In the key business for 28 years and we are dealing with a 98 ML320 with all 8 slots utilized. The owner has taken it to almost
every garage in the city (greater Milwaukee) and has exhausted herself emotionally, and financially. The dealer wants more for the repair than the truck is worth. The vin is 4JGAB54E7WA013361, a W163. We may be able to locate a wrecked similar vehicle with keys.
Is it possible to switch the AAM, ECU, black box under the dash, steering column antenna module, etc. to allow this vehicle to run
without spending $5,000? We have the capability of transferring the chip(s) from the crash truck to laser cut shell keys so that the physical locks can remain. Can anyone tell us if this is possible, what components do we need to switch from the crash truck and if you know a source on these parts. Please don't speculate, only respond if you are sure of yourself. Any help is much appreciated. Assuming we can get the truck running we are going to recommend she dispose of it. She has tried swapping out ECU and AAM through local salvage yards, and they have her old modules on exchange and they are not available. There is a company in Pennsylvania that sells an overwriting tool that plugs into the OBD2 port and supplies 2 transponder keys and I have rented this device once in the past to successfully make those keys run this truck. They don't rent it anymore, you must buy it, and it's expensive. I'm reluctant to invest because of the module switching she's done. For the same reason I don't think that ordering a key through Mercedes and putting "duplicate 1" in the comment line on the key order (or any number other than "1" after the word "duplicate") will be successful. Hence this path seems fruitless due to module swapping.
This is an immediate need. Thanks for your prompt attention if you can help in any way.
Tom @ Autotec