Interior Wood Upgrades

Although I am a firm believer in the saying "Less is More". I do have some extra burl wood items in my CLK. Some people go overboard, so I have kept the additional wood to a minimum. This Schatz cover is one of those pieces that Mercedes should of included.

This is the rear console tray and the wood is installed on the ash tray door. Although not clearly visible, the emblem on this is a small Lorinser logo, the jury is still out on whether or not I will keep this emblem here, but the wood is a nice addition, as Mercedes did not provide any burl wood trim in the rear seating area.

Here you can see that the door handle has additional Schatz burl wood added and there is also a small piece of burl over the chrome handle as well. Although I will describe this in another section on this page, the lower portion of the door panel has been covered in black suede

The steering wheel installed in the CLK is made by Victor, it is a black leather and burl wheel. It is also slightly smaller than the OE wheel.


Center Console Wood Replacement

As with most Mercedes, after years exposed to the sun, the interior wood fades and cracks.  In the case of this 8 year old CLK, its fade that has got the best of the wood trim.  Used replacement pieces are normally not in much better shape, so for the most part you have no choice but to order the replacement pieces through the dealer.

To get started, you need to remove the shifter trim ring, then open up the drink holder and lift the center console wood up from this point.  There are no screws to remove and you do not need to remove the ash tray. (my ash tray was broken at the time this photo was taken)

With the console lifted up, you need to carefully unplug all the switch's so you can remove the wood.  Once you have the wood free, you need to remove all the switch's.  A small flat blade screw driver comes in handy to pop out all the switch's.

You can see the drastic difference in color between the old piece (on the right) compared to the new wood piece.

You can see here how the switch's pop into the sockets, removal is the reverse. 

With the new wood installed, you can see how terrible it makes the rest of the wood.  It seems that once you replace one piece, you need to replace them all to get a perfect match.

So, of course I ended up replacing the drink holder wood and ashtray wood,  just so all the pieces match.

Black Suede interior panels

The OE headliner is gray and the interior is black, not sure why Mercedes chose this color combination, but the easy fix is to re-cover the headliner in black. In this example, the entire headliner has been done in black suede.

A picture of the front headliner area. The mirror and sun visors needed to be dyed black to match the new suede headliner

The black suede theme was carried down the front A-pilars as well.

Although not a very clear picture, you can see that the entire rear shelf was removed and also covered in black suede.

Misc. Interior Upgrades


This chrome guage rings are readily available on Ebay and require you to pull the entire cluster and take it apart. The rings are installed through the guage face openings, so they do take some patience to get set correctly. Its a "bling" upgrade and in my opinion, not worth the time to install.

My favorite phone holder is the Bracketron PHM-201 available on Ebay. These mounts are well made and adjustable, they include a 90 degree angle mount and the option to mount on either the vent (like shown here) or to a mount bracket. These phone holders are fully adjustable and will fit most phones. I chose to use the vent mounts and centered my phone in the center dash versus the drivers side vent. I don't really need my phone close, as the factory phone system in my car has been upgraded to bluetooth, so all phone functions go through the Comand system and dash display (more on that later!)

Here you see the Lorinser pedal covers and the OE Mercedes all weather mats. The pedal covers are a bit tricky to install and require drilling. Another popular pedal cover option is the OE SLK pedal covers, see my 500e section for installation pictures of those.

Another picture of the front drivers side factory Mercedes all weather floor mats. I have used these kind of floor mats in four different Mercedes now and they are easy to clean, durable and look nice. Carpet mats get too dirty too quickly here in the Northwest.



This is the floor mat in the rear of the CLK. I picked these up from Ebay for around $40 or so.

The OE shifter knob was replaced with a solid chome shifter knob, shifter surround and shifter insert. The only draw back here is the knob is pretty cold in the winter, which may or may not bother some people. These parts are readily available on Ebay.

