CLK63 AMG Coupe

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mwstewart

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Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
87
Location
London
Car
CLK63 Coupe, Ferrari 430 Spider, BMW E46 M3 Manual Coupe, 500+bhp Fiesta
I've fitted a wood glove box handle supplied by Jerry at ForMyMercedes.com. I think the photos (excuse the quality) are pretty self-explanatory.
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...and some phone snaps from the past five months. The CLK63 is a fantastic daily driver; for us I think the only way forward from here may be a V12 Vantage - my OH has become accustomed to the performance. My only real gripe is the suspension which I will sort out after our upcoming wedding.
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mwstewart

Active Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
87
Location
London
Car
CLK63 Coupe, Ferrari 430 Spider, BMW E46 M3 Manual Coupe, 500+bhp Fiesta
We've owned this just over a year now and due to wedding planning etc. we covered over 10k in the first seven months. Despite purchasing it with the intent to use it as an every-day car including through the winter, my less rational side got the better of me and I put it in storage since last October.
Maintenance summary below:

- Somewhere around 44k it Istarted to develop a very slight lumpy idle which has now got to the point where it is perceptible in the cabin, so I'm going to remove the inlet manifold and check for
- there are better quality after-market versions available for around £275 delivered. It's a really odd failure given the part seems to be alloy because it seems to be exacerbated by oil, so perhaps it is some kind of epoxy based alloy composite;
- 46k: Whatever the large service is at Mercedes (B?). It had oil & filter, plugs, and air filter;
- 47k: front discs and pads;
- The rear tyres were new and lasted 8k, which I think is pretty good given the power and weight. We went for Goodyear Eagle F1 because they are grippy but also some of the quietest performance tyres.

It really is a fantastic car with effortless performance, and it slips under the radar except for the smooth but distinct exhaust note (nothing at all like a C63). It is actually quite a bit quicker than when we picked it up; we've done a lot of long, fast trips which always helps loosen up an engine, but another likely factor was a lack of regular use before we owned it. The limiter is now, true to its name, very limiting! I'd like to have it mapped out. The brakes are strong but it's a heavy car so their performance tails off noticeably even before the disks approach their wear limit. The CLK63 Black series has the same diameter (360mm) front discs but despite looking the same they are 2mm thicker with a lot more surface area; I have a set in the workshop purcahsed with the intent to fit them, but I decided against it due to the significant different in unsprung weight.

The harsh is the biggest negative about the car and has my OH and I scanning the road surface for ironworks and potholes far more than we'd like, so I've picked up a set of new springs from Mercedes, for later 5.5 v8 CLK500 Sport (M273 not the CLK55). The kerb weight is close enough but the Sport's are softer and higher than the CLK63 - another issue we found is the exhaust scraping on speed bumps.
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Part numbers:
Front - A203 321 50 04
Rear - A210 324 34 04

In addition to the springs I have a set of camber and castor bolts available to ensure the geo is spot-on. One word of advice I can pass on to other owners is don't take a CLK to anyone other than Mercedes for an alignment; MB use a spreader bar to load up the front wheels and I've found out by experience that it is the only really way to get a completely acceptable result for high-speed driving.
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mwstewart

Active Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
87
Location
London
Car
CLK63 Coupe, Ferrari 430 Spider, BMW E46 M3 Manual Coupe, 500+bhp Fiesta
The car is now out of its winter hibernation. I have fitted a US specification centre console which I find both better looking and more convenient to use than the European type. It still has the UHI/Bluetooth attachment built-in but does use a specific wiring loom to connect to the original Bluetooth module.
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Dension Gateway 500S BT - GW52MO2
I decided to go for the new generation 500 mainly for the Bluetooth streaming functionality.

- The perfect solution for MOST™ fiber optics systems
- Menu based control and browsing – full integration
- Hands free calling with phonebook browsing, caller ID display, call lists – all shown on the display(s)
- Bluetooth audio streaming (A2DP) with text display
- Music playback from various sources with text display (ID3 tags)
- Control through steering wheel buttons (if available) or the head unit buttons
- Multilanguage menu support (EN, DE, FR, IT, NL, ES, PT, TR, HU, PL, CZ, SK, RO)
- Available in Single-FOT and Dual-FOT versions (for CD-changer retention)
- Android devices can be connected via USB if 'Mass Storage Mode' is available

I also bought an Audison Prima AP8.9 bit and a bit DMI to I replace the factory Harman/Kardon amp, but as of yet I haven't had chance to install them.
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I bought the 'dual FOT' version of the 500S so that I could retain the functionality of the existing CD changer, rather than replace it in the MOST ring. The Dension mimics the function of the CD changer and features a switch to swap between the two. I found the best installation location was behind the HVAC control panel where, conveniently, there was a foam-lined space the size of the 500S.
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I modified the cup holder within the US centre console to mount the 500S interface panel; I've left room for a USB stick and headphone jack connection with a closed console lid.
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I'm really pleased with the unit; a single 128Gb USB stick holds pretty much all of my music and the best part (the reason I really wanted) is the increase in sound quality compared to using the aux port; using a USB stick means there is only one digital-to-analogue conversion at the amplifier compared to say, D2A on an iPod, A2D at the COMAND unit, then D2A at the factory amplifier.

