I am considering installing a cruise control.

I have been looking at both the MDC and the Area 451 units. I don't know if there are any other brands, so of these two, what are the advantages of the MDC vs the Area 451 units.

The two are both under $500.
Is one easier to install, more reliable, easier to operate?
Do they in any way affect the smart factory warranty?
Is it best to have a real mechanic do the installation or is it hacker safe? I usually know enough to get myself into trouble.

Area 451 has a well detailed installation guide. I haven't found one for MDC.

Tags: 451, Area, Control, Cruise, MDC

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I've been looking at a cruise control.

I'm leaning toward the MDC unit. I reviewed the install instructions and it looks pretty cut and dry. No splicing, wire runs, etc. Darn near Plug-n-Play.

It looks like the average Joe can install it in an hour or two. I'm pretty anal about wiring, so I'll be tie-wrapping/wire looming my butt off, so it may take me a little longer.

Now I just need to convince my wife I need it.....
I have been thinking if I do It I might go with the MDC model I am not crazy about allowing anyone take apart my wire harness personally. I have seen a installation guide for the MDC somewhere but I dont recall where anymore. FYI I plan on waiting until the warranties are up.

Thats my 2 cents
Tom
The MDC is a simple to install, plug and play unit. Here is the link to the product. Follow the page down and you will see a box that says "click here to download Installation Instructions". This will open up a new window and let you see detailed instructions for installation and use.

Hope that helps a bit.
Put on mdc unit yesterday for $170. at local wrench in Noblesville. Louisville wanted 250. seems to work fine.
Have had 451 since mid May. Works great. Dealer installed for me.
I just installed the MDC and I posted a little blurb about the installation here in the Nuts & Bolts section.

I took it for a short test drive last night and I really like it. It works well and looks like it came from the factory.

The LED that comes with the MDC is not meant to illuminate the Cruise Control light in the dash. It's a multi-color LED used for programming. I installed mine on top of the steering column so it's very central in my vision.

The MDC also comes with a "sprint booster" that allows you to change the programming of the throttle response to the gas pedal. I have mine set to "moderate" and it really makes the car a lot more responsive...a lot less "doggy" when you pull out into traffic. I'll wait to see if it hurts my gas mileage, though.

All-in-all, it was an easy install. I bought it at smartmadness.com, and they were helpful on the phone with a couple of questions I had.

This is very do-able with basic mechanical abilities. The instructions were good, but could stand to be re-translated into English. I think someone used their high school English skills to translate them from German. :-) I understand that a new set of instructions will be available soon from smartmadness.com.

Very happy with my MDC so far (after less than 24 hours!).
Just finished installing the MDC unit which my wife and I did together, and it turned out to be a breeze completing the job in less than two hours. It's kind of scary at first when you are removing pieces but it gives you a little knowledge on how easy and well built your car is. We placed the LED light in the dash area between the radio area and speedo, so we could easily see it when the unit is turned on. Again, it's a little scary when drilling the hole, but it turned out very nice. The added bonus of the sprint booster seems to make the car drive better and shift smoother. We set ours at the 4 rating. The actual cruise control works great, and we are very satisfied customers of this unit. I'm amazed the factory doesn't give you this option. We can certainly help or install this unit for others in the San Antonio area if you need it. The dealership was going to charge me $300 for the install, so we feel good about saving that money as well. We definitely recommend this unit to others and know that we are not the type to do it ourselves, so if we can do the install, anyone can. Grin. And just a side note, it helps to have a small person like my wife help in those small spaces under the dash area. Wink.
Both CC units seem to be of a quality so whichever one is chosen will not be an issue. Those that have the MDC are happy, those like me who have the 451 are happy. All is good when there are two quality vendors. Competition keeps prices down and quality up.

For those that asked about the LED in the instrument cluster, I bought mine from John. He offers them in different colors and sells a kit complete with a 9v battery to test it. I got the blue one and absolutely love it. Unless the sun is directly on the dash, it can be seen very easily. The LED gets installed on the upper right side of the instrument cluster. I installed it myself in about 1.5 hours. I went very slowly to ensure I didn't splice the wrong wire or pull something apart that shouldn't be disassembled.

Who would have thought the instrument cluster would have an unused CC indicator. I guess smart thought about installing CC but decided against it at some point.

John takes PayPal. My receipt has two e-mail addresses on it. payment@johnhandwork.com and ccleds@johnhandwork.com

John is a smart owner and if I recall correctly an electrical engineer who wanted an LED CC indicator for himself. He isn't trying to turn a huge profit, but does enjoy helping other smart owners. I think he was asking 20 bucks but I sent him $30. While the parts may be inexpensive for $20 you still get the LED, wire, parts, (tools and battery if requested) and also shipping. It had to take him a while to develop the product as well. To me he's $20 is a bargain. There is also an install video you can view on line and/or download.
Do you have a link to John's site? I would like to see the video. Thanks.

Itasca Mark said:
Both CC units seem to be of a quality so whichever one is chosen will not be an issue. Those that have the MDC are happy, those like me who have the 451 are happy. All is good when there are two quality vendors. Competition keeps prices down and quality up.

For those that asked about the LED in the instrument cluster, I bought mine from John. He offers them in different colors and sells a kit complete with a 9v battery to test it. I got the blue one and absolutely love it. Unless the sun is directly on the dash, it can be seen very easily. The LED gets installed on the upper right side of the instrument cluster. I installed it myself in about 1.5 hours. I went very slowly to ensure I didn't splice the wrong wire or pull something apart that shouldn't be disassembled.

Who would have thought the instrument cluster would have an unused CC indicator. I guess smart thought about installing CC but decided against it at some point.

John takes PayPal. My receipt has two e-mail addresses on it. payment@johnhandwork.com and ccleds@johnhandwork.com

John is a smart owner and if I recall correctly an electrical engineer who wanted an LED CC indicator for himself. He isn't trying to turn a huge profit, but does enjoy helping other smart owners. I think he was asking 20 bucks but I sent him $30. While the parts may be inexpensive for $20 you still get the LED, wire, parts, (tools and battery if requested) and also shipping. It had to take him a while to develop the product as well. To me he's $20 is a bargain. There is also an install video you can view on line and/or download.
Fred,

Unless John started up a website after I bought mine, I don't think he has one. I tried to upload the video to a prior post but it was way too large and my post crashed. I did attach a sheet I made up which is a compilation of things read on the net and from John. In it are links to a 451 discussion board that if memory serves has the video. There was a 20 second or so glitch in the one I had anyway so maybe it has been edited and improved. My prior post also has a couple of e-mail address you can try to contact him at.
Good luck
Attachments:
Thanks for your help! Fred

Itasca Mark said:
Fred,

Unless John started up a website after I bought mine, I don't think he has one. I tried to upload the video to a prior post but it was way too large and my post crashed. I did attach a sheet I made up which is a compilation of things read on the net and from John. In it are links to a 451 discussion board that if memory serves has the video. There was a 20 second or so glitch in the one I had anyway so maybe it has been edited and improved. My prior post also has a couple of e-mail address you can try to contact him at.
Good luck

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