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Mercedes Benz C63 W204 S204 Estate – Boot/Tailgate Trim Removal and Reverse Camera Install

Work in progress still…Will add pics as I finish this up over the next week.

Firstly, I take no responsibility if you screw something up. Use this guide at your own risk. Its pretty fiddly but if you are patient enough you should be able to get through without breaking..much..

Since so many guides online regarding Reverse Camera installations are for the W204 Sedan (Which only half applies to the Wagon or Estate) I’ve decided to make the internet’s life easier and post my own estate-based guide. Hopefully this will assist you if you’re looking to retrofit a reverse camera or even change your license plate globes on your MB Wagon.

I carried this out on my C63 Estate but it should be similar for other W204/S204 estates as well.

Parts Required:
Right Angle Fakra to RCA cable
Plastic trim removal tools
W204 License plate light camera or alternatively you can this tailgate handle camera. (This guide focuses on the license plate camera though)
2.4ghz Wireless reverse camera kit
Kobalt 24pc Right Angle Torx kit – This one I found on Amazon lets you get on a 90 degree angle – I wish I had this….

A few words before starting.
The wagon/tailgate is a pain to get a cable into. You would need to run something via the rubber boots that connect between the body of the car and tailgate. This is the reason I have chosen to use the wireless sender kit. Unlike the sedan – There is no easy way to route a cable into the tailgate.

The tailgate trim is a pain in the ass to remove. You need to be pretty forceful to get the thing off. Also the fact that you HAVE to take all this off to change a license plate bulb is nuts.

There are two screws holding in the rear license plate trim on the outside. They are an absolute shit to access, unless you have a right angle torx kit I linked above. Even then you’d still probably need to undo the wiper motor bolts.

 

Tailgate trim removal

  1. Pull off the handle trim covers. They will reveal 2 torx screws on each side. Unscrew these and remove the plastic trim that was being held in. Set aside.

    Rear Trim – Handles

  2. The whole rear plastic is now held in by metal clips and plastic guides. The outer edges are easier to pry down first. Carefully using a trim tool pry the outside edges out. They will come out diagonally from the tailgate.

    Rear Trim – Removed – Showing plastic guide clips to be aware of.

  3. The next two clips are on each side of the catch mechanism. These were REALLY tight to come out. The clips actually popped out of the trim piece as opposed to the clip popping out of the tailgate. This was the most annoying part to remove. Be careful as there are plastic guides – so as you pull – you need to come outwards away from the tailgate.

    Rear Tailgate – Clips stuck in, instead of coming out with trim. These were very tight…

  4. Disconnect the 3 wiring harnesses – 2 from each side light and one from the automatic tailgate close button (if you have it)
  5. Next to come off is the carpeted trim piece in the center of the tailgate. These are held on only by orange trim clips. Use your trim tool to get in to each of the ones closest to the locking mechanism and slowly pry them out. Once you get the outer edge, there are another 5 clips holding the panel in the middle. You should have enough leverage to carefully pop the remaining out as you pull the piece down. There are 4 metal clips that should pop out as well near the glass edge.

    Carpeted center trim – Orange Tabs to remove with trim tool.

    Rear carpet Trim – Tab and clip locations

    License plate trim removal (Outside)

  1. Remove 2x torx screws next to license plate lights.
    Undo 3x 10mm bolts holding in rear wiper motor. Once undone you can swing the motor out of the way (It will still be attached to the arm on the outside – Be careful not to swing it into the paintwork and scratch it)
    Undo the 2x torx screws just behind the motor next to the tailgate release mechanism.
    On the outside of the tailgate, use a pry tool to pop off the 4x plastic clips, be careful when sliding it out as there will be a small clip holding the left side in (where the factory camera position is) – You need to release this from the inside and then license plate trim should come off.

    License plate trim – Clip/screw locations

Headunit removal

  1. Use pry tool and pop out center airvents. You should be able to get it from the sides. Once one side is out, the other should pop. Unclip 3x wire harnesses for popup screen control, hazards, etc.
    Unscrew 2x Torx screws on each top side of the headunit. There will be little plastic tabs (The screws held them down) that you can now pull upwards.

    NTG4 Headunit – Plastic tabs you need to pull upward to remove unit.

