My Mercedes Benz
Analyze and Troubleshoot "Check Engine" MIL and Electronic Control Units (ECU)!
Berg Werks: First Gear Switch Module (FGS) and Security Switch (SS)
The picture shows the FGS module as it comes from Berg Werks. The main 'electronics' is housed is a secure plastic case with a modular connector. The length of the wire is apx 5', so there is adequate length to accommodate all installations.
The black coiled wire with the small switch is the 'programmer' for use with the FGS Module after installation. With this switch and the dip-switch contained in the FGS module, one can change the factory default values to more that suits your driving habits. For me, the factory defaults are just fine.
The picture shows the my S500 (C140) Cpe shift plate. Since the 'Euro' switch is not included in this car, we converted
the Child-Window switch to perform the Winter function switching. IE, this switch now controls which mode that the FGS
Module is in.
Toward the left, it's in the 'S' mode, standing for 1st gear start. Toward the right, the car is returned to its original position of 2nd gear start. The original child-Window function has be permanently enabled so that the back windows can operate. This is ok for someone of my age but may be a drawback for families of small children.
Removal of Center Console
This is the beginning of the actual 'work' of getting to the needed points in my car. First you must remove the ashtray so that the center console containing the shift gate can be accessed.
For my car, a small Phillips head screwdriver or a hex driver head will work. Open the ashtray and using the appropriate tool, loosen the screw. Then lift and slide the burlwood plate out.
Place the burlwood cover in a safe place since it won't be needed until the installation is complete.
Once removed, the lower portion of the center console can be removed. To do this, using a small hex tool, loosen the two
screws that are on either side of underneath the console lip (near the middle finger as shown).
If you look close, you can see that my center console is split in the middle. Later on, this was changed to a one piece design. In those cases it makes it more difficult to get the console out but the theory is the same.
|After removing the screws, the lower portion can be lifted up as shown. All needed connections are now able to be accessed.
The shift plate in my car was replaced with a burlwood version that was purchased from Performance Products. This is the same as that found in the S600 car but is not an option for the S500.
The 'trick' to remove this plate is to release the clips that hold the TOP, SIDE and BOTTOM. Use a small flat blade screwdriver to gently lift the SIDE clips while pulling up on the plate. The TOP and BOTTOM clips are released by using the same small flat blade screwdriver to gently pry the clip outward while pulling up on the plate.
Transmission 'B' Switch
Why the letter 'B'? Look on the bottom of the shift plate and that's what Mercedes calls 1st gear - a 'B'!
The 'B' switch is shown in the picture outlined in the white box. It's located as shown on the right side of the shift plate assy. The inset picture shows a splice (orange) wired into the lead from the switch and taken to the FGS Module. This is an output from the FGS module that tells the transmission to shift into 1st gear when the Winter Mode (my child-window switch) is in the 'S' position.
Vehicle Speed Signal (Vss)
The Alpine GPS system and the FGS Module both need the Vss that comes from the front wheel. This signals tells the ABS system in the car how the wheels are spinning. The FGS module uses this to basically 'count' pulses which translates in vehicle speed. Thus limits can be set for when the FGS tells the transmission to switch out and/in in.
As Carl spins the wheel to generate the Vss, Steve probes the wire(s) to make sure that it's correct. The Vss signal is located on PIN 1 of the radio connector: Green/Black wire. So after sliding the radio out, it very easy to access that wire. We took a little longer to find until we remembered that the ignition must be on! Once found, the remaining wiring to the FGS module could be completed. By the way, remember is was at least 94 deg F in the shop!
The wiring was completed to the child-window switch that you see in the inset. The Mercedes connector was reused to make
these connections. The wiring to complete the child-window switch was soldered together and then protected in shrink
sleeving in order to protect these connections. They, of course, are not needed any longer since that function is
Testing/Programming FGS Module
The picture shows yours truly holding the FGS Module doing some static testing with the on-board LEDs. These basically tell that power and the correct signals are there but require road testing to set (or change) the final values.
The unit can be programmed by using the on-board DIP switch module shown as red with white switch levers. By selecting the particular dip switch combination, one of the FGS functions can be changed. To set the speed for any particular function, set the dip switches as shown below in the table. A tooth pick may be helpful to ensure that the correct switch is set to correspond to the function desired.
Drive the car at the desired speed and press/hold the remote programming button for at least 1 full second. A flash of the LED indicates that the speed setting was captured. Then return the particular switch to the OPEN position.
But I believe you will find that only those interested in more speed/sport driving will have to change the factory default settings. But whatever your driving habit, you will enjoy this electronic marvel!
Comments and Recommendations
The FGS plus Winter and Security modes has been installed about a month and I can say that the FGS is absolutely a great feature. For example, yesterday, I need some extra 'zip' to make a turn (from a standstill) to merge into traffic. I, of course, forgot that it's installed because it operates so smoothly. So, I gave the pedal a little extra, assuming that it was about to start in 2nd gear. Much to my surprise the car stepped out briskly and merged without a hitch!
However, their Security Mode is a disappointment. It does not work as advertised. Once the SS mode 'fires', it locks out the normal Mercedes system from unlocking the doors. Thus the system is hung up. The only way that the doors, trunk, and locking gas cap can be opened is by use the remote key door feature. By locking and then, unlocking the system all doors, trunk, etc. can be reset.
The frustrating part is that you always forget to take you key when you shut off the car. So you step out, try to open the trunk, and then say "@#%^&*"! Then you go back into the car to get the key so you can open the trunk!
Carl sent some specific instructions today so I removed the floor molding strip to expose the door wiring contained on the passenger sidewall. The pic shows how to bypass the Security Mode and return the car to 'stock' operation without removing the Security Mode relay.
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