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  #1  
Old 05-23-2010, 07:26 AM
mach0415's Avatar
Diesel Weasel
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lawndale, NC
Posts: 648
300sd to 300sdl H/L conversion

Hello, I was able to go to pull apart yesterday and I scored big! For $68 I got the newer headlights and wipers from a 1987 300sdl, a reman cruise control amp, a side marker, and a nearly perfect complete zebrano wood set. I do not think I got hurt on any of this. Now I am converting the 1984 300sd to 1987 300sdl headlights - not euro but it will look good. Has anyone done this conversion? What will need to be modified?
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Mark in NC

"Spark plugs?...We don't need no stinking spark plugs!"
1985 300SD "Der Silberne Schlitten" 420,000 mi


Wish these were diesel:
2003 Ford Club Wagon 130,000 mi
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2010, 08:47 AM
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diesel enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Germantown, TN
Posts: 5,438
If the cruise control amp works......and yes, I mean IF....then you scored GOOD.

Good Luck on the conversion.
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daw_two
Germantown, TN

Links:
Current Car --- 05/2012 1984 300D Light Ivory, Red interior
Cluster Needles Paint
New Old Stock (NOS) parts

Past:
3/2008 1986 300SDL "Coda"
04/2010 1965 190D(c) "Ben"
& many more
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2010, 10:23 AM
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Location: Blue Point, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mach0415 View Post
Now I am converting the 1984 300sd to 1987 300sdl headlights - not euro but it will look good. Has anyone done this conversion? What will need to be modified?
Don't waste your time. The stock headlights on an SDL are ridiculously poor for light output and the look of the headlight frames is actually worse than the SD.

If you want some light, either get proper Euro lights for it, or go the less costly route and get some E-code headlights that take a proper H-4 lamp. I have these on the SD and the light output matches the Euros that are currently on the SDL.
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2010, 10:49 AM
1986 300sdl 1985 380se
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: West Monroe LA
Posts: 484
I agree with Brian. The headlight output on my 85 380se with the old sealed beam lights is much better than the light output on my 86 300sdl.
Funny thing though, the fog light pattern on the 86 300sdl is better than the ones in the 85 380se????

From an aesthetic outlook, I prefer the look of the 86 better than the 85. I also feel the true Euro lights are the best!
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1986 300sdl
1985 380se
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2010, 10:51 AM
1986 300sdl 1985 380se
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: West Monroe LA
Posts: 484
Oh, CONGRATS on the zebrano wood find!!!!! It is getting harder and harder to find good wood as these cars get older.
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1986 300sdl
1985 380se
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2010, 11:49 AM
compu_85's Avatar
Waiting for his Model 3..
 
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Location: Springfield VA
Posts: 5,174
I would pick up some hella or Cibie drop in ecodes for your 85 style lights. The first thing I did to my SDL was deposit the factory headlights in the garbage where they belong.

-Jason
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1991 350SDL. 230,000 miles (new motor @ 150,000).

2013 Fiat 500E. 20,000 miles, 80 miles at a time.
2012 Passat TDI. 95,000 miles. More space, power, and fuel economy than the Benz
2004 Touareg V10 TDI. 150,000 miles. One of 450.
1999 Jetta TDI. 310,000 miles.
1992 Jetta ECOdiesel. 156,000 miles. 1 of 48. Sold.
1991 Jetta ECOdiesel. 430,000 miles. 1 of 700. Sold to VeeDubTDI, totaled in front of our house
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2010, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 145
I've done the headlight conversion on my 84 SD; actually, I had my mechanic change them out. I much prefer the look of the Gen 2 cars. The headlights swapped right out but the wiper motors wouldn't fit for some reason. They drilled the filler panels and retrofitted the wiper arms so the look from the outside is correct, though they don't actually work.

I've never driven a car with the Euro lights, so I guess I don't know what to compare them to (as far as light output). I don't have any complaints about that...I just like the look of the newer headlights.

And yes, you did score big! I can't imagine what my local yard would have charged me for all of that!
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  #8  
Old 05-23-2010, 11:48 PM
mach0415's Avatar
Diesel Weasel
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lawndale, NC
Posts: 648
Thanks for that. I probably should have looked to see what electronic controls there are for the h/l washers and wipers. I wonder why the output is so much less. The lens is glass. I do not have the jack to buy euro lights at this point, so....tell me more about the direct fit kit you speak of. Is there a link?
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Thanks,
Mark in NC

"Spark plugs?...We don't need no stinking spark plugs!"
1985 300SD "Der Silberne Schlitten" 420,000 mi


