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  #1  
Old 03-05-2000, 03:59 PM
fz500sel's Avatar
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I'm fairly new to MB's and I'm still getting all the differences between SL's, SEL's etc.

Could someone please explain the main differences between European headlights and the American style? Do they both use the wipers? Any difference in the fog lights? Bulb wattages?

Thanks for your help fella's. Before you know it, I will be able to converse like the rest of you (at least sound like I know what I'm talkin' about)

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  #2  
Old 03-05-2000, 06:48 PM
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Frankie,

European headlights use a higher wattage bulb and are wired for it. I recommend them if you have a hard time seeing at night. Be careful though, as some police officers will site you for having them because they are extremely bright. In fact, if you ever purchase a brand new pair from Bosch, they will make you sign a waiver stating that they will only be used for show purposes, I guess it keeps them from getting trouble should you be caught. Some of the older models which are Euro-spec do have wipers for the lights (i.e. W116 chassis), but later US-spec cars offered wipers as an option. In addition, Euro-spec cars also had a vacuum adjustment which would angle the beam of the lights. I find it pretty useless, but I guess in Germany, they think it necessary. Hope this helps!



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Rgds,
Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
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'89 420SEL
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2000, 07:40 PM
fz500sel's Avatar
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Aaron, thanks for the help. Is there anything different about the look of European headlights that would enable someone to immediately differentiate that they were European?


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FrankieZ
'84 500sel (love it!)
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2000, 11:58 PM
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Frankie,
Welcome to the club!
Although Euro lights provide much better visibility, it's not because they use higher wattage bulbs. North American(DOT)headlights use a 9004 bulb (65/45 watts inputs with 1200/700 lumens output) compared to the standard Euro H4 bulb (60/55 watts input with 1650/1000 lumens output). The better input-to-output efficiency is due to the filament design.
Compared to DOT headlights, the Euros actually appear less bright to oncoming traffic, while providing much improved driver visibility in terms of distance and right-side illumination. This is due to the Euro reflector design which provides a sharper cut-off and different beam pattern, effectively concentrating the low-beam light lower to the ground, straight ahead, then up-and-out to the right shoulder (better illuminating signs, pedestrians, etc).
Headlamp washer/wipers are not interchangeable between versions. To utilize your NA version wipers with Euro lights see my previous posts on that subject.

Hope I've shed some 'light'.
Barrie
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2000, 12:50 AM
fz500sel's Avatar
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Thanks, Barrie.

I appreciate the info, but can you differentiate between NA and European by looking at them? Is the styling any different?

Thanks again.



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FrankieZ
'84 500sel (love it!)
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2000, 01:59 AM
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Frankie,

European lights have a clear lens over the entire assembly, rather than a separate interchangeable headlight lens. On the 123 and 116 bodies, US spec cars had round lights while the Euro lights were rectangular. On the 126 (your car) the US headlights had the inset interchangeable lens rather than a "flush" look. Hope this helps!


------------------
Rgds,
Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'89 420SEL
'93 300E 2.8
'72 Alfa Romeo 2000GTV
'74 Jensen Interceptor Mk.III
'81 DeLorean DMC12
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  #7  
Old 03-06-2000, 06:46 AM
Adamou
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What all of you forget is that the main big difference between EURO MBs and US MBs is that the bumpers on the US versions are much bigger (about 10cm bigger).
The headlights are completly different. The SDL model for example doesn't exist in EUR. The power of the engine of the 560SEC US is rated at 238hp while the EUR version is rated at 278hp and the other version at 302hp...

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  #8  
Old 03-06-2000, 04:12 PM
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The American style has one pair amber colour and one pair clear. The amber is for fog. When you go to European you do not have the amber any more. Do you lose your fog capability?

Reza
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2000, 04:27 PM
Andras Nagy
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Reza and all:

Sorry guys, but in France ALL headlights are yellow, including the fogs. The French are funny this way, and becasue of their wanting to be different, I predict that they will always have them.

But having lived in France for years, I can tell you that the yellow is not any better than the "white" that we have here in the USA.

Barrie knows whereof he speaks, for I have the Euro version on my Euro 280 SE, and they are all one piece glass lens, and the headlamp and foglamp are housed in separate plastic housings in the engine copartment. If fact, the bulbs are H1 and H4 iodine, and not sealed beams as the older ones in the USA. I believe that all newer ones are not sealed beam.

So Frankie, the answer is yes, you can differentiate between the two - the Euro are a one piece unit, whereas the USA are two piece, and look it......Andras
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  #10  
Old 03-06-2000, 07:34 PM
fz500sel's Avatar
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Thanks, fellas.

Those answers were just what I was looking for.

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  #11  
Old 03-07-2000, 03:12 AM
Adamou
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Sorry, Andras (by the way you must be hungarian (szia!)) but the French cars doesn't have the yellow headlights anymore. That law was abolished in 1988 so you can't find anymore

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http://connect.to/windowsce
A.S.C. 2000
- Mercedes Benz 560SEC 1986 28.000km BRABUS
-------------------------------------
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2000, 02:37 AM
Benzman500
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i have a euro they have a flat surface but now they sell conversion sets fot american european are built much better is what i have been told. but if you break a euro one it cost 450 to replace it
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  #13  
Old 06-13-2000, 11:28 AM
Harvey Sutlive
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The discussion on lights reminds me of a conversation I had with a German TUV tech about ten years ago. (TUV is their rigorous inspection process. I was suffering through it with an at that time 14 year old Ford Transit van. The van had a four cylinder diesel motor by the way.)
So,the guy was very strict about all lights, plus headlight alignment, plus emergency flashers. I thought he was being too strict. He explained to me that in Germany, compared to Georgia, where I'm from, they are driving faster, in less daylight hours, with frequent fog and mist.
Traffic blockages under these conditions are pretty dangerous, and good lights become a critical safety factor.
This made sense to me and since then I've even wondered why we don't adopt the German standards on automobile lighting.

Harvey
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