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  #1  
Old 07-11-2003, 12:20 AM
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Question E500 Euro Headlights: Clear me up

Okay guys, here’s the deal. I have looked all up and down the forum and I am STILL confused. Help me out.

I have a 1994 E420 with the US Spec (DOT) Bosch headlights. These of course have H4 low/high headlights, and H3 fog lights.

I am looking for E-code, E500 Bosch headlights. I want the E500 headlights because, as you all know, they have driving lights in place of the fog lights. I do not want the E500 DOT headlights.

I also understand that many people are using E-code Hella lights. From what I have gathered, the E-code Hellas are only marginally better than the DOT Bosch units. I am of course only referring to the 1994-1995 style lights. I do not know if the people using the E-code Hellas have the fog lights or driving lights.

If you care to know, the reason I am bent on E-code E500 lights is because my plan is to install HID lights. Since this would prevent me from having high beams in the main light, I plan on doing a little rewiring and ultimately turning the driving lights into my high beams.


SO, I guess what I am really trying to get at is…

1) Does anybody have picts of E-code, E500 Bosch leadlights for the 1994 and up cars?
2) Where can I buy them…PUMA maybe? I assume they have to be special ordered.

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  #2  
Old 07-11-2003, 01:46 AM
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No need to be confused>

PUMA will sell you the real deal Hella E500 Made in Germany e-codes.

Appears you have read the threads on this subject- - unless one has actual lumen output in Bosch vs. Hella e-codes, and light disperson mapping.....they will in therory (both) comply with Euro specs. (and both will outperform DOT E500 Bosch units).

imho- the Hella e-codes are NOT marginally better vs. DOT e500 Bosch
>....simply the e-codes offer a different lighting standard based upon euro spec (which are (++) different vs. a DOT lighting spec)

I have not idea where to get Bosch E500 lighting, however Hella e500 lights are available from PUMA. Depending on PUMA's stock on the Hella e500 lights- - you may or may not have to special order.

fwiw- not very many N America retail sources offer OE or OEM manufacture E500 e-codes

for pics of e500 euros, take a look at Dean's need to speed sight- I believe there are honest to goodness euro e500 cars to take a gander at (which will have factory installed and supplied e-codes)

from what I understand, installing HID to a non-HID headlight unit will present challenges: IE proper lense focus, proper bulb positioning, proper adjustment/ active leveling (per DOT regs)

...although an hid set-up can most likely be installed absent those details- whatever floats your boat

hope this helps
-fad
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Old 07-11-2003, 07:57 AM
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Thumbs up

Thanks fad for the quick response. I appreciate it.

So the hella units are not that bad eh? Which is not a surprise as my recently totaled BMW had hella lights and they were awesome.

Anyway, I'm gonna be checking in with PUMA to see what’s up. Also, about the HID, the aftermarket sale of HID retrofit kits has grown quickly, as has the technology. Rebased HID capsules now offer proper lens focus. Even in H4 housings such that they only use the low beam portion of the headlights as opposed to early HID retrofits that just shoved a HID capsule into the lamp and blasted light all over the place. There shouldn’t be a problem with glare or blinding light.

With regard to legality.....well the fact that I will be using e-code lights means I am not in compliance with DOT "standards"...so having HID will be moot.

All in all I hope it turns out as well as I envision.
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  #4  
Old 07-11-2003, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
So the hella units are not that bad eh?
FWIW, the first set of E code euro lights I had on my 87 300E came from a 'real' European grey market MB that was being parted out. The Headlights had the MB star and part numbers molded into the plastic, along with the manufacturer's name - Hella! The Hellas were installed at the factory by MB, so they must have met MB's design criterea.

The second set of E codes I installed were Hella 500E E codes from Puma (The first ones were vandalized on my car ). I have been happy with them, and with the service from Puma. They have trhe driving light in place of the fog lamp - much more focused and longer range than the high beams, so if you plan on using them in place of the high beams, you may find times when low beams aren't enough, and the driving lights are too much. I am running Phillips Vision plus +50 bulbs from PowerBulbs, and they have more light output and 'whiter' light than other H4 halogens. If I were spending money on the HIDs, I might be inclined to use them only on the driving lights, but they are really already sufficient for my purposes. I am not likely to 'out-drive these units as they are now, and can't imagine the effect of an HID capsule in them!

