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2000 E430 (base), 77 450SL, 89 420SEL, 97 E420
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295 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When I purchased my current car, I noticed that the headlight lens' were very cloudy so I used Plast-X with 1500 and 2000 sandpaper and they came out almost new. However, the headlights were still very dim almost weak. So I contacted MB technical service and asked it I could increase the wattage using the same socket. The answer was I couldn't because more wattage would burn up the wires to the sockets and possibly do damage to the inside reflectors. True of False?
I have the halogen bulbs in the car that it originally came with, but short of going to Xenon, does anybody have any other ideas?
Much appreciated,
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
There are problems with the harness even at the stock wattage...so here's what I'd check.

First, remove all the grounds (they're on the fenderwells) and clean the stud and each connector, then reconnect firmly. They get dirty and corroded and that's a common cause. Second, check the harness and connectors closely at the headlight. If they are discolored, they have probably overheated already (and be sure to inspect carefully the connectors, if they're not shiny, clean them up or replace them). There are harness/socket repair kits available at the stealer. Last, you can with a margin of safety go to the Daniel Stern rally bulbs (65W bulb on the H7 base). I've been very happy with them.

Do not fall prey to the HID kits on ebay, either. Worse light and it will blind oncoming traffic.

Good luck!
 

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2000 E430 (base), 77 450SL, 89 420SEL, 97 E420
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295 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Wow, this is one of the best responses I've ever received to any inquiry. Many thanks Greg210 for this information. I have some minor questions, and will send you a private message for you to answer when you have time. Again, my appreciation for sharing your expertise.
 

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2000 E430 (base), 77 450SL, 89 420SEL, 97 E420
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295 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Gregs210,
For some reason I can't send you a private message so here are some of my questions. When cleaning the contacts, should I use a pro/spray electrical contact cleaner, or some mild solvent like alcohol? When you said that the repair kits are available at the stealer, did you mean dealer, or are these available on line through a reliable source, and if so, who have you used for this? Lastly, Daniel Stern Rally Bulbs, can I google them, or is there a source which is more direct? I might have another quick question once I start, but your help so far has been enormous. I also am adrift on an island, it's called Manhattan.
Many thanks again,
 

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2000 E430 (base), 77 450SL, 89 420SEL, 97 E420
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295 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Musikmann,
Found them early this morning via google, and sent them an email re; availability of bulbs. Their site is very informative, and I appreciate your response.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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Weegee, I don't use PMs for anything except personal messages; if there are car related issues, at least IMHO they belong in the forum where the knowledge can be shared. Nothing personal, it's just how I roll. ;)

For these types of connections spray cleaners are of little use. I'm old school in this regard, just have some emery cloth handy (some prefer steel wool) and with the doors closed, everything off and the key in your pocket (no need to disconnect the battery) unscrew the nut that holds them all on there, and then lift them off the threaded lug one at a time. Lightly sand the bottom of the nut and both sides of each connector and be sure to hit the lug base as well, then reinstall and firmly tighten the lug. Repeat on the other side.

For the connectors themselves, if they show signs of overheating (discoloration, brittle insulation on the wires nearing the connectors, etc.) then replace them. To my knowledge the kits are dealer (stealer) only items, but they can be ordered online through duvalmotorcars.com for a bit of a discount. Hit their site, fill out a parts request, supply your vin and they'll email you with the details.

If your connectors are okay, no need to replace them. But check for corrosion/dirty contacts and clean them if found. The female end (inside the connector plug) are much harder to do than the grounds, often I'll just use a small knife blade and scrape them clean, and of course run the steel wool/emery cloth over the male connections on the bulbs themselves.

The bulbs I mentioned you can order from the products page by clicking the "Order H7 Bulbs" button: this link should open your email program
What you're looking for are the "65W Osram Ultra High Output (2100 lumen, H9 burner on H7 base, race and special-purpose use): $24.76/ea" and ask about a special deal if you order four (lo and hi beams), sometimes they'll do that.

Good luck.


(BTW, my location reference is a metaphysical reference, although if the big one hits it might be literal...at least for a little while. ;) )
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 4-Matic
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81 Posts
Another Light Source

I have used this site in the past- use them to compare prices, info etc..

Susquehanna MotorSports - High Performance Vehicle Lighting and Competition Accessories

I have run the 65 Watt H7's in a '98 BMW with no problems. There are 55W H7 alternatives that are brighter then stock, (about 10%)= 1550 Lumens vs. Stock 1400 but the other advice you got is correct that if you are not getting the full voltage to the bulb, brighter (lumens) bulbs will not be much help.
 

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2000 E430 (base), 77 450SL, 89 420SEL, 97 E420
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295 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again. will work with what you gave me so far. All of this is much appreciated. I sent Daniel Stern Lighting an email this morning as per your mentioning. Have still not heard back. Do have any idea of where they are physically located; state, city?
Again, many thanks for sharing your knowledge.
 

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2000 E430 (base), 77 450SL, 89 420SEL, 97 E420
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295 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
It just occurred to me ask if the 65w Osram Ultra High Output (2100 lumen, H9 burner on H7 base) are for both high and low beam, or only high or only low?
Thanks,
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
I think that's what gregs210 was saying when he mentioned buying 4 bulbs and asking for a package deal.
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 4-Matic
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81 Posts
I think that's what gregs210 was saying when he mentioned buying 4 bulbs and asking for a package deal.
Exactly. H7 is single filament bulb. Both Hi/Low beams are H7. So you will need 4. Unless you want your low beams to be brighter then the high!
 
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