want consulting, they can pay me a consulting/engineering fee. I think the same of these guys running small businesses in the car arena.
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Skeechan View Post
It was back in August so I don't remember at which point I pulled the fuse, if it was only for the write, if it was the read and write. I just remember doing it. There was no disassembly of the IC and doing an on chip read, burn, chip swap or anything like that.. Only plug in C3, read out the old IC, swap ICs, write to the new IC...and somewhere in there pulling the fuse. It literally took less than 10 minutes from start to finish, maybe 5 including the process of swapping. It took me longer to put all the tools away than the actual process of read-swap-write.

As for money for knowledge, they are running a business and knowledge is a product they sell to make a living, so I have no problem with someone keeping that valuable product to themselves. I am especially amazed when people get bent about Chris not wanting to run a free 24/7 technical support desk for all the buyers who do an end run and go direct to carlife or wherever, as if his time has no value.

If someone where to ask technical questions about the engineering of the products I make and sell, they too get nothing unless they are a customer. I am not going provide free engineering services just to have them take that knowledge to a manufacturer that is only capable of building to print. If they want consulting, they can pay me a consulting/engineering fee. I think the same of these guys running small businesses in the car arena.
I agree with most of what you said, the only part where our opinions differ if the one regarding sharing knowledge. Most of these self proclaimed "self made" guys were at some point noobs, and learned most of their trade from others willing to teach them . I'm referring of course to forum members. Now, wouldn't you agree that you owe at least a few pro bono advice sessions to other participating forum members? What I'm seeing lately is people joining these forums, learning as much as they can but when it's time for them to give back they either ghost out or ask for money. That's selfish IMO.
I understand that if you have a business you can't go out selling all of your trade secrets which you have worked hard to create, but telling me how to properly set up my C3,4,5 and flash a few ECUs is not going to bankrupt you. There's always going to be hypocrites on these pages, they'd rather see someone brick their vehicle than helping out a bit. Those are the people whom I have a problem with.
The reason people ask questions here is because they don't want to get ripped off by the dealerships and probably can't afford some repairs. Coming to a community of enthusiasts and getting a similar treatment to what you'd get from the dealership is frustrating, especially considering that it was the community who gave them the knowledge, they weren't born with it.
I'm glad Kris is offering all the services he is and he has been a productive member of this forum. Even though he's gone full capitalist, his services are reasonably priced. Let's hope he doesn't turn too greedy in the future. Seems like all of them end up like that though.
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:28 AM
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IC model

Hi Skeechan,
I also have a 2011 E-350 4 matic and am interested in a colored cluster. What is the model (part #) of the IC you found and where did you find it ?
Thanks,
Tom
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Old 02-03-2019, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tomse350 View Post
Hi Skeechan,
I also have a 2011 E-350 4 matic and am interested in a colored cluster. What is the model (part #) of the IC you found and where did you find it ?
Thanks,
Tom
I have a color instrument cluster for sale. I sent you a private msg.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:58 PM
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Mine is a 2013 MY, and an IC from MY 14-15 would look nice, but then I'd lose the IC clock, unless I found a way to get that analog clock found on face lifts.

Last edited by Stuttgarten; 02-04-2019 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Skeechan View Post
I don't remember which functions exactly, nothing crazy, just small stuff like being able to disable the honk when locking and unlocking, ambient light control, things like that. As for what was done it teamviewer it was done too quickly for me to really follow, but it was basically copy out the old cluster, over-write my NON-virginized cluster. According to Chris, the cluster doesn't need to be virginized which is something contrary to everything I read but he did it no problem. When I ordered from Chris, I just asssumed it was virginized but he said nope, it is done remotely as part of the process of writing the data back. My replacement IC was obviously more than a few hundred mile cluster (which I understand is, there abouts, when the IC's cherry gets popped) but didn't verify what mileage it was before doing the swap. I just waited until swap time to actually plug it in for the first time.

If you have Star C3, it is just easier to do it remotely though someone who knows what they are doing like Chris+friends.

EDIT - also part of the process was temporarily pulling a fuse then plugging it back in after programming.
Wow! I bought my cluster from Chris back in 2017. Maybe things have changed since then but I definitely paid him to virginize the cluster and waited an extra week or two for the service. Website still shows virginize option for $130. Still need to have the mileage corrected but my STAR C4 is acting up.

Which cluster did get? Any pics?

I prefered one like this grey...with gear indicator at bottom / full color.




But looked like this (tan) when I installed it...



Have no idea why the display is a different color. Maybe something to do with my Comand being old or a setting or even the year it was made. Shows KM/H and celsius too. Hopefully coding can fix it...if I can get this damn C4 working. Chris put me in contact with one of his associates for the coding via Skype. He didn't mention he could do it himself. Like I said it was a while ago so perhaps things have changed since then.

Last edited by retna7; 03-14-2019 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:15 PM
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Mine is also tan, like every 2012 cluster I guess, like your bottom picture, matching my NTG4 comand screen. 2013 + NTG 4.5 I think is when they switched to silver graphics. My coding was done by one of Chris' associates using my laptop, my ebay C3 clone and teamviewer. After copying in the old cluster data everything is correct, imperial measurements, correct mileage, installed car options, ability to change ambient lighting levels, etc, so it all appears to be OEM. Chris paid the coding guy directly a $100 or something. A $30 "finders" fee for the coder was more than a good deal as everything I had read said that programming a non-virgin cluster was not possible without logic board work and everything done through Chris meant great support from start to finish.


