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  #1  
Old 04-15-2011, 10:37 PM
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$6 brighter W126 brake lights: 3497 Lamps

I've never found the brake lights on my W126 very bright. Installing the factory specified bulbs did help my car some, but I still found them lacking. Someone on another forum suggested I look into 3497 lamps. They are a 26 watt high output lamp specified on some Japanese cars. A pack of two was $6.



Installation is easy, just install them into the socket assembly. No other mods are required. The modest 5w increase over the stock lamp won't stress the wiring, and does not cause the lamp monitor to trip.

What isn't modest is the increase in brightness. The 3497 is on the left in this pic:


And in both fixtures:


They aren't a halogen lamp, so they shouldn't get much hotter then the factory ones. The filament is put slightly higher in the envelope, which puts it more in the middle of the W126's brake light reflector. Overall I'm thrilled.

-Jason

Attached Thumbnails
 brighter W126 brake lights-2011-04-15-21.13.07-640x384-.jpg    brighter W126 brake lights-2011-04-15-21.15.38-640x384-.jpg    brighter W126 brake lights-2011-04-15-21.17.45-640x384-.jpg  
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Last edited by compu_85; 04-15-2011 at 11:07 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2011, 10:54 PM
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+1 for the 3497. i use these in my vanagon. havent really thought i needed them in d though, much better optics. anybody know an oem application of the 3497? id like to find a high quality not made in china nickel base version.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:06 PM
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Ya the W123s lights aren't as bad, and you can wire up the rear fogs with the brake lights for a nice looking improvement. that's not an option on the W126 because the rear fogs are 90* to the brake lights.

I'm told you can buy Honda PN 34903-SF1-A01 and get a high quality version on these.

-J
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:59 PM
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Wasn't there something at one time about using different wattage tail lights and it affecting the cruise control or something like that ? Might be something to check before going out to do this sort of thing.... Someone will know more about this.. I am only going from memory and have not had any first hand experience with it...
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:14 AM
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This won't affect the cruise control. The cruise control uses the brake lights as a ground: When the ground goes away (power going to the lights) it cancels. It's a backup cancel function on top of the cruise switch on the brake pedal. That's why LED lights don't work, being I diode they won't flow current backwards. Plus the power draw difference is minimal.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:19 AM
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What am I remembering was a problem if the stock lights were not used ?
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:40 AM
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If you use lamps that don't make a good connection that will trip the cruise and light monitor, specifically ones with brass bases as the dissimilar metals corrode.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:58 AM
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That may be true.
but is not what I am remembering....
it was something about the wattage or voltage on the MB bulbs which was different from what you could go into a regular parts place and buy...
and it would affect something due to the difference...
Maybe it was a 123 thing only ?
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:59 AM
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Did you use these also on the third brake light? Surely that could melt the (probably already melted) plastic lens fluting.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compu_85 View Post
Ya the W123s lights aren't as bad, and you can wire up the rear fogs with the brake lights for a nice looking improvement. that's not an option on the W126 because the rear fogs are 90* to the brake lights.

I'm told you can buy Honda PN 34903-SF1-A01 and get a high quality version on these.

-J
Works just fine on the W126:

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  #11  
Old 04-16-2011, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
Works just fine on the W126:
Yup and like I said the rear fog lenses are 90* to the brake light lenses, so it looks silly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBeige
Did you use these also on the third brake light? Surely that could melt the (probably already melted) plastic lens fluting.
I don't want to touch that thing, it would probably snap into a bunch of pieces. The stock lamp is doing a fine job of melting the plastic

I'll get out a temp gun tomorrow and compare the two lamps, see what the temp difference is.

-J
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  #12  
Old 04-16-2011, 01:35 AM
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I'm more concerned with having a hundred watts of dumb-people alerting brake lights on the back than how they look. Minimizing needless rear-endings is the goal.
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-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 92k - mine - (OC-97,400)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 18k - wifes (OC-25k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 161k - mine (OC-165,000)
'07 E350 Wagon - 136k - dad's (OC-139,500)
'01 SL500 - 58k - dad's (OC-59,000)
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2011, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
Minimizing needless rear-endings is the goal.
Can't argue with that!
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  #14  
Old 04-16-2011, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leathermang View Post
That may be true.
but is not what I am remembering....
it was something about the wattage or voltage on the MB bulbs which was different from what you could go into a regular parts place and buy...
and it would affect something due to the difference...
Maybe it was a 123 thing only ?
I've heard claims that different wattage bulbs could damage the cruise control. I don't really see how that could happen, since the power for the brake lights doesn't flow through the cruise control at all. I suspect someone noticed that a lot of cars have non-stock brake lights, and a lot of cars have broken cruise controls, and drew a conclusion from that.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:25 AM
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IR Thermometer

Comparison of:
The "Factory" Osram Bulbs
and
The Sylvania (Overwattage) Bulbs. (?)

If the "Cruise" and "Lamp Out Relay" don't care...
[and the Wattage ,translated into amps don't Push the envelope
of the Factory Wiring Limits...]



I've played with the Idea of using a "Pigtail" off of the existing Brake Light Sockets to Power A Relay to operate Uber Super Duper Bright L.E.D.S mounted
in the Unused Fog Light Sockets (As Stupid/Distracted Human Brake Lights).

'Wait. 'Ticketed for "Weak Brake Lights,Outboard" ?????

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Last edited by compress ignite; 04-16-2011 at 06:40 AM.
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