Trip Computer for ML Models - Too good ....

Someone is offering an after market kit to add a Trip Computer to ML Models up to year 2004. See today's newsgroups postings.
I sure would like to hear an expert opinion on the wisdom of purchasing
and installing this accessory. It seems to be too good to be true.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Perhaps a drive by spammer,collecting clicks,just don't click on links,and $95 is way too low of a price! Maybe hot from stolen vehicles!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I agree. The guy sent me the instructions for installation. They assume that all the wiring is already there from the factory and that therefore is a plug and play procedure. Ironically, when I bought the '01 ML320 and drove away from the dealership, the first thing I missed was the trip computer which I had it in my '98 trade in. MB told me then that there was no way to retrofit the trip computer.
CaptainW116 wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hernando Correa wrote:

The wiring is there in all W163's so it truly is plug-and-play. The seller (Steve Cousins, IIRC) seems to be very reputable, although some may find his "FS" posts on the NG to be borderline spam. Otherwise, the only issue with a retrofit installation is that you will have to cut out a window for the display yourself. Apparently, MBZ does not sell that piece of trim as an individual component; you'd have to buy the entire overhead console trim to get it. I'm not sure where he obtained these parts, but I do know that many of the suppliers to the Alabama factory have been known to sell their components outside of the MBZ dealer network.
--

- RODNEY


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks, Rodney, for the info. Regarding the wiring, I am still curious about the miles/gal readings since I presume that there has to be a "fuel consumption sensor" already installed. Is it?
You seem to know the ML well enough to give me your expert opinion. I really appreciate it. I am not sure though that I have the guts to cut out the window for the display. I read the instructions and they give me the chills... I would be willing to pay somebody for labor because the cost of the part sure is cheap.
Rodney T. Grill wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hernando Correa wrote:

The ECM and AAM already have all of the fuel consumption information "floating around" in their circuitry. MBZ vehicles use multiple CAN (controller area network) buses to pass data among the various electronic and electrical components. Basically, all the TC is doing is tapping into one of the CAN's and doing some quick (i.e. $5 calculator) math with info obtained directly from the AAM and ECM.
Of course they might have saved a few pennies in the cost of wiring by not installing the TC harness on vehicles without the option, but the reality is the wiring for everything in the overhead console is already going through a CAN to the AAM (yes, even the dome lights in the ML are computer controlled). The very small savings in wire would be more than offset by the cost associated with having to deal with two different harnesses during manufacture. In fact, almost every option in the ML is pre-wired whether it's factory installed or not. For example, the wiring for the heated seats, power 3rd-row windows, NAV and cell phone is already there.
As for the installation and cutout, I'd check with an independent shop to help there. Either that, or a friend with some basic mechanical skills. The cutout for the display is probably the most critical part, and it might be possible to take the plastic fascia out and have it cut by a company that handles plastic fabrication, such as a sign company.
--

- RODNEY


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks, again, for your explanation of the circuitry involved. Your suggestions are very much appreciated. If and when I decide to bite the bullet and buy/install the kit, I'll keep you posted.
Rodney T. Grill wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.