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Distronic retrofit DIY .. lot's of pics

 
Old 02-11-2013, 04:07 AM
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05 E55 AMG, E320 CDI, Turbo E46 M3,IS300 2JZGTE,VQ35 Turbo Maxima, Mercedes 300D
Distronic retrofit DIY .. lot's of pics

When I was first looking for my car, Distronic was a very difficult option to find. I got tired of waiting for one that had Distronic and Parktronic, so I decided to get my current car without .. couldn’t wait any more. I did not realize how expensive it was to retrofit these options. (Parktronic & Distronic), so I left it for a while.

This is my third retrofit, the others were Parktronic and folding mirrors. I love to tweak things on my car!

Thought I would do a little DIY for Distronic. Here’s the parts that you would need, if you were to buy everything new from Mercedes-Benz

Distronic sender: A2115402217 - $2100
Brackets : A2115401617 - $47
Installation wiring: A2115407833 - $81
Shifter cover: ?? $358
Distronic Grille: A2118800683 - $464
Distronic cover: A2118870111 - $264
Distronic switch: A2118201810 - $115

Total: $3429

My build ... I kept an eye on Ebay.de and Ebay.co.uk .. I finally got lucky!:

Ebay: Sensor + wiring + brackets + distronic switch (<$700)

Here is a picture of the sensor, mounting brackets and harness:


Here is the front bracket under the hood at the front .. I already removed the bolts (two on top and two down below), when I thought I might as well take pics. Also removed the center latch:



Bare bracket removed:


Brackets with inserts:


Sensor mounted:


I ran the harness along the front bumper and back through the driver’s side headlight. The harness has a ground wire that I connected to a ground behind the DS headlight then buried the cable in the harness running up to the Driver’s side front SAM. The SAM is in a black box under the hood next to the ECU (I forgot to take a picture of the engine bay)

The SAM is held in by 2 torx screws and a power cable at the back that needs to be disconnected. There is also a clip at the back that needs to be pushed to the side .. sorry no pics.

Below is the SAM pulled out, on the bottom edge of the SAM is a connector I12. My distronic harness was supposed to plug into it but it was already occupied .. strange ... so I just cut the wire and did a wire tap into the wire that was there. This is to supply power to the distronic module :



I then fed the green/green/blk CAN communication wire into a hole going down into the drivers side kick panel.

I forgot to take pics for this part .. getting impatient at this point … basically you need to pull out the speaker by the parking brake, pull the kick panel .. forgot to mention, put the driver’s seat all the way back!

Lift up the carpet on the drivers side footwell. Inside, you will see a plastic tunnel for wires and in the tunnel, you will see a bunch of green wiring. They plug into one location (a single block) with several vacant sockets. Plug the black connector from your harness to that block. I’ll try to take some pics some time, this part is difficult to picture.

That is basically the wiring done for the Distronic!

Now for the Distronic switch:

For the shifter panel, I wasn’t too keen on paying $356 for a new shifter cover. Plus I could not figure out which one was the right one. There are two different styles, square and round (EPC was very confusing on this one):

Most are this style with square bottom (up to mid 2005):


Mine is rounded:


Couldn’t identify precisely the right one from the EPC, but they were roughly $350 or so.

I looked on the back side and saw that it had the places for holding the distronic switch cast in there already:


So I decided to cut out the top side, this part was rather time consuming:



It didn’t look too good so I added some 3M CF Dinoc:


Now I just need to cover the rest of my dash .. this is extra incentive to!

I forgot to mention, the distronic switch has a little pigtail that plugs into the switch for the suspension and Parktronic on the underside.

After all that was done, I used my DAS to code the CGW.

I had changed my front end to E63 front end and bought an aftermarket grille that happened to be plastic. The distronic will not work through metal grille. I thought I would just try it out. Voila … worked like a charm .. don’t even need the plastic distronic cover!

I haven’t done much calibration with it and haven’t driven in heavy highway traffic yet, so we will see how it does. It’s kind of fun to use though with the trials I have done so far! ☺

Last edited by turbo97se; 12-15-2014 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:22 AM
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99 ML430, 01 CLK55, 07 R63, 15 E63 Wagon
Wow awesome! I love seeing Benzes with Distronic and I love OEM retrofits even more.

So was the coding difficult? I guess you have quite a bit of experience with these cars to know how to get the computers to talk to each other.

What's next, heated second row seats?


The biggest retrofits I've tackled are the ventilated front seats and second + third row shades. =]
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:16 AM
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I have problem with my distronic system, it doesn't detect the cars in front of me anymore and after driving it 5 - 15 minutes, it stops and gives message on the dashboard saying something like stopped working, refer to user manual, bla bla.

Anyone knows anything about issues with distronic and how to fix them?
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:43 AM
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07' SL65, 04' E55, 03' Evo8, 08' GSXR, DSM's...
Great job. I thought for sure it would be harder to retrofit that option.

Aaron
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:33 AM
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Ya ... I thought it would be harder too! It was actually easier than the Parktronic. Had to pull bumpers and left side trim apart (not doors) to do that one. Coding was harder for Parktronic too!

There are some adjustment settings in DAS that calibrate the sensor angle and steering(?) angle sensor .. can't remember off the top of my head.

