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  #1  
Old 10-10-2000, 12:14 AM
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what would be the highest (safe: no melting, fuses blowing, fires! ect.) wattage fog light and head lamp bulbs i could use in my 300e? i have piaa 65W in there right now and still not bright enough. plus im planning on getting euro converted soon. can they handle more heat? where is a good cheap sorce for euro headlights? no ebay, too many out of country sales. anyone who has had experiance with higher wattage bulbs please post your comments.

------------------
87 300E
BLACK GOLD WITH CREAM INTERIOR, SPOILER, AIRDAM
CLEAR MARKERS

87 420SEL
BRONZE WITH CREAM INTERIOR
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2000, 07:53 AM
LarryBible
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Adam,

Your question about the Euro lights shows that you're moving in the right direction. The problem you're having is reflector shape, not light wattage. The US lights just won't cut it, regardless of the wattage. I personally would not reccomend high wattage bulbs. They may not blow a fuse or melt anything immediately, but the long term effect will be a negative one.

Have you seen the article in the Star magazine on upgrading 124 lights. If you decide to spring for Euro lights, it will be worth tracking down a copy of this article and doing the upgrade correctly.

While in Germany, I went to a wrecking yard one Saturday morning. They had 124 headlight assemblies for DM180 each. At todays exchange rate, that's about $80 per side. I did not have that much in DM at the time and was concerned about lugging them for the rest of my trip and then checking them with my baggage.

After I get my 300E back together, I plan on pursuing buying these from a salvage yard in Germany. I may even get them cheaper. Shipping them back "slow boat" should not be that expensive.

In the article they also show you how to install the height adjuster. On all the Euro cars there is a vacuum operated adjuster, with it's control mounted somewhere on the dash. The article in the Star gives the part numbers for these pieces as well. I have the adjuster on my 240D Euros and it works great for my purposes. I drive about 190 miles per day, with about 40 of that on winding, hilly Farm to Market road. I have to dodge deer and escaped livestock. There is very little traffic on this section of road, so I find myself using the height adjustment to raise the lights a little for those miles.

As a stop gap, I noticed that Sylvania now makes available an Extra Vision bulb for this car. That would not tax your electrical system.

I'll let you know what I find out about the Euro lights. It will probably be a few months before I get to this project.

Good luck,

------------------
Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, 523K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2000, 12:42 PM
WmHarlow
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Adam,
After years in the lighting industry, I would have to say that most US model headlights are 'over-designed' for safety of the other motorists and not the driver.

In reference to your wanting to use higher wattage lamps, it will not do much good.... A 500W lamp in a crappy reflector and crappy lens will give 500W of crappy light.

My best advise is to switch to the Euro system. The reflectors are truer parabolics and cleaner reflective surfaces. The lenses are designed more for concentrating the beams and not diffusing it like the US models. Follow Larry's advise and do it right, otherwise you will not be happy with them.

In the meantime, you can install an aux pair of HELLA 55W Driving lights. This will help out for now, and certianly will not hurt you when you install the Euro's.

Good Luck

------------------
William
76 240D (W115) - 550K miles
78 300D (W123) - 200K+ miles
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2000, 08:30 PM
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i actually saw the article on the euro headlight conversion before i posted this question. can i just install the lamps without all the vacuum line control? sounds too expensive to also do that plus buy the lamps.

------------------
87 300E
BLACK GOLD WITH CREAM INTERIOR, SPOILER, AIRDAM
CLEAR MARKERS

87 420SEL
BRONZE WITH CREAM INTERIOR
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2000, 09:47 PM
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Adam:

You don't need to install the vacuum lines - I didn't and the lights work fine. Also, If you are running standard wattage bulbs (H4) or the "+30 standard wattage", then you don't need the relays or rewiring either - just the socket reconfiguration. I intend to do the relays and heavier guage wiring in the future as that will probably allow another 10% brightness just from the lowered resistance of the heavier guage wires, but with just the standard wiring, there is still a MAJOR INCREASE in light on the road. This is mostly from the great reflectors aiming the light where it will do a lot of good, instead of into oncoming traffic or up into the trees! If you put in the Euro lights and want more, then do the relays and wiring. At that point if you aren't satisfied with the sizzling light output, it is easy to just install brighter bulbs without any problems. (well, no electrical problems anyway - those overvoltage euro lights are not going to be very inconspicuous to oncoming traffic, 'tho the tight beam problem minimizes the problem!)

------------------
JCE
87 300E, 65k miles
Smoke Silver

[This message has been edited by JCE (edited 10-10-2000).]
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  #6  
Old 10-10-2000, 10:21 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Lookout Mtn, Georgia
Posts: 92
How about some help for us uninitiated. I put euros in a few months ago and just love them. I think they take H3 lamps but am not sure. Was thinking about PIAA's but have been reluctant to purchase since I'm not sure which config. I know the local shop put standard bulbs in. If I pull them should there be any kind of identifying marks so that I can be sure of what the bulb is and order correct replacements?

