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M-Class (W164) 2006-2011: ML280CDI, ML320CDI, ML420CDI, ML350, ML500, ML550

Distronic retrofit

 
Old 11-19-2007, 04:14 PM
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2006 W164 ML350
Distronic retrofit

I know there have been some previous discussions on retrofitting Distronic to a W164. I am ready to do it, and thought it was about time we made a thread to make it easy for people to order the parts and show photos of the install.

If we can work together to get the exact parts list required, I will post the photos of each step of the install.

I have a MY2006 ML350, but the parts should be the same for all models right up to ML63.
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:25 PM
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Factory installed, Distronic is a $2200 option.

I'd expect dealer installation then to be $2000 for parts and $1000 for labor.

Both figures may be low.

It's always WAY more expensive to retrofit than to have the option factory installed when the vehicle is first built.

For example, a trailer hitch is a $510 option and the hitch itself (not including the wiring harness) is $1100 at the parts counter.

I suspect the Distronic installation is EXTREMELY complicated and doubt whether there are even WIS procedures for doing it. I certainly wouldn't attempt it without them, if they do exist.

You would be WAY better off trading for an ML that has it.

Last edited by lkchris; 11-20-2007 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 11-22-2007, 05:25 PM
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The *big* problem with the ML is wiring looms - i.e part number for just the distronic part.

On most of the other mercs, the individual body looms for each option are available, on the ML you can only order a whole new loom (with the exception of some looms that they've had to re-issue (such as Rear seat entertaiment), TV and phone looms).

Now, inside the trunk , on the right hand side, behind the panel, look below the fusebox, there is a pull up cover, and under that is the tag for the body loom, with a whole load of part numbers on it - these are the part numbers for the individual looms that are all wrapped together before install.

If everyone here collects their chassis number and a photo of the loom tag, then just maybee we can work out the part numbers for some of the looms that are used.

I've been looking for the rear seat heating loom, and the part number for the metal bracket for the base of the seat that is rivetted to the seat and holds the heating power connector.

Cheers
RIchard
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:57 PM
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It appears that on some early MBUSA ML500s the Distronic loom was factory installed. Maybe this can help in identifying the correct part number?

Date: October 26, 2007
Order No.: T-B-42.45/82
SUBJECT: Model 164.175, Up to VIN A038732
ESP Visit Workshop Displayed in Instrument Cluster
If you receive customer reports in the above model vehicles where the following situation occurs, this may be caused by the exposure of an unplugged connector for Distronic (located in the front end of the vehicle near the radiator). This may cause water to enter resulting in a short circuit between CAN high and CAN low. [continued.... ]
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:42 AM
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Wolfgang, you're a genius.

Just checked my 07 (RHD, EUro) ML500, and the distronic connector is there , with a cover on it.

The distronic is a single 'box' unit, i.e all electronics is in the radar horn, and it just plugs in via a canbus (the first distronics had seperate control unit on the ESP unit

So, it looks like a , (a) fix it in place & plug it in and put 7.5a fuse in location 117 in engine bay fuse box (b) get the FDOK data updated (dealer asks MB country hq to do) (c) SCN code the cluster and engine controller, and code the ESP if it needs. (needs genuine Star diagnosis machine) (d) change the grill to one with a distronic cover over the Star

The control unit is approx 1300 (retail, inc 17.5% tax) in UK though, (which is approx 1100 before tax, which is $2200. 10% discount is easy to come by, so the $2K guess is rather spot on - 3 rivet nuts are needed, and there is an alignment process.

Now i'm on the look out for a distronic unit from a new C/S/SL !!

Cheers

Richard
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Old 11-25-2007, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by hotml350 View Post
If we can work together to get the exact parts list required, I will post the photos of each step of the install.
Looks like

1x Distronic unit A204 540 00 17 -> A216 540 26 45 -> A216 540 27 45
(older -> newer part numbers)
3x Fixing rivet nuts N 913024 005101

Distronic radiator grill
Edition-10 A164 880 26 85
Shiny A164 880 12 85
Normal A164 880 11 85

BUT, it may be possible to just attach a new distronic cover to the existing grill as the star and this is sold as seperate parts.
Plate: A164 887 00 11 -> A164 888 02 11 -> A164 888 03 11 approx 75
Cover: A164 888 00 41 approx 15

Hope that helps someone.