For the person with distronic issues, you'll need to connect up the DAS. Then just try communicating with it and run quick test, then check fault codes, after that (with a passenger) watch actual values to see if there is a problem while the car is running and distronic active. There's not a lot that can go wrong with these, it's either the module or the wiring ... not much to it

Next up? Not sure ... probably Power Trunk closer. I know it's been done before and some people say it's more trouble than it's worth, but it's pretty cool.

I play with the DAS a little, not as much as some guys on the Forum, but know enough about it to get around. It's not intuitive that's for sure. If you get into CGW from the wrong route, you can't do adaptations which is kind of strange.
Wish I could do distronic plus ... but that one would be a lot more tear up I am sure. I'm happy enough with what I have now
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ahmad0658 View Post
I have problem with my distronic system, it doesn't detect the cars in front of me anymore and after driving it 5 - 15 minutes, it stops and gives message on the dashboard saying something like stopped working, refer to user manual, bla bla.

Anyone knows anything about issues with distronic and how to fix them?
Try driving it without the grill in place. The non distronic grill is probaly throwing it off. When I drove my s in the snow a error would come up when enough snow stuck to the grill.

Oops, I has you mixed up with the installer, but the same applies if you have a aftermarket grill or a damaged one

Btw awesome job tackling the install

Last edited by stockC43; 02-11-2013 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Oops
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:12 PM
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Is the power trunk hydraullic or electric? For some reason MB made it hydraullic on the R- seems to be a lot more complicated than it needs to be.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:19 PM
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Thank you Turbo97se and StockC43 for your ideas. I will do both and I will start with no grill idea, I liked it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:16 PM
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Great job on the retrofit, not too many people could pull this off. I have the right part # of the shifter wood console if you need, it's about $265 with 25% off retail. I bought one recently and it looks great, it's all wood btw, no more silver trim.

Last edited by mertd93; 02-11-2013 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:26 PM
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:28 PM
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Great job on the retrofit!

The plastic distronic cover is for also protecting the radar. It is worth it to have the plastic cover which only costs a few hundred to replace if it got damaged instead of having to replace the distronic sensor if something came through the vent and damaged the radar.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:44 AM
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Your wood looks darker than mine. I think it may be different. Where do you get 25% off? Please do share!

Also T-bone .. thanks .. you make a good point ... actually, I was already planning on getting the protective cover because I think the range may be reduced due to the grille. I have located one ... but I didn't think of debris coming through the grille.

I drove with it today ... fun to use but it brakes a little too late for my comfort.My foot needs to be ready over the brake Pedal in stop and go traffic. In heavy traffic that is still moving, it is nice though. If I knew distronic plus would work on our cars, I'd be up for the challenge, but with it being rather expensive, I don't want to chance it ...

Originally Posted by mertd93 View Post
Great job on the retrofit, not too many people could pull this off. I have the right part # of the shifter wood console if you need, it's about $265 with 25% off retail. I bought one recently and it looks great, it's all wood btw, no more silver trim.

Last edited by turbo97se; 02-12-2013 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:59 AM
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wow this is great!
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:42 PM
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Apologies for reopening a 6month old thread.

But its relevant to previous posts.

My SL needs a A2305400417 radar (I know various A230540xx17 will work too)

Question is I can get a A2215400417 much easier and half the cost second hand. It physically looks the same. Will it work??
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:47 PM
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Sign up to startekinfo (it's free), key in your VIN and look for the distronic part, you will see a list of interchangeable part numbers.
Originally Posted by m60kaf View Post
Apologies for reopening a 6month old thread.

But its relevant to previous posts.

My SL needs a A2305400417 radar (I know various A230540xx17 will work too)

Question is I can get a A2215400417 much easier and half the cost second hand. It physically looks the same. Will it work??
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:12 AM
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So if I have a whole parts car sitting here, and have STAR, I can plug and play the parktronic from one 06 to mine? Any experience with Keyless go?
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:30 AM
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Yes, it is possible to do ... wish I had a parts car too.

Parktonic requires removing bumpers, popping out the bumper trim and replacing with holes and dash top removal and running some wiring around and some coding needed with the DAS.

Keyless Go is quite a bit more work it appears, I don't have experience with it but would require antenna installs, handles (no big deal) and some modules. If I had a parts car, I'd probably give it a shot myself

Originally Posted by Sir-Boost-a-Lot View Post
So if I have a whole parts car sitting here, and have STAR, I can plug and play the parktronic from one 06 to mine? Any experience with Keyless go?
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:53 AM
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I applaud you Turbo97SE that is amazing undertaking..kudos!
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:19 PM
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I have the grille from my '06 with the shield, all with a fresh black paint job (never even installed) that I'll let go for a good price. I bought a new grille, got bumper repainted and had the paint shop spray this grille in case I ever wanted to go back to the OEM grille, then did the facelift.

Pics upon request.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:32 AM
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07' SL65, 04' E55, 03' Evo8, 08' GSXR, DSM's...
/\ How much for the grill?

That retrofit does not look as bad as i thought it would be. Great job and thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:36 AM
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Make me an offer I can't refuse.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:03 PM
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For reference, same retrofit on a german site:

http://translate.google.com/translat...ff%26qscrl%3D1
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:46 AM
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Guys can this de done in a C63 AMG 12/13. Most of the hardware is available, and the software is ready. Plus I found a compatible OEM radar for sale.
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:11 PM
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Okay I have to know. Did this upgrade give you bake assists as well?

Andy
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Old 11-25-2013, 12:29 PM
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What?

Originally Posted by N979Q View Post
Okay I have to know. Did this upgrade give you bake assists as well?

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