Trunk Storage Pouch

I picked this up off of Ebay for about $17.00, it has four storage pockets and some loops to hold a umbrella.  It carries a Q part number and is a MB offered option.

On the back side of the pouch, is strong velcro sewed into place, it definitely is a well constructed item.

This is the instructions that come with the pouch, it also has the MB part number on it in case you are interested.

The pouch mounts to the underside of the trunk via the velcro installed on the back.

This is the pouch installed.  The color of the carpet is a good match, so it blends in nice and the velco is strong to hold the pouch in place, even with heavy items stored in it. 

Recaro Seat Installation

I picked up a set of new CLK seat rails/sliders off of Ebay for a great price.  Normally these run around $350, but I picked them up for a mere $50.

These are the rails put together as a test fitting.

I have been searching for a nice set of Recaro's for quite some time.  I found these locally, they are out of a EVO IX MR Limited and are black/alcantera with red stitching, perfect condition!  The owner decided to upgrade to Bride seats.

Anytime you elect to install seats made specifically for another vehicle, you run the risk of the seats not fitting or being heavily modified for a particular fitment.  These seats were no exception.  The slider bar had welded on brackets and one side of the seat frame had 1cm spacers welded into place.  Lastly, the CLK rails did not match the mounting holes of the seat frame, so a few millimeters of material needed to be removed.

The factory slider bar was held in place using some C clips as seen in this photo.  Removal of the C clips allowed me to remove the bar.  The brackets were not removable, but they did not interfere with the installation of the CLK rails.

This is a better picture of the C clip holding the slider bar in place.

Factory slider bar removed.

Recaro seat frame.  You can see the spacers on the left side of the seat frame.

Here you can see how much the rail hole needed to be enlarged.  I used a circular hand file to do this versus my trusty Dremel.

A closer view of the 1cm welded spacer.  I guess the floor pan of the EVO is not level, hence the spacers.

The bolts holding the rails onto the seats were originally installed using Loctite, so I reapplied Loctite before installing them.

To equalize the other side of the seat, I just 7 stainless steel washers, which equaled 1cm.  I also painted them black so they would better blend in.

Rail and bolt installed and torqued to proper specifications.

This side view shows the 7 washers installed to rail the other side of the rail.

At this point, I have the seat rails modified, spacers installed and every bolt tightened down.

This is the slider installed.  There are three 13mm nuts that hold the slider onto the rail.

Rails and sliders installed with slider release bar in place.

This is the factory CLK seat which is made by Lear.  It weighs 76lbs, vs. 33lbs for the Recaro.  Total weight savings was 86lbs.

The female part of the seat belt needs to be removed from the factory seat and installed onto the Recaro.  One T40 torx screw holds it in place.

The wire harness for the seat belt needs to be removed from underneath the seat

The junction box for all the electrical plugs needs to be removed and the rear cover popped off, so that the two plugs for the seat belt can be removed.

The seat belt removed and awaiting installation onto the new Recaro seat.

The CLK rail has a spot for the seat belt already welded into place.

The seat belt installed and torqued down.  I routed the wires up under the plastic cover and down under the seat.

I routed the wire harness up under the seat, through the springs and over to the front of the seat.  This should help it from getting tangled or caught up in the rails.

Factory seat removed and carpet all cleaned up.  You can see the main seat wiring harness to the right.

Plugging in the main seat wire harness to the seat belt and tying up the wires to keep them from binding or getting caught up when moving the seat forward/backward.

The seats were a perfect fit, no clearance issues at all.  The colors go well with my interior and exterior!

Another view of the installed passenger side seat

No clearance issues between the sill and the seat.  There is actually more room between the center console and seat now, then there was with the factory CLK seat.  The Recaro's are more supportive than the stock seats and I have probably saved at least 100lbs by the swap.  Another good thing is that these seats are DOT approved, since they came out of a US spec Mitsubishi EVO.

