Comments and help given

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  • From Mike Sommerfield on Mercedes Sound 5 Auxillary Audio Input Modification

    Steve i bought an after market Android media system designed for a Sprinter with Canbus suport and it is replacing a Sound 5 with Canbus ( Iknow because I have a seen a diagnostic laptop system turn on my radio ) on the Sound5 There are the regular speaker connection bank and then only five connections on the lower connect Unfortunatelry the aftermarket unit came with a connector designed for a Radio 20 Which has hot, neg and two can bus wires , I can t find a pin out for the sound five that indcates the canbus pinout just ISO10487 pinouts Are they using what would normally be the power anttena and dash light terminals for the canbus wires and if they are which is high and low ?

    • Steve Ball

      From Steve Ball on Mercedes Sound 5 Auxillary Audio Input Modification

      Hi Mike,

      I see your problem.

      The Sound 5 should have the same pin outs as the earlier Audio 5 as these were fitted to both Sprinter and Vito Models at different points in time. If this is the case I am not sure that the Power Antenna / B+ wires are used for CAN BUS as you suggest. If the wiring is the same on the two models of radio above then this document will help:

      ISO Connector A – Pin 6 = CAN Hi, Pin 7 = CAN Lo, Pin 8 = GROUND. I hope this helps. If not have a search for CAN Adapters and view their documentation as often the wiring to common radios in the Mercedes range is shown.

      Good luck – Steve.

  • From Stu on Poor First Gear Selection - Manual Gearbox Problem W639 Vito - Cure

    Hi, I have for ages had a gear selection problem with my 109cdi and every morning from cold it is almost impossible to select 1st gear or reverse. Pulling away and then trying to get second is the same. Once the van warms up the gears are much better but not great.. I have read your article with interest and have taken the step of changing the gear oil with carlube atf-u as you have. Immediately the gear change is smooth. Miracle in my eyes.. Are you a technician or have knowledge as to the suitability of this lubricant. Does your van still run ok using it..
    Would hate to destroy gearbox…I only do lowish mileage as i work around local area as a gas fitter so van doesnt get hammered..Interested in your updates on your experiences of using this oil..Regards

    • Steve Ball

      From Steve Ball on Poor First Gear Selection - Manual Gearbox Problem W639 Vito - Cure

      Hi there Stu,
      I am so pleased the oil swap worked for you, to answer your question my own van is still running fine with no ill effects.( I am 99% sure that it will continue that way too!)

      I have a lifetime in engineering background, both automotive and industrial and my own research on oil types has shown that what manufacturers do is select an oil that is good for all uses no matter where their vehicle is in the world. A perfect example is: A van could be sold to a customer in Saudi Arabia who uses his vehicle fully loaded and always tows a laden trailer – the oil must offer the best protection for his type of use. For my use and I would imagine yours, an oil that is almost of the same specification but would probably require an oil cooler in the Saudi case above, will be just fine in the UK – especially if you rarely work the van to its limits.

      Its for this reason that I chose to try the oil swap. In both our cases the gearboxes we have, most certainly are exhibiting a degree of wear and in selecting alternative oils we can continue to use the vehicle without troublesome gear selection problems. In truth our gearboxes may need mechanical repair to rectify the selection problems and return them to factory new condition, all I am suggesting is why not delay this repair (maybe indefinately) by finding a work-round to the problem. My wallet agrees and I would imagine yours does too! Thanks for your comment.

  • From Paul on Vito W639 Reverse Camera Installation

    Many thanks for your guide Steve. I’m thinking of doing the same to my 639 and your intructions are the best I’ve seen so far. Rest of the site looks very useful too.

    • Steve Ball

      From Steve Ball on Vito W639 Reverse Camera Installation

      Thanks for the comment Paul, good luck with the install. If you need any further info just ask !

