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Spencer 300E 06-08-2002 01:56 AM

Upgrading to 94/95 rear tail lamps for 87 300E
I'm a brand new Mercedes owner and have been learning alot reading this forum. I've been noticing that a lot of 300E owners have upgraded their taillamps to 94/95 style and have seen some pictures of such and they do look fantastic. My question is what model do these taillamps come from and is it simply a lens replacement or is it the whole assembally. Just picked up my car this week and plan to install Euro lights, new Euro front, rear bumpers and side skirting. Whats everyones thoughts on a tasteful low profile rear spoiler. Looking at some MSR 17" wheels (5 spoke) and 225/45 Yokohama tires. Car has quite a few km's on it but rebuilt motor only has 100 kms and the rest is in relatively good condition. Plan on getting before and after pic's to post here as well.:cool:

JCE 06-08-2002 02:29 AM

Welcome, Spencer - another 87 300E owner. The taillights only need the lens replaced, but you may have to play with installing an orange bulb for the rear turn indicators, depending on local laws. Lens replacement is easy, you just remove the screws holding the old lens in place (inside the trunk, behind the tail light bulb access hatches).

A rear spoiler has a real function on the 300E - it makes it easier to judge the rear of the car when parking or backing up. Otherwise, it is a matter of personal taste.

Before you go to the expense of side skirts (Big $, almost as much as a Sportline handling kit or aftermarket lowering springs, sway bars, and shocks), some members have just had the bumpers, rocker panels, and side impact strip painted to match the body paint, and it looks really nice (I would leave the black bumper inserts black if I were doing it just to minimize rock dings). AV on this forum did that, his car is below:

Also, buying a new plastic grill insert, painting it matte black (not flat or glossy, half way in between) and installing new aluminum trim strips really cleans up the front as well. The trim strips from a late model C230 can be adapted for a slightly bolder chrome strip look, as they are a bit more pronounced than the 87 strips.

Removing the 300E symbol on the trunk is another easy mod that cleans up the back and makes the car look wider and newer as well, and is in the archives.

17" wheels are a matter of preference - the 300E has been said to handle best with 15-16" wheels, as the 17's add unsprung weight and slightly decrease acceleration, and make the ride stiff and the steering tramline a bit - they look nice though.

There should be threads in the archives on all these mods, and you can see some of them on my car by clicking the signature line below.

Good luck, and have fun!

Spencer 300E 06-08-2002 02:47 AM

Thanks John, your suggestions and pitures have been most helpful. I have a lot of decisions to make and it really helps to talk to people that have been down this road before. The grille looks fantastic, and I had noticed it on some other cars, but was unaware of how to accomplish it. I'm very excited about doing this project and I don't want my enthusiasim to override my better judgement.


Spencer 300E 06-10-2002 01:37 AM

John, really like the looks of your car especially with the black bumpers. Could you show me some side profiles of your car. I am having a dilemma with changing the colour of my new purchase. It is original paint and looks to me to be a powder blue. I donít want to stray too far from the original colour but could you offer some suggestions.

JCE 06-10-2002 02:46 AM

No problem. I have several from the last MercedesShop SoCal meeting. First is Ernesto's (Hi-Power) 1986 300E that has been monotoned and clear turn signals on far left of photo. The one behind it is Paul's (Suginami) showing the late w124 body color bumper with the black insert: 11.jpg

Next is mine, with the 15" wheels from a 1998 C230 installed, from the same meet - mine shows the early w124 all black bumpers: 2.jpg

Finally, a side view of mine with the stock 15" 15 hole wheels:

The black trim really shines nicely with Mother's Back to Black! Also, as you can see, wheel choice on these cars has a very profound effect - more so than many other cars IMO.

Changing paint colors is always a challenge - costs more to do inside the trunk/door jambs, the old color shows through door dings and rock chips, the new color doesn't match the UD plate, etc. I like the light metallic blue - I would see how detailing the paint and potential wheel choices look on the car before painting. Play around with the wheel fit feature on the Tire Rack site. That will let you choose several colors and lots of wheel type combinations on your ride before you make a choice.

Hi-Power 06-10-2002 03:52 PM

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Thanks for using my car as an example, for some reason I started feeling jealous. :p


Welcome to the best MB forum on the net ! Here are some better pictures from my car for your reference. I hope it will help you with your desicion about the rear tail lamps ( smoke/red ) :)

Hi-Power 06-10-2002 04:24 PM

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Another anlge where you can get a better view from the tail lights.

EXTREME E500 06-10-2002 04:34 PM

YOU COULD PUT THE 94/95 LIGHTS...but I decided to do something different...

my lights are clear on top and red on the bottom...which gives it a different look..



Spencer 300E 06-11-2002 12:39 AM

Thanks Ernesto, I'm taking my time on coming to desisions and all this input is helping greatly. I hope with more research that my dream will all come together in tasteful package. Goal is to have it done in one month.

Thanks again for your pictures and ideas, I have'nt seen too many yellow ones.:)

mushedroom 06-11-2002 05:26 PM

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hey spencer...welcome to the club!!!!

woo hoo
w124 unite and take over...

here's what i did with my tails...
tell me what ya think...although these generally are better on dark colored cars...

mushedroom 06-11-2002 05:27 PM

these aren't spray tinted...these are "starlights" from germany...made by Hella, so they're spec and meet all safety standards...

mushedroom 06-11-2002 05:27 PM

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here are a couple more pics...

mushedroom 06-11-2002 05:28 PM

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and a close up...
i didn't need to fumble with any colored bulbs because the lens has them all inclusive internally....

Holson Adi 06-12-2002 01:10 AM

Damn, I miss my W124 back home! I mean the W123 is a great car but greater is the W124! (in almost every way.. except maybe the puny 2.3L M102 (???) motor in the 230E - the car feels just as "fast" as my 300 Diesel)

Here it is with some Replica 16" wheels and Z-Rated (waste) 215/55/ZR16 Dunlop SP9000's. I dig the dark orange blinkers though (I had the clear ones and later traded them in for the orange ones).

The muffler is Lorinser made specifically for the 4-cylinder W124's.. I think it's too loud for my taste.. especially after a prolonged hot driving(it's always at least 98F in Jakarta)

Well obviously the headlights are not US lights. There was a huge demand for them though (US W124 headlights in Jakarta..)

Notice that it doesn't have an antenna near the trunk (I don't know where the antenna is, but it is there)

I know it's not such a great color for some, however I love it and if I were to repaint my W123 it'd be that same color.

I was also considering the SLK's wheels (7-spoke I think) in brushed aluminum. However, they were a tad more expensive than these.

Spencer 300E 06-12-2002 02:03 AM

Been busy in my garage pulling lights and trim off the new purchase, getting it ready for the new paint. Luckily I have a friend who owns a shop (very good detail painter) and also another who works for large, quality paint distribution company. It pays to have friends, although sometimes payback can be hell. Getting exited as I dig into the car and get to know it a little better. Thanks again all for the pics and ideas. Love the look of the smoked tail lights but my colour is (I think) going to be a light blue (wife likes the colour). I'm still not sure I got a answer on the 94/95 tail lamps as to which model they come from? Can anyone help.

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