Wish these were diesel:
2003 Ford Club Wagon 130,000 mi
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2010, 11:55 PM
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http://www.rallylights.com/Hella_200mm_H4_Headlamps.aspx
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2010, 11:59 PM
mach0415's Avatar
Diesel Weasel
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lawndale, NC
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Thanks Brian. These are like a HO sealed beam, right? i am looking for a more up-to-date look, but I do not want to impair night driving. At the same time, euros are out of the budget at this time, if you know what I mean. Why are euros so much better? Are thry xenon HID?
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Thanks,
Mark in NC

"Spark plugs?...We don't need no stinking spark plugs!"
1985 300SD "Der Silberne Schlitten" 420,000 mi


Wish these were diesel:
2003 Ford Club Wagon 130,000 mi
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2010, 12:03 AM
mach0415's Avatar
Diesel Weasel
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lawndale, NC
Posts: 648
chrisbus, you car is the look I am after - kudos with the upgrades. Mine is the same color. I also see you updated to the airbag steering wheel. Does it function too? So how would one control H/L wiper washer/function?
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Thanks,
Mark in NC

"Spark plugs?...We don't need no stinking spark plugs!"
1985 300SD "Der Silberne Schlitten" 420,000 mi


Wish these were diesel:
2003 Ford Club Wagon 130,000 mi
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2010, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mach0415 View Post
Thanks Brian. These are like a HO sealed beam, right? i am looking for a more up-to-date look, but I do not want to impair night driving. At the same time, euros are out of the budget at this time, if you know what I mean. Why are euros so much better? Are thry xenon HID?
These are not sealed beams. They have a replaceable H4 lamp that is installed from the rear of the headlight. Unfortunately, on the SD, it's a major PITA to get to that lamp when they burn out (which is frequently).

The look is identical to the current look. However, the light output is significantly better.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2010, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mach0415 View Post
chrisbus, you car is the look I am after - kudos with the upgrades. Mine is the same color. I also see you updated to the airbag steering wheel. Does it function too? So how would one control H/L wiper washer/function?
Thanks! I think my car looks so much better than when I bought it. The air bag isn't functional. Again, I just liked the look of the air bag steering wheel better. Plus, this one is leather wrapped (factory); my old one was just rubber. I had my mechanic switch them out (the entire steering wheel, which I got off eBay). This was right after I bought the car last May, before I started doing stuff myself. I think my mechanic had to modify the horn contact ring a bit to make it work with the newer steering wheel, but the horn works perfectly now.

I don't recall if I have any pictures on my profile of the car before I did the upgrades, but if you want to PM me your e-mail address, I'll be happy to e-mail them to you.

More recently, I've retrofitted rear headrests into the car (I found a 91 560SEL at my local yard that had the same gray interior as mine), plus a host of other stuff, such as changing out the cruise amp (I got a rebuilt one online), fixing the sagging seat back nets, changing out a door check, cleaning/rehabbing the seat switches, replacing the windshield washer system, etc. I really enjoy working on my car now, and this forum has a lot to do with that.

Regarding the headlight wipers/washers, my mechanic, who switched out the Gen 1 to Gen 2 headlights, told me the wiper motors wouldn't fit. I'm not sure if it's the bumper on the Gen 1 cars that provides clearance issues, or if there is something else under the headlights that prevents the motors from fitting. So my wipers arms are just stuck into the holes that were drilled in the filler panels. I also don't have the washer feature hooked up, though after I changed out my complete windshield washer system, it wouldn't be too hard to add that feature. I just don't see the point, though, since the wipers don't work. Personally, all I cared about was the look. Since I got the Gen 2 lights and the Gen 2 cars have headlight wipers, I wanted that look on mine, even if they didn't work. My mechanic did a great job of making them look stock, even if they're just stuck in there. The fit is good enough that they don't move around. They stay right against the headlights where I want them.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2010, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
These are not sealed beams. They have a replaceable H4 lamp that is installed from the rear of the headlight. Unfortunately, on the SD, it's a major PITA to get to that lamp when they burn out (which is frequently).

The look is identical to the current look. However, the light output is significantly better.
Brian, do you know if it's possible to replace the actual headlamp on the Gen 2 cars with a new lamp that accepts the H4 bulbs, but still fits into the stock Gen 2 headlight assembly? Then I could have the better light output but still have the look that I want without having to change to Euros...
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2010, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisbus View Post
Brian, do you know if it's possible to replace the actual headlamp on the Gen 2 cars with a new lamp that accepts the H4 bulbs, but still fits into the stock Gen 2 headlight assembly? Then I could have the better light output but still have the look that I want without having to change to Euros...
I have seen this headlight on one SDL vehicle, although the owner had no idea where it came from.

I have not been able to source such a headlight myself, from any conventional source.
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