With the transfer of the seat belt, that addressed the issue of the seat belt tensioner working correctly and no error lights on the dash, but I ran into a hitch with the passenger side "baby smart" seat sensor, with it disconnected, the passenger side airbag was disabled, so in lieu of spending another $175 on a new sensor, I elected to remove the sensor from the original seat, so you need to start by removing the seat cushion.

After removing the two torx screws at the front of the seat, these two torx screws need to be removed.  Then the cushion comes right out.

The seat sensor plug is yellow and needs to be removed from the housing on the front of the seat, you also need to remove the plug for the seat heating pad as well, then you can lift our the entire cushion.

At this point, you need to remove the leather cover.  The leather is curved around the seat bottom and tucked into slots that run all around the seat, a small flat blade screw driver will help you get the leather pulled up.

Once you have the leather free, you still have to deal with plastic clips that attach to inner metal rods, you can squeeze the metal rods together so that you can pop the flip off, just be careful that you don't break the clips.  You only really need to do this on the front and one side, then you can life the cushion material up like shown here.

Be careful with this item, it is thin.  Also a good time to check to make sure the sensor connecting wires are not broken or frayed.  This seems to be a common failure point on this items, at least for the W210 owners it is.

The seat sensor would never fit inside the Recaro, so I elected to attach it to the underside of the seat, up out of the way of the moving mechanicals and up out of the way of rear passenger feet.  I used wire ties and a bit of black tape to firmly secure it to the underside of the seat.  At this point the wires under the seat were also tied up neatly and arranged so that front/back movement of the seat does not bind the harness in any way.  Now my passenger side airbag works!


Schroth Rallye 4 Harness Belts


For driving events and lapping days, a good seat harness is paramount.  Given the dual duty of this vehicle, I wanted a DOT street legal harness and the Schroth fits the requirement.  In addition, the Schroth belts employ ASM technology (anti submarine) which allows a 4 point harness to act like a 5 point harness and prevent anti-submarining in the event of a accident.  Schroth makes harnesses for most car manufactures and after market harness companies.  I chose the Rallye 4 harness, which has quick disconnects to allow access to the rear seat.




To aid in the tightening of the shoulder/lap belts, this add-on product give you something to grip other than the belt itself.  With gloves on, these are necessary.




I also opted to to use the Schroth leather shoulder pads, which I found to look much nicer than the cloth pads.  Either pad is good enough if comfort is your only concern.

To be effective (and legal) the Schroth harnesses need to be mounted to the factory seat belt locations.  This picture shows one of the rear seat belt locations. 

This is the other rear seat belt mounting location (for the shoulder belt).  On the CLK, I needed to remove the rear seat, for illustration purposes, I have removed the side panel as well.  You may or may not need to do this on your particular vehicle. 

Here you see the Schroth belt mounted to the rear shoulder belt location and the side panel re-installed.  The Schroth harnesses ship with metal flanges which can be bent a little to facilitate installation and angle.  Schroth states not to bend these mounts too much or repeatedly.

Here is the other Schroth harness belt mounted to the factory rear seat belt location.

Now that the rear belts are mounted, angles checked, bolts torqued to proper specification.  I can put the seat back in.

Once we are done with the rear, its time to install the front harness lap belts.  Again, we use the factory mount points.  On the seat itself, the stock seat belt receptacle is removed and the Schorth mounted in unison (not shown).

Feeding the Schroth through the Recaro shoulder belt openings is challenging to say the least, as the shoulder and lap belts are all connected, so the belt along with the buckle needs to be forced through this small opening.  Its doable, just be patient.

This is a close up view of the harness quick disconnect, you can also see the black plastic cap, which carries the DOT certification number and also serves as the driving force behind the ASM technology.  These belts are specific left/right sided, otherwise the ASM technology will not function in the event of a crash.

Another picture of the Schroth mount and the quick disconnect.

And the finished product.  Not only are the belts aesthetically pleasing, but they are safe (DOT legal)


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