New Springs
I'd taken a bit of an estimate with the springs ordering a set from a UK 5.5 v8 with the Sport pack (2007 onwards). When the parts turned up I realised that the rear springs were the same as fitted to my car - this prompted me to devote some time to research things properly. I created a spreadsheet with all CLK springs, their length, wire diameter, and calculated spring length.

The original CLK63 front springs are 4.5 coils, 14.5mm wire diameter, 170mm outside diameter, and 320mm free length. I calculated a spring rate of 143.91 lb/inch. The rear springs are 371.13 lb/inch which is the lowest of the seven CLK spring options available and they are also 3rd shortest at 322mm - this made me realise that on my car the low ride height is achieved by tuning the rear spring pads, of which several options are available: 5mm, 9mm, 13mm and 17mm. From the factory my car had 13mm.
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The 5.5 Sport springs supplied have the same rear springs (blue, blue, blue) as the CLK63, however the fronts are are significantly lower rate: 4.5 coils, 13.35mm wire diameter, 170mm outside diameter, and 394mm free length, to give a spring rate of 103.46 lb/inch. That's a 28.10% decrease in rate from the CLK63.
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My research uncovered a middle-ground front spring between the 5.5 Sport and CLK63: some US market cars were fitted with a 4.5 coil, 14mm wire diameter, 170mm outside diameter, and 392mm free length, to give a spring rate of 123.54 lb/inch - 16.48% less than the CLK63. I decided to try these together with increasing the rear spring pads from 13mm to 17mm.
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Here is the resulting ride height. The car now clears speed bumps without scraping the left exhaust bank and I'm really, really pleased with the increased ride quality - in my opinion this is how the car should have come from the factory; it's still firm for a CLK but now has the ability to soak up smaller, sharper bumps rather than transferring an audible 'thud' into the chassis.
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Distronic Retrofit - Interior
The interior aspect is straight-forward: a switch pack (within Mercedes documentation termed the LCP - 'lower control panel') with two screws, a four wire loom (CAN-, CAN+, and power) to join the new LCP to the existing UCP (hazard switch panel), and the convertible type gear lever surround in matching trim.
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I performed the installation at the same time as fitting the Dension, so it was a trivial amount of extra work. I did find that I already had a multiplug in the UCP in the position used by the LCP connection, so it was a case of removing the existing pins and inserting them in the same place within the new LCP loom.
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I'll cover the engine bay installation in a future update along with the STAR coding. I'm also piecing together the parts for a LINGUATRONIC (voice control) and adaptive headlamps (APS) retrofit.
 

Smart320

MB Enthusiast
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Feb 10, 2017
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Location
Barrybados
Car
Mini Cooper, Toyota RAV4 3dr , SLK55amg ( gone )
An amazing car and I must admit to thinking you have made some very subtle but impressive changes, hats off to you , especially regarding the suspension modifications. I must also admit to just getting into my cars and driving them and would not have the slightest idea about how to improve them!
 
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mwstewart

Active Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
87
Location
London
Car
CLK63 Coupe, Ferrari 430 Spider, BMW E46 M3 Manual Coupe, 500+bhp Fiesta
Would anyone be kind enough to share the W209 Linguatronic wiring diagram?
 

dan-mb

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Joined
Sep 2, 2014
Messages
552
Location
Birmingham
Car
E350 CDI coupe, CLS 320 CDI
Great thread and car. I miss my CLK.
 

millc63

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Jun 14, 2018
Messages
168
Location
London
Car
W204 C63 Saloon
Not seen this advertised anywhere. Did miss it?

Yeah you did, it was so good, it was sold without ever having to have been put up :D (i don't actually know, but i also haven't seen the advert)

@mwstewart really amazing work you have done on the car, if i didn't have a car, i'd be looking to buy it, the care and attention to detail has astounded me. You sir are a master craftsman.
 

Mrbottomend

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2019
Messages
231
Location
U.K. SOUTH
Car
CLK 320 CDI Sport
Great thread! If I could change my gal for anything it would be that motor! Gorgeous! Well done! OOI happy to reveal selling price?

Plus I might look into that spring thing as would love to soften mine up just a hint or two. And avoid so many underscrapies...
 

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