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2002 c32
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Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up a 2002 C32 and it has the ugly stock headlights. I want to upgrade (at least the lenses), but after searching the forum, all the discussions are super old and none of the links work anymore. can anyone help with these questions?
1. How do I know what type of bulbs I have? HD, Halogen, bi-xenon?
2. anyone know if it is possible to just replace the lens? Ebay has lots of entire housing options, but not sure if they will work.
Any and all headlight experience is welcomed!
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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A MY2002 will either have diffuser-lens halogen or diffuser-lens HID (but not bi-xenon) headlights. You should be able to determine if they are HID or halogen just based on the color temperature. Also, if do not have headlight washers, you do not have factory HID headlights. My advice would be to replace the old diffuser-lens headlights with modern projector style units. Then, you can install an HID kit. if you have access to SDS to code the front SAM, you can use any HID kit. If not, make sure to get one that is "error free".
 

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2002 c32
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I do not have headlight washers, so I guess I have "normal" headlights. This is a good thing in my case because all of the Chinese aftermarket headlight assemblies should work fine?
Just curious though, what is the HID kit?
 

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2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2000 S500, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
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Please, for the love of God, the FSM, and Ramtha, DO NOT use these "HID kits" in halogen headlamp assemblies! The reason is that the focal point for HID's and halogens is different, and you risk blinding oncoming traffic at night. Yes, seriously, and that's damned dangerous. I've been on the receiving end of those Deity-forsaken things, and it does dazzle you long enough to cause problems.

I've done several halogen-to-HID (xenon) conversions. The proper way is to get an HID-specific projector and replace the halogen one in there with that HID-specific projector. This will make sure your focal point is correct for the HID bulb. Yes, that means opening up the headlight assembly, but it's really not that hard.

If you want to just pick up a set of proper bi-xenons for your '02, I would recommend the DEPO brand. I have four sets of them, one for each of my W220 S-classes. They're well made and surprisingly factory-like, even on the inside, with the improvement of better wire insulation that doesn't crumble with age.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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I have to disagree with you guys on not putting HID bulbs into "halogen" projector lens headlights. There is no difference in projector lenses designed for HID vs. halogens. They all project light the same way - in a big round center-weighted pattern light a flashlight. They then use a shutter that creates a cut-off so the top of the round beam pattern is shielded - like this (for LHD cars):

____/------

For "bi-xenon" lights, the shutter is mechanically removed so the whole round beam pattern is shown.

Now, if you want to talk about diffused-lens headlights or reflector beam (like the the ones tjts showed above) then, yes, those are mad differently for halogen vs. HID.
 

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87 300D 5 speed
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I have to disagree with you guys on not putting HID bulbs into "halogen" projector lens headlights. There is no difference in projector lenses designed for HID vs. halogens. They all project light the same way - in a big round center-weighted pattern light a flashlight. They then use a shutter that creates a cut-off so the top of the round beam pattern is shielded - like this (for LHD cars):

____/------

For "bi-xenon" lights, the shutter is mechanically removed so the whole round beam pattern is shown.

Now, if you want to talk about diffused-lens headlights or reflector beam (like the the ones tjts showed above) then, yes, those are mad differently for halogen vs. HID.
The reflector part of a HID projector behind the bulb is very different from a halogen projector. That's why the beam pattern gets all fucked up with glare when you put a HID bulb in a halogen projector.




Don't put HID bulbs in halogen projectors.
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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In a projector assembly, the reflector has nothing to do with the beam pattern - it's all in the lens itself and the shutter. The only thing that can be changed is the overall diameter of the beam based on the distance between the bulb and lens. The difference in the assembly you show is likely just to accommodate the longer D2S bulb, and you will notice the flatter lens compared to the halogen assembly which will cause a slightly smaller diameter beam (likely exactly matching that of the halogen). Many OE headlights use the exact same assemblies for halogen and HID projectors, just replacing the bulbs. Examples are GM, Nissan and Audi. MBZ did not use projector lenses except for HIDs so there is no example I can give with their vehicles.
 
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