  2. Put a cloth or something on your gearstick and then pull out the unit. It comes diagonally upward and then out (there are guides to make sure it comes out the right way, just feel and follow). Rest the unit on the gear stick/dash.
  3. If you have Video Aux (Via MDI Cable in the globebox) there will already be a FAKRA cable plugged into the port you need. I just unplugged it and put it aside since I never use Video Aux.
  4. Attach your Right Angled FAKRA cable to the plug. See below as to why you need a right angle. It will hit that thicker plug behind it otherwise.

    FAKRA Video Connection – Right angle connector

  5. Attach your Wireless transmitter to the other end of the FAKRA cable.
  6. Depending on your headunit – Find a 12v switched (Only on when car is on) power source and tap that for transmitter power.

Rear Camera Install/License Plate globe change

  1. Unclip license plate light (I used the right side) and remove.
  2. Push through light globe (I used an extra rubber O-ring as my globe didnt seat into to the camera holder snug) and install into camera.

    Globe with extra O-Ring.

  3. Insert camera/light and clip into place, with wires running back into inside of tailgate.

    Camera installed, globes back in.

  4. Power up your Wireless sender – The wiper motor has 12v that is easy enough to tap into. Black = 12V, Brown = Ground. I just unplugged the connector and pushed the wires into the female pin connections, and pushed the connector back in. Use a Multimeter to check before hand if you aren’t sure. Tape up the wires and secure with a cable tie.

    12v Power off Wiper motor.

  5. Since the sender will pass on 12v to the camera as well, all that is needed now is to plug in the RCA Yellow plug and also the power plug.

Headunit Setup – Engineering mode

  1. Hold the Red Hangup, No.1 and Hash for 5 seconds.
  2. Go to HW Setting, HU Parameter and then go to Page 3 – Rearview Camera. Choose SRVC. Back out to the main menu and go to END to exit.
    Navigating the engineering screen – You can only go to the next page if you rotate to the last line, then push the Comand knob DOWN. Same to go back a page, but push UP.
  3. IMPORTANT – Shut the car off, pull the key out. Wait a few mins.
  4. Turn car back on (Put it into ON) and the hold the brake and shift into Reverse (Make sure the handbrake is on) and you should see the screen switch to the Reverse Camera mode.

 

Written by Aaron Tan

January 16th, 2017 at 12:42 am

Posted in Cars,DIY

VicDrift Practice – 15 June 2013

Here’s some shots from my first VicDrift event. Lots of throwaways as I like the car in each shot to be sharp (most of the time anyway) and at slower shutter speeds it gets a bit spray and pray. A forgiving part of digital I guess. I’m not worried too much about framing each shot, I do try to place the subject in the general quarter of the frame that I’m wanting but typically I’ll just crop it the way I want after.

Full set is here, a few extra details on some images shown below.

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Canon 5DmkII | Canon 400mm(ƒ/2.8) | ƒ/5 | ISO 50 | 1/125s
I’ve known Jarrod from JRM Photography for awhile now and he had his beast 400mm 2.8 II out there.

 

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Canon 5DmkII | Canon 400mm(ƒ/2.8) | ƒ/10 | ISO 50 | 1/60s
Gave it a crack and I can see why its the mother of motorsport lenses. Would love to try this lens panning from a further distance. Super sharp shots!

 

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Canon 5DmkII | Canon 24-70mm (ƒ/2.8) | ƒ/9 | ISO 50 | 1/60s
Threw on the 24-70 for a bit of a wider view and catch both cars in frame. Could have probably cropped it a bit better now that I look at it.

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Canon 5DmkII | Canon 70-200mm(ƒ/2.8) | ƒ/9 | ISO 50 | 1/30s
Smoke is nicely in frame in this one.

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Canon 5DmkII | Canon 70-200mm(ƒ/2.8) @ 200mm| ƒ/14 | ISO 100 | 1/30s
The whole car is tack sharp in this frame, probably my fave of the day…along with the shot below.

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Canon 5DmkII | Canon 70-200mm(ƒ/2.8) @ 200mm | ƒ/16 | ISO 50 | 1/30s
Lucky shot here with the numberplate clear through the smoke…

Written by Aaron Tan

June 18th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

MelbS15 Track Day #2

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MelbS15 is a forum that I started for car enthusiasts, mostly owners of the Nissan 200SX/Silvia S15. A fellow member,
Manny Su – Had arranged with Tampered Motorsport to have a bunch of us go up there and battle it out on the track.

3:45AM – Alarm goes off… Yep must be another track day. Lucky I’m not driving this time around! I had the luxury of being a passenger in the back seat of an STi.

