Mercedes gets a lot of things right, but many wrong for sure. The wiring insulation for one, the hood’s insulation pad for another. The pad on my R129 SL600 had largely disintegrated leaving dust and chunks of foam all over the engine bay. Every time I lifted the hood to gaze at that magnificent V-12 the first thing noticed was the torn up pad. It was time for it to go. Here’s the parts I used to replace it:
So the whole kit is a bunch of cables, the muxer, laptop, laptop power supply, mouse, and a standard OBD-II reader (for the truck.) These are valuable tools so I wanted a good case that I found here:
The stuff wrapped in white foam are dividers that came with the case. There are two steel supports for a vinyl wall that separates the the top from the bottom contents. The supports are bent back and the separator is stored in the bottom in case I re-purpose the case.
I finally got around to replacing the bad oil filter level sensor in the BMW and to do that I used my shiny new Quickjack. Usually I use my Pela oil extractor to evacuate the old oil but this time I opened the drain plug. Changing the sensor was trivial and a bit of fun really. Three nuts, an electrical connector, a bit of cleaning, re-assemble and done.
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This was part of the local haul that I re-furbished and sold to pay for my Onyx 2. It’s an interesting machine as it’s a purple non-Impact machine. Meaning it doesn’t support the next-generation Impact video cards as it lacks the supplemental power connectors. Generally, teal Impacts don’t support Impact, purple do.
So this 200MHz machine must have been built in between model changes.
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As a DIY project this is and 8/10, and not really expensive. Maybe $50 in wire and $60 is parts (that you’ll break during disassembly.) I did buy some good tools to make the job easier including a premium soldering iron, shop lights, and multimeters. It took about 30 hours. The next time you could probably get it down to 20. A replacement is $3,000 so rebuilding it yourself is a reasonable option. What tips the scale in favor of DIY is that you must also rebuild the (2) MAF & (2) Throttle Body cable sets too and either no shop or dealer will do this or you’re replacing un-obtainable throttle bodies. In short, DIY is the only option. And if you’re DIY’ing those harnesses, may as well do the main harness too.
Here’s the harness removed from the car:
Watch the removal video here:
MB SL600 7,2 Väth has a great schematic that was referenced constantly during the rebuild. I updated it a bit for a broader audience and modified some notes that were confusing. Feel free to email me changes you feel are necessary:
After considering the tasks at hand for quite a while I settled on the following process:
Chop off the termination block.
Measure and label each wire from where we chopped the wire to the connector, then add four inches for the travel from the cut to the termination conductor.
Don’t measure the ground wires from the connectors to the shared ground wire. We’ll do that later.
Note the shared ground wires 16 & 17 are heavier gauge.
Cut the wires at the termination block about an inch high off the top of the block.
Solder each wire to the termination block.
Cover with shrink wrap and heat.
Replace the top of the termination block.
Cover wires with some sort of braided sheath to the firewall grommet.
Replace firewall grommet.
Cover wires from firewall grommet to where the first set of fuel injector leads branch off.
Place the new harness over the old, sort the wires to their destinations, and zip tie in place using small ties.
Measure shared ground wires from connector to shared ground wires. Note that in the original harness some travel down the harness and double back for easy connection to the shared ground. Zip tie in place.
Swap all the fuel injector connectors and wiring covers and boots. Be sure to swap the covers and boots before soldering on the conductors.
Label the fuel injector cylinder on the new wire. This really helps keeping things straight especially at 5,6,11,12 where they all branch from the same point.
Fuel injectors are now done.
Carefully cut open the round connectors. (See Below)
Swap wire covers.
Solder conductors to new wires.
Epoxy round connectors together.
Break open rectangular connectors and de-solder conductors.
Swap wire covers.
Replace rectangular connectors with new from the dealer. They’re about $2.00 each.
Carefully swap the thermometer connector.
Verify conductivity of each wire from conductor to conductor and to grounds.
Reinstall onto the black harness tray from the car.
Reinstall into the car.
Fire it up!
I’ve seen a few techniques on opening these and the truth is they’re built in such a way as to foil attempts to cleanly open. You see, they’re connected on both these surfaces:
So the only way to open is to cut along both sides, then brake around the round edge. When cutting the sides, note that you’re cutting both the outer cover AND a little interior part that holds the wires in place (the dremmel welded them together but the video clearly shows the two pieces):
Both my breaks were rough, but a little epoxy and careful matching afterwards I was able to get them back together. You’ll probably get epoxy inside the outer channel (that the car’s connector slides into) that I dremmeled out with the tiny mill like attachment. It’s a hard, messy job that I spent most of my time with.
The top of the connector will have one conductor marked with its pin number. That pin matches the pin number on the car’s connector.
Right off the car:
Just before cutting:
Conductors soldered to new wires. Note pins 3 & 4 are connected:
The fuel injector connectors were in really rough shape. The insulation just disintegrates when touched:
They were fairly easy to rebuild. The connector’s rubber boot slides off easily, then the tricky part: Get a small paper clip, unwrap it, then bend in half so the ends are next to each other. Then stick the clip in the two holes next to the conductor pinching the conductors locking tabs together.
The conductor should slide right out.
We then remove the rubber boot trying to preserve and reuse it. I used the pick in the middle:
…to carefully pry open the tabs holding the boot in place. There are 24 conductors and not all will slide out easily nor will you be able to save the boots. I bought six replacement conductors (they come with wires attached) and two replacement injector connectors (the black plastic part) as rather than sliding out, the tabs on the conductor ripped apart the connector. Total bill was about $60 from the local MB dealer.
Push back the blue conductor boot and desolder the conductor.
After measuring your wires, replace the connector boot and its wrap and install the conductor boots. Solder the wire to the conductor. When cool slide the conductor boot into place. I used needle nose pliers to crimp the tabs back in place.
Repeat 12 times. Here’s the finished product:
There’s a lot of soldering involved so I’d get the best iron I could afford. I got this highly rated one.
Another tool required for the maintenance of my SL600 is the computer cables, mulitplexer, and software to read engine fault codes and control/test engine components. Without it the SL600 will be scraped. The option I chose was this aftermarket part.
It comes with all the cable necessary for working on the latest 2016 cars to my ’94. The cables alone are worth the purchase price.
It did work the first time but after a dozen uses I see that I’m not communicating with the soft top, and don’t have visibility into the fuel injection system. Some posts on the Internet indicate a software problem so I’ll pursue that shortly.