A pic is available in my signature, below.
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Last edited by JCE; 07-11-2003 at 11:27 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-11-2003, 12:35 PM
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JCE brings up a good point...that I second

driving lights activated= aircraft landing lights
(I use standard H-3 bulbs)

...and its a must to kill them immed. when approaching other vehicles on the road

-fad

Last edited by -fad; 07-11-2003 at 12:58 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2003, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by -fad
driving lights activated= aircraft landing lights
(I use standard H-3 bulbs)
-fad
fad......thats EXACTLY what I am going for. The dark roads, and often long stretches of highway around me could use some extra illumination. Plus those people that cut me off need to have a little lasik surgery. The lights should go well with the hella air horns I am thinking about.


Quote:
Originally posted by JCE
Phillips Vision plus
JCE, I was planning on using Vision plus bulbs until I got the xenon conversions. And when I do get HID, I'll have vision plus H3's.

I know its premature as I dont have the lights yet, but should I (if so how) upgrade the wiring/relays/fuses? The HID run on 35watts so the lowbeam circuit will actaully have less drain, but if I use slighty higher watt H3's (nothing over 100 wats) do you think I should reinforce for that?
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2003, 11:26 AM
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on good principle- it is insurance to upgrade wiring and relays to ensure you system will be problem free and dependable and be able to handle the load

honestly- standard h-3's in the driving light position offers very robust lighting- the driving lights can be adjusted to light up objects a city block ahead of you (mine can)

just a thought...hopefully animals won't be attracted into the lighting in front of your car at night

-fad
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  #8  
Old 07-16-2003, 01:52 PM
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First, let's clear up a few misconceptions. There are no Bosch 500E/E500 Euro lights. Only Hellas. For standard W124 Euros (with fogs), there are both Bosch and Hella available.

Second, the 1994/95 USA DOT lights really are pretty decent. The Euros are a little better, but it's not a huge difference. A 94/95 USA DOT is MUCH better than a 86-93 USA DOT. And all Euro lights are a billion times better (approximately) compared to the awful 9004-bulb 86-93 lights (which Mercedes should be embarassed to have ever installed in the first place.)

Third, I would NOT recommend doing an HID conversion. Scott (run.exe) had an extensive thread on this recently, use the "search" feature. He already had the HID parts but after researching it more, he sold them & went with relays+Rallyes. The light output is all wrong with the reflector housing. Please, forget using HID. Use Philips Rallye bulbs (130/100 H4, 100 H3) and a full relay kit. The lumens output is actually higher than HID on high beam, and almost as good on low beam. And more importantly, the dispersal pattern will be correct. Until someone makes a projector assembly for W124's, forget HID (and I doubt anyone will - not enough demand). I used the Rallye bulbs with relays and the output is mind-boggling. Honest!

Fourth, yes, PUMA can get the 500 Hella Euro lights. The 500E lights are now up to $480 plus S&H, including bulbs and connectors. The E500 lights used to be $200+ more, so I'd assume $700+ for E500 lights from them (please post their price quote so we know). I bought my two sets of 500E Hellas from PUMA and was very happy with the service. The prices have gone up in the last 6-9 months thanks to poor USD-EURO currency exchange rates.

Fifth, I just located a source in Germany that can order OE Genuine Mercedes parts. They can get E500 Euro lights direct from Mercedes-Benz in Germany, in original MB package, etc for about $375 (USD) (pair), plus probably $50 (USD) shipping. I don't know if bulbs are included - I'd assume not, but so what, you'd just install Rally or +50 bulbs anyway! That price sounds amazingly low - I'd email them and have the price and part numbers verified. They do accept credit card, which is helpful - most Euro companies want a bank wire, which often costs ~$30! BT, DT. Email them at: INFO@SPEED-AUTOTEILE.COM and you should get a reply from Roland or Christian.

Sixth, all halogen bulbs are NOT created equal. I would strongly recommend ONLY buying halogen bulbs from either Dan Stern (dan@mbz.org), or PowerBulbs.com - both places only sell the GOOD bulbs! There is a lot of crap on the market, and the "good" stuff is not sold retail in the USA. If it's on a shelf in a store in USA (for H1/H3/H4 bulbs!), it's probably junk, regardless of the brand (Hella, Sylvania/Osram, Philips, etc). Well, maybe not JUNK, but definitely NOT the best available on the market! Only "+30" bulbs are sold here, the Euro-only +50's are much better. And only use Philips or Narva "rallye" bulbs. Avoid PIAA like the plague.


Last, here's some photos of my relay setup for my 500E lights in my 1987 300D:
http://www.meimann.com/images/mercedes/W124_headlights/



HTH,
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Last edited by gsxr; 07-16-2003 at 01:58 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2003, 01:45 AM
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I second GSXR's post. I have Euro E500 and Euro 500E lights on both cars.

