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SLK 230 Center Console Removal

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Former Member
Freeron's picture
Omaha, NE
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Joined: August 2nd, 2010

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1998 SLK230 Kompressor

I have a 1998 SLK 230 with the usual center console paint peeling problem. I have the rear piece of the console loose and it will lift about 1/2 inch and then hits a stop of some kind. I have removed the cover from the cell phone compartment. Can anyone tell me how to get the console off (the rest of the way) without damaging anything? Thanks!!!

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Former Member
Freeron's picture
Omaha, NE
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Joined: August 2nd, 2010

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1998 SLK230 Kompressor
Re: SLK 230 Center Console Removal

Hello to all: I did not get any responses but did find out how to remove. I also learned some good tips along the way for re-finishing the rear console piece.
First, to remove the console, remove the front two screws (after removing the pieces around the shifter stick) and then remove two 10mm nuts from the rear. These are under the felt piece in the very back of the console. MB was smart and did not glue this part down, so it just lifts up very easily. Picture attached.

Once you get the console loose, you have to disconnect the phone (if equipped), the cigarette lighter, the top switch and the side mirrors switch. These switches disconnect by squeezing the tabs on both sides at the same time and pulling the switch connection off. Now, "simply" remove the rubber handle on the emergency brake. This was intended as sick humor.....it's a bear to get the handle off. It does pull off but it requires a LOT of brute strength, both hands and a little leverage. It took me several attempts to get it all the way off.

Now, take the console to your workbench, etc. and remove all the little phillips head screws from the bottom side and remove all the attachments. You don't want these in the way, nor do you want to cause damage to them.

I "scraped" a lot of the finish off. You have to be very careful not to scratch the plastic under the bad finish. Then I used a wire brush with a wooden handle to remove some more. Don't use a power tool for this as you will get the plastic hot and cause disfiguration. Finally, I used a product I found at Ace Hardware called "Painters Pal" spray gel. It works like magic! It is non-harmful to the plastic, smells like oranges and is fairly safe to use. I do recommend rubber gloves and do it outdoors in plenty of fresh air. No point in taking a chance!! We get exposed to enough toxic chemicals without looking for them.

Finally, I washed the console in very hot water and dish detergent. Allow it to dry thoroughly and it is ready to paint. I found an almost perfect match for the graphite color on my car. It is as simple as Rust-Oleum Automobile Primer #2089. I'll have to see how well it holds up, but it looks beautiful and matches virtually perfect.

So, I hope I have helped at least one person along the way with making a SLK console look new again. I am going to paint the rest of the console and lower dash as my next project, now that I feel "experienced".

console.jpg
Former Member
Benzman's picture
Spring Hill, FL
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1992 500SL
1998 SLK230 Kompressor
Re: SLK 230 Center Console Removal

Your info is most valuable to me.
After I get the fuel pump bugs out of my SLK, I need to do the same to the interior.
I do have a question on the paint. I have been told by automotive painters that primers hold moisture. and should be covered with a top coat asap. Did you cover the console with clear?

Thanks
Ron

Former Member
Freeron's picture
Omaha, NE
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1998 SLK230 Kompressor
Re: SLK 230 Center Console Removal

No, I did not clear coat as that would not match the rest of the panels.  Yes, MOST primers do hold moisture but this is of concern only if used on metal.  It allows rust to form before the top coat is applied.  On plastic, there is no problem.  Actually, the clean plastic console looks great and I was tempted to do all the plastic trim that way.  It is slightly darker black than the finish.  However, it will not show any marks from normal wear.

Ron

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SLK A/C

Ron, 

I am in the process of doing the same thing that you did to your slk. How do i get the ac control units back in. Do the prongs in the back of it need to match up in order to get them in or is it just one? One of them is matched up perfectly but if i turn he settings on the knob i cant get the other prong to match up so that it will slide in the correct slot. I am hoping this makes sense I am doing something wrong and possibly you will be able to help me. Look forward to hearing your advice! 

Thanks,

Brett

Former Member
Freeron's picture
Omaha, NE
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1998 SLK230 Kompressor
SLK A/C

Hi Brett:

Sounds like you are into the center console piece, which I haven't had apart (yet).  I worked on the rear piece, between the seats.  Sorry I can't offer much help or experience with what you are doing.  Good luck.  I may tackle the same thing this winter when I can't (won't) drive my SLK.

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