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Old 10-03-2001, 03:11 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
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Euro Headlights

Do you have experience with Euro Headlights?

My 87 SDL is pushing 300K and the plastic lens of the amber driving/fog lights are pitted and cracked.

I'm considering replacing them with the all glass ($$$) Euro style lights for the fact they're glass, not plastic (how did the US cars get stuck with the plastic?).

Comparing similar watt bulbs, are the Euro light lens brighter for night driving? What watt bulbs are you running?


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Old 10-03-2001, 03:56 AM
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Euro lights are awsome. Not only do they look great, but they are very functional, too.

I have not converted my 300SDL to euro lights, But to start out you will need 6-connector plugs, obtainable from the dealer, to replace your current 4-connector plugs. Its just a matter of switching around the wires in the plugs. If you find a diagram, its very simple.

Next problem is your headlamp wipers. They are designed for US headlamps. You will need a set of Euro headlamp wipers, if you actually want them to be effective.

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Old 10-04-2001, 11:03 PM
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Look to shell out $400 to $500 for the kit.
'85 300SD (formerly california emissions)
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Old 10-05-2001, 03:49 AM
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I bought my 123 euro lights for $250... i'm sure 126 euro lights are about the same.
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Old 10-05-2001, 11:45 AM
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Where did you buy your euro headlamps from? I'm looking at a '85 300CD here in So. Cal that has euro style headlamps, but the lenses are pitted. I'd like to either replace the lenses, or switch back to the USA type.


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Old 10-05-2001, 11:55 AM
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The best quote I've got so far on purchasing the lights is from but I haven't check around too much.
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Old 10-05-2001, 02:32 PM
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Try ebay. Euro lights go for around 250. I bought a set for $110 cause they had pitted glass. THey also sometimes have glass replacements.

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Old 10-07-2001, 08:51 AM
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Upon converting to Euro's do not be tempted to go to higher wattage bulbs. The effectiveness of the light is in the shape of the reflector which is drastically improved in the Euro version. If you use high wattage bulbs the additional heat will ruin the adjusters in the Euro lights.

Also, to get even more benefit from Euros, find the vacuum adjuster control and trim plate for the interior to add to your light switch area. This will allow you to raise and lower the lights from the drivers seat and is well worth the trouble.

Good luck,
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Old 10-07-2001, 12:17 PM
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alternate adjuster switch

As I understand, not all euro-style lights have vacuum element for adjusting light beam up or down. The ones that do have it have a black plastic housing that contains vacuum diaphram in each fixture, with a nipple on exterior for connecting vacuum hose. The used euro lights that I bought do have the vacuum elements, but no adjuster switch. This switch is very hard to find. Here is what I did instead to fashion my own adjuster switch.

From a junkyard, I obtained two of those three way electric vacuum switches and a window regulator switch from rear door (all from 123 diesel). I tapped in for 12 volt power to cigarette lighter wire (this is a good source, as it is switched by ignition key, and sized for higher current). I tapped into vacuum at main vacuum line with a "t". Ran power wire to window switch. I wired this stuff in such a way that by pressing the up switch would activate one of the vacuum switches, and down would activate the other vacuum switch. I connected the vacuum switches in such a way that when pressing up button, the system would open to vacuum source and lights would raise....and when releasing the up switch, the system would HOLD vacuum (otherwise the lights would just go back down). When pressing the down switch, the other vacuum switch would activate thus releasing vacuum from the system, lowering the lights. you must also use hard vacuum lines, of small diameter.

To figure out how to hook up vacuum switchs, play around with the switches with some tubing and a 12 volt battery...see what is open and what is shut when no power applied and when power is applied. Then map out vacuum circuit that does the above.

Previously, I installed an Alpine radio and rewired four speakers directly from head unit, thus disabling the fader switch on the console. I removed this and moved the light switch for the rear light to this spot, then installed the window switch for the headlights in the vacated slot on dash. If I were to do this again, I probably would not move the rear seat light to the center console, as it is easy to accidently turn it on and leave on overnight!!! Better to mount this on dash.

The original euro light adjuster, positions headlights in the normal position when the switch is in the "neutral/normal" position, then you can adjust lights either up or down from there. The way I set up my switch apparatus, the lights are in normal driving position when the vacuum in the system is released (down button)...then I can raise lights from this position by pressing up button. I dont think I would ever want to lower the lights from their normal position, although the original Mercedes setup allows the safety concious courteous driver to do this (LOWER??? the head lights???....not in the U S of A!!!).

The euro lights are real dont need to go to higher wattage bulbs......and DO NOT use those ridiculous blue lights...they are NOT "brighter white" as advertised. The biology of the human eye does not allow you to see better with blue light, in fact you see less, and also blue light stimulates a "squint response"...VERY BAD, VERY UNSAFE. Just stick to the regular 55W80's.

One more note about the euro lights....the euro way of wiring headlights with the "city lights" is for city lights to be used in place of corner ambers as running lights. In the EU corner ambers are only used for directionals, and are always in ON-OFF mode, day or night. In USA, corner ambers are used for both running lights and directionals...when running lights are on (nighttime) directionals are in BRIGHT-DIM mode rather than the ON-OFF mode for EU setup. I didnt like I wired the lights so that corner ambers are used for running lights (and directionals) in the USA mode, and i connected city lights to go on with corner ambers as running lights.

good luck
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Old 10-07-2001, 01:02 PM
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When buying Euro lights, especially off of ebay, bear in mind that there are at least 4 brand names. Hella and Bosch units were OE. There are also Italian, Spanish, and Tiawan copies available. The Hella and Bosch units are about the same quality, from what I am told, while the others, while still a major improvement over the US lights, seem to have some quality concerns mentioned in the past. Used Euros from gray market cars are also available - Hella or Bosch with the addition of a small MB star on all the parts to show factory part origin.

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Old 10-07-2001, 01:03 PM
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Location: Woolwich, Maine
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According to the manual for my Euro 190E that I kept the original lights for and reinstalled after the conversion, the headlight level adjusting feature is for aiming the lights when the trunk and backseat are filled and the rear of the car sags. Normally this would make the lights shine into the sky, and so there are two "lowering" positions on the switch. Jim

1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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