Comand 2.0 GPS installation in '00 W210 Mercedes E-class

Written and conceived by Frank Devocht.

 

Attention: There is a firmware update available for the Comand 2.0 and 2.5 (oktober 2002).  With this update, you have an intelligent speller and the unit now also shows your speed and the number of satellites in the versions menu (among other things like less current draw in standby etc). 
Your Mercedes dealer should be able to do the update for you but if they charge you too much (ask in advance), you can also find it online.  Download it here or do a search on eDonkey.
If you don't have the update, I urge you to get it! 

After doing the update, the 4889 in my miata (which has no CAN-bus so no night / day display - see below) suddenly started responding to the lightswitch, although it isn't supposed to do that!  You won't here me complaining though.  Got lucky I guess . I have not heard of any other Comand that started doing this, so don't get your hopes up.

Fitting the Comand is really not difficult.  My Mercedes dealer said it was impossible.  They don't know sh*t!  

The car came with a Audio10 Radio / CD player and a Bose Sound System.  The Bose amp accepts speaker level inputs, so you can simply swap the stock headunit with the Comand.  I don't have the pin layout of the W210 Bose amplifier, but I do have the W220 pin layout.

You need to buy a CAN bus version or else the steering wheel buttons will no longer work.  I have a A210 820 5489.  This is a Comand DX for the W210 E-class with Can Bus.  You have a DX version when the letters of the alphabet are under the numbers on the right panel.
There are probably other models that work too, but I don't know any more details about them.  I chose this type as I knew it came from a W210 with Can Bus.  Do a search in the megacomm telematik forum (link below).  

Update: Here's a few partnumbers for different comands:

210 820 48 89 no CAN
210 820 54 89  CAN
210 820 56 89  CAN

210 820 49 89 UK-Modell no CAN
210 820 51 89 UK-Modell  CAN
210 820 55 89 US-Modell no TMC/RDS/TV

208 820 30 89 no CAN
208 820 37 89 with and without CAN (huh?)
208 820 34 89  CAN
208 820 40 89  CAN
208 820 44 89  CAN

203 820 91 89 all CAN
203 820 96 89
203 827 36 42
203 827 52 42

203 820 92 89 US-Modell
203 827 31 42 US-Modell
203 827 37 42 US-Modell
203 827 53 42 US-Modell
203 820 93 89 Japan-Modell
203 827 23 42 Japan-Modell

230 820 05 89  CAN
230 820 05 89  CAN

230 820 06 89 US-Modell
230 820 23 89 Japan-Modell
230 820 29 89 Japan-Modell

163 820 14 89 no CAN
163 820 36 89 no CAN

463 820 10 89  CAN
463 820 15 89  CAN
 

The A163 820 XXXX is the best model to buy if your car doesn't have a can bus.  All other comands (also the no Can bus comands) do not automatically switch from day to night display with the illumination.  Only the A163 does!  If you use a Can bus comand in a car without can bus, than the unit will turn off after 30-40mins.  They can be converted, but it isn't easy.  The conversion instructions can be found here (they can also be found on eDonkey).  There are also can bus simulators, but these are rather pricey.

One important remark about the A163!  It will NOT support the instrument cluster and can't be used with the steering wheel controls!  So only use this type of Comand in non-can bus cars!

partnumbers:
210 689 0916
Verstärkung telkonsole (this is the double din frame, costs about 5 euro, see pic below)
210 680 9136 Abdeckung telkonsole   (I think this is the partnumber for the wooden panel but I'm not sure)
A001 545 48 40 inner part of the C2 connector
A000 545 42 30 outer part of the C2 connector)
A008 545 55 26 pins for C2 connector  
A034 545 75 28 C1 connector
A000 540 45 05 Pin for C1 connector
A163 540 0113 Antenna - Adapter cable RG174 to HRS (Comand)

 

 

- Remove radio
- remove wood panel (2 screws behind radio).  You'll need to buy a new wooden panel (expensive, about 250 euro).  When you order, make sure you know how many openings for buttons there are.  On my car I original had 4 buttons but I needed 2 more buttons for extra things I installed.  You can just barely see on the picture above that now I have 6 buttons. 

The biggest job is replacing the plastic frame in the dashboard with a double size frame (or the Comand won't fit).

double DIN size frame

You need to take the single size frame out frame removed

- remove upper buttons on the back of the original wooden panel (there's no need to remove the connectors, just remove everything from the wooden panel and click it on the new wooden panel)
- remove the heater controls (just a few connectors)
- remove entire central console (armrest etc, can't remember how many screws, but it was very easy)
- unclip both sides of the dashboard (bottom part, very hard to undo the clips, a bit fragile), you can see the left side undone in picture in the middle, look for the red arrow
.
- unclip both sides of the dashboard (blue arrows)
- remove single din frame and fit double din frame. 

Take a look here and here for the connections on the back of the Comand.  