Thanx,

------------------
Scott

'91 300E 91k
Pearl Black/Gray
Euros/clear corners
AMG style wheels

'72 280 SEL 4.5 247k
Navy over Silver
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2000, 11:14 PM
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JCE JCE is offline
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Scott:

The main lamps are H4 bulbs, and the fog lights are H3 bulbs. I have had good luck with the +30 Hella H4 bulbs I got from Susquehanna at http://catalog.com/susq/hella.htm , and used Dichroic Hella H3 fog bulbs because I prefer the yellow fog lights. The so called +30 H4 lights by Hella, Philips, etc. use the same 55/60 watts as the standard H4 bulbs, but supposedly have repositioned filaments and added a trace of xenon gas to put 30% more light on the road from the same wattage. They were a lot cheaper than PIAA as well, which I have heard burn hot, have a short life, and don't put as much usable light on the road because they filter out wavelengths that aren't blue. Hope this helps.

------------------
JCE
87 300E, 65k miles
Smoke Silver
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2000, 07:01 AM
LarryBible
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No, you don't have to hook up the vacuum control. If you drive in rural areas where there is very little other traffic, you will find the vacuum control very useful.

You don't have to do anything but put in the Euros to have a significant gain in lighting. In fact, when I get around to mine, I plan on doing the vacuum control, but stay with standard 55/60 bulbs. The standard bulbs have worked great on my 123 Euro lights.

Also, on my 123, I had to move the pins in the connector to accommodate the Euro lights. If this is necessary on the 124 light, I'm sure you will find specific information in the Star article.

Good luck,

------------------
Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, 523K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #9  
Old 10-11-2000, 12:57 PM
WmHarlow
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JCE,
The re-designed lamps you are referring to DO have re-positioned filaments. The filament placement is to maximize the 'hot spot' in the focal point of the parabolic reflector, thus giving more light pushing out of the reflector, rather than bouncing around inside.

The trace of xenon gas it not to boost output of the light, but to serve as halogen A/C for the bulb. The bulb stays cooler with the xenon, thus stabilizing the output to a 'cooler' wavelength which produces more visible (useable) light. This will also reduce the UV glare that we see from cheaper lamps.

You are very correct about the PIAA's burning hotter. They have light output all over the spectrum and the heat they generate causes pre-mature failure when used in touring aplications. The best use for PIAA's is in off-road vehicles where light output is supposed to be diffuse and life of a bulb is non-relevant.

------------------
William
76 240D (W115) - 550K miles
78 300D (W123) - 200K+ miles

[This message has been edited by WmHarlow (edited 10-11-2000).]
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2000, 04:45 PM
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Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
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i just replaced the normal 9004 Bulbs in my 92 300Ce with 80/100W Xenon Bulbs (Not really sure if they are xenon), but they are about twice as bright as before.

I do also plan on upgrading to the Euro lights later, but I have a few other upgrades that must be done before I do that.

For the $20 I spent on the bulbs, I must say I am very impressed at the light output now. The light is bright and I can see better at night. the old bulbs had a yellowish tone to them which made visibility kinda bad at night, but with the new bulbs, the visibility is about 3 times better than before.

I'm not concerned with melting the wireing harness or the head light itself. If it melts I'll be getting my Euor lights a bit sooner. plus having a machinist who can fabricate just about anything is a plus. I could always have him fabricate me some new wiring harness plugs outta high temp material if needed.

I have talked to some friends who have run even higher watt bulbs in their mercedes with no problems, but for me, 80w is plenty bright, and really makes the car look better at night.

i dont plan on using my high beams at all so I'm not concerned with the overheating at 100W either.

But the 80 w bulbs I got look great when the lights are on.

I have felt the back of the light fixture after having the lights on for about an hour, and they were luke warm, so I'm thinking that they should be fine.

The bulbs I got have a light blue shade to them which is there for some reason, but they do produce way more light than the regular bulbs. and when they are on, they are bright white with absolutely no blue tint to them at all.


Alon

on a side note, I just painted my grey plastic grille insert with some matte black paint, and the thing looks AWESOME! I cleaned it first with some good degreaser that I let sit for a few minutes, then I washed it off with hot water, and then proceeded to dry it with a nice terry cloth towel, pushing the towel into each grid hole to dry it. I then used a compressed air gun to blow away any terry clot fibers before I painted it.

i used some weird paint I had lying around, which was made for plastic, so I'm hoping it will hold up. I only gave it a few coats, and so far in the first wash I have done since I painted the grille, it still looks perfect. it really wasnt that hard to get it out and back into the car. it took a slight bit of elbow grease to get it out and in, but I did not have to remove the entire grille assembly. just 4 screws and 4 clips, and a little creative wedging got it out and back in.

