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Old 02-09-2014, 01:36 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Sierra Nevada Mountains
Posts: 28
124 headlamp bulb upgrade?

Hi guys. All my other 12 Volt vehicles have been upgraded to H-4 headlamps with 55/100 bulbs as I live in the mountains and it gets really dark here. I recenty aquired an 87 S-124 Wagon and can't follow my usual habit of installing Cibie or SEVs. Will the stock 124 housings and plugs take the heat of a 100 Watt 9004 bulb? I am not fooling with silly blue bulbs, or going HID. Are the factory European lenses much better for this car than the USA standard? Are the aftermarket ones as bad as I assume they are? Seeing is surviving here where the deer are as dumb as the tourists.

Last edited by ObsoElitist; 02-09-2014 at 04:19 AM.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:22 AM
MBeige's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 3,746
Get the Euros and plug in your preferred bulb of choice, and upgrade the harness accordingly.

Bosch/Hella preferred, DEPO close 3rd especially for bang for the buck.

The stock 9004's have had insulation issues with the old sockets/plugs, I've seen several members have this issue (and in my sister's '92 190E as well, lights are similar configuration & design).
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:30 AM
JimFreeh's Avatar
Benz addict
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Posts: 3,315
Nothing, I repeat, nothing you can do to the stock 86-93 USA headlights will make them worth a damn.

I've installed a number of sets of Bosch/Hella and Depo lights in the many W124s I've owned over the last 20+ years.

The best bargain is the Depo knock off light set with standard H4 bulbs.

The OEM stuff was nicer, but not worth the 2 to 3 times the price increase. Higher wattage bulbs are nicer, but you have to do a lot of rewiring and add relays to make it work well.

Headlight adjust feature is nice, but really is more of a toy after a while, not really necessary.

If you are looking at used lights, pay close attention to the reflectors. A set of euros with dull reflectors doesn't get you any further down the road than the abysmal stock issue lights.

The 94-95 USA lights are so close to the euro lights in function, it doesn't pay to try to upgrade. The 94-95 lights will bolt into the 86-93 models, but will have an odd swage line across top inside corner which is there to clear the 94-95 hood. Works, but looks a bit funky.

14 E250 BlueTEC black
94 E320 Cabriolet Emerald green
85 300TD 4 spd manual dark blue
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:12 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Sierra Nevada Mountains
Posts: 28
Thanks. I have been looking online and most original euros look kind of hazy. Will the Depo light housings handle the 100/55 wattage? Rewiring with relays is easy for me. Done it many times. An adjust feature shouldn't be necessary with hydromat.
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