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Typically, we get a lot of japanese cars to work on, sprinkled with some euro flavor, but once in a while, we get a vehicle that we dont see too often which is really nice to break things up. When its an older generation merc, it tends to be a double edged sword, not the easiest of cars to work on but man those things are built well.

So we had a cool time working on this 2002 E320 sedan, a car that neither of us has touched before, and we discovered some cool things about it over the course of the install and i would say a pretty good platform for SQ overall.

lets get started:

Goals:

1. replace outdated oem headunit with new pioneer double din unit

2. achieve a nice level of SQ utilizing stock components

3. create a space saving install in the trunk that is fully hidden, overall just maintain the stock, classy look and feel of the car.

so lets get started.

the signal starts with a pioneer 8500 BHS double din dvd headunit, installed in the oem slot using our own custom fabricated brackets and trim ring:



I also installed a pioneer backup camera for him:



which is located here:



What i did was to remove the small trim piece below the tri star, and routed the wire through an oem hole with a grommet:



sealed the inside and then ziptied the cable every few inches to the factory loom all the way into the trunk. the reverse signal was tapped by soldering to the oem reverse lamp wire:







here is a shot of how we terminated the wires at the headunit that leads to the various modules and reverse cameras:



and here is the custom trim ring we came up with, textured to fill the gap around the unit:





with the system utilizing a mosconi DSP, all tuning can be done from the front seat via Bluetooth connected laptop:



The front stage consists of a pair of Illusion audio Carbon C6 components, the midbass installed was installed in the oem location and the lower part of the door was sound proofed, we didnt add anything to the top part as the airbag is up there and we did not want to cause any issues if it had to deploy. the outter door panel received focal blackhole tile to deal with resonance issues:





the oem speaker cup was a near perfect fit for the illusions, so we sound proofed it and used it to install the speaker:







the same treatment went onto the passenger side door:





I installed the tweeters into the oem "midrange" location on top of the dash, as i feel its a better place and with the location angled slightly backward, it wouldnt be so bad with reflections. i bent the supplied bridge mount to the correct angles:



and mounted them into the car:





to prevent the silver ring from peaking out through the dash grille, i secured a layer of black grille cloth to the underside of the opening:



next comes the pics of the wiring bundle as it traves from the front to the back of the car. out of habit with all german cars with batteries located in the back, i ran all the signal cable (speaker and rca) away from the side where the main oem power cable is run, so all that stuff went down the driver side, while the only thing that went down the passenger side was the remote turn on cable and stuff for the rear view camera.

all the cables were ziptied and eventually fitted inside the oem plastic conduit and out of sight, but here they are in the pics before the those conduits were closed:

























being that this is such a solid car and the gas tank is in between the trunk and interior, we removed the rear deck speakers to allow venting into the cabin. we also wanted to see about sound proofing the rear deck but as you can see, Merc did a fantastic job already, every inch of metal has been thickly padded with foam!



 

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Discussion Starter #2
moving onto the trunk. and i apologize ahead of time for the quality of pics. this car was about to be completed right around the time of our grand opening ceremony and i didnt get to take pictures during the afternoon when its the best lighting condition so i took these monday morning with the sun shining right into the garage...throwing a lot of shadows...but anyway...here it is.

this is the normal view, with a new fake floor laying exactly at the same height and shape as the old floor, wtih a cutout offset to the right:



pop off the grille and here is what you get. I thought about doing one of my normal flush mount fake floors but being that this is a pretty unique kinda of old school car, i decided to mix it up and go to a amp well/wiring through grommets look, one that i havent really dont in a few years.

So here it is with two mosconi ONE amps at the back and an audiomobile Elite 2210 10" sub at the front. becuase i wanted to provide cosmetic balance to the well, i made a rounded rectangular "floating" trim piece that the sub sits on that mimics the width of the amps.

a 240.2 sends 240 watts to each illusion audio midbass, while a 120.4 powers the tweeters with 120 watts each and the sub with 350 watts. this is configured to suit the customers listening taste of less bass, more front stage. :)







lets take a closer look at the well. its hard to see but the floor of the well is lined with alcantara, and all the wires pass through grommets:









for me, its a nice departure from the norm and i think suits the car pretty well.

lets get to the build pics of the trunk.

first, the entire well area was sound proofed wtih STP gold damper:



then i installed four 1/4" rivet nuts into the floor to anchor the foundation support platform, which was then bolted in place:





next supports were attached and also more rivetnuts were installed to secure board that will house the processor and power/ground distribution:







the power/ground distribution blocks were then wired up:



this is the .7 cubft enclosure for the sub:





the box was then secured in place, the processor wired up and installed, and all the smaller wires goes into a euro-style barrier strip:



this is the bottom of the amp well, before and after alcantara and grommets:





this is the sidewall of the well, before and after carpeting:





and this is the combined well, with the amps installed, wired up and all the wires lead out and secured to the well itself:











this is the sub trim piece before and after black vinyl:





here is the top floor trim piece, carpeted in black, and then dyed lighter to match closer to the oem color:





and finally, some shots of all the wiring under the floor, everything is ziptied and organized :)









so thats it...and how does it sound?

I have to say this is one of the nicer out of the box sounding cars utilizing oem locations i have heard in recent years. i think the slight reward tilt of the stock tweeter location does help a bit. the stage is nice and high but not too high. depth is good, center is not super focused but well placed, width is okay as well. tonally its very pleasant to listen to out of the box. and the sub continues to impress, even with a lil more than half of its recommended power and in a car this well sealed, it does a great job of providing bottom end reinforcement.

for a 11 year old car, this thing is remarkably devoid of rattles.

At the grand opening, a few people had the chance to listen to this car with a very basic tune on it and some of hte panels still not in place...and maybe they can chime in with their impressions sometime.

anyway, thats it for now, Laguna seca for ALMS tomorrow! woo hoo! ;)

Bing
 

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Excellence as always Bing...Well done!
 

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Amazing work as always! Have you had a chance to play around with the 2212 ported?
 

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My first audition of the Illusion Audio C6 and WOW :D... For a metal dome tweeter, these are not harsh at all and very warm sounding. This car has a very good balance and just enough bottom end to let you know there's a sub.

Great sounding car with what little tuning that was done for the grand opening.

:2thumbsup: guys!
 

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What distro blocks are those? What RCAs? I need to find something with small heads and those look like they'll work.

Great looking install.
 

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Amazing work as always! Have you had a chance to play around with the 2212 ported?
We haven't had a chance to play with anything ported around here.. :mad:

SOOooooo... Bing booked another Mercedes, client preference? Loud bass! Getting 2 ID max 12's and a Arc 2500. :D
 

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Utilizing the space you got when possible. Awesome!!!! Very nice work. Especially in a difficult car like this one. Mercs are built like TANKS!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
nice clean install guys ,, i was wondering if you managed to keep the steering wheel controls ?? if so can you tell me what brand and model interface was used as i have tried a few on my w210 facelift without any success
i dont believe the owner wanted any nor did any of our module work with this car...but i think it was the former in turn meant we didnt really research it and a quick look resulted in the latter.

sorry cant be of more help...but we use either hte pac swi-RC or the ASWC from axxess.
 
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