I'll post some pics as soon as I can on my site. If you have a black benz with that grey grille insert, I highly recommend painting it matte black, looks so good I wonder why mercedes had it in that grey in the first place. And I assume it would look great on any color car.

In fact my dad liked the way my grile looked so much, that he decided to get his grile on his 94 sl600 painted black to match his car.


------------------
'92 300CE
Black on Creme
77k Miles so far

Go To My 300CE Page
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2000, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 317
quote:
Originally posted by ADAM BOURASSA:
what would be the highest (safe: no melting, fuses blowing, fires! ect.) wattage fog light and head lamp bulbs i could use in my 300e? i have piaa 65W in there right now and still not bright enough. plus im planning on getting euro converted soon. can they handle more heat? where is a good cheap sorce for euro headlights? no ebay, too many out of country sales. anyone who has had experiance with higher wattage bulbs please post your comments.




Adam,
Try Steve at orders@europarts-sd.com. That is where I bought my used euro's from for $329. with shipping and handling. Good Luck.


------------------
Richie
1986 300E
tint windows
clear corners
euro headlights
16"chrome lorinsers RS90
soon to be 94/95 taillights
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  #12  
Old 10-11-2000, 10:40 PM
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Location: Lookout Mtn, Georgia
Posts: 92
JCE...thanx a bunch.

I've been reluctant to purchase because I was confused. Even the local shop said the bulbs were H3. Thanx for the info. As much as I want to get an 8 gazillion watt bulb, I will follow your lead. Before converting to euros, I bot 9004 Xenon BriteLite bulbs made by Wagner and couldn't notice any difference. But, just the euro lite with a standard bulb is far superior.

I travel with high-beams as often as possible after running over a retread on the highway one night. Anyway, can't wait to get some new bulbs in there and take advantage of the better reflectors and pattern. Thanx again for your help.

------------------
Scott

'91 300E 91k
Pearl Black/Gray
Euros/clear corners
AMG style wheels

'72 280 SEL 4.5 247k
Navy over Silver
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2000, 11:56 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 530
WARNING:

Do NOT use overwattage bulbs in the USA assemblies. Not only will you melt your headlight wiring, but stuff in the car can also burn up. You'll know something is wrong when you smell it. I've seen this happen, and it is NOT pretty. The Euro's can accomodate a higher bulb with no harness, but even still, I put one in mine just to be safe.

TAKE OUT THAT HIGH POWER BULB. I wouldn't want to see you destroy the electrical portion of the car.

------------------
1988 Mercedes-Benz 260E (W124)
Arctic White/Grey
Debadged
Euro Headlights
Clear Turn Signals and 1994/1995 Taillights
16" x 7J 8-hole
Michelin Pilot HX MXM 205/55WR16

1997 Mercedes-Benz E420 (W210)
Pearl Black/Ash
Debadged
Michelin Pilot XGT Z4 P225/55ZR16

1997 Mercedes-Benz C280 (W202)
Polar White/Parchment
Michelin Pilot SX-GT 205/60VR15
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  #14  
Old 10-17-2000, 12:39 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Lookout Mtn, Georgia
Posts: 92
Thanx JCE,

Your presciption arrived today. Actually didn't break anything installing the bulbs. The H3's I pulled out look EXACTLY the same, but as soon as I fired her up, she clearly had better eyes. The outline of the pattern was visible on the street. Only spent a few minutes outside, but wanted to say thanx. Got the new tails as well. Got one more to go. I swapped out the old rubber for the new one, because it just wouldn't snug up well. Hope that breaking the glue seal won't cost me long term. Just wanted to say thank you.



------------------
Scott

'91 300E 91k
Pearl Black/Gray
Euros/clear corners
AMG style wheels

'72 280 SEL 4.5 247k
Navy over Silver
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2003, 06:30 PM
Likes DIY/Tech'y inclined
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 452
+30 H4

Hi JCE,

I just went to the website for the +30 H4 by Hella... Is this it?

78150 - Replacement H4 (HB2) Bulb, XENON, 12V, 60/55W, Premium Plus 30% $10.43 Each

They also have Premium Plus 50%, would that better?

Also, where does it state that the filament is in another positions... please advise...

Any other suggestions on replacement headlight bulbs for my '87 260E?

thanks a million,
__________________
sjsfiji

'87 W124 260E (DD)
98K orig. mi. @7/15
CLK 7-Spoke Forged Wheels
Neuspeed springs/Bilstein Sport
4/3 bump (F/R)

'97 993 Carrera
106K orig. mi.
Always driven like it's stolen
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