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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all:

Finally signed for my 135 cargo and will pick it up ASAP. $39,688 OTD with 4/120 ELW and of course the current Service A/B incentive. They ultimately insisted on selling the "Zurich Shield" clear coat, but I didn't care as they met my price. And after some squawks here about the base navy paint, maybe it'll do some good. They also insisted on selling the ELW at full price and applying a deeper discount to the vehicle. Again I didn't care because I got my price. I'm guessing I left a few hundred on the table, but that's not how I measure success.

OK, so I have a long list of stuff I want to do and I'd like advice on the order of attack, both from a practical-easiest-to-install-first or in this sequence and from the value or utility standpoint. Here's what I'm thinking:

1. OEM Floor Trays A4476809801
2. OEM Wind Deflectors A4477662500
3. SCOPEMA passenger seat swivel (not sure yet on Driver's -- pros/cons? I don't want the seat or noise from the swivel to bug me while I am driving)
4. C.R. Laurence Driver's side window -- opening -- FW642L
5. C.R. Laurence Passenger sliding door window -- opening -- FW642R (Too much glass? I like the opening for cross-flow ventilation)
6. Convex side mirrors if needed
7. Rydeen CM-D500 Dual Side Cams
8. Turn Signal interceptor for side Rydeens
9. Front "Drive Recorder" Camera Kenwood DRV-N520
10. Head Unit

On the head unit, I don't want NAV, I want Android Auto. What do you think as between these units: Kenwood DDX9904S or Pioneer AVH-W4400NEX?

I'd also really appreciate any advice on sources or types of window shades for the front cabin and the TBA C.R. Laurence side windows.

Thanks
 

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Congrats on the purchase!

Are you turning it into a camper van? I'd say go big with more/bigger windows. If you're concerned about maximizing your wall insulation, I don't think it's worth sacrificing your view for a marginal decrease in furnace fuel consumption (if you're going that route). That's what I tell my sprinter buddies that are building adventure vans. Don't lose out on the view to save a couple $.
Consider these for floor mats too: https://www.qualitycarmats.com/Model.asp?Make=Mercedes&Model=Metris&PT=Floor+Mats I decked out my passenger version with these (also had a custom piece made).
https://www.heatshieldstore.com makes roll-up window shades (aluminized foam) for windshield, side windows, and rear windows that are vehicle-specific.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, sir an RV/Camper for ME and maybe an occasional warm and lovable friend -- and I don't mean a dog!.

I agree on the windows, but the C.R Laurences are really big -- full stamping size and OEM fit. I don't want those 10 x 33 sliders with exposed rubber gaskets. I bought factory rear glass (dark tint) for the 270 barn door windows.

Thanks for the great tips.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Has anybody confirmed there is room for the Rydeens' wiring and stem inside the exterior rear view mirror housings?
 

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Regarding the head unit, I ended up purchasing a Kenwood DDX6704S on closeout. This has a DVD drive (remember those?), 2 camera inputs, and HD Radio (I love the clarity of HD Radio over regular AM/FM.) + Android Auto & Apple CarPlay. I like the larger, easy-to-reach hardware buttons this unit has on the left, rather than the small, thin buttons on the bottom of the newer units (to make room for a larger screen). It also cost a lot less, as a closeout. I've been happy with the Kenwood interface and controls. I have no Satellite radio, so haven't tried that, but I like having Android Auto on the big screen and it interacts well with the radio & bluetooth music & hands-free phone calls.

Either of the head units you mentioned would serve you well, with only minor differences between them. The Pioneer can do a cable-free connection to your smartphone's Android Auto (or Apple CarPlay), which the Kenwood can't. But I always plug-in my phone to recharge anyway, so that's a non-issue for me. And the Kenwood unit supports Quick Charging on Android, which I love, especially on short in-town trips. The Kenwood unit may also be easier to hookup to your Kenwood front camera.

Do you have steering wheel controls? Be sure to get an interface kit for those, if so. That makes the wiring a bit more complicated, but worth it. Crutchfield.com has great advice on all the parts you need for the install, if you're going do-it-yourself. (just say you're replacing the stock stereo on a Sprinter van. It's all the same.) Also, note that if your van has a stock radio w/ bluetooth phone connection, your van has the stock built-in mic, and that needs special wiring to the new head unit's 3.5 mini-jack input. The Sprinter wiring harness kit (PAC RP4.2-MB11) doesn't support direct mic wiring.
 

