Can you upgrade 2008 MB SL550 Command Unit for a modern receiver?
I have 2008 MB SL550 and want to replace the command unit with a modern
receiver and also add a backup camera and retain all the steering wheel
Has anybody done this and what is the best option?
Do you plan to keep the car? If so, you will probably be better off replacing the entire unit with a new after-market such as Kenwood, Pioneer, etc. They come with Nav, HD Radio, Satellite and input connections for a camera. A newer unit will have much better resolution and more features. These units are available in 6 inch and 7 inch versions. That is probably better than what you currently have. Dash kits are available for all of these that will make your installation look factory. As for cameras - You would be surprised at how many good and low priced auto cameras are available on E-Bay. The most common type attach to your license plate and the wires run into the trunk to connect to your backup light. In my case, I replaced the COMMAND unit on my 2007 SL550 with the Kenwood. Very important - if you add a back-up camera, be careful on how you run the wire from the camera. The trunk opens BOTH ways, so you have to allow extra length.
Thank you. I plan to keep the car, it is pristine and has 30K miles on it. Which model of the Kenwood did you get? Will all the steering wheel functionality work (volume control), etc? So the back up camera does not have to wired to the receiver? You can simply wire it to the back up light? Did you get a shop to install it and how much should the package cost? Will any functionality be lost? Does it affect the MB diagnostics in anyway? Are there any cons? Is there any resale market for the removed Command unit?
Given that a replacement MB unit is $2500 - an upgrade is not a hard choice - and it will still have the limitations of the MB system.. The backup camera gets its power from the backup light turns on. However, you need to run a wire to the receiver in order for it to function (view on the screen). Doesn't affect MB diagnostics. There is usually a market for the removed units on Ebay - because these units fail all the time. There is an add-on module that will retain most all of the steering wheel functions. There is also a module to connect your new unit to the MB fiber optic system. You DO NOT need to rewire or replace speakers. As for total cost - depending on what receiver you get, fiber optic module and whatever else you decide - could be as low as $1k installed. But figure it will probably be closer to $1,500. Your local car audio shop will probably work a deal with you. I was surprised at how easy they made it look to do. DO NOT even consider MB for this job.
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