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Old 01-14-2004, 01:47 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Palm Desert, CA
Posts: 11
Early W140 S class taillamp upgrade to 99 spec.

Hi, has any one upgraded the tail lights and center trim on an early W140 92-96 to the 99 version. I have received conflicting answers to this question. The tail and also corner lamps have 2 versions one is for 92-96 and for 97-99 is the shape or number of bulbs different anthing other than the color.

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Old 01-14-2004, 10:54 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 161
Do you mean replace that "funky" pink looking reflector all across the back ?

If that pink colored reflective stuff could go it would make my 95 S420 look better to me. But I don't remember what the 99' looked like exactly. I will continue to watch this post for possible info. DanielW
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,538
I have a 1993 W124 "E320", and I upgraded my tail lamps to the 1994-1995 type. I'm wondering if this is the same with the S class in terms of color.

The 1986-1993 W124 tail lamps are red, clear, and yellow. The lens is yellow, which allows a clear bulb to be used.

The 1994-1995 W124 tail lamps are red and clear, so a yellow bulb is used.

When I installed the newer tail lamps, I noticed this, and purchased a yellow bulb from the local auto parts store. When I tried to install it, the bulb wouldn't fit into the socket plate. The little pins on the side of the base of the bulb were indexed differently. No hardware store sells one.

After much research, I found two solutions:

1. The yellow bulb can be used, but one of the pins has to be filed down enough so that it can be inserted into the socket and twisted. This is what most people do.

2. I found a website that sells the yellow bulb with the same pin position as the clear bulb. I believe they took a clear bulb and dyed it yellow. It was about $2.50 / bulb, so I ordered four of them.

I suppose the 3rd option would be to replace the bulb plate, but then that would be more expensive and a bit of a hassle. In any event, it wasn't necessary.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:58 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Palm Desert, CA
Posts: 11
W140 Tail Lamps

Yes the 99 W140 have red and white for the blinkers, also I had a few nice 3 piece crystal type Red & Clear W140 tail Lamp sets for sale that are for 97-99 years I had a lot of people wanting to use them for the early W140's but There is some difference that makes them only for 97-99 maybe it is small. The three piece sets I had were the lens and reflector assemblies they need the existing bulb assembly to attach to. If they are way different you would have to modify the early ones or get the bulb\socket assembly from a wrecking yard. They also had a matching crystal center band. Did the size of the band also change? I will order more if I can get to the bottom of the conversion process.
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:09 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 256
I'm raising this post from the dead. I had to buy a new center reflector section for the tail lights on my 95. The part number is 1408205764. It came in a clear and does not look right between the two pink lights. I guess they must have changed the part and kept the part number the same?

I don't suppose there are any new pink ones still around?
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:50 AM
oldsinner111's Avatar
lied to for years
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: bristol,tn
Posts: 6,185
I like the older classic w140 lights.There pretty,why would you what to change to newer,it won't make your cars date change.
tired of aches and pains? look and feel young again, cyanide is right for you
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:25 AM
is thinning the herd
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 3,339
Informative reply.

I looked the part number up and it says it fits all 140s 1992-1999. But it also does not show that there was a previous part number. If there was a pink one, I would think it would show a part supersession. May be worth a call to the dealer to get a better answer.

I looked at the diagram and it lists two part numbers for "part 33 luminous band" the part number you bought, and 1408204764, it's also half the price. If you bought it at the dealer maybe order that one and see if its pink.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:13 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 256
I've got the dealer ordering me one of those other part numbers. When I get it, I will compare to see the difference.

I've heard two different versions of the story. One is that the early cars had a pinkish hue and then they went to a clear. The other story I heard is that they were all clear and they turn pink over time (I have never seen a type of clear plastic that turns pink though).
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,084
The early 140 trunk lid bottoms were square and needed to be rounded as required by the later tail light lenses and trim. The inside of the trunk bulb holder was changed to reflect the change in the tail light, I also think the liner was changed to reflect this change. It can be done, if you want to go thru the effort, paint, grinding, and extra parts. In addition to two tail lamps and the reflective strip every thing should fit, is it worth it?
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:23 PM
DR.DIESEL's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Puget Sound, Washington St.
Posts: 522
the tail lamps and center band turn pink over time with uv exposure. You have to replace all 3 so they match and are clear again. I found a decent used one on Ebay that matched the other 2 lenses in pink aged color.
Dr.Diesel -
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Master Guild Mercedes-Benz Technician.

Think the dealer is expensive? Do you know how much it costs to train a dealer tech? Or buy the required MB special tools to have on hand?
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:27 PM
A. Rosich's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 883
There are three types of tail lamps for the W140:

1991-1994 (pre-face lift) (first pic)
1995-1996 (post face lift with yellow turn indicators) (second pic)
1997-1999 (post face lift with clear turn indicators) (third pic)

Upgrading from 1995-1996 tail lamps to final 1997-1999 units is just a matter of switching the tail lamps and changing the clear turn signal bulbs for yellow ones (so they would give a yellow light through the clear lenses).

Upgrading from the original pre-face lift 1991-1994 tail lamps to the post face lift set is more difficult, as the shape of lamps and the trunk itself is different. Also the housing for the bulbs is completely different.
Attached Thumbnails
Early W140 S class taillamp upgrade to 99 spec.-800px-1992-1993_mercedes-benz_300_se_w140_sedan_01.jpg   Early W140 S class taillamp upgrade to 99 spec.-mercedes-benz-w140-29.jpg   Early W140 S class taillamp upgrade to 99 spec.-4833320919_a1275381f1_z.jpg  

A. Rosich
CL 500, 1998
S 500 L, 1998
E 320 T, 1995 [Sadly sold ]
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