If you post the photos, i'll write it up on mercupgrades.com (if I happen to find a sensible priced distronic unit before then, i'll write it up there for all to see) - including a good stab at the star coding sequences

R
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Old 11-26-2007, 12:27 AM
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I know we have expensive spare parts prices in Australia, but the dealer quoted me (at trade prices) 'over $6000' for the control unit, A216 540 27 45 and for the replacement star, A164 888 03 11 is $360

Looks like I will need to order from the USA.

I PM'd 'Sunman' a few weeks ago about buying the whole kit, but he didnt reply unfortunately

Can anyone confirm US dealer pricing on A216 540 27 45 which is the main (expensive) control unit.

Last edited by hotml350; 11-26-2007 at 12:43 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 11-26-2007, 02:43 PM
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$2200 US is mfg suggested retail price in USA.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:13 PM
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to my knowledge the distronic unit needs alignment, and there is one of these devices in australia. it fits in a standard sized briefcase.
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:57 AM
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here are the pics of the connector on my MY06 ML350

is this what everyone else has?
Attached Thumbnails Distronic retrofit-img_0030.jpg   Distronic retrofit-img_0033.jpg  

Last edited by hotml350; 11-27-2007 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:05 AM
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ML320 CDI Edition10
Hi everyone,
a year after since last post in this thread I am evaluating to retrofit distronic too on my my08 ML320cdi Edition 10, that has no options at all but those of basic euro Edition 10.
I've found no pre-fitted wire harness in front of radiator as other people found; worst of all I found nothing about wire harness for distronic on epc online too.
I attach a picture of the label found below the fuse box, in the trunk: this should list the wire harnesses present in my car.
Is there anybody out there - with Distronic onboard - that can post the same label picture ?
Maybe this permit to deduct distronic wire harness code...
Attached Thumbnails Distronic retrofit-dscf0045.jpg  
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:50 AM
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I think there are some things to discuss which are very important in this thread.

a) control stalk - you need a new stick on the steering column to manage the DTR

b) Version coding of the ESP / ME-UNIT / Cluster and Distronic sensor

c) Horns may need to moved and / or changed as some can destroy the sensor.

d) Alignment - once installed it needs to be aligned.

e) may need a fuse / relay or SAM (fuse box).

Otherwise, it would appear that it snaps together nicely. Those pre-wired USA cars are amazingly cool to retrofit. HOWEVER ... when someone says "should be" it usually ends in "why doesnt it work" ...... there are some real model year differences and only a brave person would assume these are all the same. They are not.

Where possible ... try to find a car with the option fitted to learn as much as possible.
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:17 AM
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retrofitting distronic into a ML/GL/R class is a "walk-in-the-park" compared to some of the other MB models and is something we have done many times already...the tough part - however - is versioncoding as mercedes benz does not allow their dealerships to add distronic to the datacard which makes getting the required codestrings difficult.

We do a lot of distronic retrofits for several mercedes dealerships (in germany, the netherlands and the US).

greetingz,
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:13 AM
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Hi! Was anybody able to source the wire harness for the distronic module?
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by flipflap View Post
Hi! Was anybody able to source the wire harness for the distronic module?

You can build it yourself . It's just four wires : can bus high , can bus low , power , ground .
You can find the connections in wis .
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:09 AM
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Help!

Originally Posted by Krammer2262000 View Post
You can build it yourself . It's just four wires : can bus high , can bus low , power , ground .
You can find the connections in wis .
2017 Mercedes 400. The Distronic plug was ripped off in a accident. I have the replacement plug the goes into the box upfront but have no idea where the 4 wire should be placed in the 8 pin plug. Can anyone take a photo of the plug to show the pattern?
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:24 AM
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You are on the wrong forum.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Maj. Dundee View Post
You are on the wrong forum.
Do you know which forum I need to post in?
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:24 PM
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Maj. Dundee View Post
X166 forum
Thank you!
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:34 PM
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To date since this old thread started: No postings whatsoever as to one successful retrofit. Why? Too expensive and complicated to do it yourself. Interesting to read though.
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