- can_bus.jpg (59345 bytes) the 2 normal 8-pin connectors on the back of the standard Mercedes radio (audio 10 or similar) fit directly in the Comand (connectors A and B).  The bigger connector does not fit in the Comand.  On my car, there were only 2 wires on it (brown and brown/red in position 1 and 2), not 5 as in the picture.  These 2 wires are the CAN BUS wires.  Cut them off and install them in the C2 connector in position 8 (brown) and 9 (brown/red).  This connector than fits in the Comand.  If you accidently switch them, nothing will break, it simply won't work so don't worry.  

Besides the 2 wires for the CAN bus (position 8 and 9), you need to add more wires to the C2 connector.  You need one wire for the speed sensor (position 6) The speed sensor is a green / black wire with a piece of black tape in the right door sill.  Open right front door, remove plastic door sill and look for a unused wire.  It usually has a blue connector on it.  There's a LOT of wires, but you'll find it.  

Optional: one wire for the reverse in position 15 (not needed really as you don't drive in reverse for long distances, nobody connects it but Mercedes does original.  Just tap into the reverse lamp if you want to, I did but I notice no difference).  

Optional: If you want to use the aux-in of the Comand, add 4 pins in C2:

pin 4: aux right + (yellow)
pin 5: aux right - (brown)
pin 13: aux left + (black)
pin 14: aux left - (sleeve)

There is a special cable available for the aux-in: A210 440 50 05 but you don't really need it.  If you do use it, connect the colors as mentioned above.

GPS antenna:

There usually exists some confusion about the different types of antennas / connectors. 
The comand accepts a HRS connector (gray rectangular connector).  Mercedes has 2 different oem hideaway antennas.   They're the same, but one model has a WICLIC connector and the other model has a HRS connector.  If you install the antenna under the dash, you need one with the HRS connector so you can plug it straight in the Comand.

This is an OEM Mercedes hide away antenna, part 203 820 09 75 (54.89 euro).  It comes with a 50cm cable with HRS connector and plugs straight into the Comand.  

OEM Mercedes hide away antenna This is the other OEM Mercedes hide away antenna.  It has a 50cm cable with WICLIC connector.  If you want to install the antenna in the back of the car, get this one.  The reason is that you'll need to buy a seperate antenna cable, and these have a WICLIC connector on the antenna's side.  OEM Mercedes roof mounted antenna's have the same female WICLIC connector BTW. 

You need this antenna cable This is an oem Mercedes antenna cable with HRS and WICLIC connector.  One side goes to the Comand (HRS) and the other side goes to the antenna with WICLIC connector above.

 

RG174 to HRS cable Most aftermarket antennas have an other connector than the one Mercedes uses.  They usually have a RG174 connector like the ones used on cellular phone antennas.  You can buy a RG174 to HRS cable for this.  Antenna cable with HRS and RG174 connector

There are aftermarket antennas available with a HRS connector though, like this one from MEGA, but they are sometimes hard to find (and pricey).

Make sure the antenna has a clear line of sight thru the windscreen. It can see thru plastic ie the dash bit not thru metal.

When you're done with the install, the instrument panel will not show the driving directions (the arrows).  You have to go to Mercedes to activate it.  For them to be able to access the Comand, you need to move 1 wire ('K-leitung') in the big round diagnostics connector under the hood.  This is very easy.  Move the wire that is in position 33 to position 34 (the connector can easily be taken apart, no problem, you'll see).  The numbers are written on the back of the connector so you can't miss

TIP: Euro Comands have a TV function and RDS (Radio Data System), something US Comands don't have.  A lot of folks from the US prefer Euro Comands for that reason.  There's one downside though, the AM stations will not work properly in the US.  I have no idea what happens to a US Comand if you apply the Euro Update. 
UPDATE: some folks tried the Euro update on a US Comand and apparently the Comand refuses it.   

 

Some miscellanious info:

None of the comands (besides a 163 comand) will light up automatically in the W210 (or whatever other car) when the lightswitch is activated because these cars get the illumination pulse from CANBUS (like the climate control does as well!). You cannot hook into the wires that illuminate the climate control because they are not there...there is only a CANBUS high and a CANBUS low wire that make the climate control light up.

The leftside steered MB models have a CANBUS connector in the passenger side footwell (at the A-pillar) in which you can connect some additional connectors in order to "splice" into the CANBUS system in an OEM way. After this CANBUS is connected to your comand (pos 8 and 9 of the C2 connector), it should light up with the dashillumination.

When a 48 89 comand is connected to a newstyle 210 with steering wheel controls, it functions perfectly with those steering wheel controls, so the unit is suiteable for receiving CANBUS signals (yes, the illumination and switching on/off functions properly then as well)...
The only downside of a non CANBUS 48 89 comand in a newstyle 210 is that the navigation screen sits decentered in the dashcluster even though the dashcluster is set to centered (this is something that can be changed in cars with the CANBUS comands).

On a sidenote: the 163 units do not listen to steering wheel controls at all.

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