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Created: 10 Sep 2007

Last Updated: 29 Dec 2007

V1.0 14th September 2007
V1.1 15th September 2007 - small changes.
V1.2 17th September 2007 - more pictures

This document contain details of how to retrofit the CD changer in a new shape ML, GL or R class Mercedes Benz vehicle.

It should take about two hours, but the car will probably need coding by a Mercedes dealer with Star Diagnosis for the system to recognise the CD changer.

Please note I have a Left Hand Drive vehicle bracket, ML/GL button all screws, and fibre optic suitable if you have phone/sound-system or TV installed for sale as I ordered the wrong parts for RHD vehicle. Please use the Contact Us function if you wish to support this site and purchase it from me !

Tools needed.

  1. Torx TX20 driver
  2. Plastic Wedge
  3. Small flat screwdriver

Parts needed.

Amount Part Number Description and Notes
1 A211 870 53 90 CD changer. NB there are lots of older versions. It
may be cheaper to order this under its
'B6 xxx xxx' accessory part number.
Ask your MB dealer which is cheaper.
The original version did not support MP3 playback
 1 A251 680 03 31 (LHD)
A251 680 04 31 (RHD)
Drop down bracket for CD changer. Different for LHD
and RHD cars, mine also came with the
next 3 sets of items below (ie screws & cable holder)
 0/1 A163 542 54 50 Fibre optic cable holder (see note above)
 0/4 A000 997 81 32 Screws, CD changer to bracket (see note above)
 0/3 A211 984 04 29 Screws, bracket to dash board (see note above)
1 OR A164 680 00 77 (LHD)
A164 680 02 77 (RHD)
ML/ GL Release button (different for LHD and RHD)
1 A251 680 01 77 (LHD)
A251 680 02 77 (RHD)
R Class release button (different for LHD/RHD)
1 OR A251 820 35 04 (LHD)
A251 820 59 04 (RHD)
Fibre optic lead if you have Phone, Sound System,
TV or Sirius Satellite Radio in car
1 A251 820 33 04 Fibre optic lead if you don't have above stuff.
0/1 A251 687 00 76 R Class only - partition panel in glovebox


Parts Notes

Here is a eBay search tool that will find you a CD changer - please ensure you have selected your country (on the left) first.

Picture of cable holder, CD changer screws. CD bracket screws and release button (left hand drive cars).

W164 CD Changer screws



There are a number of steps, which are explained further below.

  1. Remove Glovebox
  2. Remove Audio Head Unit
  3. Remove Right hand side kick panel (certain cars only)
  4. Install release button in glovebox
  5. Install CD changer in bracket, and bracket in vehicle
  6. Install fibre optic wiring loom
  7. Reassemble
  8. Have dealer code vehicle

1) Remove Glovebox

To remove the glovebox on the ML, GL and R class vehicles, firstly remove the panel at the side of the dash to expose one of the screws - this is done by pulling it away from the dashboard. (Right Hand drive vehicle pictures)

ML Glovebox, left screw

Then remove the 3 screws from underneath the glovebox.

Lower screws for ML glovebox.

Then open the glovebox. If you have a AUX input in the glovebox, lever the front of it outward, with a screwdriver, it clips forward allowing the whole thing to go back through the hole it is located in.

Now remove the 3 screws from along the top of the glovebox. Note that one of the screws is like the screws from underneath, the other two are like  the side screw.

ML glovebox upper screws

Now pull the glovebox down from the top edge and slide out.

You will have to disconnect the power lead for the light, it just slides out, and make sure the AUX lead drops out properly rather than damaging the cable.

The picture of the removed glovebox below shows a car without a CD changer, otherwise the black plastic panel on the right of it will not be there.

Glovebox removed from ML and GL

2) Remove Audio Head Unit

This is a quick guide to removing & re-installing the COMAND or Audio head unit in the ML (new, W164) or GL. This is a very simple process !

Firstly remove the whole panel below COMAND with the aircon and other buttons - this is done by opening the ash-tray, and putting 2 fingers below the panel on each side, pushing upward to release the latches and pulling hard. Here is a picture showing where you are pulling once the ashtray is open.