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I suggest also clear-bra for the front of your van, at least the hood. (Bumpers are plastic so it doesn’t matter) my hood has rust on a couple of stone chips. I gotta get those filled in and then take my own advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Regarding the head unit, I ended up purchasing a Kenwood DDX6704S on closeout. This has a DVD drive (remember those?), 2 camera inputs, and HD Radio (I love the clarity of HD Radio over regular AM/FM.) + Android Auto & Apple CarPlay. I like the larger, easy-to-reach hardware buttons this unit has on the left, rather than the small, thin buttons on the bottom of the newer units (to make room for a larger screen). It also cost a lot less, as a closeout. I've been happy with the Kenwood interface and controls. I have no Satellite radio, so haven't tried that, but I like having Android Auto on the big screen and it interacts well with the radio & bluetooth music & hands-free phone calls.

Either of the head units you mentioned would serve you well, with only minor differences between them. The Pioneer can do a cable-free connection to your smartphone's Android Auto (or Apple CarPlay), which the Kenwood can't. But I always plug-in my phone to recharge anyway, so that's a non-issue for me. And the Kenwood unit supports Quick Charging on Android, which I love, especially on short in-town trips. The Kenwood unit may also be easier to hookup to your Kenwood front camera.

Do you have steering wheel controls? Be sure to get an interface kit for those, if so. That makes the wiring a bit more complicated, but worth it. Crutchfield.com has great advice on all the parts you need for the install, if you're going do-it-yourself. (just say you're replacing the stock stereo on a Sprinter van. It's all the same.) Also, note that if your van has a stock radio w/ bluetooth phone connection, your van has the stock built-in mic, and that needs special wiring to the new head unit's 3.5 mini-jack input. The Sprinter wiring harness kit (PAC RP4.2-MB11) doesn't support direct mic wiring.
Wow, thanks for the tremendous information. I am torn about the wireless Android Auto (Longtime Pixel fan). The fast charging is great, but that's why I'll have an inverter so me thinks the convenience of being able to leave the phone in my shoulder bag or glove box and cast Android Auto outweighs the Pioneer fast charge. I like the close big buttons on the Kenwood too.

I do have steering wheel controls, so that's a must. I didn't know the built-in mic needed special attention -- thanks for that!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I suggest also clear-bra for the front of your van, at least the hood. (Bumpers are plastic so it doesn’t matter) my hood has rust on a couple of stone chips. I gotta get those filled in and then take my own advice.
Stop making sense! The paint is shockingly soft. Given that the dealer "gave" me the Zurich Shield (what unmitigated bullsh*t), and given I found one very minor scratch I had them remove before taking delivery, I might actually do a hood coat.

Any product suggestions?
 

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Stop making sense! The paint is shockingly soft. Given that the dealer "gave" me the Zurich Shield (what unmitigated bullsh*t), and given I found one very minor scratch I had them remove before taking delivery, I might actually do a hood coat.
What color is your van? Is it one of the standard colors, or one of the premium ones?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
What color is your van? Is it one of the standard colors, or one of the premium ones?
It is the non-metallic, base Navy Blue. It looks far better in person than in the photos, and can lean towards black in the right light.

The color is nostalgic for me given the '99 VW Eurovan I hauled my sons around in, but truth be known I refuse to shell out a grand for paint unless the artist has signed it. >:D

p.s. I'm not the one who parked it in the dealer's disabled space.

p.p.s. I included the right side shot. The visual tell for the 135 is the 9 inch extension between the passenger side C pillar and rear wheel well.
 

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The reason I asked is that at least one other member here (GML for one) has had complaints about the paint and also has the standard paint. I am wondering if the premium paint is better quality. Maybe someone could write a poll addressing this question :)

I agree about spending $1000 for premium paint, but I had kind of settled on red for my van, which is also a standard color, and was worried about the durability of the standard paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The reason I asked is that at least one other member here (GML for one) has had complaints about the paint and also has the standard paint. I am wondering if the premium paint is better quality. Maybe someone could write a poll addressing this question :)

I agree about spending $1000 for premium paint, but I had kind of settled on red for my van, which is also a standard color, and was worried about the durability of the standard paint.
I recall it was a report about hazing on the navy blue as well, that's why I didn't really mind they put on the clear coat "Zurich Shield" which sounds like the title of a bad international crime thriller. The only thing I've noticed about the finish is that it seems almost greasy, like soft wax. I am guessing there is a 60-40 chance they did not put ANYTHING on the paint and just charged for the Zurich Shield (if you look for Zurich Shield info you'll run into a bunch of car lot finance managers talking about the product. They sound like the robo-reviewers you see on less well managed shopping sites, or the paid YouTubes hawking crappy Chinese fishing reels. (Not saying ALL Chinese reels are bad, but boy do they know how to do cheap when they want to.) Anyway, it's way over sell matched with the pre-packaged sales pitch talking points.
 

