Aftermarket COMAND replacements

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Back to: WIS 82.85 Navigation and Communication System (CNS, ICS, COMAND, FleetBoa) A40/3

Description - Aftermarket COMAND replacements

High-end aftermarket car stereo Head Units are available for Mercedes-Benz S-Class W220.

There are several brands available and most offer the following;

  • Touch Screen Control
  • CD/DVD player (DVD/VCD/HVCD/MP4/MP3/CD/AVI/DIVX et alia).
  • Built-in Navigation.
  • Blue Tooth to connect mobile phone for hands free use.
  • SD Card slot.
  • Auxiliary input port for portable multimedia devices (video and audio).
  • Reversing Camera option.
  • Compatible with original Canbus system for steering wheel control.
W220 aftermarket headunit installed.jpg

Issues - Aftermarket COMAND replacements

Be aware there are several issues related to installing aftermarket head units:

  • Steering wheel controls may not work
  • Replacement head unit may not work with the original amplifier

Options - Aftermarket COMAND replacements

Alpine INA-W910

COMAND replaced with Alpine INA-W910 Touchscreen system.

Seicane S018800w

BenzWorld Member Pinkster used a Seicane head unit replacement in a pre-facelift W220, and noted that his car needed the dash modded to fit. See [1]

The Seicane information and installation instructions are here [2]

Replacement Seicane Head Unit for W220.jpg


BenzWorld Member Dave2302 used an Erisin head unit replacement with a good description of the ease of installation in a pre-facelift W220 (none Bose Car and no Fibre Optics). See here [3].

040 Replacement Erisin Head Unit in W220.jpg

Main installation points discussed were;

  • Remove OEM COMAND.
010 OEM COMAND Removed from W220.jpg
  • Remove the CD Changer from the Boot, (Trunk).
  • Original Speakers which were plugged to the back of the old COMAND, plug right in to the ERISIN Speakers Plug.
  • On the old COMAND Power Plug the Permanent +ve = (thick Yellow / Red), Earth = (Brown) and Antenna Amp / CD Wake Up = (Blue / Black) plugs straight into the Erisin's Power Plug.
  • Also on the Erisin's Plug is Red switched +ve wire, and 2 Steering Wheel Button wires. DO NOT CONNECT THESE!! Can Bus takes care of all that and more.
  • The Erisin came with two optional use CAN Plugs. Dave2302 note that "There has been waffle all over the Internet and BenzWorld as well as other MB Forums, about splicing into the CAN under the Carpets on the Left Sill, (Rocker Panel), into the HVAC Panel CAN etc etc etc !! The COMAND Communicates with all sorts of other stuff on your Car, so it has CAN Wires going to it, they just aren't that obvious!!"
  • There were two plugs with Lever Type catches on the back of the old COMAND, one to the Nav Disc Processor part attached to the COMAND H/U, this has a Blue Lever Catch, and one to the actual COMAND H/U which has a Grey Lever Catch. The "Grey Lever Catch" has the CAN, and one of the Erisin provided adaptors is a Plug with two Wires White & White Black, and two Wires Green & Green Black, which plugs right into the "Grey Catch Plug" on the Car"
  • The Green & Green Black wires plug into the CAN Decoder supplied by Erisin and then plug that into the Erisin H/U.
  • The Radio Antenna from the old COMAND plugged into the Erisin's Aerial Socket with a simple adaptor.
  • The "MUSIC" Icon on the Erisin H/U switches to a SD Card and plays well, nad has a Graphic Equaliser to get it all sounding great. It's crystal clear but too loud at half volume, and every Speaker in the Car works a treat including Parcel Shelf Woofer and Centre Dash Speaker. The sound quality from this unit is far superior to the Old COMAND H/U.
  • The look of the Erisin Head Unit completely transforms the look of the Cars interior, it is a true "Update Upgrade"
  • Steering Wheel buttons will change Tracks and Radio Stations, and Volume Up and Down.
  • The Phone Answer / Hang Up activates the Phone Screen on the H/U.
  • Selecting Reverse Gear enables Reverse Camera Screen, but a Camera must be installed.
  • Dash Display is yet to be configured.
  • An adapter is required to use the Cars Nav Shark Fin Antenna.

Here is Dave2302's method for modding the OEM dash to make the Erisin fit.

  • I had to carefully cut the 2 upper COMAND mounting lugs out of the dash, using a Hacksaw blade on it's own, and then carefully also trim the Dash apertures inner edges back (where you can't see this) to get the unit to fit nicely and squarely with an even gap all the way round.
030 OEM COMAND Bracket Modifications.jpg
  • I have yet to fabricate couple of Upper Mountings to secure it at the top, but have got 4 screws along the bottom lip where the old COMAND has 2 Screws, so next job is to make some nice little brackets to secure the top of it in a decent and secure manner.
  • It is also impossible to use screws on the 2 recessed Centre "Ear Brackets" like the old COMAND has, because the Erisin is a lot wider than the COMAND, but they are resting nicely, and supporting it on the Dash's plastic "Ear Lugs" and I have an idea for that too, which will involve Captive Threaded Studs on the H/U "ears" and trying to get my hand up and put a couple of wing nuts on from behind whilst the Ashtray and A/C Panel is out
  • I think that may work, if not instead of threaded studs, I'll make up some tapered locating Dowels and drill the Dash Brackets to suit the taper.
020 Replacement Erisin COMAND with modification brackets.jpg

Resources - Aftermarket COMAND replacements

MBWorld has several postings on options and fabulous videos on aftermarket Head Units installed in MB E-class W211 vehicles. See [4]