ML centre dashboard picture

The picture below shows one of the latches that your fingers are pushing upwards - there is one at each side

ML lower control panel latch

You then see two silver bars below the audio head unit - remove the 2 TORX screws, silde them downward, and then you can remove the head unit. Here is a picture with the screws removed and the locking bars moved downward.

ML comand locking bar picture

Install is reverse of removal !


3) Remove kick panel

You ONLY need to remove the kick panel if your car has Phone, TV, Sound-System, or Satellite-Radio.

Pull up the door sill with 'Mercedes Benz' written on it.

ML door sill unclipped picture

Remove the 3 screws holding the panel above the right hand side footwell

Pull off the door rubber and unclip the clips holding the front edge of the kick panel in place with a small flat screwdriver, and pull out - theres a clip in the middle that unclips as you pull.

Picture showing how to release the clips holding kick panel

Here you will see the body fibre optic connector connecting the fibre optics from the systems mentioned above which are in the rear of the vehicle to the head unit and CD changer.

This picture of the body fibre connector is from a right hand drive, but its in exactly the same place on left hand drive vehicles (i.e. on right hand side of vehicle)

MOST body fibre connector in ML GL R class

4) Install glovebox parts

Remove the pop out cover for the CDC release button, and insert CDC release button and attach spring as shown in photo below.

Remove the plastic cover where the CDC will now drop through

Here is a picture of the button installed, note the spring position.

CD changer release button installed in glovebox

On the R class install the partition panel.

5) Install CD changer

Screw the CD changer into the bracket using the 4 screws. Remember that the bracket has grease on the springs and you don't want that all over the CD changer. Attach the plastic wiring harness holder to the CD changer and clip the optical fibre cable into it to hold it still.

The picture below shows this done on a left hand drive bracket.

ML / GL / R class CD changer in bracket

And here is a picture of the rear showing the cable clip installed and fibre loom connector attached to it.

CD changer cable holder on W164 ML GL R class

Now connect up the power loom which is taped to the loom near the side of the audio head unit, and the fibre optc loom (cable labelled CDC). You will have to remove the dust cover from the end of fibre optic loom before you can plug it into the CD changer fibre connector.

CD changer power connector taped to main loom

Now screw unit in place under dash - here is a photo showing where it goes.

 CD changer installed under dash board in ML


6) MOST fibre install

If you do not have any control units in the rear of the car then plug the other end of the CDC fibre optic into the outer fibre optic 'hole' in the head unit connector. (Dont forget to remove the little dustcaps from the plug first !)

Head unit connector with MOST fibre installed on W164 ML GL R

If you do have other units, there will be a 3rd connector on the fibre optic loom which needs to be routed through to the right hand kick panel and plug into the body fibre connector. Remove the existing plug, cover it with the dust-cover removed from the new fibre, and tape it and the new loom to other wiring looms so they do not rattle.

Replace the fibre in the head unit connector with the one from the new loom (marked HU), and again tape the old fibre safely away, covering the end to protect it with the 2 little caps removed from the new fibre cable's HU connector.

7) Re-assembly

Is the reverse of dismantly, Remember one of the top glovebox screws is same as the screws under the dash and not the other 2 top glovebox screws.

I removed the green clip that held the middle of the outside kick panel in place.

Don't forget to put the AUX input cable back in, and connect the glovebox light again.

8) Coding

The dealer needs to run through the 'Retrofit MOST components' procedure in the head unit using Star Diagnosis in order to code the COMAND system so it knows about the CD changer and does not log faults.

If you have phone, TV, Satellite Radio or sound system, it may work without coding - but you should have it coded at the next service.

If you did not have TV, Phone, Satellite Radio or sound system in your car, you may need to remind the dealer that they have to hand configure the components on the fibre optic ring setting page as AGW, CDC, COMAND - using the 'set actual values to current values' facility will not work as the fibre ring has been internally looped, so the unit can not see the new items on the ring. The head unit may also need to have it's fuse removed and re-inserted to accept that particular change.

Note also that the CDC menu will not appear on COMAND unless there is a CD in the changer, or it is loading/ejecting disks.

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