98 E320 Stereo Questions

I have the stock Becker 1692 head unit and want to replace it with a cd player. Because of this I have a few questions:
How do I tell if I have the Bose stereo system? I could not find any
external amps in the trunk, and the rear deck speakers are rated at 4 ohms. Does this sound like Bose? Am I looking for amps in the wrong place? What exactly are the differences between the Bose and a non-Bose system and how does it affect installation?
If it's not a Bose system am I to believe that upgrading will be easier do to a lack of external amps? Will I be able to just replace the headunit with an aftermarket one by using an appropriate wiring harness?
The dealerships and the independent Mercedes repair shops here have been absolutely no help.
Thanks in advance
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The dealer can tell you if you have bose system installed but your VIN number.
It shouldn't matter whether you got Bose System or not. Because the hookup is still the same.
The amp is located in the trunk... driver side... between the trunk hinge and the outer fender.
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Tiger wrote:

Hookup is not the same. On an after-market system i will have to purchase a line converter and a whole bunch of other stuff to make it compatible with the Bose amp. Also the ohm ratings on bose speaker systems are all over the map (front component speakers end up being about i ohm!) Also I see no point in purchasing an after-market system if the final audio quality is going to be determined by the crummy Bose amp.
I looked in the trunk behind the lining and couldn't find anything that even remotely looked like an amp. I did find what appears to be an unused antennae cable connection and a cd changer connection. I even looked at the battery/fuse compartment under the rear seat!
I tried talking to the local dealerships but as they have a monopoly in this town they feel no need to be helpful. They flat refused to answer my questions telling me they don't deal with stereo problems on older cars.
So if anyone can tell me how to tell a Bose from a non-Bose system I would appreciate it. Specifically: do ALL Mercedes 98 E320's have an amp separate from the head-unit or only those with the Bose system?
Thanks
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Maybe Karl can help you here... He works at the dealer.
You are looking too low if you found the antenna... look more in the area where gas filler area... only the driver side instead.
If you get the part number off the amp, you should be able to cross-reference whether it is Bose or not. Again, VIN is easier way.... but like you said some are not helpful.
I think all MB are amped now.
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I just took a look at the rear speaker from the trunk... if you got Bose system like mine, it will have a Bose sticker on it.... just look up from the trunk.
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Tiger wrote:

Thanks. Mine just says "Mercedes". I guess I don't have the Bose system. I still don't know if it has an amp though. Even though I cant find one the fact that I have factory installed component speakers in front and subwoofers in the rear deck leads me to believe there's an amp hidden somewhere!
Thanks again for your help.
If anyone knows exactly where the amps are hidden on a 1998 E320, or even if it has amps at all please let me know.
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<......>

this was grabbed off the Russian parts diagrams web site
http://i13.tinypic.com/4kecx8k.jpg
web site: http://www.detali.ru/cat/oem_mb0.asp?TP=1
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oops, forgot to identify #23 as the one labeled as the amp
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raymond wrote:

Thanks for the info.
Funny, there is no amp located in my trunk in that particular position.
Got any idea what numbers 15, 20, 08 and 29 are?
I replaced the small dash speakers today (#38) with 3.5 inch coaxials because I wasn't getting any sound from factory ones which were supposed to act as midrange in the component speakers. The new speakers don't work either so I'm guessing either the head unit, the mysterious amp or one of the unknown items above is the problem.
I also replaced the rear deck speakers which turned out to be nokia's . They had all kinds of capacitors and stuff wired to em so they would function as subs. My new deck speakers are also coaxial but work fine. I now have no subs but better bass if you can believe it.
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15 - protective wrapper (for....) 20 - remote control 08 - control unit 29 - nut (to mount amplifier )
(sending you email...) r-
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Mmm... if you got a subwoofer, you got an amplifier somewhere... It should be in the trunk. Are you sure? It is located above the rear wheel well... in the cavity between the trunk hinge and the outer car body, black unit...
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Tiger wrote:

They were not really sub-woofers, just two 6.25" speakers with capacitors wired to them so they would only play the low-mid frequencies. A pretty cheap design if you ask me.
I'll looked again for the amp.
Any idea how BOTH mid range speakers in the front component group could stop working while the woofer and tweeters continue to work perfectly? It doesn't make any sense.
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I got similar setup on my 95 E300D... It has an aftermarket head unit installed by previous owner... It has a factory amplifier in the trunk. From what I can tell, the amp is a 4 channels amp.
But whoever installed the system, they really did a hack job... the front door speaker, they replaced with one size too small... 5.25 rather than the 6.5"... yet that pair of speaker does not work... So there must be a crossover somewhere that I am not sure where...
To get 4 speakers to work on two channels, you need to have a crossover.
As for your rear... they basically installed a bass blocker... which can be obtained from partsexpress.com... they prevent the speaker from playing too low of a bass... that will distort the sound and ruin the speaker. for 6.5", it should have like 80 or 100 Mhz bass blocker... block any "subwoofer" frequency range.
As for the front, I would want to trace the wires to find the crossovers... or check for mized up wiring by the head unit if already aftermarket.... where installer could have messed up.
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Tiger wrote:

My understanding is that the front speakers are wired entirely from the head unit while only the rear is amped. At least thats the way the Bose system is setup.
I also read that the Bose system used the rear deck for a "sub" system (but in reality is nothing more than midrange with the bass blocker you mentioned.) Evidently my non-bose system is setup the same way.
I'm hoping that by replacing the head-unit I can solve my problem of the non-working mid's in the front. After looking at all the diagrams you forwarded I can find no crossover units. Even if I did find em I fail to see how both the left and right would fail at the same time. SO I'm hoping your right and its a head unit issue.
As for the 5.25 speakers in your door, they were probably installed because its hard to find 6.5" speakers shallow enough to fit. The specs I read gives only an 1.5 inches of depth to fit a speaker in the door. I have yet to find a 6.5" that shallow.
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Take out that speaker and measure the actual depth available. It is always at least 2" depth. Blaupunkt makes a thin series... 6.5" speaker with a depth of 1.81"... compared to normal 2.5" depth.
My speaker box on the door is way deaper than the speaker that was in it.
Even if you can't get a bigger speaker to fit in there... the opening space must be sealed or otherwise speaker will simply not sound right and you will blow/rip the speaker fragile rubber/foam surround in no time.
You can look up the THc-662 component set speaker on blaupunkt.com...
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/THIN-BLAUPUNKT-THC660-6-75-6-5-COMPONENT-CAR-SPEAKERS_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ38646QQihZ017QQitemZ270145134963QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW
This above is last year model and way cheap for compoenent set.
It might be because the front channels on the head unit is dead... Did you check your fuses to see if any for the amp is blown?
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Tiger wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/THIN-BLAUPUNKT-THC660-6-75-6-5-COMPONENT-CAR-SPEAKERS_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ38646QQihZ017QQitemZ270145134963QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW
I haven't actually taken apart the door panels yet to see just how much space is in there. The 1.5" I got from a fit guide on a web page. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to remove the whole door panel just to get to the speakers so I'm not looking forward to it.
If the front channels on the head unit were dead it seems I wouldn't get any sound from the front component system at all. Right now the only speakers that don't work are the 3.5" mids in the dash. The 6.5" and the tweeter in the doors work fine. Like I said it doesn't make much sense.
I checked my fuse boxes but I couldn't find anything, and if I ever find the damn amp I'll check it too. However I doubt the amp has any influence on the front speakers.
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