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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 99 C43AMG, good condition. Runs like a scared rabbit. NO, I don't mean Vdubb rabbit.
I also have a couple other Benz in which the radio reception is good.
However, in the C43, the AM reception is sh8 !
I recently bought a rear bumber cover from a C280 so I can mount a trailer hitch without having to cut the AMG cover to pull my snow mobile trailer. Since there were only about 1200 of these AMGs imported, if I ever sell it, I'd like to be able to return it to to factory stock look.
The yard where I bought the cover allowed me to help with the removal and I found a couple of modules (about 4" square, each), one on each side of the cover, with a coaxial cable going into the trunk. Not sure where It terminated but I suspect it was at the radio. I also suspect one of mine is bad.
Anyway, I'm wondering if those modules are amplifiers for the antenna, one for AM and the other for FM.
Does anyone know what they are for ?
 

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"a couple of modules" ? Not sure what they are for...
I am pretty sure that the amplifier for the radio upgrade option had an amplifier which was mounted in the wall at the left side of the trunk (boot).
My C36 doesn't have the upgrade radio and was pretty average on reception and output. So I bought a much better Mercedes OEM used radio with a more powerful integrated amplifier.
That worked a treat with much improved reception and output. It also looks factory standard.
 

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If they were on the bumper I doubt it has anything to do with the radio. I can't say for sure but that's not where I'd put it, but it is where I'd put sensors. Radar for example, or maybe to trip the air bags. Both of those would explain why there are two of them. I'd assume the antenna would be in the glass of the windshield or rear window, and probably at the very top.
You didn't mention if the reception problem existed before the new bumper, after, or both.
Not sure what country you're in but I noticed in the UK they have a very different hitch than in the US. Theirs comes out from under the bumper and curves around it, then almost straight up to the ball. The long curved shaft and ball are one piece and all I could think of is it looks like a sex toy and I thought to myself I bet $ those things get violated by drunks in the wee hours! Point being you shouldn't need to alter the plastic since it goes around it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If they were on the bumper I doubt it has anything to do with the radio. I can't say for sure but that's not where I'd put it, but it is where I'd put sensors. Radar for example, or maybe to trip the air bags. Both of those would explain why there are two of them. I'd assume the antenna would be in the glass of the windshield or rear window, and probably at the very top.
You didn't mention if the reception problem existed before the new bumper, after, or both.
Not sure what country you're in but I noticed in the UK they have a very different hitch than in the US. Theirs comes out from under the bumper and curves around it, then almost straight up to the ball. The long curved shaft and ball are one piece and all I could think of is it looks like a sex toy and I thought to myself I bet $ those things get violated by drunks in the wee hours! Point being you shouldn't need to alter the plastic since it goes around it.
I have not installed the bumper cover yet.
These modules I'm talking about are in the bumper cover I bought at the junk yard. The cable is coaxial and has a typical RF cable with a connector like what goes into a radio. I don't believe they are fo a radar detector.
I did not follow the cable into the car since the fella who was removing the bumper cover had another job to work on and would not let me play around with the car.
The poor reception has been since I bought the car last year and sounds like the antenna is not connected but the reception on FM is good.
I'm in the US.
 

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Well, I guess if your car doesn't have that/those thingies, then no worries. If your car does, then I guess you can swap them and see what happens.
Since FM works I'm leaning toward the stereo being the issue because as far as I know they share the same antenna. I haven't used radio in 20yrs so I don't pay attention, but AM/FM always used to share the same antenna. Did you check out those sweet UK hitches? While very effective and probably better for light loads like yours, it may draw unwanted attention. Or wanted, not judging ;)
Also, I made a trailer hitch once that was way recessed. It was a square recess and the front of that sq recess was almost touching the diff, so about 24" forward compared to a normal hitch. I did this because I hate the look of hitches and don't want anything that may cause me to scrape the ground. So it simply had a long hitch mount to reach in there in the rare event I towed something. Only good for very low tongue weights but my loads were always zero tongue wt. I do NOT believe in that rule about XX% of the overall weight needs to be on the tongue. There are so may factors involved to make towing safe, but most people can't comprehend it so they just made that stupid rule.
So that funky was just another thought I figured I'd share to maybe you wouldn't have to swap that bumper and all the hassle and ugly hitch etc that goes with it.
Either way, post pix b/c I'm curious how it turns out and I'm sure there are others that want to do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not having driven it for a while, I just realized, today that even the FM doesn't receive all that well, either. I guess what I'll do is pull the radio out of the dash and stick in an antenna without all those fancy-dan mercedes crep and see if that helps. Possibly, what I'll have to do is use a magnetic antenna for the radio. I honestly don't understand why MB does all the sh8 they put into their cars. My hobby is ham radio/electronics so I should be able to troubleshoot this thing.
 

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On a car I had which had no antenna, back when I was 16, and I put a radio in, I simply shoved a wire into the antenna receptacle. The smaller female center hole, the business part obviously. I simply stripped a generic wire, probably 16ga, back about an inch, twisted the copper tight and bent it over so it would be a snug fit and stay in the hole. From there I just ran the wire about 24-30" willy nilly under the dash towards the right side and I was golden. I wasn't looking for top signal quality but it seemed to work just fine. AM, from what I recall, was never much for quality anyway so I'd imagine it would work perfectly? I know I would not want to put a magnetic antenna on my car, or any antenna. Even that little shark fin antenna that came on my Benz bugs me bad.
I suppose maybe the wire under the dash has simply worked its way out? Wouldn't be the first time that happend. Think you can get your hand back there and see?
I agree on all the extra crap. You should've seen the car I had at 16 because I couldn't understand wth all these wires did. It was '71 Ford, it didn't have much that needed wires. So I ripped out all the wiring and install all new, and only what needed to be there. What a difference! I mean we're talkin an actual weight difference here. Yet amazingly everything worked... And that's why no antenna, I ripped it it out too because it only had an AM radio, and old push the button hard kind. The FM radio/cassette deck came later. I did the same with my chevota truck, meaning ripped out all the wiring, but it turned out much nicer since I didn't have any $ when I was 16. Again, far less wire, everything works, plus a few extra features like home-made built in trailer brake controller (that actually worked, unlike store bought). Been 20yrs now and zero electrical issues which I attribute to using solder on everything, no crimps anywhere.
 
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