Date registered: Jul 2004
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
126 Euro Headlights and a Failed 107 Project
I have two 107 SL's, but I read this forum because the 107 and the 126 have a lot in common mechanically. I like Euro headlights, but I couldn't see spending $600-$750 for a new set for a 107. I bought a used set, and the reflectors were crap. Unlike the 126 sedan assemblies, the 107 Euro assemblies are not sealed from the back. Worse, the reflectors are made of metal, than (possibly) glass, primer, and then aluminum vapor deposition is coated over that. 126 Bosch reflectors may be made this way also. The aluminum is subject to corrosion and even the slightest attempt at polishing it will result in removal of the coating, because it is extremely thin. New 107 reflector bowls MAY be available in Europe, but impossible to find in the US. So, on my first set, I had them silverplated at a shop for major money, with pretty good results, but the total cost actually approached entirely new units.
The second set I bought also had crap reflectors but I knew this and paid much less for them. I actually managed to do a very credible job with HVAC aluminum tape and polishing equipment in restoring these, which I describe on another forum, and they have lasted a summer (and more importantly, part of a winter) with no noticeable deterioration or delamination. They are very similar in appearance, light output and pattern to my resilvered set.
Still, my hunt for new reflector bowls continued, if for nothing else, spares. I looked at 126 Euro sedan reflectors and they seemed to be exactly the same size - I did some metrics with photos and they seemed to be no more than 2% different. Knowing that companies try to keep a standardization of parts, I thought that the reflector bowls were the same between the 126 and the 107. I wasn't willing to buy Bosch's to find out, but Depo's seemed to be an OK clone and knowing that it would be easiest for them to get TuV approval if they cloned them pretty darned exactly, I bought a set. My thinking was that if I could use the reflectors from them I'd have a pair and could sell the 126 Euro lenses (new) for maybe 1/2 of what I paid for the whole assemblies.
Well, bad news for me, it was a no-go. The angles of the bowls in relation to the front of the cars is different, and they may be the same size but they are shaped differently and the center for the lamps is more offset on the 126 set. It was a shame, because the mounting tabs were exactly the same as Bosch's 107 bowls!
I thought it interesting that the Depo's bowls are made of deep-drawn aluminum, and not really all that polished. Frankly, my taped bowls are better in creating a mirror reflection than these are. Still, they must be good enough to pass European inspection, and the nice thing about the Depo bowls is that I'm pretty sure that if they ever get corroded from bad gaskets and age, they can be polished to new or even possibly better than new with the usual aluminum polishing equipment.
You may find it interesting to consider that it might be possible with a little work to rebuild Bosch 126 Euro's with Depo parts.
Anyway, these are for sale, never installed in a car or used, $175 and (my shipping cost only) shipping. I can PayPal or eBay if needed. PM me if interested (US shipment only, I'm in KY). I got these from Importvision and these were just received today - this set is the "new" batch that they got in after having problems with corners in the last batch, which delayed their shipments about a month.
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