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<FONT size=2>I have a 98 C230 and had a CD changer installed two weeks ago. I did not have this done at the dealership but used a reputable local electronics store with a good mobile install department. They recommended the Alpine CHMS630 6-disc changer. (A 10-disc doesn't make any sense because there are only 6 preset buttons on the factory radio head unit.) It has CD-R capability but not MP3.</FONT></P>
<FONT size=2>It lists for $229 but I was able to talk the guy down to $180, which is just over cost. He couldn't help me on the labor, and it ended up being about $300 complete. The whole thing took about 45 minutes.</FONT></P>
<FONT size=2>You should already have a metal rack on the right side of your trunk area for the install. This is really convenient becauseeven with a loaded trunk you can switch out the disc cartridge.My head unit already had the CD button, and the station presets load the discs.</FONT></P>
<FONT size=2>So far I've been really happy with it.</FONT></P>
I am a little stupid here. Can someone explain to me how the CD player works. Everyone talks about the CD changer. Is this where the laser is found. I thought that the laser part would be somewhere around the radio console and the changer is where the CDs are loaded and unloaded. Does the factory installed bracket in the trunk have wires attached to it which leads to the back of the radio console? I am confused.<IMG src=smileys/smiley5.gif border="0">
I think on the newer models they have moved to an in-dash format, possibly even the six disc, which the new Hondas have. If it's in-dash that's where the laser is found.</P>
With the trunk units, the laser is in the trunk with the CD changer. Many times, I'm assuming post-'95 Mercs, they have the CDbutton on the head unit, but it was an option and perhaps wasn't installed.</P>
I believe the bracket does have wiring directly to the head unit, although you have to purchase some extra cables that hook up to those leads. I'm not exactly an electronics freak and didn't want my head unit displaying in Portuguese or refusing to play Track 1 on the White Album, so I had it done. However, I've seen posts on this forum and others that discuss installation in more detail.</P>
FYI, I have a 10-stack CD which came standard with my '94 C180 Elegance. You don't use the 1 to 6 buttons on the radio. There are buttons for selecting the CD changer and progressing forward or backwards through the 10 CDs. Works fine, and displays the CD number and track on the LCD display.
I'm interested in installing a CD changer into my 1997 C230 and I'm willing to follow the suggestion above to use the Alpine CHM-S630 (which I can get for about $170 on eBay; although I'm a little more inclined to go for the 634 model which can play MP3s. I'm assuming the installation procedure would be the same for both models). Can someone direct me to posted installation instructions or email them to me so I can see if the installation process is something I can handle?
If not, what would be a reasonable fee for a professional installer to charge?