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Spending $1000 to have metal flakes in your paint is absolutely ludicrous. However the metallic paints are of a higher quality, they are harder, are clear-coated, and also seem to be better applied.

It is the price they charge for any vehicle to have premium paint, not just Metris vans. Looking back in retrospect I regret not ordering it. Knowing what I know now I probably would have ordered it in dolomite brown.
 

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Has anyone had problems with rust spots from metal bits flying on to the paint from the brake dust? I have a 2017 White Passenger Metris with 21,000 kilometres on it, that had to go in for a special acid wash to remove tiny rust spots all over the entire van. The dealership told me it was from the brake dust because the brakes on the Metris are performance brakes like the C-class. I wasn’t sure if that was BS or not. It was even on the rear bumper! I was concerned about the effects of an acid wash on the paint future, but they assured me it would not affect longevity. Any others have this issue?
 

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The bumpers are totally plastic so obviously that’s not rust on the bumper itself. It is not BS that the brakes are “performance” brakes, or rather, that they are the typical shorter-life but higher-performance Mercedes puts on all their vehicles. They have done this forever; hence the typical Mercedes look of the lighter but dirty rear wheel and the black front wheel- it’s not BS that the compound MB favors generates a lot of brake dust.

I have also heard of Arctic White (on both the Metris and the Sprinter) tending to get metal fragments embedded in the paint causing the false appearance of surface rust; I have heard clay barring removes it. It does not seem to be affecting my navy blue paint in the same way. I don’t recall ever hearing the source of this being brake dust.

I do suggest washing and waxing your van as you would a car. If you want some extra protection, consider ceramic coating it. And I certainly continue to recommend a clear bra.

It is not BS that this rust like stuff is not an example of rusting body panels, but it is wise to clean it anyway.
 

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Thanks for the verification! I am planning to get a graphics wrap on some portions of the van and figured that would help protect the paint. And yes, regular washing/waxing too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Any recommendations on the clear hood bra?

Also, apropos of nothing, some Phantom 135 pix. I think the base navy blue paint finish is pretty darn good. We'll see about durability.
 

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Stop making sense! The paint is shockingly soft.

Also, apropos of nothing, some Phantom 135 pix. I think the base navy blue paint finish is pretty darn good. We'll see about durability.

I'm really confused now. Do you approve of your paint, or not? Or, put another way, would you order this paint again, or spend the extra grand for one of the premium paints?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm really confused now. Do you approve of your paint, or not? Or, put another way, would you order this paint again, or spend the extra grand for one of the premium paints?
I love the color and the paint application looks first rate to me. But I believe the other owners who have reported issues with the base paint. So I am hopeful, glad I got the Zurich Shield clear coat (although it may do nothing), but I remain apprehensive enough about the long term that I am going to apply a clear bra film to the hood and fenders as needed. I also intend to use clear film on the rocker panels in lieu of mud flaps.

I would not order the premium paint if I had to do it again. I spec'd a base exterior as a function of stealth. The vehicle is already an attention getter. At times I may have thousands of dollars of gear with me, and I want as little to worry about as possible. So I have steelies (though I wish I had the black 2019 steelies!) and black bumpers. I am dying to have the C.R. Laurence side windows, but I am really struggling with security vs. comfort.

Finally, if I were gong to drop another grand on the Metris, I would start with the VA3 full height plastic paneling which was not available on the 2018 135 WB, but which is now available as an option on Metris Cargo Van 135" long wheel base, according to the 2019 DOG (attached -- don't go to the dealer without studying the DOG first). It's only $285 and the panels would make easy templates and will hold insulation. The product they use for the VA3 is food safe and is called "con-pearl."

I'd also be grateful they figured out how to put a trailer brake controller connector on the 2019. I'd give some serious thought to the power seats, although they may not be swivel-able and they are over $1,000. I essentially spec'd the new "Front Cabin Lighting Package" from the 2018 DOG as foot well lights, lighted vanity mirrors, and the overhead console.

The other new options for 2019 are:

ECO Start/Stop function is now standard on Metris
Cargo Van (not worker version)

Electrically adjustable front seats are now available as an
option on Metris Cargo Van

New Metris Cargo Van Package: Front Cabin Lighting Package

Trailer brake controller connection will be part of the vehicle
standard in combination with the code E58 (no additional
sales code)

Trailer brake controller connection will be standard within the
code Q24 with no additional sales code
 

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