Stayed until the last session, didn’t leave till around 5pm which is pretty late. Was unfortunate to hear about all the Highway cops out on the way back pulling people over.

Top 10 S15 lap times:
1. evilsub – 1:37.767
2. PhoenixGSR – 1:37.8260
3. Sheng – 1:43.205
4. Bobi_t – 1:43.376
5. gmr – 1:44.844
6. phuongz – 1:47.430
7. projekt – 1:48.072
8. aussieBaller – 1:49.873
9. [S15GT] – 1:49.985
10. sabbadin – 1:50.106

All are available for purchase – Print or Digital files available. If you’re interested in buying a shot or two, drop me an email or hit me up via the Facebook page with the name of the image you’re interested in.

Took a bunch of photos throughout the day, and they speak louder than words..so let’s get onto it. One some of the shots I’ll write a little Behind The Scenes (BTS) blurb with a little bit on the why’s and how’s.

Check out the entire set here on fLickr.

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Luke, Evan, Ricky and Jenny rolling up nice and early.

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Sunrise.

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Dan and Joey getting their hands dirty on Joey’s S13 running 285 wide tyres all round!

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Winton veterans Vu (Gold/Black S15) and Manny (Cherry Red Chasers S15) battling it out.
BTS: 1/60 @ f9, ISO 125 – Since these two are always pushing each other, I was looking for some different angles to try and get a shot with both of them in it..esp when panning.

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Kenny has a 180SX front-end conversion on his S15. Looks awesome.

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The pits. Where everyone usually eats, talks, gets their hands dirty and chills out.

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BTS: 1/640 @ f2.8, ISO 250 – Not panning this time, so upped shutter speed to try and catch some cool little details. In this shot, you can see the outside rear tyre sidewall flexing through the corner and the car’s lean throughout the corner.

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Vu in his track beast with a very unique gold/black paint job. Passenger using the rollcage as jesus bar..
BTS: 1/125 @ f4, ISO 100 – Mixing up where you stand is important to try and get different angles. There were basically no one at this part of the track. Due to the location, didn’t need that slow a shutter speed so panning wise its actually quite fast.

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Not just S15’s here – Ben’s very capable S2000 set a PB of 1:40.102 on street tyres.

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Subtle Toyota 86 sitting in the car park.

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Datto with a rotary conversion. Sounded insane and I love the ghetto chain holding the rear muffler up.

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Ian having a little run in with the dirt.
BTS: 1/40 @ f8, ISO 100 – Gotta make sure that finger is ready to up your shutter speed if you see an ‘incident’ – In this instance I decided to leave it super slow and see what I could grab of this car coming off and kicking dust/dirt up everywhere!

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Supra owned by Jian ran a best on the day of 1:43.721
BTS: 1/40 @ f9, ISO 50 – Panning at a distance, again just trying to mix it up a little.

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Interesting little Mini.

Check out the entire set here on fLickr.

Written by Aaron Tan

June 11th, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Posted in Cars,Events

Tagged with , , ,

Kiss Goodbye to MS and Sandown Update

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It has been a busy few days. I was at Federation Square today shooting for MS Australia’s Kiss Goodbye to MS Campaign which was awesome – Got to meet and have a chat to comedian Tim Ferguson, 2011 Australian of the Year Simon McKeon and DJ/Model/TV Personality Georgia Sinclair! Donated my time for the cause and it was a great day (and a long one… was there from 730am to 3pm snapping away!)

Big thanks to Elfreda @ Scarlet Media for the hookup!

Saturday was spent down at Sandown Raceway for the WRX Club Trackday. Lots of awesome cars and got to speak with a few of the owners. Handed out some cards as well so, if you are reading this and have one of my cards – Make sure to go read this Sandown update for photos from the day and purchasing information!

Written by Aaron Tan

May 2nd, 2012 at 1:17 am

Posted in Cars,Events,Rants

Tagged with , ,

JDMST Melbourne Meet – April 2012

Huge meet at the Essendon DFO tonight. A couple of hundred cars at least? Either way, impressive! I organised a bit of an MelbS15 premeet and we all rocked up in there to find most of the space packed already.

Not many photos for this, I was honestly stuffed from shooting at Sandown all day. Here’s what I did get.

Enjoy!

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Written by Aaron Tan

April 29th, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Posted in Cars,Events

Tagged with , , ,