Before

After

Took longer to untangle the extension cord and find my 100' LAN cable (since WiFi wasn't reliable outside)

Programmed using a clone C3 and Dell D630 (eBay stuff) + Teamviewer remote desktop. 10.25" V2 Android screen has silver style wallpaper though. Need to hunt down some wallpaper that is tan to match the NTG4 color scheme. Interior by eBay, eBay wood+leather steering wheel, eBay silver plastic spoke trim pieces (my aluminum ones peeled up), eBay lighted/animated door sills to go along with the eBay grill, eBay CLS style wheels, eBay trunk and rear glass spoilers...

Last edited by Skeechan; 03-14-2019 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:38 AM
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Thanks for the info Skeechan! Car looks awesome!!! Very nice mods!

I was interesting in the 10.25 inch screen but looking at the thread and seeing all the bugs gives me anxiety.

You're right about Chris too. He gets a lot of heat from some folks but I've never had an issue with him.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:57 AM
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Yeah, my 10.25" is the V2 model and there are definitely quirks and few bugs. There is so much potential, but execution kind of sucks.

Most of the quirks are simply problems with Android sucking big-time when it comes to scaling elements for detected resolutions. 90% of my app problems are from the Android OS and platform app devs not being very good (they are lazy) and scaling elements based on screen width rather than also considering vertical resolution.

Unlike the Android OS' GUI, Carplay renders perfectly on it, wide aspect and all, BUT the 2 most recent updates broke my carplay multi-tasking so now I get stuttering audio if I want to do something like run Waze and Apple Music at the same time. I would try another brand of USB carplay/AA adapter but throwing $60 at it is no guarantee it would suddenly work.

Android Auto on the display suffers from the same problems of rendering as the rest of the OS does. AA looks HORRIBLE with misshapen and way oversize buttons and other elements.

The Carlife-Mall screen's native apps are "okay" and have added features like FLAC support, album artwork etc., and you can tether to your phone's hotspot for streaming and live traffic, but play store apps, while they run, don't render well in the ultra-wide 1280x480 aspect (nothing fits on screen and you end up with oversize buttons/menus). SiriuxXM doesn't look right and Apple Music doesn't render well with all of the elements being rendered off screen (nothing "fits the window). Waze works but is cluttered with oversize buttons and overlays that cover up way too much of the map. VLC works but HW acceleration support sucks and no de-interlacing support, split screen (which would fix the aspect problem by splitting the screen into two 640x480 side-by-side windows is really 1/2-assed "experimental" with poor app support...stuff like that. This is worked around with Carplay, eg Waze in Carplay looks perfect, Apple Music and Sirius render perfectly...but the multitasking problems mean you have to pick 1 thing to run...very frustrating.

But even with all of these limitations, it is better than NTG4, but not nearly as awesome as it could be.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:41 PM
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You certainly know way more about this than I do.

I think the NTG4.5 is the only way to get the cluster color to change to blue and function properly but that's a lot of effort and $ from what I understand and not sure if I'd need a new cluster to match the 4.5.

This link shows someone who did it and the cluster remained tan: http://www.sgmerc.com/topic/8593-ret...facelift-w204/

Then there's this video were ellebest installed the AMG cluster in a 2011 and its blue:

Confusing.

Anyway,

I have to admit, that 10.25 screen looks awesome in your car.

Would you do it again, all things considered?

All things considered would you buy again?
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:04 AM
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I would do a screen, not sure if it would be the 10.25" model as android apps simply don't like that aspect ratio. I think I would try and find a smaller alternative to improve Android app compatibility, maybe one that is about the same size as the old screen or at least that aspect ratio. Alternatively, I would try and hunt down a carplay add-on box that is compatible with NTG4 (as the only ones I have seen are for 4.5 and newer). Absent any of these alternatives, I would still do the 10.25 over sticking with NTG4.

Last edited by Skeechan; 03-16-2019 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:09 AM
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Guys, you can flash the 2013+ silver/black firmware onto the 2012 beige cluster. I have done that dozen of times. You will need C3/C4/C5 and Vediamo.
I have now moved to 3 pod facelift cluster on my 2012...

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Old 03-16-2019, 10:58 AM
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Then for the 2011 owners there is the issue of the cluster not matching NTG4, unless the COMAND color scheme can be changed as well.
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by zeemob View Post
Guys, you can flash the 2013+ silver/black firmware onto the 2012 beige cluster. I have done that dozen of times. You will need C3/C4/C5 and Vediamo.
I have now moved to 3 pod facelift cluster on my 2012...

Outstanding!

As soon as my C4 is repaired can I contact you? Perhaps sometime this week?

I planned to add the 10.25 inch screen but like Skeechan mentioned I'd have to go up to a NTG 4.5 and add carplay for it to work well.

What COMAND version are you using? Looks like 4.5 but screen looks 5s1. Going to 5s1 COMAND is way too much of a drag (amps, camera, click wheel, wires, etc.) so IMO the 10.25 + 4.5 is a better option

Also - upgrades look super classy! I've always preferred the older body style and the newer interior. Best of both worlds IMO. You and Skeechan sure know your stuff!

Thanks for responding.
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