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  #1  
Old 10-03-2003, 10:04 PM
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Federal vs Euro Lights

I've noticed many posts on this forum concerning the preference for euro or US lights, in particular on 123 series cars. Comming from outside the US it's always amused me slightly that nobody seems to realise that "Euro" spec lights were exclusive to 123 series with six cylinder gas engines outside the US. As I've posted before outside the US all other 123's besides the 280's had what you refer to as "US spec" lights. The only difference was that in the US you had to have physically seperate light lenses in the mounting as opposed to everywhere else where you could have the lights Mercedes originally intended. So outside the US you have the same light design except that instead of the round lenses being installed sperately in the glass housing they are integral to it. As seen in this image of a 123 200D in Germany. Assuming of course that I'm able to attach the image...
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Federal vs Euro Lights-lights.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2003, 10:25 PM
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Those are the circular H4 lights. I perfer the flat glass type.. that is how the car is meant to look. Far superior lighting as well.
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2003, 10:31 PM
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There are basically two W123 Euro headlight types -- the one shown in your picture, and the more attractive type (IMHO) that lacks the obvious circles for the headlight and foglight.

Ron
http://germanstar.net
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2003, 10:39 PM
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vibrating beams

I have the rectangular euro-spec headlights on my 300D turbo and I have noticed a slight amount of vibration in the headlight beams at idle. Maybe that's the reason MB didn't put these lamps on a diesel. Does anyone else have the vibration that I have noticed on my car?
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2003, 12:27 AM
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very nice photo!.........
William Rogers......
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2003, 12:06 PM
mb123mercedes
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pj67coll

The Euro spec lights have a seperate lens,body and
bulb for the US spec the lens.body and bulb are one
piece,called sealed beams here in the US.
So if you have a blown bulb in the US you would have
to replace the whole assembly as to the Euro's you
just replace the bulb.

The US ones are more work and aggrevation,especially
when the PO has stripped the screws on the tie down
rings and bent them so out of shape that now your
light assembly is loose and rattles.(Don't ask how I know)
If your lucky 5mins work if not ???

As to the Euro's,you remove the plug,twist the bulb,
remove it and put the new one in,DONE.
Here 1min work.
And alot better light output.

Having lived in Europe for many years and now
for 6+ years in the US, I'll take the Euro spec
system over the US spec anyday.

Louis.
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2003, 06:06 PM
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while they do look much better-

I think the seeing the road with Euro lights is MUCH better. I've got a set and LOVE them. I'm told that going from seal beams(US style) to Euros with 80W100 bulbs you will get nearly 4X the light on the road using a camara light meter.


Michael
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2003, 12:18 AM
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For mb123mercedes

No argument about the superiority of Euro spec lights over US ones. My comment was not about which is technically superior but merely commenting on the aesthetics of the design.

As Ron posted. There are two "Euro" style designs. The four round ones as shown in the picture of the 200D and the rectangular one used in the 280's. Seems to me that most Americans think that the four headlight design was unique to the US which is was not.

As you said what was specific to the US was the use of sealed beam units in the round light design.

As to the inferior light quality from the US lights. I wonder how much of this is caused by the deterioration of the reflecting surface in the light assembly. My brother who'se 123 200 had the same lights as the above picture had to replace them because the light was so feeble even the high beams were dangerously dim. He put in the rectangular light assembly from a 280 which was a vast improvement.

When inspecting the round light's that he removed we found
a) an overpoweringly vile smell as soon as the units were opened
b) the reflecting surface was so deteriorated it just didnt reflect anything.

This was on an 84 car and the lights were replaced in 2000.

- Peter.
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81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 342000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2003, 12:47 PM
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Re: For mb123mercedes

Quote:
Originally posted by pj67coll
When inspecting the round light's that he removed we found
a) an overpoweringly vile smell as soon as the units were opened
b) the reflecting surface was so deteriorated it just didnt reflect anything.

This was on an 84 car and the lights were replaced in 2000.

- Peter.
Sounds like the seals went bad. It's probably a good idea to check them on a regular basis, possibly as often as you would check the belts on the engine.
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2003, 01:00 PM
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The problem with the US spec lamps is the law requiring them. In 1950, the "new" sealed beam lamps were far superior to the typical US manufacture headlamps (separate bulb/reflector) design. Also, don't forget our lovely corrupt political system -- I assume GE or Sylvania spent quite a bit of $$ to get this legislation passed..... The "sealed beam" lamps permitted much better filament alignment than separate bulbs did at the time (sloppy manufacture, the Europeans didn't have this problem....), and made it possible to properly align the lamps for low glare and good visibility with only a simple tool and a screwdriver.

The problem was that no "or better" performance language was put into the law, so until it was changed a few years ago due to growing pressure to get better headlights on cars, we were stuck with a now inferior system. I remember the discussions about this in the 60's and 70's when european makers switched to halogen lamps in separate reflectors. The las was applied blindly in spite of the fact that the new halogens were higher performance and just as easily aligned.

Thank heavens that has changed! How if they would just outlaw those stupid HID lamps that make my corneas fluoresce, we would be in good shape...... Talk about glare!

Peter
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  #11  
Old 10-05-2003, 02:36 PM
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i love the american spec style but...

i LOOOOOOOOOOVE my euro lights more!!! the light output is infinitely superior, without a doubt. they are very classy looking. even the fog lights i have on the euro's are shockingly bright.

i kept my old american spec's just in case, but i can't forsee switching back. if i DID have american specs back on the car id definitely purchase those halogen hella upgrades from perf products to increase light output..

the euro's also have that vacuum function allowing you to adjust the upward downward angle of the lense. i use mine to angle up at street signs when im trying to read them. ive got it wired into my fader switch for the stereo which i no longer use.

i have a spare set of brand new bosch Euro's - the style first shown on this post if anyone is interested.

eric
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2003, 02:45 PM
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another

.
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  #13  
Old 10-07-2003, 08:59 PM
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Anyone else?

Just curious, has anyone noticed any vibration with their rectangular Euro headlamps on a diesel at idle? I notice it everytime I'm at a stoplight behind someone at night.
Anyone else?
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  #14  
Old 10-08-2003, 01:07 AM
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Never had a vibration problem with my lights..

Sounds like you need to investigate a tune-up or motor mounts possibly.


Michael
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  #15  
Old 10-08-2003, 11:02 AM
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yea mine used to vibrate, but after investigating i realized i was missing a couple screw bolts that held the lights in and steady.

eric
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