  • From lee on Poor First Gear Selection - Manual Gearbox Problem W639 Vito - Cure

    hi how long did you change gear oil just to make sure there are no long term probs ?fanx in advance lee

    • Steve Ball

      From Steve Ball on Poor First Gear Selection - Manual Gearbox Problem W639 Vito - Cure

      Hi Lee, It’s been about six weeks now and about 1500 miles without issue. I suppose in real terms it’s not such a long time BUT…

      The fact remains the gearbox must have some fault in the first place (most probably some synchro wear 90k) to not operate correctly with the specified oil and the only permanent fix would be to rebuild / replace the gearbox. What this oil grade swap offers is a way to continue to drive the Vito in a manner that befits the vehicle, nice changes and importantly no baulking first gear engagement which to be honest was nothing short of dangerous at times !

      I have no issue with running the box with ATF synthetic as it is used as standard in many manual transmissions (ford have used it for years) as well as auto’s. It’s a strong and protective oil that is often used with an oil cooler in an auto box situation, if you don’t do a lot of everyday towing or ‘fully laden work’ this is never going to be an issue as in the UK ambient’s are way low anyway. If you are working the Vito hard to its extremes the gearbox really needs to be fixed/replaced at a cost of £1000 + . Personally I prefer £20 and am able to enjoy driving the vehicle again until one day eventually (who knows when!) the mechanical fix is required. I will probably mark this time when the replacement of the clutch is due as it makes most financial and practical sense. This could be a few years down the line from now; I will just wait and see. Who knows it could stay this way, remaining unchanged throughout my ownership and maybe the next!

      • From david on Poor First Gear Selection - Manual Gearbox Problem W639 Vito - Cure

        Do you think this will work in a 04 vito? I just bought it and in 2 daysI lost revrse?

        • Steve Ball

          From Steve Ball on Poor First Gear Selection - Manual Gearbox Problem W639 Vito - Cure

          Hi there David,
          Its more likely if you have lost reverse (its probably become increasingly difficult to engage, although if you just bought the van you would not know this) it is the selector mechanism arm that is worn on its pivot on the side of the gearbox. If you can engage reverse easily with the engine off then it could be another internal gearbox problem.

          As the pivot wears it does not allow sufficient ‘pull’ on the lever to actuate the selectors correctly on the gearbox, the extreme left gears – first and reverse – are the ones that suffer poor engagement and indicate such pivot wear. The best bet is to get underneath with a torch and grasp hold of the upper L shaped lever that connects one of the cables to the selector mechanism, if it wobbles considerably on the pivot shaft it should be replaced, this is common wear also seen on sprinters. The gear change cage can be replaced as an assembly without taking out the gearbox. These should be available both used and new, but do check a used one is not as bad as the one you have ! Good luck. Steve

          • From Mark on Poor First Gear Selection - Manual Gearbox Problem W639 Vito - Cure

            Iam I right in thinking you have used the ATF u oil in a manual van, even though its an oil for automatic

          • Steve Ball

            From Steve Ball on Poor First Gear Selection - Manual Gearbox Problem W639 Vito - Cure

            Hi Mark,
            Yes that is correct. – ATF-U (ATF Fully Synthetic Oil) in a Manual Gearbox.

          • From Mark horsfield on Poor First Gear Selection - Manual Gearbox Problem W639 Vito - Cure

            Thanks Steve , think I’m going to try it my second is hard to get,
            Is your gearbox still running good with it in
            Thank you

          • Steve Ball

            From Steve Ball on Poor First Gear Selection - Manual Gearbox Problem W639 Vito - Cure

            Sure Mark, Absolutely no problems at all – 6k miles plus since the swap out and it responds just like when I had first done the job.
            Do report back when you have changed the oil. Remember if you keep the oil you drain out you could always swap it back if you desired but I think the results will surprise you!
            All the best Steve

      • From lee on Poor First Gear Selection - Manual Gearbox Problem W639 Vito - Cure

        ok many thanks for info will give it a go

  • From arthur on Leaking Headlamp Washer Jet - Cure

    Thx, very mutch.

  • From Andrew Rudge on Mercedes SRS Fault - Fix

    It turned out i had a bunch of issues and the common denominator ended up being the engine management ECU. I had light corrosion on two of the multipin plugs and the third was swimming in oil, which had wicked it’s way up from the cam sensor. A lot passes through the engine ECU including the CAN line from the seat sensor. Later models had a CAN gateway module but mine doesn’t. but if you get a break in the CAN bus then all sorts of strange things start to happen. All sorted now.