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Old 02-19-2007, 04:56 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Mountain View CA.
Posts: 74
No headlights, tailights, reverse lights. Any ideas?

My 1991 420 SEL is in the shop and just had a 560 SEL engine installed.
The engine seems to running great but when we went to test drive the car at night we noticed that there were no headlights, taillights or reverse lights. The hazards were working. I am not sure if the lights were working before the engine swap. the mechanic has been poking around but has not been able to find the problem. Any ideas?
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:53 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 450
headlights/taillights - check fuses (headlamps are probably circuit breaker protected) or headlamp switch.

Reverse lights - controlled from transmission selector, I think. By that I mean - put tranny in reverse, and one of the pins on the transmission harness goes "hot" to turn on the reverse lights.

Would have been nice if you knew whether this worked before the engine swap, although the diagnostic methods are probably the same regardless.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:46 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Mountain View CA.
Posts: 74
One more thing

One more thing. The gauge and switch illumination in the interior function normally when the light switch is turned on. Brake lights don't work either. weird....
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:56 AM
david s poole
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: dallas
Posts: 1,822
in the fuse box there is a long relay that is called the bulb monitor relay.all the power to the light bulbs[external]goes thru this relay it is your most probable culprit.this is the relay that illuminates the bulb out icon in the instrument panel.
David S Poole
European Performance
Dallas, TX

"Fortune favors the prepared mind"
1987 Mercedes Benz 420SEL
1988 Mercedes Benz 300TE (With new evaporator)
2000 Mercedes Benz C280
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:16 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Mountain View CA.
Posts: 74
Thank you David. I have relayed (no pun intended) the information to my mechanic. Also, I will let you know if the advice you gave regarding the no power issue in my other 420 helps. He has not gotten to that car yet.

Thanks again,

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Old 02-23-2007, 03:29 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Mountain View CA.
Posts: 74
It was the relay!

Thanks David. It was the relay. I appreciate your help.
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