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Created: 30 Apr 2008
Last Updated: 3 May 2009
Version 1.2 2nd May 2008
This short document describes the audio systems in the W211 E class and W219 CLS Class up until mid 2008 (i.e until the end of MY2008 production) for Europe, Middle-East, Africa. Asiapac. Australia & NZ vehicles. US/Canadian vehicles are subtly different, Japanese vehicles very different.
I yet to write up installation instructions for the upgrades mentioned below, so this is s document describing what can be done and not how to do it.
At a minumum there is the Audio Head unit (i.e the one with the buttons/display) and the Audio Gateway (AGW)
The AGW contains the amplifer, radio tuner(s), fibre optic controller, and diagnostic interface.
Some of the Head units have the AGW built into the same box, some have a seperate AGW located somewhere else in the vehicle.
Other Audio components found on the MOST bus include the Phone system, Voice Recognition, CD Changer and TV tuner.
Types of AGW:
If the car has a navigation system which is to have the TMC feature which redirects you around traffic congestion, the AGW needs to have 2 tuners, so that one can tune into the radio station transmitting TMC information. In the UK that is Classic FM
The AGW contains the amplifier, so there are different AGWs for cars with Harmon Kardon sounds system and those without.
On head units with AGW built in, the speaker wires for the car appear at the head unit, on cars with seperate AGW the speaker wires are routed to t he AGW in the boot (trunk), which is on the left hand side of the boot, tucked up between the inner and outer wings.
The dual tuner AGW has 2 aerial inputs, one is black and one is mustard colour - they are FAKRA type connectors. Some single tuner versions have a mustard blank instead of a connector, so be careful to find the right ones.
Here is a picture of a dual tuner, standard AGW.
Audio Systems found in the W211/W219 E/CLS.
Note that there are two different types of COMAND unit - one with Video input (for TV) and output (for rear screen), and one with no video inputs/outputs. Early models always had the Video sections, now by default cars do not have it unless you order TV or rear video screen.
iPod kits: The Mercedes iPod kit needs an Aux input on the head unit so it can deliver the sound - only the COMAND-APS head unit has this.
Note, if you are installing COMAND APS with Navigation processor, then you should consider installing the iPod kit at the same time, as it needs cable run from front to back of car as-well and its easy whilst the boot trim and head units are out.
If you are replacing a single tuner AGW with a dual tuner AGW you will need an antenna splitter cable - I have yet to find the part number for this.
Note: If you install a new head unit and it turns off a few seconds after displaying the Mercedes Star, it means that the unit needs it's fibre optic bus settings configured by the Mercedes dealer with Star Diagnosis workshop system.
After upgrading the head unit your CD changer, phone system and voice recognition (if you have those options) should continue to work fine, although it may be necessary to flash upgrade the phone system (or in worst case replace the phone controller) on very early cars.
You can purchase new dual tuner AGWs here.
Use my Ebay Search Tool to find parts on eBay - it searches in muliple languages and for common mispellings so is more likely to find what you want.
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