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Old 03-23-2003, 06:53 PM
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E Code Lights...?

First are "E code" lights? I hear that they are high intensity, and are much better at night. My question is, are they expensive, what exactly are they, and how hard are they to install?

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Old 03-23-2003, 08:11 PM
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They are Euro spec lights, and they have a much better beam pattern. I have some on my truck, and I plan on adding some on my 300CD sometime. I am just going to get some 7" H4's, which I found a place where I can buy a pair for $67.78. Here is the link to them:
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Old 03-23-2003, 08:30 PM
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It's a must do! i installed them last week and it's a world of difference. It took ablout 1 1/2 hours. You don't have to remove the whole light unit. I did and broke a couple of screws, used crazy glue to get it back together. You can go in from the front.
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Old 03-23-2003, 09:19 PM
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They are really worth it, BIG improvement. I use Philips plus 30 bulbs and they do almost as good as the over wattage ones that I used to run before I "chickened out". I read a couple of posts where folks had toasted their wiring with over wattage bulbs. I ran 100/80 for 6 mos. The H4s are really nice you wont regret the investment.

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Old 03-23-2003, 09:47 PM
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E-codes are a great upgrade. Expect to pay $45-$50 each for the lamps. The nice thing is though that the bulb in replaceable so if it burns out you just pop in a new one for $10-$15 and keep the housing/reflector. Take the time to correctly aim the E-codes. If they are not aimed correctly you won't get the full benefit of their superior beam pattern, you will likely blind other drivers and possibly attract the attention of the local constabulary. Follow this thread on aiming.... Is there a Euro Headlight aiming procedure? I would recommend staying with the standard 60/55 watt bulbs with stock wiring. They work fine that way.
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Old 03-24-2003, 04:28 PM
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To answer the original question simply, E numbers marked on various automotive components especially glass, lamps, bulbs show that they meet certain European Community specifications.

Some lights also have DOT marks, not sure if that means Department of Transport (UK) or Transportation (US)

The difference with lighting is that US federal specs are different, which is why many European cars originally sold in the US have to be fitted with such ugly, dim headlights.

Not sure how you stand legally if you change things.
Mick J
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Old 03-24-2003, 05:01 PM
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Technically all "E-code" lights are illegal for highway use in the USA, you can only use them off-road. Yeah, right. NOBODY gets tickets for E-code lights, as long as they're adjusted properly and not blinding oncoming traffic. I have them on all my cars and would rate this upgrade as one of the first two items I would spend money on after ANY used car purchase (the other being window tint all around).

The absolute cheapest source for "round" E-code lights that fit your W123 chassis is Susquehanna Motorsports, you'll need the 7-inch round models. Here's the direct link:

The stock Hella bulbs are kinda lousy but not that bad. Don't use overwattage bulbs (anything beyond 60/55) unless you install relays. I definitely recommend the "Plus 50" bulbs offered by Philips and Osram, again these are not sold in USA but you can get them shipped from Europe pretty cheap. Here's one of the main suppliers (note that shipping is free):

For more information on bulbs, lights, relays, and how increasing alternator output voltage can boost light output, spend some time reading Dan Stern's site (he also sells E-code lights, +50 bulbs, and relay kits):

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Old 03-25-2003, 09:15 PM
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My Bosch euro's with Narva bulbs are a big improvement in visibility and they look great. You'll find everything you need to know in the previously referenced material.

My bulbs are the superbright's which is similar to the Osram +50. Hella also makes a direct fit euro. Both were OEM's.

My Bosch lights actually have the Star logo molded in. A possible advantage if you are going to show the car.

There is also a Pacific Rim mfg (Depo) supplying these lights that a lot of owners are very happy with. Cost's run $250-to-$500 a pair in round numbers for aforementioned lights. Don't pay more. Some vendors want close to $800 a pair.

Art Bourget

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