The lighting is incredible, esp. with relays for minimal voltage drop. Upgrading to a 150Amp alternator also helps!

STAY AWAY from HID conversions for the W124. Not worth it if you have euro lights, relays, and quality bulbs.

:-) neil
1988 360TE AMG (w/Euro E500 headlamps and Brabus spoiler w/fogs)
1993 500E (w/Euro 500E headlamps)
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2003, 03:00 AM
Mack
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Quote:
Originally posted by gsxr
Second, the 1994/95 USA DOT lights really are pretty decent. The Euros are a little better, but it's not a huge difference. A 94/95 USA DOT is MUCH better than a 86-93 USA DOT. And all Euro lights are a billion times better (approximately) compared to the awful 9004-bulb 86-93 lights (which Mercedes should be embarassed to have ever installed in the first place.)
Would the best low buck approach to improving the 86 to 93 USA DOT lamps, be a conversion to a used set of 94/95 USA DOT. I assume you loose the wiper/washers? And if I put off the relays until I have time to do it right, how much wattage could I safely run on the high beam filament? I would think 60/80's or even 80/80's wouldn't melt/fry connectors? And I can always use these in bikes latter on .

How time intensive is the relay install, whats involved? I would love to improve the headlights ASAP, but I'm short on time until Sept, when I also plan to pull the dash, change out all the pods, vacum lines, add some wiring, and a permanent V1 installation, among other things. Now if I could just get a manual climate control!
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  #11  
Old 07-17-2003, 11:24 AM
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Mack,

Yes, if you can get 94/95 DOT's cheap enough, that's the best "low buck" approach. I know one person who did this and was very impressed at the increase in light output. These lights use H4 bulbs, so you can safely install high-wattage bulbs in there. I wouldn't go over 100/80 without relays because the extra current will strain the headlight switch. Yes you will lose the wipers (those are needed from the 94/95 car as well, the 86-93 won't fit properly). I'd just use the +50 bulbs from Dan Stern or PowerBulbs rather than the high-wattage stuff, if you're not using relays.

The relay install will take a few hours minimum. It depends how meticulous you are while installing. Mine took a good 8 hours but I wanted to use the stock connectors, and had to solder heavy wire to individual pins, etc - lots of time involved. There are other ways of doing it which are a littel faster but normally require cutting holes in the back of the headlamp cover plate to run wires directly to the bulb. Like Neil said, a 143/150A alternator helps too. An easier alternative is to get an adjustable voltage regulator for your stock alternator, and turn it up so it produces 14.2-14.4v when COLD. That extra half-volt will make a significant improvement in light output.

BTW - what do you mean "permanent V1 installation"? I need to buy a V1 soon. It looks like the BEST place to mount it is above the rear-view mirror, since you want it as high as possible for optimum reception... right?


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  #12  
Old 07-17-2003, 12:03 PM
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Whoah wait. The DOT 94-95 lights will look wierd on a 86-93 because of the slope for the updated grill. The 86-93 has the old straight grill. Am I wrong?
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Old 07-17-2003, 12:21 PM
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Ooops - yes - good point. It won't look quite right but you'll at least be able to see at night! Here's a photo of what they would look like:

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  #14  
Old 07-17-2003, 12:42 PM
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Mack,

Just keep in mind that on the 94 - 95 DOT W124 Lights the lenses have a small indentation near the grille. The facelift in 94 included a larger grille width thus the indentation.

IMO Best bang for the buck are the 500E Euro's, they'll provide excellent light output and will look correct on your vehicle. If you prefer to maintin your fog lights a standard W124 Euro Light assembly is relatively cheap but doesn't have the nice chrome background.

BTW you can install your original wipers on the Euro's but you'll need to make custom brackets and a few slight modifications. If you have the time and interest email me and I'll put together a few tips. Here's a shot of what it looks like:
Attached Thumbnails
E500 Euro Headlights: Clear me up-euro-small.jpg  
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2003, 01:43 PM
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If you can get 94/95 DOT W124 headlights cheap, you can order the pre-1994 W124 Euro headlamp glass from PUMA and swap them out.

That way, you get the better reflector and the proper glass for your hood/grill assembly.

FWIW, before I upgraded the 1988 wagon's hood, I had regular 500E Euro headlamps. When I replaced the hood & grill assembly, I popped-in E500 Euro headlamp glass and I was good to go.

:-) neil
1988 360TE AMG w/E500 Euro headlamps
1993 500E w/500E Euro headlamps

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