W124 Becker radio install – part 3

I have been in the process of installing a Becker Grand Prix 1402 in my 1990 300TE.   This is the model of radio it came with, although this particular radio is not original to this car.   In the first installment, I sourced and tested the Becker 1402 and removed the Sony Xplod.    In part two, I wired in the right connectors for the Becker, as well as the iSimple Tranzit BLU HF FM injector.   By the end of that installment, I had music from my phone playing through the speakers of the car.

To complete the install of the Becker 1402, my first step was to tidy up the wiring.    This was primarily using cable ties and electrical tape to create separate harnesses – i.e. for power, for speakers etc.    I also attached the relay to the power harness so it would not get stuck or jammed when the radio came in and out.

From there, it was trial fitting the radio to make sure everything still worked.    Unlike modern radios with a DIN frame, the Becker just slides in.  I also took the time to make sure the USB charging ports worked – something I had not done on the 560SEC install and regretted.

Becker Grand Prix 1402Once I had the radio in, it was apparent that the wood trim needs to be installed first.   I therefore removed the radio to complete this task.   As an added benefit, I was hoping to improve the alignment of the wood trim while I was there.   I had noticed the small ‘feet’ in the upper switch frame were not flush with the console.   As one of the mounting points on my car was broken, it took a bit of moving around, but eventually I had it aligned properly.

It didn’t seem to help much as the wood trim is still not all that well aligned.    I’m not 100% sure why – possibly because this wood trim is not original to the car, or possibly due to various radio and other work on the car something is misaligned.

W124 switchesThe wood trim is quite easy to install.  It hooks onto the top, then the combination of a pair of screws above the radio, and some large but thin nuts around the A/C control knobs hold it in place.  A large socket with a knurled thumbscrew was a good way of making sure I didn’t overtighten.

AC KnobsAt this point I also verified that the hazard lights were still working.     From there it was re-installing the radio and testing it to make sure all the connections were good.    They were.

Next was re-installation of the ashtray assembly.   This is held in with two screws.  The main issue here is making sure the wiring harness for the cigarette lighter is sitting properly so the ashtray can still open and close.   Like with the 560SEC, I situated the control button for the iSimple Tranzit BLU on the side of the console, as well as the mic for the handsfree kit.  It has worked quite well on the 560SEC.

The radio is now in and working and I really like he way it looks in the dash.  I have handsfree calling, as well as music control from my phone. I personally think there is a lot to be said about using a period correct radio in a classic car. Sure, it won’t sound as good as a modern radio, but it fits so well in the dash, and they work really well. They are part of that simplicity that classic cars have which is lost in moderns. I can operate all functions I need without taking my eyes of the road. Few modern cars can say that.

Becker Grand Prix 1402

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